Investing

5 Top Stocks With Big Potential Catalysts This Week

With the earnings season getting in full swing, some of the top stocks will not only be reporting fourth-quarter earnings, but also giving analysts a look at the prospects for 2015. A new research report from the analysts at Jefferies focuses in on stocks in the firm’s coverage universe that are releasing data this week that could move the price, in some cases, perhaps substantially.

The Jefferies report focuses on nine different companies reporting this week. We screened those for the companies rated Buy at Jefferies.

CA Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CA) will report earnings Tuesday after the market closes. The company provides IT management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. Organizations leverage CA Technologies software and SaaS solutions to accelerate innovation, transform infrastructure and secure data and identities, from the data center to the cloud. The Jefferies team thinks the company bookings could be disappointing and cause confusion. They would buy any weakness in the stock.

CA investors are paid a very solid 3.2% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $39. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $30.28. The stock closed last Friday at $31.36 a share.

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United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) will report earnings Wednesday after the market closes. The company is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with an integrated network of 876 rental locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces, serving construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The Jefferies analysts see the plunge in oil prices as a potential negative for the company. While their estimates are below the rest of Wall Street for the quarterly report, they are above for 2015 guidance. They also note several other positives for the stock this year.

The Jefferies price target is set at $130, and the consensus target is $121.73. The stock closed Friday at $82.31, so a move to either target would be substantial.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. The Jefferies analysts are very positive heading into the quarterly report. The Jefferies EPS estimate is ahead of the Street and reflects analysts’ expectations for ongoing modest expansion in the loan portfolios. While a charge could temper the overall response, they expect an earnings beat and continue to like the long-term story. Discover is scheduled to report results Wednesday after the close.

Discover investors receive a 1.6% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $75, and consensus target is posted at $71.70. Shares close trading Friday at $60.16.

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Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) designs, develops, manufactures and markets various linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits worldwide. It also provides a range of high-frequency process technologies and capabilities for use in custom designs. The company is expected to be providing the chip that handles power management in the Apple Watch. The Jefferies estimates are just in line for the quarter, but the analysts feel the business from Samsung could be stabilizing and the company could have positive comments about it. The company reports Thursday after the close.

Maxim investors are paid a very nice 3.5% dividend. The Jefferies price objective is $34, and consensus price target is $31.19. The stock closed last Friday at $32.01.

State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT) is one of the world’s leading providers of financial services to institutional investors, including investment servicing, investment management and investment research and trading. With $28.47 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $2.42 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2014, the company is also a huge player in the exchange trade fund arena. The Jefferies analysts are above the Wall Street consensus for the company, which reports on Friday. The key to the stock is an ongoing tremendous recurring fee revenue base, and expectations for those fees are growing.

State Street investors are paid a 1.6% dividend, The Jefferies price target is $90, and the consensus is lower at $83. Shares closed on Friday at $73.66.

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It would make sense for investors to perhaps be cautious before earnings and buy any of these top stocks on weakness after the reports. Another plan would be to buy partial positions in front of the numbers.

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