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Maya Sasson

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Out on Wall Street, stocks are taking a breather from this month’s rally. Despite encouraging updates on a potential coronavirus vaccine, disappointing unemployment data and a spike in coronavirus cases have spooked investors.

Not helping investor sentiment, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that schools would return to remote learning to mitigate the virus’ spread.

“The market has really been in a celebratory mode since Election Day and rode through it again last week. I think the idea now is people are beginning to consider taking some profits ahead of expectations that taxes related to capital gains could rise in 2021. I also think there’s the consideration of the transition in COVID to post-COVID… Even with the resurgence, all the vaccine news tells us [is] there is a post-COVID ahead,” Oppenheimer’s Chief Investment Strategist John Stoltzfus noted.

As plenty of question marks remain going forward, spotting stocks poised to outperform the broader market isn’t easy. One approach is to take a cue from the analysts with a proven track record of success. TipRanks analyst forecasting service attempts to pinpoint Wall Street’s best-performing analysts. These are the analysts with the highest success rate and average return per rating.

Here are the best-performing analysts’ five favorite stocks right now:

Amazon

In response to the promising data on Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines, investors have shifted away from the pandemic beneficiaries such as Amazon. However, five-star analyst Laura Martin continues to take a bullish stance on the e-commerce and computing giant. To this end, she reiterated a Buy rating and $3,700 price target (19% upside potential) on November 18.

Following the vaccine news, Martin conducted a survey to gauge consumer shopping habits and upcoming plans. Surveying roughly 330 consumers, 80% of respondents stated they would shop the same or more online post-pandemic. “With AMZN being the e-commerce market share leader, we see it as the biggest beneficiary of this trend,” she commented.

When Martin asked if their shopping habits would change when a vaccine becomes available, about 69% indicated they’d use Amazon the same as they did during the pandemic, which is when Amazon’s demand spiked, while another 15% said they would shop on the site even more.

As for the upcoming holiday season, the analyst wanted to find out when consumers would do their shopping. Of those surveyed, 44% stated that 50%-100% of their holiday shopping had already been completed.

“In our view, Amazon’s Prime Day in October pulled forward the shopping calendar. Given it had first mover advantage, we expect AMZN be the largest beneficiary of spending moving earlier on the calendar,” Martin explained.

With a 66% success rate and 24.9% average return per rating, Martin scores the #67 position on TipRanks’ list of best-performing analysts.

Bentley Systems

Five-star analyst Matthew Hedberg of RBC Capital upgraded software development company Bentley Systems to Buy from Hold on November 15. With the price target standing at $43, the analyst sees 26% upside potential.

The upgrade comes on the heels of an impressive performance in its first quarter as a publicly traded company. This combined with a pull-back since the middle of October makes the risk/reward profile much more attractive, in Hedberg’s opinion, as shares now trade “closer to peers and a discount to premium peers such as Ansys and Autodesk.”

During the quarter, Bentley generated revenue and EPS of $203 million and $0.17, respectively, versus the $197.3 million and $0.13 consensus estimates. Additionally, adjusted EBITDA landed at $73.6 million, handily beating the Street’s $56.5 million call. Most noteworthy for Hedberg, though, was the 9% ARR growth, which exceeded his 8% projection.

Looking ahead, Bentley’s guidance for CY20 also came in above the consensus estimate.

Hedberg added, “Overall, we think a vaccine could benefit Bentley, and a Biden presidency could boost U.S. infrastructure spending. Overall, we like the opportunity to own a long-term durable winner.”

Landing a Top 25 spot on TipRanks’ ranking, Hedberg boasts a 74% success rate and a 27.2% average return per rating.

PDF Solutions

On November 17, PDF Solutions announced that it will acquire Cimetrix, which is a software interface company for capital equipment that enables data collection from manufacturing tools. For top Northland Capital’s Gus Richard, this deal reaffirms his bullish thesis, with the analyst reiterating a Buy rating the following day. Along with the call, he continues to assign a $30 price target, suggesting 43% upside potential.

As per the terms of the agreement, PDFS will pay $35 million in cash, net of cash on Cimetrix’s balance sheet, with the deal set to close in Q4 2020.

The move is part of PDF Solutions’ focus on accelerating its effort with equipment suppliers as Cimetrix provides a sales channel to the software development teams at equipment vendors, with the Cimetrix data serving as “the feedstock to PDFS’s Exensio big data analytics platform,” in Richard’s opinion. PDF’s platform has penetrated fabs, fabless and OSATs, but there’s limited exposure to the equipment suppliers.

“PDFS/ Cimetrix together can allow equipment suppliers to collect operational data from equipment and use PDFS big data analytics platform and AI to analyze equipment operational, performance, and process control data. We believe working with PDFS/Cimetrix equipment suppliers will be able to improve process control, equipment uptime, and lower MTBF. The acquisition moves Exensio closer to become the de facto standard big data analytics platform for the semiconductor industry and expands the company into electronic manufacturing services, EMS, and display manufacturing,” Richard opined.

Based on the analyst’s estimates, the acquisition could be accretive in CY21, with it adding $0.02-$0.04 to earnings.

TipRanks shows that the #52-ranked analyst has an impressive 72% success rate and 28.2% average return per rating.

Cytokinetics

Cytokinetics, a biopharmaceutical company that develops muscle activators and muscle inhibitors as potential treatments for people with debilitating diseases which compromise muscle performance, just received a thumbs up from H.C. Wainwright’s Joseph Pantginis. In addition to maintaining a Buy rating on November 16, he kept a $43 price target on the stock, implying 180% upside potential.

Pantginis tells clients that omecamtiv mecarbil, its selective cardiac myosin activator for the potential treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), “continues to hold promise for large pre-specified population.”

In October, CYTK and its partners, Amgen and Servier, said that the therapy met the primary composite efficacy endpoint of reducing CV death or HF events, but not the secondary endpoint of reduction of CV death. That said, last week, Cytokinetics presented the results of GALACTIC-HF, the Phase 3 outcome study of omecamtiv, at AHA, demonstrating that the drug shows a potentially greater treatment effect in the pre-specified group of patients with more severe HF, represented by a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).

It should be noted that the “fate” of omecamtiv could be dependent on “Amgen’s views on the drug, together with a complete analysis of the data and the results of a market research analysis centered around the views of physicians and payers,” according to Pantginis. However, the analyst remains optimistic.

“While a deeper analysis is yet to be conducted and more details are needed to clarify omecamtiv’s real opportunity in HF, we believe these findings suggest a possible path forward for omecamtiv’s approval based on its applicability for the treatment of a defined, significant, population,” Pantginis explained.

Pantginis is ranked #169 out of 7,093 analysts tracked by TipRanks.

