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Factoring alternative data into 2020 market predictions

1 week ago by Thinknum Media in Earnings

2020 has begun with a bang - from big banks beating expectations to huge-scale tech M&A deals - and investors are eager to get in on the next big thing. 

Thinknum Alternative Data has mirrored some of the big predictions that made UBS' 20 Stocks for 2020 - Our Highest Conviction Calls. Already, we've already broken down how picks like General Electric, ServiceNow and Norfolk Southern have been covered by the bank's analysts. Here's a rundown of other stocks, and targets, for 2020. 

Analysts are dialed into T-Mobile 

UBS is bullish on T-Mobile ($NYSE:TMUS), no matter what - and they bet on 27% stock price appreciation, with a target of $96 per share. We're given a window into T-Mobile executives' mentality by the chart below - the big spike in job postings, covers when executives were facing the rising probability that the $146 billion merger they were pursuing faced scuttling from regulators. Based on what's happened at each company lately, it looks as if there's little to sweat in terms of approval - but that's not really impacting UBS analysts, who are bullish in all scenarios. 

"Absent the deal, we expect a continuation of the current playbook, driving industry leading frowth and a return to the buyback net of spectrum purchases," John Hodulik wrote in the UBS report. "While regulatory opposition to the Sprint ($NYSE:S) deal has provided uncertainty and weighed on shares, we see value in TMUS deal or no deal." 

UBS cuts bait on Seagate

Seagate Technology ($NASDAQ:STX) shares gained more than 50% in 2019, topping earnings estimates even as the company increased its dividend. However, UBS' Munjal Shah is bearish - slapping a $41 "Sell" target on the data storage company, implying potential losses of up to -26%; citing "lost market share;" and warning that "material cost savings actions" may be necessary. 

Despite the dour outlook, Seagate has rising Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) Talking About Count, which spiked in the second half of 2019 and this month briefly reached its highest level since 2015. It may have been due to new initiatives launched to engage with gamers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - but in terms of hype, Seagate's 2020 is getting off to a start that even the market prognosticators may not have expected. 

Forget Baby Yoda, look instead to Dungeons & Dragons as catalyst for Hasbro rally

Toy maker Hasbro ($NASDAQ:HAS) finally put Baby Yoda merchandise up for sale last month and its stock price barely budged. While investors may have reason to discount a ‘Baby Yoda bounce,’ they could also be overlooking an unlikely catalyst for better days in the form of Dungeons & Dragons - which has consistently garnered more Likes on Facebook (not shown).

UBS' Arpine Kocharyan is bullish on domestic and international fronts. On the homefront, "improvement in the doll category" in part driven by the release of the Frozen sequel and "improving NERF trends" (NERF is an acronym; its inventor passed away late in 2019) are driving improvement for Hasbro. And internationally, "full tariff resolution would be a catalyst," Kocharyan wrote, which is expected in Washington very soon. Our chart above tracks job postings with the toy giant - and we can tell that there is a typical drop-off in hiring that hits a low around the New Year. UBS hitched a $117 price target to the stock, indicating expectations of 17% gains for Hasbro shares in 2020.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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