As the first half of 2013 comes to a close, we have taken the opportunity to review the top stocks to buy from the various firms around Wall Street that we cover. The Analyst Current Favorites list from Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) allows each analyst in the firm to submit his or her absolute top idea. Stocks often are removed simply on valuation changes. We filtered the list of stocks to buy for names with the best valuation and upside potential. We also highlight a top new pick.
WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is added to the list and is a top stock to buy at Raymond James. The pharmaceutical online ad market has steadied, new management. Sales strategies should allow WebMD’s top line to stabilize, and cost cuts should drive improving EBITDA. The stock also has pulled back nicely from its early June highs. The Raymond James price target of $33 is the highest on Wall Street. The Thomson/First Call estimate is at $30.
Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR) has hedge fund shareholders actively campaigning for the sale of three of its businesses. Coppersmith Capital Management holds 5.8% of the company’s stock and said the sale could generate as much as $3 billion in proceeds. Raymond James has a $33 price target, and the consensus is at $30.
Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) also has had a nice pullback from its high price. With all the major carriers deploying 4G LTE networks, Crown Castle is poised to not only benefit, but trades at a large multiple discount to their peers. Raymond James has a $91 price target on this top tower stock. The consensus target is $87.25. A move to the target price would represent a 35% gain for investors.
Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) provides data center services to protect and connect the information assets for the enterprises, financial services companies and content and network providers primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Raymond James believes investors should favor Equinix’s recurring revenue, diversification over five continents (31 markets) and the lack of customer concentration. They have a $245 price target for the stock, though the consensus figure is even higher at $250. A move to the target levels represents a 40% gain for investors.
InterOil Corp. (NYSE: IOC) is a top energy services stock to buy. In the near future, InterOil likely will make the most impactful announcement in its company history, the long-awaited resource sell down of gas from the Elk/Antelope field. Final bids were received on February 28, and the company announced on May 24 that exclusive negotiations are underway with Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). Raymond James has a $100 price target, the only posted number on Wall Street. A move to the price target would be a 40% gain from current levels.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) could be the home run stock to buy. Iridium is a satellite-based communications company and the world’s only data provider with the capability to provide real-time voice and data communications across the entire surface of the earth. Iridium achieves this through the use of 66 low-earth orbit satellites. Raymond James price target is $13, and the consensus target is at $10. Raymond James is the high target on Wall Street, and a move to its goal would be a 95% gain.
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) tops the charts at many Wall Street firms. Qualcomm is a leading wireless technology company, generating revenues from the licensing of intellectual property to device makers and selling chipsets to these same device makers. The company is the leading vendor of baseband and application processors for smartphones globally, and it has been consistently growing its revenues and earnings at a double-digit clip for more than a decade. The Raymond James price target for this top tech name is $83, while the consensus target is $77. Investors also are paid a tidy 2.3% dividend.
Swift Transportation Co. (NYSE: SWFT) has an enviable problem. Like many transportation companies, it is having a hard time finding experienced drivers because the improving economy has spurred business and rule changes are coming. On July 1, truckers will have to pull over after 70 hours of driving a week, versus the 82 hours they can log today. They will be able to “reset” a week-long work period, but not before getting 34 consecutive hours of rest spanning two nights. Raymond James has a $21 target, and the consensus number is at $19. A move to the Raymond James target would be a 40% gain.
Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) wraps up our list of top stocks to buy from Raymond James. Trading at a 12% discount to peers, luxury home building leader Toll Brothers superior land positions and dominant share of the luxury market may translate into stronger earnings growth potential than most of its peers. Raymond James has a $44 price target, while the consensus is at $39.50.
Last week we updated the top names to buy from the Merrill Lynch US 1 list. The interesting comparison between the two is many of the Raymond James stocks to buy have tremendous upside to the price targets and some of the stocks might not be as well known. That is often the difference between the picks at a big bulge bracket firm and a regional powerhouse.