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Carvana shares upgraded to Buy, price target set higher

EditorAhmed Abdulazez Abdulkadir
Published 07/10/2024, 08:04 AM

Wednesday, Needham raised its rating on Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA) shares from Hold to Buy, setting a price target of $160. The firm expects Carvana to enhance unit sales and market share, citing the company's effective digital-first customer approach and the potential of its physical locations.

The analyst from Needham believes that Carvana is poised for profitable growth, emphasizing the company's prospects for increasing retail unit sales and improving gross profit per unit by leveraging its high-fixed-cost base. According to the firm, the current consensus on retail unit estimates is at a low point and fails to reflect the potential upswing. The analyst projects a recovery in Carvana's business, fueled by strategic growth initiatives and optimizations at recently acquired locations.

Needham's new price target of $160 for Carvana is based on a 25 times multiple of the firm's adjusted EBITDA estimate for 2026, which is approximately 20% higher than the consensus. This target also accounts for a discount compared to the over 30% compound annual growth rate in adjusted EBITDA that Needham models for Carvana.

The upgrade reflects a positive outlook on Carvana's shift towards unit growth and the anticipated benefits of a more stable balance sheet. Needham's analysis suggests that the market has yet to fully recognize the expected recovery and improvements from Carvana's strategic moves, including the enhancements at its in-house financing and recently acquired auction locations.

Carvana, known for its online car buying and selling platform, has experienced volatility in the past, but Needham's upgrade indicates a belief in the company's ability to transition into a more stable and profitable phase. The firm's price target suggests confidence in Carvana's long-term growth trajectory and financial performance.

In other recent news, Carvana Co. has been at the center of several financial developments. JPMorgan maintained an Overweight rating on the company, citing operational efficiencies and a positive outlook for the coming years. Needham also maintained a Hold rating, highlighting potential operational efficiencies through the company's software advancements.

Carvana's first quarter results for 2024 showed a 16% increase in retail units sold and a record 7.7% increase in Adjusted EBITDA Margin, with the Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter standing at $235 million. In terms of debt reduction, the company repurchased approximately 24% of its 2028 Senior Secured Notes and raised $350 million of equity capital.

The company's acquisition of ADESA is expected to decrease transportation expenses and expand its regional network. However, vehicle sourcing remains a significant challenge. Analysts from various firms, including JMP Securities, RBC Capital Markets, and Deutsche Bank, have set price targets ranging from $75 to $135.

InvestingPro Insights

Following Needham's optimistic upgrade of Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA) to a Buy rating with a price target of $160, insights from InvestingPro provide additional context for investors. Carvana's market capitalization stands at $25.7 billion, reflecting significant investor interest. Despite a negative adjusted P/E ratio for the last twelve months as of Q1 2024, indicating that analysts expect a drop in net income this year, the company's price volatility could present opportunities for agile investors. Notably, Carvana has shown strong returns over the last three months, with a price total return of 56.11%.

InvestingPro Tips highlight that Carvana is trading at a low P/E ratio relative to near-term earnings growth, which could be appealing to value investors. Moreover, the company's liquid assets exceed short-term obligations, suggesting financial resilience. For those interested in further analysis, InvestingPro offers more tips on Carvana, which could be accessed with a subscription. Use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get up to 10% off a yearly Pro and a yearly or biyearly Pro+ subscription, and discover the 19 additional InvestingPro Tips that could help inform your investment decisions.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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