Despite a stronger than expected report on gross domestic product, more political scandal caused the stock market to end the week on a sour note. Valuations are high, earnings growth is low and the bull market is now seven and a half years. Investors keep proving that they are still willing and able to buy market pullbacks. These same investors are looking for new ideas for gains or dividends now.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades and downgrades each day. Some of these analyst calls cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid. By the end of the week, we have generally ended up going over hundreds of research reports.
Most Dow and S&P 500 stocks are currently given implied upside of just 8% to 15% with their Buy and Outperform ratings. In small cap stocks, and in stocks with share prices trading under $10 per share, the implied upside targets can be far more. Some may be 25%, but some analyst reports still can predict upside of 50%, 100% or more.
Investors need to understand that there are many more risks in small cap and low-priced stocks. In some cases there can even be existential risk. Yes, some of these companies could actually implode or just close down. Analysts also can be very wrong, when their assumptions of future value were just too optimistic, or management teams can make wrong decisions or they can deceive shareholders into thinking the upside was much greater than the reality.
Now you can consider that you have been warned about the risks here being far greater than in most Dow and S&P 500 stocks. Here are six analyst calls in stocks trading under $10 with huge upside for the week ending October 28.
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) rose only about 1% this week despite two analyst upgrades, but there was also a secondary offering of stock with 65 million shares being sold. The stock was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $6.25 from $5.50 (versus a $5.15 prior close) at Jefferies. The firm sees a reflation momentum with a lower balance sheet risk, and the firm believes that the prospects for the U.S. steel market have notably improved. Merrill Lynch also boosted AK Steel’s rating to Buy from Neutral along with an $8 price objective. AK Steel has a 52-week trading range of $1.64 to $7.09 and a consensus analyst price target of $6.08.
Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ARCO) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley on October 24. The owner of McDonald’s stores throughout Latin America saw its price target raised to $8 from $5 in the call (versus a $6.10 prior closing price). Shares closed at $6.20 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $2.16 to $6.60. This stock remains well under its highs north of $20 less than five years ago, and the company still has a $1.3 billion market cap.
Neogenomics Inc. (NASDAQ: NEO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at BTIG on October 27. The firm also set a $10 price target (versus a $7.13 close), but shares closed out the week at $804, even after a 1.5% drop on Friday. The stock has a 52-week range of $5.49 to $9.54 and a consensus price target of $10.88.
Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) was reiterated as Outperform at Oppenheimer, but the firm raised its target to $8 from $7 (versus a $7.08 close). Oppenheimer said earnings were solid and the firm sees a ramp in investment and sales with the Nexmo integration bring continual growth. The stock closed up 10% at $7.08 after earnings on Wednesday, and its 52-week range is $3.82 to $7.57.
Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: OHRP) was started with a Buy rating at H.C. Wainwright on October 27, but what stood out here was that the price target of $10 suggested well over 200% implied upside. Ohr Pharmaceutical previously closed at $2.95, but even with a 4.6% drop on Friday, it ended the week at $3.10. This ocular disease clinical development stage company is very thinly followed by analysts, with just a $99 million market cap. The stock has a 52-week range of $2.44 to $6.56.
Ooma Inc. (NYSE: OOMA) was started with a Buy rating at B. Riley on October 25. Its shares previously closed at $8.45, but the closing price on Friday was $9.04. B. Riley assigned a price target of $15.50 in this call, still implying massive upside despite shares rising after the call. Ooma is a communications solutions and connected services to small businesses and to home and mobile users. It has a market cap of $157 million, and the 52-week range is $5.43 to $9.92.
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Last week there were 10 key analyst calls in stocks under $10, including Groupon, MGIC, Abraxis, Amarin, Telenav and more. Other key research calls for the week ending October 28 as follows: