Investors have to be thrilled that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 are all trading at all-time highs. The bull market is well over eight years old, and the market indexes have risen exponentially since the lows in 2009. Some investors have started feeling confused or puzzled about the relentless strength, particularly after investors find myriad reasons to keep buying stocks after every sell-off. With valuations so high, and as many investors are trained to be cautious in the summer, some investors are looking for new ideas and safety as they still seek positive returns.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for its readers. This ends up being hundreds of analyst calls to parse each week. It turns out that some of these analyst reports covering stocks to buy are in the largest companies.
Four analyst calls stood out from the rest of those calls during the week of June 2, 2017. Some of them are in blue chip stocks and others in companies that are becoming large enough they could be blue chips.
Consensus analyst price target data are the mean of the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls. Here are the four top analyst calls in major stocks from this past week.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was reiterated as Buy with a $41 price target at Argus on June 1. The prior closing price was $36.15, but BP’s American depositary shares were trading down 0.9% at $35.91 at the end of Friday’s session. They have a 52-week trading range of $30.66 to $38.68, and the consensus price target is $37.84. While Argus lowered its 2017 earnings per share (EPS) target to $2.08 from $2.35 on lower margin projections for the BP refining business, the firm continues to expect higher crude oil and natural gas prices, along with additional cost cuts, to help.
Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) had a huge move at the end of the week, rising more than 8% to $254.53 on earnings and shooting down any major Toshiba acquisition. Broadcom was reiterated as a Top Pick at RBC Capital Markets, and the firm raised its price target to $260 from $250 ahead of the report. Then came a dozen price target hikes afterward, but the biggest of them were at JPMorgan and Susquehanna, each raising its target to $300. Broadcom shares were at $239.82 earlier in the week, and the new 52-week trading range is $142.27 to $253.76. Its consensus target price was listed as $252.26 ahead of earnings, but that number will be much higher after the adjusted targets get factored in. Broadcom has also now entered the more than $100 billion market cap stock club.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was maintained as Outperform at Credit Suisse on May 31, and the firm has a sum-of-parts valuation of $33 per share. Credit Suisse took issue with a Deutsche Bank view, as the firm thinks that GE is not a broken company, even if the conglomerate might be somewhat misunderstood. The analyst call noted that GE’s sell-off has created an attractive entry point and the bear points, particularly around would-be risks that GE’s dividend may be cut, have been overstated. GE closed at $27.38 ahead of the call, and its shares were trading up at $27.88 as last week came to an end. GE has a 52-week range of $27.10 to $33.00 and a consensus target price that is still up at $32.14.
3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $234 from $219 by Jefferies on June 1. The share price was $204.47 ahead of the call, but they were up above $207 at all-time highs Friday afternoon. The Jefferies call and the latest share price are both ahead of the consensus price target of $196.21, and the stock has a 52-week range of $163.85 to $207.30. Jefferies noted that both the OECD LEIs and its preferred proxy for industrial momentum suggest tailwinds for 3M’s operations. Valuations, it is often said, are stretched, but the firm feels that as long as the OECD LEIs continue to improve then 3M shares can continue to outperform.
Investors need to use analyst calls simply as one source of information rather than as a final determination about buying or selling stocks. After all, we wouldn’t want anyone thinking we automatically believe that analysts are going to be correct just because they make bold predictions.