UBS says Charles Schwab’s stock is a buy and ‘well insulated’ from market risk

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The stock market is in turmoil, but brokerage firm Charles Schwab could be a port in the storm for investors, according to UBS. Analyst Brennan Hawken upgraded Charles Schwab to buy from neutral, saying in a note to clients Monday that the stock already reflects downside from issues like the potential end of payment for order flow and that Schwab is “well insulated from credit and market risk.” “SCHW’s business model is the least market sensitive of the WM firms in our coverage, with EPS dropping only -2% compared to the group average of -11%, under a -15% equity market return assumption for FY22,” Hawken wrote. Additionally, the Federal Reserve is now hiking interest rates, which could be a boost to the bottom lines for brokerage firms. “If persistent inflation prevents the Fed from reverting to ZIRP once rate cuts start, we think both SCHW’s earnings and multiple should hold up better than in prior downturns,” Hawken wrote. UBS also noted that Schwab is already trading near its trough earnings multiple from the last market cycle, meaning that the stock could be due for a rebound. UBS hiked its price target for Charles Schwab to $75 per share from $68. The new target is 25% above where the stock closed on Friday. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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