Yelp

For RBC analyst Shweta Khajuria, Yelp is one of her top stock picks right now. In a bullish signal, the five-star analyst bumped up the price target from $29 to $34 (7% upside potential), as well as reiterated a Buy rating on November 18.

Khajuria tells clients she had considered Yelp a “vaccine stock for several quarters now, and the case in point is the recent rally in the share price post Pfizer’s vaccine announcement.”

Expounding on this, the analyst stated, “While there is a lot of uncertainty between now and the actual distribution of the vaccine at scale, we believe that Yelp is well-positioned to benefit from the recovery, given the improving fundamentals we saw in Q3 and based on our belief that the snap-back in restaurants & bars, beauty & fitness, health, & shopping categories will be relatively fast as the economy opens up. That in addition to improving trends in Home & Local driven by product improvements and secular tailwinds.”

In a post-coronavirus environment, Khajuria believes Yelp could benefit from the improving macro-economic environment as the economy opens up, given that ad spend is correlated to GDP growth. What’s more, product changes that have been a key focus for the company over the last year and a half should bode well for Yelp, in the analyst’s opinion.

“Management expects Yelp to drive greater benefits from the improvement in its value proposition to advertisers, both perceived and actual to take a greater share of Advertiser budgets,” Khajuria added.

When it comes to its go-to-market strategy, although Yelp’s local salesforce is down 45% year-over-year, management expects to keep its salesforce intact even post-coronavirus, which is a positive, according to Khajuria.

Khajuria is currently tracking an 89% success rate and an 80.3% average return per rating.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: CNBC: Wall Street’s top analysts say buy stocks like Amazon and Yelp amid virus resurgence

The U.S. Presidential election is only days away, and Wall Street is bracing for market turbulence. However, given the lingering uncertainty, it’s unclear whether market volatility could persist post-election.

“Time will tell if expected volatility turns into realized market volatility,” Charley Ripley, a senior investment strategist from Allianz Investment management, stated.

In such an unpredictable economic environment, one approach to pinpointing compelling plays is to follow the recommendations from analysts with a proven track record of success. TipRanks analyst forecasting service uses in-depth market data to find the analysts with the highest success rate and average return per rating, measured on a one-year basis. These metrics factor in the number of ratings published by each analyst.

Here the best-performing analysts’ five favorite stock picks right now:

Advanced Micro Devices

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices just posted strong Q3 results and revealed it’s set to acquire Xilinx for $35 billion in stock. For Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann, these developments reaffirm his confidence in AMD’s long-term growth narrative.

Given the new Ryzen 5000 and Milan EPYC3 product cycles, Mosesmann argues that momentum witnessed in the third quarter will most likely persist in 2021. Additionally, he believes the Xilinx acquisition was the right move as the data center space is in flux and offloading dynamics are becoming even more essential.

“With Intel Corporation INTC continuing its woes, we see no reason why AMD can’t capture 50% of the entire x86 CPU market in coming years on technology/product roadmaps, accelerating design pipelines, increasing attach rates of GPUs to optimize EPYC server CPUs, etc,” Mosesmann commented.

On top of this, strong x86 CPU and GPU product roadmaps will give AMD an edge over Intel and Nvidia, according to Mosesmann. As the deal boosts AMD’s total addressable market to $110 billion, the analyst thinks the semiconductor company could double in size over the next few years.

All of the above prompted Mosesmann to maintain his Buy rating and $120 price target (54% upside potential) on October 28.

Landing within the top 100 on TipRanks’ ranking of best-performing analysts, Mosesmann is currently tracking a 21.4% success rate.

O’Reilly Automotive

Following an impressive Q3 update, O’Reilly Automotive received a thumbs up from Wells Fargo’s Zachary Fadem, with the five-star analyst reiterating a Buy rating on October 28. Along with the bullish call, the analyst kept a $525 price target on the stock. Should this target be met in the year ahead, shares stand to gain 19%.

ORLY announced that comps reached 16.9%-plus, EBIT margin expanded by over 249 basis points and EPS beat the consensus estimate by 9.8%-plus. What’s more, DIY outperformed, DIFM surpassed expectations and Q4-to-date has been going well, with the first three weeks of October tracking positive LDD%.

“In our view, tonight’s results provide further evidence that industry trends remain robust despite miles driven declines and recent stimulus roll off (in August),” Fadem commented.

Even though gross margin, which came in at –96 basis points, reflects “the single blemish on an otherwise exceptional print,” Fadem argues that “ORLY is taking outsized share and anticipate another round of upward EPS revisions.”

Expounding on this, the analyst stated, “All in, we continue to view auto part retailers as underappreciated in today’s environment, and are constructive on ORLY’s best-in-class execution, non-discretionary assortment and NT upside from share gains and incremental stimulus. With ORLY shares now sub-19x our CY21 EPS estimate (versus LT peak/trough of 27x/15x) we see increasingly favorable risk/reward and would be aggressive buyers on weakness.”

With a 76% success rate and 25.5% average return per rating, Fadem is one of the top 60 analysts ranked by TipRanks.

Orbcomm

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) company Orbcomm has scored unanimously bullish praise from the analyst community recently. Among the bulls is one of the best-performing analysts, Northland Capital’s Michael Latimore.

On October 29, the five-star analyst reiterated a Buy rating. In addition, he continues to assign a $6 stock price forecast, putting the upside potential at 50%.

Latimore argues that ORBC is improving corporate efficiency. To back this up, he points out it has consolidated 25 web portals to two, reduced SKU count by 75%, trimmed COGS by 30%, improved inventory management and simplified billing.

On top of this, ORBC recently announced a new service, OGx, which is part of a collaboration with Inmarsat. “The new service will be 40x faster than the current IDP and require less power at the terminal. Current customers will get an over-the-air update. ORBC extended its contract with Inmarsat to 2035, and the new service will be available in 2022,” Latimore explained.

What’s more, the analyst sees the new dual mode satellite add-ons and video offering as providing “interesting incremental growth opportunities.” He added, “ORBC should launch its video service in 1-2 quarters; this could increase ARPU to $30 from $6 on connections that take it. Video is mainly a greenfield opportunity, and ORBC is particularly focused on video for cargo. Dual mode could become 25% of sales, up from under 5% today.”

To this end, ORBC expects to report Q4 revenue of between $60-$64 million, compared to the $63.3 million consensus estimate. “We believe the company is assuming it closes about 30% of the pipeline, reefer customers continue at current rates, and dry van upgrades to 4G (such as Hub) improve,” Latimore commented.

Scoring the #175 spot on TipRanks’ list of top-rated analysts, Latimore sees an 18.7% average return per rating.

Enphase Energy

For five-star analyst Colin Rusch, of Oppenheimer, Enphase Energy is one of his top picks in the energy space. On October 28, he reiterated both his Buy rating and $116 price target, which suggests 12% upside potential.

