Merrill Lynch Raises Price Targets on 3 Red-Hot Tech and Biotech Stocks

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While there is no question the market seems very tired, some very compelling stocks to buy that have a great story still offer investors decent upside potential. At 24/7 Wall St., we like to look at companies on which firms that we cover are raising the price targets, because typically targets go higher on good earnings or good forward guidance.

The analysts at Merrill Lynch have raised their price targets on some stocks that have shown solid earnings growth and look poised to continue to deliver solid results for the rest of 2017. We found three that are rated Buy and are getting their targets pushed higher.

Clovis Oncology

This top biotech recently came in with numbers that surprised Wall Street. Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS) is an oncology-focused biotechnology company that launched its first drug, Rubraca, in late 2016. The drug is indicated for treatment of germline and somatic BRCA-induced ovarian cancer after failing two prior lines of chemotherapy.

The company fully owns rights to Rubraca and is investigating expansion into a broader ovarian cancer market, as well as investigating additional tumor indications. The Merrill Lynch team raised its price target on the shares as they have higher confidence in Rubraca’s potential in BRCA-mutated cancers. A damaged gene in either location can lead to increased risk of cancer, particularly breast or ovarian in women. A BRCA mutation is a mutation in either of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are tumor suppressor genes.

Merrill Lynch raised its price target to $76 from $74, and the posted Wall Street consensus target is $59.91. The stock closed most recently at $57.71 a share.

HP

This is the printer and personal computer businesses of the old Hewlett-Packard. HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) provides products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as to the government, health and education sectors worldwide.

The company’s Personal Systems segment offers commercial personal computers (PCs), consumer PCs, workstations, thin client PCs, tablets, retail point-of-sale systems, calculators and other related accessories, software, support and services for the commercial and consumer markets.

The Printing segment provides consumer and commercial printer hardware, supplies, media, scanning device and software and services, as well as LaserJet and enterprise, inkjet and printing, graphics, and software and web services.

HP investors are paid a very solid 3.0% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target was raised to $19 from $17. The consensus target price is $13.43, and the stock closed Thursday at $17.60, up over 8.5% on the day.

IBM

This blue chip tech giant has had a solid rebound over the past year and still offers good upside. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is a leading provider of enterprise solutions, offering a broad portfolio of information technology (IT) hardware, business and IT services, and a full suite of software solutions. The company integrates its hardware products with its software and services offerings in order to provide high value solutions.

IBM is comprised of five major segments: 1) Cognitive Solutions, 2) Global Business Services, 3) Technology Services & Cloud Platforms, 4) Systems and 5) Global Financing. The analysts cite the company’s potential in the public cloud as a reason for raising their price objective.

IBM shareholders are paid a nice 3.08% dividend. The boost in the Merrill Lynch price target was to $200 from $185. The consensus target is set at $165.55, and shares closed way above that level Thursday at $181.65.

These three stocks are suitable for more aggressive growth accounts. Investors may want to scale buy shares now and leave some capital to add to the position should the market back up some in the spring.