Key Technology Stock Picks From Top Analysts for 2017: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, NVIDIA and More

January 11, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

2017
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Now that 2016 and its post-election rally are in the past, it is important to look forward. Investors are expecting gains to continue in 2017, which would make the bull market go well more than eight years old. 24/7 Wall St. has released its own 2017 DJIA outlook calling for 21,422 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, an implied gain of more than 8,0%, after 2016’s 13.4% gain.

Now we have gone through all of our daily analyst reports and compiled lists by sector and grouping for which top stocks from analysts would fall under the so-called Top Picks for 2017. These top technology stocks were seen on well-known lists named the Top Picks, Franchise Picks, US 1 picks, Conviction Buy list and so on. These calls are also the ones issued mostly from major firms like Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and others.

As a reminder, investors should never just blindly follow analysts. We would not have you thinking we blindly endorse or follow an analyst call just because a call was made. The traditional upside for Dow and S&P 500 stocks is now running about 8% to 15% to each Buy target. So what does it tell you if analysts are calling for 20%, 30% or even 50% in upside ahead? It means there may be more risk. Analysts often get their theses wrong, and sometimes outside forces interrupt or destroy the prospects for upside gains.

These are the top technology stock picks for 2017 that have been issued by some of the top analysts and most widely recognized firms on Wall Street. We have provided links to each article, if available, in an effort to keep this a more concise review.

Alphabet

The search giant formally known as Google was named in the Barron’s Top 10 Picks for 2017 and was among the top 27 picks from Kiplinger for 2017. The publication used its own estimates here to call Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) an impressive growth company with revenues and earnings expected to rise by 17% in 2017. Jefferies still had Alphabet on its key Franchise Picks list after the first week of 2017, and its price target was $1,000.

Alphabet recently traded at $825.58, in a 52-week trading range of $672.66 to $839.00, and with a consensus analyst price target of $968.55.

Amazon

Merrill Lynch made a call on Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) in December, but the firm was looking for close to 50% upside. While this was substantial upside from Merrill Lynch, it was still shy of the street-high price target for Amazon shares of $1,250. Evercore ISI also had Amazon as its top internet pick for 2017. Kiplinger called it one of 27 top stock picks for 2017, citing that Value Line sees revenues rising 19.5% annually over the next five years.

Shares of Amazon were last seen at $794.73, with a 52-week range of $474.00 to $847.21 and a consensus price target of $928.53.

Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the top pick from Morgan Stanley for 2017, based on an iPhone super cycle later this year, and winning from being the top brand values in the world. Barron’s had Apple in its Top 10 Picks for 2017 as well. What matters here from a 2017 Bull/Bear outlook is that Apple analysts were far too optimistic in 2016 and that they are far less enthusiastic in 2017, but Apple has to perform if tech stocks want to experience valuation upside via “multiple growth” ahead.

Apple was trading at $118.97, in a 52-week range of $89.47 to $119.43. The consensus price target is $132.25.

NVIDIA

It may have been among the top large cap performers of 2016, but NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) has had a slow start to 2017 after Citron Research gave a short seller report. Still, we have seen price targets raised. On December 20, Goldman Sachs added NVIDIA to its Conviction Buy list with a $129 target, based on its unique growth story from gaming, virtual reality, automotive and data center efforts. After the start of 2017, Jefferies raised its price target to $125 from $110 as part of its Franchise List Portfolio.

Shares of NVIDIA were trading at $106.21. The 52-week range is $24.75 to $119.93 and the consensus price target is $96.39.

Alibaba

Deutsche Bank named Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) as its top China internet pick for 2017, calling for 21% in gross merchandise value growth this year. Alibaba is even making moves to fight counterfeiters. Jack Ma was just in New York City to visit Donald Trump before his inauguration, and the two men talked up a positive 2017.

Alibaba was last seen at $97.21 a share, in a 52-week range of $59.25 to $109.87. The consensus analyst target is $121.24.

Box

When Oppenheimer reaffirmed its Outperform rating for Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) at the start of January, it also was given an $18 price target. The firm listed it in the Top Picks series as well, because it is positive on Box’s transformation to a broad enterprise content platform that can win from its IBM partnership.

At $15.40 per share, Box has a 52-week trading range of $8.82 to $16.59 and a consensus target price of $18.20.