The weak market of January was replaced by a first week of February that can only be described as one massive snapback rally. Investors have demonstrated for more than two years now that they will buy big dips and overlooked value in stocks when they can. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst calls each day of the week for new ideas and overlooked gems for its readers. The reality is that most analyst calls have upside price targets of 10% to 30%, but that does not apply to small-cap and low-priced stocks.
When possible, 24/7 Wall St. accumulates and publishes summaries of the most aggressive analyst calls. That, of course, includes small-cap and low-priced stocks. You just do not get calls for a stock to rise 50%, 100% or more in Dow and S&P 500 stocks. In fact, only three of the S&P 500 stocks are up 100 in the trailing 52-weeks — one due to a merger premium. This week we tracked only five analyst calls in stocks that were under $10, down from eight picks in the prior week.
While investors often get excited about the low-priced and small-cap stocks, 24/7 Wall St. cannot emphasize enough that these are generally far riskier than most Dow and S&P 500 stocks. Many investors think that all small-cap or mid-cap stocks grow up to be large-cap stocks. This is a myth, and some companies flounder forever — or worse, some companies die. Lastly, low-priced and small-cap stocks are completely inappropriate for conservative and even moderately conservative investors.
The five analyst picks under $10 featured by 24/7 Wall St. this week are ImmunoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN), Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI), MEI Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: MEIP), Westell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: WSTL) and Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY).
Oppenheimer raised ImmunoGen to Outperform from Perform on Friday. What stands out is the $11 price target, which implies upside of 50% from the current $7.32 price. Immunogen’s consensus price target is much lower than Oppenheimer’s at $8.35, but the highest listed analyst price target is also $12.00.
Oppenheimer said that recent weakness around disappointing results from Marianne brings a buying opportunity ahead of a what it called a “catalyst-rich next 12 months” in IMGN-853 in folate-receptor-positive, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and/or endometrial cancer as the primary value driver going forward.
Oppenheimer further said it assigns $8 of its $11 target to the “853 opportunity for sales above $600 million — and this eclipses the $3 per share value of Kadcyla royalties.” Oppenheimer even indicated upside to its $11 price target in the call.
Perhaps the most well-known stock of all those featured, the satellite radio monopoly saw its price target raised to $5 from $4.50 at Maxim Group when the firm reiterated its Buy rating. This implies 34% upside from the $3.72 close, but it also ties the highest listed analyst price target. If Maxim is not good enough, the much more well-known Merrill Lynch, which also has the highest $5 price target, said that subscriber growth shows no sign of stalling when it reiterated its Buy rating and slightly raised its targets and buyback expectations for 2015.
For whatever this is worth, Thomson Reuters still lists the lowest price target on Sirius as only $3.50, implying very little downside, if you trust analysts that is. Just do not hold too much water on that “analyst floor target” if another serious market correction comes up.