With the first-quarter earnings season drawing to a close and most of the S&P 500 companies closing the book, all in all it was a good start to the year. In fact, much better as earnings came in higher than expected, especially for large cap stocks.
A new report from Jefferies highlights the top 30 stocks in the S&P 500 with the best four-week earnings per share (EPS) revisions and four-week target price revisions. We screened the list for the stocks rated Buy at Jefferies. We then further screened for the stocks with some of the highest revisions. We came up with four top candidates for growth stock investors to consider.
This stock will set you back a few bucks, but it has a stellar upside potential. Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) had EPS revisions lifted 21.7% and target price revisions up 11.9%. The company provides data center services to protect and connect the information assets for the enterprises, financial services companies and content and network providers, primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. It connects companies directly to their customers and partners in networked data centers through the Equinix interconnection platform.
The company recently looked to expand by making a bid for U.K.-based rival Telecity in an effort to break up the company’s pending merger with Interxion. It makes sense as that would have been a formidable rival to the European giant.
Equinix investors are paid a 2.6% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $275. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $273.03. Shares closed Tuesday at $259.30.
This oil field services giant saw EPS revisions up 11.6% and earnings and price targets up 10.1%. Halliburton Inc. (NYSE: HAL) announced last year a $1 billion investment to develop huge potential oil fields in Ecuador and has entered into a long-time deal with Petroamazonas, an Ecuador-based company involved in the exploration and development of the country’s oil reserves. With oil being absolutely demolished over the past nine months, this top oil service company remains great stock to buy on sale.
With a gigantic purchase last year of rival Baker Hughes, which should be completed soon, the stock become an industry behemoth poised for outstanding growth as the overall energy sector heals.
Halliburton shareholders are paid a 1.51% dividend. The Jefferies price target for this sector leader is $60, and the consensus target is at $52.86. The stock closed Tuesday at $47.49 per share.
This is another energy stock that had outstanding revisions. EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) had EPS revisions raised 17.4% and price target revisions up 5.7%. The company is expected to have a stunning 99% of its production come in as natural gas. This may prove huge for investors if another ruthless summer shows up, which some are now predicting. The company’s superior cost structure and above-average growth may help its exploit stable and rising natural gas prices. With an increasing reserve structure and a projected higher number of Marcellus wells to be drilled in the coming five years, the company exhibits industry-leading organic growth momentum.
EQT GP Holdings, which is an EQT-owned company, priced an initial public offering of 23 million common units representing limited partner interests Tuesday at $27.00 per common unit. The trading was very positive with shares ending up over 20% at $32.92.
EQT investors are paid a tiny 0.1% dividend. Jefferies has a $102 price target, and the consensus is at $101.76. Shares closed Tuesday at $91.95.
This top technology stock shows up with EPS revisions up 7.2% and target price revisions up 6.6%. Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) is incredibly cheap for a top-notch chip stock that does gigantic business with both Apple and Samsung.
The company is a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments. It has one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip solutions.
Broadcom investors are paid a 1.2% dividend. Jefferies has a $55 price target on the stock, and the consensus price objective is posted at $51.82. Shares closed Tuesday at $45.99.
With earnings and price targets getting moved higher via revisions, and quarterly earnings reports are already in the can, these stocks make good sense for aggressive growth accounts.