In Q3, ENPH reported upside to both the top and bottom lines as the company continues to experience strong demand, with U.S. market growth surpassing expectations and it making significant progress in Europe.

Stable pricing and the benefit of energy storage also contributed to the strong performance. Encharge accounted for roughly 10% of Q3 revenue and management says its 50MWh capacity is mostly booked for Q4. Rusch added, “Management noted encouraging reception from long-tail installers, with Tier 1s engaging ahead of IQ8 rollout, which will support flexible independent grid formation.”

“Given visibility on battery supply coming online and strong demand for its ensemble products, we believe the company can continue to outperform margin expectations through 2021,” the analyst commented.

What’s more, as beta testing for its 640W commercial rooftop solution is starting, Rusch sees “potential for a growth driver beyond our current estimates.” With elevated OpEx spending supporting multi-year expansion, he believes there’s a “possibility for incremental operating leverage as the commercial product ramps and energy storage gains traction.”

Summing it all up, Rusch stated, “We note the market has seen significant multiple appreciation in recent months with increased confidence in a recovery coupled with the inflationary impact of low interest rates.”

TipRanks shows the #58-rated analyst boasts a 57% success rate and a 33.2% average return per rating.

Pinterest

Wall Street’s 22nd best-performing analyst, Justin Post, of Bank of America Securities, is betting on image sharing and saving company Pinterest, with the analyst bumping up the price target from $58 to $72 on October 29. Along with the price target update, he maintained a Buy rating.

During the third quarter, the company generated revenue of $443 million, reflecting a gain of 58% year-over-year and handily beating the Street’s $384 million call. According to management, strong user and usage growth, a spend shift from the advertiser boycott, a rebound in advertiser demand (SMB, international and large CPG) and new initiatives such as conversion optimization, shopping ad products, automated bidding and video uploads were behind the stellar performance.

Shares of PINS surged 28% in after-hours trading, implying that the coronavirus impact was more than just a one-time occurrence, in Post’s opinion. “We think Street sees strong progress with shopping initiatives, and has more confidence in long-term ARPU expansion,” he noted.

Additionally, total MAU increased 37% year-over-year to 441 million, with users under age 25 also continuing to increase faster than the total.

“Overall Q3 engagement (e.g., impressions, closeups and saves) and search volume moderated somewhat from Q2 highs but remained well above preCOVID-19 levels. We think the increase in under 25 users and growth in search usage suggest Pinterest is becoming an increasingly relevant shopping site,” Post opined.

All of this led Post to conclude that PINS is on the path to achieve 61% revenue growth in Q4, up from his original 46% projection. When it comes to the valuation, Post stated, “Given faster user growth, use case expansion (shopping), and strong product pipeline, we think a premium multiple to peers is warranted (Snap is trading at 14x 2022 P/S).”

Post’s track record of success is evidenced by his 75% success rate and 28.4% average return per rating.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: CNBC: Wall Street’s top analysts say buy these stocks amid the market turbulence

Investors seeking out high growth for their portfolios will often turn to biotech stocks. The biotechnology industry, which has become densely populated as our understanding of living systems and organisms continues to expand, has earned a reputation on Wall Street for its explosive potential … and high volatility.

In contrast to companies in other sectors, the gains and losses in even the best biotech stocks hinge less on earnings results, and more on a few key indicators such as trial-data readouts or verdicts from regulatory agencies. Product approvals unlock vital revenues, so a single positive update can function as a catalyst that propels shares to new highs.

Of course, there’s a reason risk-averse investors shy away from these stocks: The opposite also holds true.

Wall Street pros rightly advise a cautious approach when evaluating the biotechnology industries. We find that monitoring the analyst community can be helpful on a couple fronts: For one, we can see where the pros are putting their faith. Also, analysts can provide much-needed insight into many stocks that get little media coverage, and whose progress can be difficult to gauge unless you’re a medical expert.

We used TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool to comb through hundreds of biotechnology stocks to identify promising picks – ones that have received enough lopsided support from analysts that they earn TipRanks’ top Strong Buy consensus rating. Here, we have found five top biotech stocks with overwhelmingly bullish sentiment from the analyst community, and price-growth projections of between 28% and 82%.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals

MARKET VALUE: $23.3 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $148.78 (41% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN, $105.30) is one of several biotech stocks that specialize in rare diseases. ALXN has developed a comprehensive pipeline of therapies for ailments such as:

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) la life-threatening blood disease.
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), which causes blood clots to form in kidney blood vessels.
Perinatal/infantile- and juvenile-onset hypophosphatasia (HPP), a genetic metabolic disease that can lead to skeletal abnormalities, muscle weakness and respiratory failure.
Alexion posted a roughly 800% rally between 2010 and 2015, but the biotech stock has come back down to earth in recent years. It was an underperformer in 2019, too, gaining just 11% versus the S&P 500’s 29%. Nonetheless, several analysts believe that this year could be a better one for ALXN – indeed, some think it might be one of the best health-care stocks of 2020.

Investors have expressed concern following Apellis Pharmaceuticals’ (APLS) recent release of late-stage trial data for its pegcetacoplan (APL-2) in patients with PNH. Not only did the therapy meet its primary endpoint, but it also produced a larger change in the hemoglobin level than ALXN’s Soliris.

That said, the analyst community remains overwhelmingly bullish, at nine Buys versus two Holds over the past three months. That includes Wedbush’s Laura Chico, who maintained an Outperform rating (equivalent of Buy) in a recent analyst report. Citing Alexion’s latest 8-K filing, Chico notes that patient transition from Soliris to its newer drug, Ultomiris, is well on its way to meeting the target of 70%-plus of the PNH market by mid-year 2020. She also notes that pre-announced revenues appeared to beat the consensus expectation; more granular results will be released Jan. 30.

“Overall, we see multiple encouraging updates from ALXN in their upcoming presentation not only on the commercial front, but with several pipeline updates as well. We continue to hold a positive bias on ALXN shares,” writes Chico, whose $149 price target suggests 42% upside over the next 12 months.Investors interested in learning more can check out an ALXN analysis on TipRanks.

Sarepta Therapeutics

MARKET VALUE: $8.3 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $203.00 (82% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT, $111.62) has made a name for itself thanks to its novel approach to treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a debilitating condition marked by muscle weakness that typically affects boys.

More recently, the company has been using its expertise in genetic medicine to develop therapies for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy diseases (LGMD), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA, Pompe disease and other disorders related to the central nervous system.

