24/7 Wall St. has evaluated many top outside stock picks for 2014 from Wall Street analysts and market pundits. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P hitting new all-time highs throughout 2014 and with the bull market now nearing its sixth year, we wanted to see which analyst picks in mid-cap to large-cap stocks offer the most upside.
We have taken five top stock picks from multiple brokerage firm analysts in this review. Again, these are only in active mid-cap or large-cap stocks in order to avoid the crazy calls, which we will cover later. Some of these stocks still have very big upside targets on the surface, which is why we have gone in depth on the research call and on the expectations for the year ahead.
One consideration to keep in mind about the broad market is that the Santa rally may have eaten into expected 2015 gains. With the Dow up about 11% and the S&P 500 up about 15%, the Wall Street strategists are just not seeing as much huge upside to the year-end or peak targets in 2015. The consensus estimates for the S&P 500 from the strategists imply gains of close to 6% for 2015, plus the dividend yields to consider.
At the start of December, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was one of the top stocks to buy at Jefferies with big upside among the underperforming large cap stocks. The firm said that, while the company is forging ahead with the new and updated plane models, continued problems with the 787 Dreamliner are still pressuring Boeing, but at least they look closer to a more complete resolution. Jefferies thinks that orders should clearly top shipments, potentially doubling its backlog from 2013.
Boeing’s price target from Jefferies was $165, versus a current share price around $132, and that was before the dividend hike and buyback announcement. The Thomson Reuters consensus price target is just under $150, but there is a street-high analyst target price of $175. Jefferies has a target that implies 25% upside, and then the new dividend yield will be 2.75% for 2015.
Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) had a massive gain in October, rising from about $86 to more than $115 by the start of December. Now its market cap is a whopping $90 billion. Earlier in December, UBS maintained its Buy rating and raised its price target to $130 from $112 after recent 2014 American Society of Hematology comments gave UBS more confidence in the safety and efficacy in key drug candidates and products. It even talked about a 29% five-year compounded growth rate on earnings. UBS talked up unrecognized value in its pipeline as well.
RBC also recently named Celgene a top biotech pick, with an even higher price target. The gain to the UBS target would be over 15%, but the street-high target price of $145 would generate upside of 28%. The trick here is that analysts have been chasing this stock higher and higher, so it seems possible to expect more of the same ahead.