Stocks are still challenging all-time highs, and investors keep hearing that the bull market has now become a stock picker’s market. What this means is that investors still will try to make gains, but they will want to avoid getting caught in bad stocks. As 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades and downgrades each week, it turns out that there are some hidden gems — and many of those gems are among the more volatile and more risky stocks trading under $10.00 at the time.
Investors need to understand that stocks trading for less than $10 are often among the riskiest segment of the market. To prove this point: only four stocks in the S&P 500 Index have a stock price under $10. Most of these also fail the “widows and orphans” suitability test as well. The long and short of the matter is that small-cap and low-priced stocks can have risks that are way above average.
We have found 12 analyst calls (and one runner-up) from this past week that called for potentially huge upside in stocks under $10. We have listed what the analyst calls were and given the price targets if available. Additional color has been added on some of these companies. These were the top analyst calls of the stocks trading under $10 for the week of May 19 to May 23.
Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $5.50 price target by Canaccord Genuity on Tuesday, when shares were at a $4.75 price. Be advised that shares were at $5.16 as of mid-Friday. This call represented 16% short-term upside at the time, but note that the consensus price target is now about $5.75.
Apollo Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AINV) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $9 price target at JMP Securities on Wednesday. The stock was at $8.06 when the call was made, representing 12% upside at the time. But don’t forget that this one has a 10% yield. That implies closer to 22% upside, but the stock had traded higher this past week and was around $8.25 in Friday’s trading session.
Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) is a very volatile stock and is a small-cap biotech worth only $400 million. Ladenburg started coverage with a Buy rating and a $6.00 price target on Thursday. This stock was trading at $2.54 prior to the call, and shares were up at $2.87 late on Friday. So the prediction is for a stock to more than double.
General Moly Inc. (NYSEMKT: GMO) is such a low-priced stock that it is amazing the $96 million market cap garners any analyst coverage. A firm named H.C. Wainwright & Co. started coverage on Monday with a Buy rating and a $1.70 price target. This was against a $1.06 price at the time, implying 60% upside if the target is hit. Shares were at $1.01 late on Friday. Be advised that the 52-week high for this speculative molybdenum miner is much higher, up at $2.26.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform and given a $10 price target by Raymond James on Tuesday. The stock was trading at $7.21 prior to this call for the satellite phone leader, but this stock had risen to $7.60, after a 2% gain, by mid-Friday. Macquarie had made a similar upgrade the prior week.
J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) has been mentioned a few times on the “Buy upside” from analysts, but now the “big upside call” is really from a short-seller take this last week. Wells Fargo downgraded the struggling department store chain to Underperform from Market Perform and the price range was cut to $5 to $6 from $6 to $7. Keep in mind that shares were above $9 at the time, meaning that there was a 50% opportunity here if the analyst was right. Shares were trading at $8.76 in mid-Friday trading.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. This trades in American Depository Shares (ADSs), but shares were initially up 3% at $7.50 right after the call on Wednesday. In mid-Friday trading, Nokia was trading at $7.85.
PowerSecure International Inc. (NYSE: POWR) was raised to Buy from Hold and given a $12 price target by a small firm named Craig-Hallum on Wednesday. That represents some 55% upside if the analyst turns out to be right. Shares had traded at $7.74 prior to the call, but they were up at $8.05 in late Friday trading. This $180 million company has only a handful of analysts covering its stock, with a mean price target of $13.00, a median target of $12.50 and a street-high target of $17.00. We also saw that the lowest price target from an analyst was $10.00 on this one. Be advised that TheStreet and Roth Capital downgraded this one earlier in May.
Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) was reiterated as Outperform with an $8.50 price target at Credit Suisse on Friday, although the firm expects some choppy near-term results before growth reaccelerates in 2015 and 2016. This stock was at $7.76 prior to the call, and it was up close to 4% at $8.05 in late Friday trading. We would point out that the consensus price target of $7.95 has now been passed, and the stock hit a decade-high of $8.10 on Friday.
TG Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TGTX) is a small-cap biotech looking to treat cancer and other underserved conditions. Roth Capital made an unbelievable large upside call on Thursday, and shares rallied handily. The stock was at $4.68 prior to the call and was at $5.25 late on Friday. Roth named it to the company’s Focus List, and it gave a whopping $15 target, implying close to 200% upside if the analyst is correct.
Trade Street Residential Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRE), a small-cap apartment REIT with a 5.2% yield, was started as Buy on Wednesday at a firm named Compass Point. The firm gave it a price target of $8.50, versus a $7.38 share price at the time. Shares were up further at $7.75 in Friday afternoon trading. We did notice that this marked the highest analyst target of the three analysts that cover it.
Windstream Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WIN) was started with an Outperform rating at Bernstein on Thursday. Its price target for this stock is $11.00, which implies 17% upside. Now you have to consider that Windstream is significant, considering that the 10.6% yield is the highest of the S&P 500. This dividend is also scrutinized routinely by many investors, analysts and the media. If Bernstein is right, this implies closer to 27% upside from the $9.40, where shares were trading on Friday.
And a runner-up, as the 13th analyst pick …
Flextronics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: FLEX) shares were trading at $10.03 mid-Friday, after closing at $10.04 on Thursday. Shares were even at a 52-week high on Friday of $10.25 at one point, and we would point out that this is a high going back to 2008. The catalyst was a Needham upgrade to Buy from Hold on Thursday, when shares were trading at $9.60. Needham’s target price for the stock was $12.00. We pointed out that Argus made a similar upgrade in the under $10 segment two weeks prior to this, when shares were in the $9.45 to $9.70 range. The new consensus price target has drifted higher to $10.64 now.