Sarepta has more than 20 candidates in its pipeline, but Credit Suisse analyst Martin Auster focused on its SRP-9001 DMD gene therapy in his latest bullish note. The company recently announced that it has completed enrollment for its Phase 3 functional study, and it has “achieved commercially viable yields” ahead of another study that’s set to begin in mid-2020. Swiss health-care multinational Roche Holdings (RHHBY) has already purchased rights for SRP-9001 outside of the U.S. in a deal that could land Sarepta more than $2.85 billion in revenues. Auster reiterated an Outperform rating and $185 price target, implying 66% upside over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, RBC Capital analyst Brian Abrahams (Outperform) writes that a recently released FDA complete response letter, from 2019, lines up with management commentary. That, as well as Sarepta’s proven ability to navigate the appeals process (which it did with the FDA-approved Vyondys) makes Abrahams confident that DMD treatment casimersen will be approved in the short-term, and that its DMD gene therapy microdystrophin will see approval in 2021.

SRPT, which also waffled its way to a subpar return in 2019, has accumulated 19 Buys versus just one Hold over the past quarter alone, easily earning it a Strong Buy rating. Check out analysts’ price targets on TipRanks.

GW Pharmaceuticals

MARKET VALUE: $3.5 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $200.70 (80% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH, $111.62) has achieved something that no other biotech stock has been able to do yet: receive an FDA green light for a natural cannabis-based drug. Approved back in 2018, its lead product, Epidiolex, is an oral cannabidiol (CBD) therapy that can be used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS), two rare forms of epilepsy.

The drug is already enjoying commercial success. The company’s preliminary figures for the fourth quarter show that Epidiolex generated $104 million in revenues during Q4, and $296 million across 2019, topping analyst expectations.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Tazeen Ahmad recently wrote to investors that she came away from a management meeting even more excited about GWPH’s growth prospects. During the meeting, the company stated that it expects Epidiolex sales to continue to gain traction, and the analyst is forecasting 2020 sales of $475 million – 60% year-over-year growth from GW Pharma’s preliminary 2019 figure. Epidiolex also will launch in the U.K. this year.

Moreover, Ahmad is optimistic about the company’s late-stage trials for Epidiolex to treat tuberous sclerosis complex, which affects between 40,000 to 80,000 Americans.

GW Pharmaceuticals is among the rare biotech stocks with a unanimous Strong Buy rating over the past three months, racking up 12 Buys and 0 Holds or Sells. Ahmad’s price target of $224, which is among the highest on GWPH, implies the biotech stock could double by this point in 2021. You can learn more about the analyst community’s views on GWPH via TipRanks’ consensus breakdown.

Flexion Therapeutics

MARKET VALUE: $671.9 million

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $28.88 (64% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN, $17.60) is a small-cap biotech stock focused on musculoskeletal conditions, primarily osteoarthritis (OA) patients’ quality of life. And a late 2019 ruling in the company’s favor has the Street buzzing about FLXN.

The chatter has centered around the company’s OA pain drug, Zilretta, which was originally granted FDA approval back in October 2017. The company submitted a supplemental New Drug Application in December 2018 seeking a label expansion to include the administration of repeat doses. As we wrote last year, Flexion expected to receive a ruling by mid-October. The FDA finally approved the request in December 2019, removing the limitation of use (LOU) statement and adding trial data to the label.

Needham analyst Serge Belanger sees the outcome as a major step in the right direction. “Overall, we believe FLXN achieved its key goal of removing the LOU, which was a source of confusion for many physicians, and is now in a position to better promote Zilretta usage,” writes Belanger, who has a Buy rating and $36 price target (105% upside).

In early January, Flexion forecast Zilretta revenues of $120 million to $130 million – at the midpoint, that would be a 71% year-over-year improvement from Zilretta’s preliminary 2019 figure of $73 million.

Belanger represents just one of nine Buy ratings published over the past three months, versus no Holds or Sells. Check out other analysts’ price targets for FLXN on TipRanks.

Aptose Biosciences

MARKET VALUE: $430.8 million

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $7.25 (28% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Last in this list of biotech stocks is small-cap Aptose Biosciences (APTO, $5.66) – a trial-stage company (in other words: no marketed products yet) focused on treatments for hematologic diseases such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Aptose nearly tripled last year and was one of the best biotech stocks in 2019’s late innings. Most of its 197% run came in December after the company released encouraging pre-clinical data on candidate CG-806, including a couple of results that compared favorably to AbbVie’s (ABBV) Imbruvica: For one, it was more effective in inducing apoptosis (cell death) of CLL cells, and it “demonstrated superior anti-lymphoma effects” in cells of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Investors also were encouraged by Merck’s (MRK) $2.7 billion acquisition of ArQule, whose lead candidate is a treatment type similar to CG-806.

Oppenheimer analyst Matthew Biegler expressed confidence that the stock will continue to roll in 2020 after a mid-January meeting with Aptose management. “We discussed potential development of CG-806 beyond initial focuses in CLL and AML that could substantially increase its market opportunity,” he writes.

Biegler adds that “a recently completed financing extends the company’s runway into 2022,” referring to a secondary share offering in late December that generated $74.2 million in gross proceeds that should continue to support CG-806 research.

He maintained his Outperform rating as a result and boosted his price target from $6 per share to $8, implying another 41% in gains over the next 12 months. He’s part of a thin crowd of just four analysts that have recently weighed in on the stock, but all of them have delivered bullish ratings. Get the full analyst consensus and price target breakdown for APTO on TipRanks.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: Kiplinger: 5 ‘Strong Buy’ Biotech Stocks to Buy for 2020

Financial stocks are among the market sectors facing an extremely uncertain future in 2020.

Last year saw the sector pushed and pulled by factors including three Federal Reserve rate cuts, waffling on the U.S.-China trade deal and weak but eventually improving economic data from some of the world’s largest economies. Financial stocks still managed a 29% gain amid the turmoil.

But 2019 might seem like a cakewalk compared to what’s ahead. Low interest rates still are hampering commercial banks, and no one is quite sure what’s in store from the Fed. Meanwhile, the U.S. and China have a much more difficult path to finish the job started by their “phase-one” trade deal, and the 2020 election cycle will have Wall Street guessing all year at whether bank stocks will enjoy another accommodative presidential term.

As a result, analysts’ top picks in the financial sector aren’t your usual “who’s who” of big banks and insurers. While there are a couple of well-known consumer names, emerging fintech firms and smaller financial companies are catching the analyst community’s eye.

Here, then, are the seven best financial stocks to buy for 2020. We’ve used the Stock Screener tool from TipRanks to narrow down the sector’s most compelling investment opportunities, as seen by Wall Street’s analysts. All of these stock picks are so overloaded with bullish opinions, in fact, that they boast a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Take a look.

Visa

SAN FRANCISCO – FEBRUARY 25: Visa credit cards are arranged on a desk February 25, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Visa Inc. is hoping that its initial public offering could raise up to $19 billion and becoming the largest IPO in U.S. history. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MARKET VALUE: $430.6 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $212.45 (10% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Payment processor Visa (V, $193.77) – one of the original “fintech” stocks – has cemented its status as an industry powerhouse thanks to not only its sheer size but also its diversified product offerings. Visa has become a vital intermediary between buyers and sellers, and sports the largest retail electronic payments network in the world.

