With the stock market having finally decided to take a breather this past week, 24/7 Wall St. wanted to review some of the most aggressive analyst upgrades and rehashed ratings where analysts were calling for huge upside going into summer. At issue here is that the bull market is now six years old, and investors have spent almost four years buying back every single stock market pullback.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations each day of the week. The goal is to find new trading and investing ideas for readers. Most Buy ratings in Dow and S&P 500 stocks come with upside projections from analysts that imply gains of 10% to 20%. Then there are the exceptional upside calls with more risk, where an analyst sees upside of 30%, 50% or even 100%.
In the second half of May, there were multiple analyst calls in which huge upside projections were issued in known stocks. We decided to look at some of the calls in better known stocks where analysts were calling for upside of close to 50%, but many were much higher. The caveat that investors need to consider is that any time an analyst sees upside of 40%, 50% or 100%, then you know the firm is being very aggressive and these are likely not stocks for conservative investors.
Again, there are no Dow stocks here. The most aggressive calls in companies with high volume and with recognized names were as follows: MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) in inhalable insulin; Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY) in driver assistance systems; Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) in 3D printing; Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) in biotech; and Telenav Inc. (NASDAQ: TNAV) in personal navigation services.
In order to not just present each of these in the most positive light that might trick investors into thinking nothing could ever go wrong, 24/7 Wall St. also put up negative analyst calls if available for balance. If such calls were not readily available, then color was added on each of these to highlight caution or the other side of the coin. Some of these also have links to more detail on the call. Again, these all come with far greater risk than Dow stocks.
MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) is about as controversial as it can come when it comes to biotech, pharma and health care. A report from Jefferies came out in the middle of May that highlighted a serious issue that could make this greatly overlooked. Apparently more than one-third of doctors surveyed who treat diabetes patients were not even aware that the inhalable insulin drug delivery was available, which means that Afrezza just has not even managed to really break into the marketplace. Jefferies thinks an upcoming advertising campaign may increase doctor and patient interest. When Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating, it maintained its $9.00 price target. If that were to be true now at $5.18, that implies upside of a whopping 73%.
Not everyone is positive on MannKind which we addressed in a potential bottoming out analysis. Many investors and analysts think this one is a bust. Short sellers have well over 100 million shares of MannKind short now. Goldman Sachs has a Sell rating with a $2 price target, and JPMorgan has an Underweight rating. MannKind’s consensus analyst target price is $6.68, but obviously the calls are all over the place.
Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) may have finally found a friend in the analyst community. Oppenheimer came out on May 21 as very positive on Stratasys and very negative on 3D printing rival 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD). Stratasys was given a key upgrade to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer, but what really stood out on top of the “why” was the firm’s $50 price target. Shares were at $34.97 before the call, and they closed out May at $35.56, so there is still an implied upside here of better than 40%.