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Stocks that are not receiving major attention: Bank of Montreal (BMO), Pure Storage Inc. (PSTG)

Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) shares are -18.00% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 3.08% or $1.9 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +65.88% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -20.49% down YTD and 26.27% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is 8.93% and 15.04% over the month.

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Analyst Recommendations

On July 24, 2020, CIBC recommended the BMO stock is a Neutral, while earlier, Barclays had Downgrade the stock as a Underweight on August 19, 2020. 5 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.60 to suggest that the BMO stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 5 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 1 has rated it as “Underweight”. 1 recommend buying, with 1 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $63.55 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $85.95. The forecasts give the Bank of Montreal stock a price target range of $67.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $63.61. The two limits represent an upside potential of 5.15% or 0.09%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 3.80% in the current quarter to $1.67, up from the $1.51 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of $6.79, down -2.60% from $6.4 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between $1.69 and $1.82. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $7.19 for the next year.

Pure Storage Inc. (NYSE:PSTG), on the other hand, is trading around $15.05 with a market cap of $3.98B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $20.37 and spell out a more modest performance – a 26.12% return. Some analysts are even forecasting $0.14 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Pure Storage Inc. (PSTG) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

PSTG’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -10.60%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $342.0 million. This represented a 6.84% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $367.12 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.34 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.41 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Oct 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $2.25 billion from $2.36 billion over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $926.56 million while total current assets were at $1.76 billion. The cash flow from operating activities totaled $35.1 million, significantly higher than the $6.64 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $11.32 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 24 times at Pure Storage Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 10 times and accounting for 949,945 shares. Insider sales totaled 1,305,680 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 14 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are -4.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 25.51M shares after the latest sales, with 1.30% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 3.60% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 83.30% with a share float percentage of 243.36M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Pure Storage Inc. having a total of 331 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) with over 21.93 million shares worth more than $379.99 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) held 8.27% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Champlain Investment Partners, LLC, with the investment firm holding over 18.64 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $323.02 million and represent 7.03% of shares outstanding.

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