Compass Point analyst Michael Del Grosso initiated coverage of the payments industry in December. In his initial note, he writes that he expects industry-wide consolidation as well as further disruption in 2020. He also believes factors such as U.S. consumer health, continued integration of software and payments, the rise of mobile commerce and growth in cross-border payments stand should benefit the space as a whole.

Given this landscape, Del Grosso cites Visa as a standout. He rates the stock a Buy with a $215 price target, implying 11% upside over the next 12 months. He argues that its “unmatched” scale, as well as its position at the forefront of the credit market, will help it edge out its competitors.

Wells Fargo analyst Donald Fandetti (Overweight, equivalent of Buy) recently raised his price target on shares, from $200 to $213, writing that U.S. consumers and digital offerings will drive a “strong 2020” for V shares.

Eleven analysts have sounded off on the credit-card giant over the past three months, and every last one of them has delivered a Buy-equivalent rating. That makes Visa a clear “Strong Buy” financial stock. Get the full analyst consensus and price target breakdown.

OneMain Holdings

MARKET VALUE: $5.6 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $50.00 (21% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

OneMain Holdings (OMF, $41.30) is a financial services company that offers personal loans and insurance products under the OneMain Financial banner. This company ripped off a 74% gain in 2019, and while a red-hot run can dim analysts’ expectations for future upside, Wall Street remains overwhelmingly bullish on this mid-cap stock.

Stephens analyst Vincent Caintic argues that the stock is undervalued despite its breakout 2019.

“Not only is there significant growth ahead, but more importantly, downside protection is strong both to fundamentals and to OMF shares,” writes Caintic, who issued the note in November, but shares are trading roughly where they were back then. “No other company in our coverage is as cheap with as strong capital return. Further downside protection comes from (36-month) liquidity.”

Caintic, who has an Overweight rating and $48 price target on shares, calls OMF his top pick among financial stocks.

Keefe Bruyette analyst Eric Hagen is one of just two analysts that have given OMF a Hold rating over the past three months, versus 10 buys. He still sees reason for optimism, however: Specifically, higher disposable income should improve credit performance for OneMain Holdings and other non-prime consumer lenders. Check out other analysts’ price targets on TipRanks.

eHealth

Caucasian woman in her 50s concentrating, peering at screen, working on home finances, planning for retirement

MARKET VALUE: $2.1 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $113.00 (22% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Private online health insurance marketplace eHealth (EHTH, $92.63), which allows individuals and small businesses to compare insurance products, posted a massive 150% gain in 2019. But it certainly didn’t come in a straight line: The company lost half its value in between stellar earnings reports in July and October, as investors worried about eHealth’s churn.

That said, Wall Street’s analysts have made some downright bombastic statements about this high-growth financial stock.

SunTrust’s Tobey Sommer told investors in early September that EHTH’s massive decline was a “significant opportunity” and said the company could quintuple its market cap – from $2 billion at the time to an eventual $10 billion – as it wins Medicare market share.

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Steven Halper, meanwhile, said in October that it’s “solid” results relieved some concern about churn, and reiterated an Overweight rating as well as a $120 price target (30% upside). RBC Capital’s Frank Morgan concurred, saying that management “put to bed investor fears” over churn, and that 2020 could be another big year thanks to OneMain’s “tendency to under-promise and over-deliver.”

The aforementioned quarter saw revenues jump 72% year-over-year, helped out by a 75% surge in Medicare-segment revenue.

OMF has racked up five Buy ratings from the five analysts who have written about the stock over the past quarter. It hasn’t absorbed a rating lower than Buy for at least nine months. Investors interested in learning more can check out additional EHTH analysis on TipRanks.

Encore Capital Group

Foreign currency notes. Concept of global economic growth and trade.

MARKET VALUE: $1.1 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $43.67 (23% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Encore Capital Group (ECPG, $35.41) is a global finance company that specializes in buying debt from banks, credit unions and utility providers across four continents. ECPG pulled off a 50% gain in 2019 – about 20 percentage points better than the broader financial sector. And analysts believe ECPG will again be among the best financial stocks to buy in 2020.

The company’s most recent quarter, announced in November, saw global revenues hit a record $356 million. That drove a record $1.64 in non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) “Economic” earnings per share. U.S. portfolio purchases were up 41% year-over-year and were on track for a record year; we’ll find out whether it hit that mark in February.

Keefe Bruyette analyst Eric Hagen (Buy) expressed his confidence in ECPG after the report, boosting his price target from $45 per share to $50 (41% upside). “Quite simply, we think if Encore can continue to grow earnings and accumulate capital by reducing leverage, that deserves to support the value of the equity right now,”

He adds the fact that Encore is “concentrating acquisitions in fresh charge-offs, combined with its strengthening capital position, should drive value for shareholders into next year.”

Encore Capital Group isn’t a terribly well-followed stock, with only three analysts issuing notes on ECPG over the past three months. Thus, information is limited, and price targets/earnings estimates can quickly shift with just one pro’s change in opinion. Still, those three analysts are all bullish on the stock, and as a group, see 23% upside as possible across 2020. You can learn more about Wall Street’s views on ECPG via TipRanks’ consensus breakdown.

Sterling Bancorp

MARKET VALUE: $4.2 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $25.75 (25% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Sterling Bancorp (STL, $20.65) is a mid-cap regional bank stock headquartered in Montebello, New York. Its principal subsidiary, Sterling National Bank, offers various financial services to business owners and consumers in the New York metro and Hudson Valley areas of the state.

And Wall Street’s pros think the financial stock will put up a 2020 similar to last year, when it gained close to 28%.

“Conversations with management and investors reinforce our view that STL is a best-in-class company supported by strong organic and acquisitive growth and a diversified balance sheet offering optionality in various operating environments,” writes RBC Capital’s Steven Duong, who rates the stock Outperform with a $26 price target. That implies 26% price upside over the next 12 months.

Duong also points out that management might try to increase shareholder value via mergers and acquisitions (M&A). “Management highlighted that enough time had passed since the Astoria deal for regulators to be comfortable with STL pursuing another deal,” he writes. “The company looks to do 1-2 portfolio acquisitions a year and is open to ‘fill-in’ acquisitions of $5-$10 billion in assets, as well as (mergers of equals) that make sense.”

Lastly, Duong writes that Sterling’s diverse funding channels – including traditional retail, commercial teams, its municipal bank and its online consumer direct bank, BrioDirect – give the company “optionality to manage its balance sheet in different economic, credit, and interest rate environments.”

STL doesn’t have a large analyst following given its size and regional scope. Still, of the six analysts sounding off over the past quarter, five have called the stock a Buy. Investors interested in learning more can read additional STL analysis on TipRanks.

