To say that volatility has returned in the stock market would be a major understatement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has pulled back more than 1,000 points from its recent peak, yet investors keep proving that they will step in and buy value and overlooked stocks when they are cheap. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning, or ultimately hundreds of analyst reports each week. Some of these reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
Some investors think that low-priced stocks trading under $10 offer more value than stocks with high prices. The same is often true of small-cap stocks rather than S&P 500 or Dow stocks. The message from 24/7 Wall St. is that this notion is not universally true. Still, when analysts follow small-cap and low-priced stocks, they often come with much larger upside targets than traditional Dow and S&P 500 stocks.
Keep in mind that analyst calls of this nature are far riskier than normal analyst calls. In fact, many analysts are barred from covering small-cap stocks or stocks that trade with prices under $10 or $5. Still, the analysts who do follow low-priced and small-cap stocks sometimes have upside projections of 50%, 100% or much more.
Almost none of these low-priced or small-cap stocks would pass a suitability test under “widows and orphans” guidelines. These companies are riskier than Dow and S&P 500 stocks almost universally, and some are likely to suffer business failures or delisting.
And to keep volatility in mind, many of the small-cap and low-priced stocks have been bruised much worse than the 5% or 10% in larger cap stocks in the past month.
24/7 Wall St. tracked nine stocks under $10 in which analysts recently have made key calls. We have included a research summary of each analyst call, along with trading levels and color if applicable.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) was down after earnings and then up again, ending the week up 3% at $2.72 — making for a flat week after its CEO resignation. The graphics and processor company was raised to Sector Perform from Underperform by Pacific Crest on Friday, but we would advise readers that there were also several downgrades and many price target cuts ahead of and after AMD’s earnings.
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was raised to Buy from Neutral by Nomura on Friday ahead of the big recovery rally. It was also started with a $10 price target, versus a $5.76 close. AK Steel was just included in the analyst calls under $10 two weeks ago, but despite a bounce from a low of $5.50 to $6.40 by Friday’s close, this was a $10 stock just a month ago.
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AQXP) was started as Buy and given a $12 price target at Canaccord Genuity on Thursday. Shares ended the week at $7.23.
Dot Hill Systems Corp. (NASDAQ: HILL) was started as Overweight at Piper Jaffray on Friday. Despite the market rally, this stock closed down 6% at $3.90 on Friday. The firm’s $5 price target in the call now implies upside of almost 30% from the $4.15 prior close.
8×8 Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $8 price target at B. Riley on Tuesday. Despite a prior close of $5.84, this was at $7.01 by Friday’s close. Half of the implied gains have already been seen, on a week when many stocks were gutted before recovering.
E-House (China) Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: EJ) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs on Friday. The stock was given a $14 price target, versus a prior $9.45 close. E-House closed up 2.4% at $9.68 on Friday after the big rally, against a 52-week range of $7.39 to $17.28.
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SWHC) was started with a Buy rating on Friday morning at Wunderlich. The gun maker was given a $13 price target, compared to a $9.86 prior close. This one closed at $10.14 on Friday, but the price range on the day was $9.87 to $10.27.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: OWW) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital Markets on Tuesday. All in all, Orbitz did not trade most of the week as though the market was having any crazy swings when compared to prior weeks. That being said, the online travel hub was up at $8.20 just a week earlier.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: QTWW) was started as Outperform at FBR Capital Markets with a $6 price target in a late Monday call. After the call, this stock traded as though it was just another normal trading week. Another firm named MLV started coverage later in the week with a Buy rating and $5.50 price target. Shares closed at $3.99 on Friday, against a 52-week range of $2.99 to $11.25. This one gained 13% this past week.
Last week’s analyst calls under $10 featured 13 stocks with big upside, and some of these were knocked around handily in this past week’s market carnage and recovery. Again, small-cap stocks and low-priced stocks are often much more volatile. As you see, some still perform well in bad markets. Others sell-off far worse than the broad market — sometimes exponentially.
In case you missed Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations, they included Advanced Micro Devices, Alibaba, Garmin, Goldman Sachs, SunEdison, Xilinx and a dozen or so more.