Five Big Analyst Stock Picks for 2014

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As 2013 begins to wind down, 24/7 Wall St. has started to scan our coverage of Wall Street firms for ideas that have truly big upside for next year. After such an impressive rally for 2013 it remains a challenge for the top firms to find a real explosive stock idea. It also takes a pretty bold analyst to put a large stock price as a target, especially if the stock has already had a good run.

The good news for our readers we have found five stock ideas from this last week with gigantic price targets for 2014. It is important to remember that an incredibly big target doesn’t mean the stock will get there. That said, analysts are much more careful these days about going overboard.

Here are our five huge analyst stock winners for 2014.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) is a top stock to buy at Lazard and also at FBR Capital. This clinical-stage biotech company uses recombinant nanoparticle technology to develop vaccines for a wide variety of infectious diseases. The company presently has six vaccine candidates undergoing clinical trials, with a seventh study being readied for a Phase-1 study later this year. The Lazard and FBR price target for this stock is all the way up at $11, far and away the highest target on Wall Street. A trade to that level would be almost a 182% gain. The consensus estimate is closer to $7 and the stock traded at just under $3.90 at Friday’s close.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) is a huge player in the Permian basin in Texas. This one has been a huge winner for shareholders this year. Rumors have circulated the last half of this year that one of the big integrated may target Pioneer for a takeover. It would be a very expensive deal on the surface as the company’s market cap is almost $25 billion. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is a gigantic $275. The consensus number is lower at $233.75. Pioneer was trading right at about $180 late on Friday right at the close. A move to the Merrill Lynch target would be a strong 53% gain for investors.

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) is the second largest producer in the Bakken shale region. However, unlike many other operators in the region, Hess’s Bakken assets seem to make up less than a quarter of the company’s production and reserves. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $115 and is the highest on Wall Street, with the Thomson/First Call estimate around $90. Hess was trading Friday at $79 right before the close. A move to the Merrill Lynch target would be a solid 45% gain.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was a top IPO of 2013 and has maintained the early momentum. The good thing for investors is that the stock has backed off its highs and is providing a much better entry point. The company provides various real-time protection products to enterprises and governments. It provides malware protection system (MPS) products, including software-based appliances, such as Web MPS appliances that are deployed inline at enterprise Internet access points to analyze all Web traffic. The price target for the stock at boutique firm Cowen is now $53, while the consensus target is posted closer to $50. FireEye is trading just under $39 on Friday. A move to the Cowen target would be almost a 37% implied gain for investors.

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) remains the top biotech name and is an industry powerhouse in the field of treating MS. The Credit Suisse research team pointed out that trading at just 21 times 2015 earnings the stock is not overvalued. The Credit Suisse price target for 2014 was recently raised to $375 from the current $290. Thomson/First Call has the consensus closer to $290. Biogen was trading late Friday around $275. A move to the Credit Suisse target would be a nice 2014 winner, up almost 40%.

If you want to know what other changes are being made elsewhere, there are man. We recently highlighted the many major changes made to the Goldman Sachs Conviction Buy List, which are in effect the new picks 2014.

Generally investors are happy with low double-digit total returns. With our five huge analyst stocks for 2014 the lowest gain to the target would be 37%. Again, just because an analyst has a high target, that is no guarantee that it gets there. If any of these five do 2014 will be a happy new year indeed.

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