Axos Financial

MARKET VALUE: $1.8 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $37.00 (25% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

Axos Financial (AX, $29.57) is the force behind Axos Bank, a nationwide digital bank offering consumer and business banking solutions.

This tech-forward financial-sector company is a rare 2019 underperformer on this list, with AX shares gaining 20% last year versus roughly 29% for the sector. But it has racked up four Buys versus no Holds or Sells over the past three months, including a nod of approval from Wedbush.

Analyst David Chiaverini sees Axos as a leader among digital banking players, arguing that it’s “pioneering the development of a fully integrated ‘universal digital bank’ (UDB),” which was formed through internal development as well as its WiseBanyan acquisition. “The culmination of Axos slowing the pace of investment to build its universal digital bank combined with several acquisitions in 2018 that are ramping up (Axos Invest, Axos Clearing, and Axos Fiduciary Services) should lead to positive operating leverage and efficiency gains over the next couple years,” he writes.

Several new initiatives are expected to drive further growth in 2020 and 2021. Chiaverini points to the Axos Invest integration with UDB, which will occur over the next few quarters, as potentially sparking new cross-selling opportunities in the loan and deposit segments. Chiaverini rates the bank stock Outperform and gives it a $35 price target.

Riley FBR’s Steve Moss provided a bullish outlook in November, saying that he’s impressed with Axos’ plan to build the bank via technology. He reiterated his Buy rating and ratcheted his price target up to $39 per share, from $33. See what other pros have to say about AX.

MGIC Investment

MARKET VALUE: $4.8 billion

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS PRICE TARGET: $17.63 (27% upside potential)

TIPRANKS CONSENSUS RATING: Strong Buy

MGIC Investment (MTG, $13.89) plays an essential role in the residential mortgage finance system by offering products and services that protect mortgage investors from credit losses.

While MTG shares have underperformed its sector peers on average over the past decade, it shined in 2019, and analysts think it will be one of the best financial stocks to buy in 2020.

Deutsche Bank’s Phil Stefano writes that operating statistics demonstrate impressive growth in “insurance in force” (IIF, or when insurance policies are active and paid for). The data also indicated that new defaults had decreased in two of the past three months from Stefano’s November note, even while sector defaults are ticking higher.

“November results indicate better IIF growth than we had been previously anticipating,” writes Stefano, who reiterated a Buy rating and $18.50 price target. “Our long-term expectations for the sector remain and we forecast MGIC will deliver low-to-mid-teens operating returns and book value growth given the solid outlook for the (mortgage insurance) market,” he explains.

Riley FBR analyst Randy Binner (Buy), meanwhile, says he believes that MTG shares are almost done consolidating their recent gains. He raised his price target to $19, writing that “reward-to-risk is favorable, at 2 to 1 in our valuation analysis.” Check out other analysts’ price targets on TipRanks.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: Kiplinger: The 7 Best Financial Stocks for 2020

Some of these “strong buy” stocks have taken a beating, but they aren’t tapping out just yet

Following the record-breaking market rally, investors are seeking out names that won’t break the bank. Driven by an improved global growth outlook for 2020, accommodating Federal Reserve policy and the possibility that a U.S.-China trade deal will be signed, the S&P 500 has reached all-time highs.

As a result, a renewed sense of optimism has found its way to Wall Street, with Merrill Lynch predicting that cyclical stocks, which typically do well when the economy prospers, will continue to soar. “We think the stage is set for a restocking-driven recovery in Spring 2020 to extend the cyclical rally,” the firm stated.

While all of this bullish sentiment has investors getting excited, it can make it more challenging to find growth stocks with reasonable entry points. Luckily, TipRanks.com offers a host of market data and investing tools that can help. The platform allowed me to zero in on seven tickers set to dish out handsome returns in the coming years. On top of this, each has gathered enough Street support over the last three months to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.

Let’s jump right in and see what makes each of these strong buy stocks tick.

Strong Buy Stocks to Watch: PaySign (PAYS)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 71%

PaySign, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYS) is a payment services provider specializing in prepaid debit card programs. Despite the fact that shares have stumbled recently, one top analyst believes the pullback represents a unique buying opportunity.

D.A. Davidson’s Peter Heckmann tells investors that further gains are in store on top of its already posted 155% year-to-date climb. The analyst cites the company’s “impressive” growth over the last five years, predicting that top-line trends will stay strong and margins could see an improvement from 2019 to 2021. As a result, he initiated coverage with a Buy and set a $16 price target, indicating 78% upside potential.

Part of this success has been due to the fact that PAYS continues to increase market share, gain traction in existing verticals and expand its reach within the industry. On another encouraging note, it also successfully onboarded all of its scheduled plasma programs — its solutions for plasma collection centers — during its most recent quarter. This increased its footprint in the space by 13%.

Like Heckmann, Wall Street has high hopes for PAYS. With the 3 Buys and 1 Hold it received in the last three months, PAYS stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating. Additionally, its $15 average price target puts the potential twelve-month gain at 71%. See the PAYS stock analysis.

WPX Energy (WPX)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 52%

WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE:WPX) is an oil and gas exploration and production company specializing in hydrocarbon exploration. Even though shares have dropped year to date, several members of the Street suggest buying the dip. With Guggenheim’s Subash Chandra seeing 64% upside potential in store, investors are thinking about doing just that.

The company is well-positioned in both the Permian and Williston Basins, with about 100,000 net acres and 85,000 net acres, respectively, in the regions. As management bumped up its guidance for full year 2019, it’s no wonder investors are giddy about this energy name. Management now expects oil production to reach 103,000 boe/d, up 5% from the previous forecast.

Not to mention WPX has been able to substantially reduce the costs of its wells. The company’s two-mile well spending totaled $9.5 million for drilling facilities and completion, with costs expected to decrease further in the 50 to 55 West Texas intermediate world.

Based on all the above factors, Wall Street analysts are thoroughly impressed with WPX. It boasts 100% Street support, or 9 Buy ratings in the last three months, making the consensus a Strong Buy. If this wasn’t enough, the $15 average price target implies that shares could surge 52% in the next twelve months. See the WPX stock analysis.

Asure (ASUR)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 39%

Formerly known as Forgent Networks, Asure Software Inc. (NASDAQ:ASUR) offers Software-as-a-Service cloud-based solutions that make it easier to get work done. While shares took a hit last week following an update from the company, several analysts note that the situation is brighter than some might think.

Shares fell in reaction to management’s fiscal 2020 guidance that came in lower than previously expected, caused by the cost of overhead associated with the Workspace segment. Back in October, ASUR agreed to sell this portion of the business to FM: System for $120 million so it could focus on delivering its human capital management (HCM) products. This was combined with the expected incremental investment to fuel organic growth.

