The week of July 8 managed to end on an up note with a very strong payrolls gain. This actually took the stock market back above the pre-Brexit decline. Investors keep proving that they want to step into the market and buy stocks into sell-offs.
24/7 Wall St. is always on the hunt for new investing opportunities or hidden value in the financial markets. Each morning we review dozens of analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations. This ends up being hundreds of analyst calls each week.
One category of analyst calls that often comes with great upside is in the small-cap and low-priced stocks, in particular the stocks trading under $10. Some of these analyst calls come with upside that is far higher than the traditional 10% to 15% upside we usually see with other Buy and Outperform ratings on Dow and S&P 500 stocks.
24/7 Wall St. would take this opportunity to warn its readers again that it is best not to automatically trust any analyst call blindly. Small-cap and low-priced stocks often come with far greater risk than traditional blue chips. The honest truth is that there just is no such thing as a free lunch on Wall Street.
What investors need to consider is that most small-cap stocks may flounder for years, and some may even cease to exist in the years ahead. Another consideration is that analysts sometimes get their calls wrong from start to finish. Outside forces can destroy a company, and sometimes management makes errors in direction or they fail to live up to their upside potential.
Here are five stocks trading under $10 with massive analyst upside targets from the week of July 1.
Goldman Sachs raised Gold Fields Ltd. (NYSE: GFI) to Buy from Neutral on July 8. Shares closed down 2.5% at $5.34 on Thursday and they were up 6% at $5.66 on Friday’s close. The gold miner has a consensus analyst target price of $4.51 and a 52-week trading range of $2.04 to $5.56. Goldman Sachs admits that the call is late after a huge run higher. It believes that Gold Fields will rise as the gold climate continues to improve along with great cash flow opportunities from its South Deep mine.
On Deck Capital
On July 7, On Deck Capital Inc. (NYSE: ONDK) was started with a Buy at Janney. It was given a fair value estimate of $7, compared with the $4.89 prior close. This was a rather high upside call, 43%, but On Deck was trading up at $5.25 on Friday’s close. Another issue is that this target was under the $8.85 consensus price target at the time. Janney’s team says that On Deck’s database covers over 10 million small businesses and that it has the raw data needed to take the stodgy and often slow world of small business lending into the 21st century. The 52-week range is $4.20 to $14.90.
Goldman Sachs raised WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX) Buy from Neutral with a $14.75 price target on July 6. This is versus a $9.05 prior close, but the stock closed at $9.66 on Friday. The Goldman Sachs target is more than two dollars above the $12.45 consensus price target, and this still left over 50% in implied upside from the Friday close. WPX is considered a winner for operations in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and for its Williston Basin assets in North Dakota and its San Juan Basin assets in New Mexico and Colorado. WPX Energy also has a $3.2 billion market cap.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $13 price target by JMP Securities on July 7. The prior close was $8.17, after a 3.8% gain, but Achillion shares ended the week at $9.14. Its consensus price target is roughly $10.00, and its 52-week range is $5.57 to $10.95.
On July 7, Cantor Fitzgerald started Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS) with a Buy rating. The biomedical products company was given a $9 price target, compared to a $6.40 prior close. The Thomson First Call consensus target price is $9.40, and the 52-week range is $4.27 to $6.89. The market cap is a mere $651 million.
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Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Gold Fields, Humana, Intel, PayPal, Yelp and about a dozen other companies. Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of Bank of America, First Solar, KKR, On Deck, Red Hat, Shake Shack and over a dozen more.