Jefferies Top Growth Stocks to Buy Have Big Upside Potential

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We are getting to that time of year on Wall Street when the going is getting a lot slower. Earnings for the second quarter are just about over, people are getting their last vacations in for the summer as school in some parts of the country already has started, and the trading really slows down on Wall Street. With markets range-bound after making new all-time highs, we checked our Wall Street research database in search for new top growth stock calls.

A new Jefferies research report has four new growth stocks to buy that could have some serious upside potential. While a touch more aggressive than some people may be looking for, they appear to have good entry points and are solid picks for the last half of 2016.

Activision Blizzard

This company reported very solid second-quarter results last week and remains a top pick on Wall Street. Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) develops and publishes online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games worldwide.

The company develops and publishes interactive entertainment software products through retail channels or digital downloads and downloadable content to a range of gamers. The company’s Call of Duty franchise, which has propelled earnings for this industry powerhouse for years lead a strong product inventory along with other favorites like Skylanders and Guitar Hero.

The big news last fall was the company’s purchase of Candy Crush saga creator King Digital Entertainment, and most of Wall Street thinks the buy is an outstanding move for the company and specifically the synergies between the two companies is cited. Many analysts feel that the key to unlocking some monster value is creating and cross-promoting the Activision product inside the King Digital mobile distribution network.

Some analysts feel the company could earn up to $3 per shares by 2018 if it can optimize the King Digital advertising opportunities and unlock synergies. Jefferies notes that the new Overwatch game has blown past 10 million users since its release in late May and already has generated $500 million since its launch, more than the analysts’ projections of $400 million for the year.

Shareholders receive a 0.64% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is raised to $55 from $45, and the Wall Street consensus price target is lower at $46.24. The stock closed Tuesday at $41.25.

Criteo

This French-based advertising tech company is becoming a very hot commodity on Wall Street. Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ: CRTO) is a technology company that engages in the digital performance marketing in France and internationally. Its Criteo Engine solution includes recommendation algorithms that create and tailor advertisements to specific user interest by determining the specific products and services to include in the advertisement; prediction algorithms that predict the probability and nature of a user’s engagement with a given advertisement; and bidding engine for executing campaigns based on objectives set by the clients.

The Criteo Engine solution also comprises dynamic creative optimization; software systems and processes that enable data synchronization, storage and analysis of distributed computing infrastructure in multiple geographies; and experimentation platform, an offline/online platform to enhance the prediction abilities of its models. In addition, it offers data assets, which collect information about the interaction of users with its advertisers’ and publishers’ digital properties; and access to advertising inventory.

The Jefferies internet team recently met with the CFO Benoit Fouilland, and they came away very positive and maintain their bullish stance. They noted this in their report:

While adtech firms have recently come under pressure from header bidding (which negatively impacts pricing), the company remains confident it can adapt and is less susceptible to this practice.

The Jefferies price target is posted at $63, and the consensus target is $50.77. Shares closed Tuesday at $40.53.