Nonetheless, Needham analyst Ryan MacDonald is still backing ASUR. “We view the shared overhead burden as temporary in nature and believe the company’s human capital management business can support 20%-plus EBITDA margins,” he explained. As a result, the five-star analyst reiterated his bullish call while slightly lowering the price target from $12 to $11. This still suggests a 29% potential twelve-month gain.

The rest of the Street appears to echo MacDonald’s sentiment. As it has racked up 5 Buys and no Holds or Sells, the consensus is unanimous: ASUR is a Strong Buy stock. Adding to the good news, the upside potential lands at 39% based on the $11.80 average price target. See the ASUR stock analysis.

Nexstar Media (NXST)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 39%

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXST) is the largest TV station operator in the U.S., reaching almost 39% of households. Given that shares have certainly had a rough going over the last week, some are wondering if NXST is worth buying on weakness.

Part of the buzz surrounding the company is related to its successful completion of its merger with Tribune Media, which contributed to it becoming the largest U.S. operator. Additionally, the announcement also featured other exciting updates. These included hiked up first-year synergy guidance, the introduction of 2019/2020 PF FCF guidance and a disclosure regarding the financial impact from the two-month retransmission dispute with AT&T (NYSE:T).

All of this played into B.Riley FBR analyst Zachary Silver’s decision to stay with the bulls. On top of keeping his Buy rating, the four-star analyst raised the price target from $139 to $140. This means that shares could climb 38% higher in the next twelve months.

In general, the rest of the Street has an optimistic view of NXST. The stock’s Strong Buy status comes from the 5 Buys and 1 Hold issued over the previous three months. The upside potential lands at 39%, slightly above Silver’s forecast. See the NXST stock analysis.

World Wrestling (WWE)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 40%

The wrestling media and entertainment company isn’t looking like a knockout right now as shares have sunken 19% lower YTD. That said, some analysts say not to count World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) out just yet.

The alarming headlines have had to do with WWE’s lackluster third quarter. This in conjunction with management’s statement that content spending will rise during the fourth quarter has left investors underwhelmed. However, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne reminds investors that these headwinds are temporary. He believes that the selloff following these results was an “overreaction to an already undervalued stock.”

Swinburne also points out that U.S. rights revenues could amount to 40% of 2020 revenue and the media business overall makes up 90% of the consolidated segment EBITDA. Even if international rights don’t grow as much as the analyst hopes, adjusted EBITDA could double in the next year.

Also consider that 2020 will be an important year for the company as it represents year one of WWE’s new TV revenue profile. This means that adjusted EBITDA growth is expected to land at a high-single digit rate through 2024, after which it should reset higher. Swinburne commented, “That growth, at now 12 times EV/20E EBITDA, presents a compelling risk reward.” With this in mind, the five-star analyst kept his Buy recommendation while decreasing the price target from $85 to $80. This target still puts the upside potential at 33%.

It looks like other analysts aren’t ready to tap out either. Out of 13 ratings published in the last three months, 12 are bullish. On top of this, WWE’s $84 average price target lends itself to 40% upside from the current share price. See the WWE stock analysis.

Viper Energy (VNOM)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 52%

With 100% of the 11 analysts covering Viper Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:VNOM) in the last the months assigning bullish calls, it’s worth giving this name a look. Even though shares are down 13% year to date, VNOM could see a twelve-month gain of 52%.

In its third quarter, production reached 21,266 boe/d (64% oil). This represents a 9% increase from Q2 and a 16% year-over-year gain. Not to mention 445 gross horizontal wells are in the process of active development on Viper’s pro forma acreage, which should help it meet its average production guidance of 25,000 to 27,000 boe/d (65% – 68% oil) for Q4 2019.

Some are counting on the company’s M&A activity to help paint a more attractive picture. The Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG) subsidiary announced in its most recent quarter that it was set to acquire royalty acres in the Permian basin from Santa Elena Minerals, LP. As a result, its new pro forma asset base comes in at 23,999 net royalty acres. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Timothy Howard sees this purchase as demonstrating VNOM’s unique strategy, adding the partnership’s valuation is a point of strength. To this end, the analyst reiterated his Buy rating. See the VNOM stock analysis.

Health Catalyst (HCAT)

Potential 12-Month Gain: 32%

The leading provider of data and analytics solutions for healthcare organizations has definitely struggled since its market debut back in July. That being said, with 5 Buy ratings compared to no Holds or Sells assigned over the previous three months and 32% upside potential, investors are watching out for Health Catalyst Inc. (NASDAQ:HCAT).

Both J.P. Morgan analyst Anne McCormick and SunTrust Robinson’s Sandy Draper highlight HCAT for its “significant runway for growth.” According to McCormick, the company has less than 5% penetration of an $8 billion addressable market. This prompted her to start coverage by publishing a bullish call. Alongside the call, the analyst attached a $50 price target to covey her confidence in HCAT’s ability to jump 33% over the next twelve months.

Meanwhile, the SunTrust Robinson analyst believes that HCAT’s strong long-term growth narrative is supported by an attractive revenue mix shift that could drive a gross margin improvement as revenue continues to increase. While also starting coverage, the five-star analyst sees even more upside potential in store for the Strong Buy stock — 23% to be exact. See the HCAT stock analysis.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: Investor Place: 7 Strong Buy Stocks That Are Bargains Right Now

These are the big-growth names that no one is talking about

Given the market’s record-shattering rally, investors are on the prowl. I mean to say that investors are on the hunt for the names that can bring home the bacon, delivering returns through the next year and beyond.

When searching for these investments with stellar long-term growth prospects, it can be tempting to turn to market heavy weights like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG). However, Wall Street analysts don’t always suggest taking this approach. Instead, they tell investors to take a step back and focus on stocks flying under-the-radar as they can offer substantially more upside than their more well-known counterparts. But how are investors supposed to dig up these hidden gems if they’ve been keeping a relatively low profile?

I suggest taking advantage of TipRanks’ Stock Screener. The tool helped me pinpoint seven lesser-known names set to take off on an upward trajectory. Adding to the good news, each has racked up enough analyst support in the last three months to earn a “strong buy” consensus rating.

Wanda Sports Group (WSG)

The force behind the intense Ironman triathlons, Wanda Sports Group Company (NASDAQ:WSG), leads the way in sporting events. Not to mention it boasts an impressive media and marketing platform. While shares have stumbled following its July IPO, several members of the Street believe that WSG can turn things around.

With endurance sports only growing, the company is well-positioned with Ironman as well as its media rights business, Swiss Infront. These segments set WSG apart as both are profitable and are growing quickly. WSG has been consistently adding new Ironman races and events for children like Ironkids, as well as increasing the number of competitors per race and registration fees. It also doesn’t hurt that FIFA is one of Infront’s largest customers.

