Credit Suisse Releases New Top Investment Ideas

With less than one-third of the year remaining, many portfolio managers at mutual funds and hedge funds are looking for some outperformance so they can catch up to whatever benchmark they are chasing. Many of the top firms on Wall Street are doing their best accommodate these clients by fine-tuning their top investment ideas for the balance of the year.

New research from Credit Suisse is doing just that. Periodically, the company solicits all of its research analysts for their three top picks based on a six- to 12-month time horizon to be added to the top investment ideas list. We scanned the newly released list for the stocks ranked as number one picks overall that had the largest upside potential to the current Credit Suisse price targets.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) posted very solid earnings for the second quarter and the stock was promptly down, but it has rallied back strong. The company is a leader in DRAM chip sales and is one of the top Credit Suisse technology picks. The company has seen a nice streak of beating earnings estimates, especially when looking at the previous two reports. Micron has beaten estimates by at least 35% in both cases, suggesting it has a nice short-term history of crushing expectations.

With a looming memory shortage, Micron could have serious upside potential. The Credit Suisse price target for the stock is a huge $50, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is $38.44. Micron closed Friday at $32.94 a share.

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Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is mega cap tech name that the Credit Suisse analysts favor. They see newfound positive optionality in the company’s search business, and for the first time Google seems to be making inroads into its long-sought effort to extend its search dominance into vertical search, which focuses on specific segments of online content.

Many Wall Street analysts also think that Google’s cloud product belongs in the second-tier of its business lines (like Play and Nexus), and may prove meaningful in the future by offering value chain synergies with the core business. Add this to YouTube and the other growing project silos at the Internet giant, and the unabated growth may continue for years. The Credit Suisse price target is whopping $745. The consensus figure is $673.57. Google closed Friday at $598.78.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is one of the top stocks to buy on Wall Street, where many predict that Biogen’s Tysabri earnings will have a meaningful jump this year and beyond. Analysts applauded the release of data on a monoclonal antibody called BIIB033, which is safe and tolerable in people, according to the combined results of two Phase 1 clinical trials that tested high doses in healthy people and those with multiple sclerosis. Credit Suisse also noted the company has no near-term patent expirations to deal with.

The Credit Suisse price target for Biogen Idec is $425. The consensus target it set at much lower at $371.95. Shares closed Friday at $330.48.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) is another stock rated number one overall at Credit Suisse, which points to continued positive risk-reward, especially after the company had a successful yieldco IPO to act as a positive catalyst. The company said recently it was embarking on a project to bring solar-power micro grids to rural India. SunEdison will build and operate the facilities and transfer them to a public entity after five years. The microgrids will begin construction next month.

SunEdison’s blow-out earnings number recently also set a very positive tone for the company. Credit Suisse has a big $34 price objective, and the consensus target is $26.79. The stock closed Friday at $21.97.

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T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) is a stock in which offers and rumors continue to fly around Wall Street. With the deal with Sprint off the table, and a bid for 56% of the company from Iliad, the Credit Suisse team not only like the company’s business prospects, but they are also bullish on further M&A possibilities. While many on Wall Street don’t see the Iliad bid accepted at the low $33 price target, analysts do feel that it puts a floor in for the stock price, a huge positive for investors.

The impending iPhone 6 launch should stand to boost T-Mobile’s momentum in the fourth quarter, as many consumers are holding off on switching wireless providers, waiting for the next bigger and better model to be released. The Credit Suisse price target is $39, and the consensus target is $35.82. Shares closed trading on Friday at $30.67.

United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was recently made the top pick not only at Credit Suisse, but at Morgan Stanley as well. The company easily blew away Wall Street estimates when it reported second-quarter earnings, and in the process also sent a large contingent of short sellers to the woodshed for a spanking. With numerous positive catalysts from improving demand to new import duties on foreign product, many on Wall Street feel they stock may have as much a 50% upside from current trading levels.

Investors receive a small 0.6% dividend. The Credit Suisse price target for U.S. Steel is $50, and the consensus target is $38.88. That figure is below Friday’s close at $40.14.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) combines a very strong presence in Las Vegas and growing clout in Macau. MGM is poised to perhaps break out after years of so-so trading. While it is still burdened with high debt, at least some of that debt has been refinanced at lower levels. The Credit Suisse analysts find MGM to have among the most favorable risk-rewards, given the combination of exposure to improving trends on the Las Vegas Strip and the continuing growth in the mass market segment in Macau in the near term, and steady balance sheet improvements and its development pipeline in the medium term.

While MGM’s Macau business has fallen off dramatically this summer, MGM is not as dependent on it for overall revenue. Credit Suisse has a $33 price target, and the consensus is at $30.69. Shares closed Friday at $24.18.

Credit Suisse is not taking many flyers with the top picks for the rest of the year. They are sticking with industry leaders, and that is a strategy that also makes good sense for investors.

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