With February starting off like gangbusters after a very volatile January, many of the top firms on Wall Street we cover are resetting the top equity picks for institutional and retail customers. With some stocks getting hit hard by poor earnings or guidance, some changes are being made as analysts look to the rest of the first quarter and through the balance of 2015. A new report from RBC updates and presents the Capital Markets U.S. Equity Top Picks for February.
The RBC Top Picks list has done outstanding since its inception at the end of 2011 by handily outperforming the S&P 500 and bringing alpha value to customers. This month, a top real estate investment trust (REIT) Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE: BXP) is added to the list, as is Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ), one of the top beverage spirit purveyors. Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) and Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR) were deleted but retain an Outperform rating at RBC. These are most likely valuation calls.
We scanned the RBC list for five other high-profile top stocks to buy with big upside to the analyst price targets.
CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) owns the most-watched television network in the United States and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content. Its operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film and interactive and socially responsible media. With an outstanding prime time lineup, solid sports franchises like the NFL, March Madness College Basketball, The Masters and other top programming, the venerable network has been an outstanding stock for long-term shareholders, though it was a large cap laggard in 2014. Still, the company showed outstanding ratings last year and is poised to continue the network’s programming dominance in 2015. The broadcasting giant is also in the midst of a significant stock repurchase process, and many on Wall Street expect CBS to shrink its share base by up to 25% over the next two years.
CBS investors are paid a 1.1% dividend. While the RBC price target is $67, the Thomson/First Call consensus estimate is $63. CBS closed Tuesday at $56.92 a share.
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. In fact, since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card and operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations. It also operates PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks, and Diners Club International.
Discover investors receive a 1.8% dividend. The RBC price target is set at $72, and the consensus target is $70.45. Shares close trading Tuesday at $56.37.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) is the tech stock investors have waited on for years for their ship to come in. The key to Marvell’s success is that it may be gaining market share at Western Digital and the advent of SSDs has turned out to be a solid catalyst. In addition, hard disk drives are also being used for non-PC applications such as server storage and data centers. The stock has been the subject of recent takeover chatter, as some on Wall Street think Lenovo could be interested in all or part of the company.
Marvel investors are paid a 1.52% dividend. RBC has a $21 price target, and the consensus target is $16.24. Marvell closed trading Tuesday at $15.94.
Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) may be one of the best known transport stocks on the RBC list. The company provides transportation and supply chain management solutions. It operates in two segments, Fleet Management Solutions and Supply Chain Solutions. The stock posted outstanding earnings this week and shareholders celebrated bidding the stock higher.
Investors are paid a 1.8% dividend. RBC has a monster $115 price target, and the consensus figure is much lower at $106.17. Ryder closed Tuesday at $88.54. That was up more than 3% on the day.
United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) is the largest equipment rental company in the world. It has an integrated network of 876 rental locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces. With approximately 12,200 employees, the company serves construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. United offers for rent approximately 3,100 classes of equipment for rent. The stock also was just touted as one of Jim Cramer’s top stock picks. The CNBC commentator can move stock prices, and United Rental was up big.
The RBC price target is $128, the consensus target is $112.33, and the stock closed Tuesday at $90.09, up over 4%.
With the market feeling better about everything from the turn in oil to European quantitative easing, traders have been much more positive to start February. The RBC stock picks have outperformed over time, and they make good sense for long-term growth investors.