All of this played into Morgan Stanley analyst Gary Yu’s conclusion that WSG is primed for big gains, highlighting its reach in the global sports industry as the driver. He argues that this exposure is rapidly growing and relatively immune to macro concerns. This prompted the analyst to start coverage with a “buy” and set an $8 price target.

Other Wall Street analysts echo Yu’s sentiment. With four “buy” recommendations issued in the last three months compared to no “holds” or “sells,” the consensus is unanimous: WSG is a “strong buy.” Additionally, the $8 average price target indicates 132% upside potential. See the WSG stock analysis.

Huya (HUYA)

Huya (NYSE:HUYA) is one of China’s top live game streaming platforms, covering both video games and sports. Following its Nov. 13 earnings release, investor focus has locked in on HUYA.

The company impressed Wall Street with its third quarter performance, posting total net revenues that reached $316.9 million, up 77% from the prior-year quarter. If that wasn’t promising enough, earnings bested the consensus estimate and total average monthly active users landed at 146 million, a 48% gain.

HSBC analyst Binnie Wong tells investors that HUYA’s proven track record when it comes to earnings is primarily due to better operating efficiency and effective leverage of streaming agencies. The four-star analyst notes that this clear earnings visibility justifies the premium valuation. As a result, Wong started HUYA with a bullish call.

Like Wong, the rest of the Street has high hopes for the streaming platform. With 100% Street support, the message is clear: HUYA is a “strong buy.” At an average price target of $50, the potential twelve-month gain comes in at a whopping 106%. See the HUYA stock analysis.

Chart Industries (GTLS)

Chart Industries (NASDAQ:GTLS) produces cryogenic equipment used in the production, storage, and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as other industrial gases. While the company has taken some heat recently, one analyst is still betting that GTLS can be a long-term winner.

Lake Street’s Robert Brown notes that management’s updated guidance shouldn’t be a cause for concern among investors. In October, GTLS reduced its guidance for 2019 and 2020 as a result of large LNG projects shifting out a couple of quarters and a minor softening of its Air-X segment.

However, Brown reminds investors that the company’s LNG equipment order rates remain strong and core D&S growth is on track to come in at 7-8%, which is significantly higher than its historical growth rate. Taking this into consideration, he believes the changed outlook has already been built into share prices.

As a result, Brown’s bullish thesis remains firmly intact. Along with his “buy” rating, he attached a $109 price target that conveys his confidence in GTLS’s ability to soar 96%.

In general, other Wall Street analysts are also in favor of GTLS. Four “buys” and one “hold” received in the previous three months add up to a “strong buy” Street consensus. In addition, its $100 average price target implies 81% upside potential. See the GTLS stock analysis.

Inseego (INSG)

Inseego Corporation (NASDAQ:INSG) offers a unique approach to enabling connectivity. Through its 5G device-to-cloud solutions, companies can build high-performance applications with a “zero unscheduled downtime” mandate.

Given the implications of this technology, it’s no wonder analysts are excited about INSG. As only bullish calls have been published over the last ten months, the stock is a “strong buy.” On top of this, its $7 average price target leaves room for 57% upside potential.

One of the analysts backing INSG is Canaccord Genuity’s Michael Walkley. The five-star analyst thinks that the company’s investments back into the business will pay-off long-term. INSG recently decided to expand its product offerings to include 5G mobile hotspots in order to meet the needs of the growing 5G opportunity. Walkley believes that this is the right strategy, predicting that volumes will accelerate through the end of the year as Verizon (NYSE:VZ) launches in more locations.

All of this led the analyst to bump up the price target from $7 to $8.50 in addition to rating the stock a “buy.” At this new target, shares could climb 86% higher in the next twelve months. See the INSG stock analysis.

Qurate Retail (QRTEA)

Home to the QVC shopping network, Qurate Retail (NASDAQ:QRTEA) offers customers an interactive way to shop. Even though it faced challenges in its third quarter, several analysts tell investors to buy QRTEA on recent weakness.

Investors were not pleased to learn that total Q3 revenue dropped 4% to $3.1 billion. That being said, management stated that QVC international is ramping up and that even with sales pressures, free cash flow growth remains strong.

Craig-Hallum analyst Alex Fuhrma also points out that continued synergies from the HSN acquisition could provide steady EBITDA despite further potential revenue headwinds. To this end, the analyst maintained his “buy” rating while lowering the price target to $16. Even at this updated target, shares could surge 56% in the next twelve months.

All in all, the rest of the Street is in agreement. Three “buys” and one “hold” give QRTEA a “strong buy” analyst consensus. It should be noted that the $16 average price target puts the upside potential at 59%, higher than Fuhrma’s forecast. See the QRTEA stock analysis.

Elastic (ESTC)

Elastic NV (NYSE:ESTC) is an information technology and data analysis company that offers monitoring, security analysis and cloud computing solutions. As the tech company has garnered 100% Street support in the last eight months all from five-star analysts and offers 56% upside, ESTC isn’t likely to remain under the radar.

While some have expressed concern regarding the slowing of enterprise software spending, ESTC remains a key player with a stable position in the enterprise search market. It also doesn’t hurt that earlier in the year, the company announced that it would be expanding its partnership with Google to make its Elasticsearch more accessible to Google Cloud Platform users.

This played into Piper Jaffray analyst Brent Bracelin’s conclusion that Elastic is capable of delivering huge returns to investors that get on board. “We are raising estimates and maintaining our Overweight rating on a compelling growth opportunity driven by an expanding number of use cases in security, log management, search and monitoring,” he commented. As a result, the five-star analyst sees 49% upside in store. See the ESTC stock analysis.

ShotSpotter (SSTI)

ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI) is fighting the good fight against gun violence. With its Flex product already used in more than 100 different cities and considered one of the leading gunshot detection, location and forensic systems, some analysts believe SSTI can hand over substantial rewards.

The company’s strength lies with its innovative system of sensors, algorithms and artificial intelligence that was engineered to detect, locate and alert police to gunfire. Based on its third-quarter results, SSTI’s customers are impressed. Revenue rose 8% from the year-ago quarter to hit $10 million. Importantly, the company reached profitability compared to the net loss it posted in the prior-year quarter.

As eleven net new “go-live” square miles of coverage were added during the quarter, Lake Street analyst Jaeson Schmidt remains optimistic about SSTI. While acknowledging that there were a few delays in closing contracts, he argues that the company is in a position to drive significant sales growth and further improve earnings. Bearing this in mind, he maintains that SSTI is a “buy.”

Similarly, Wall Street is getting on board with SSTI. As it has received five “buys” and one “hold” in the last three months, the word on the Street is that the stock is a “strong buy.” Its $34 average price target indicates 58% upside potential. See the SSTI stock analysis.

Author: Maya Sasson

Source: Investor Place: 7 Killer Stocks No One Knows About

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