7 Analyst Stock Picks Under $10 With Huge Upside Calls

With the bull market now almost six and a half years old and with the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates soon, investors are often looking beyond traditional Dow and S&P 500 stocks for value and upside. Investors also keep buying stocks on every pullback. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades and downgrades each day of the week to find hidden values and to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some calls cover stocks to buy, and some of these stocks to buy are in small-cap names or in companies with a share price under $10.

Most price targets from analysts in Dow and S&P 500 stocks call for upside of 8% to 15%, but in small-cap and low-priced stocks you often see calls for upside of 25% or much higher. The first thing that investors need to consider here is that small-cap stocks, and most stocks with share prices under $10, come with much more risk than traditional stocks.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed six positive analyst calls from this last week where the share price was less than $10.00 at the time of the call. Again, these generally carry a much wider degree of risk than Dow and S&P stocks. We have outlined a very detailed explanation of risks and warnings for investors on the second page of this article.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS) had earnings, and investors still are just having hard time evaluating the core business and its turnaround. Not every analyst was positive on the stock, but shares were up 20% for the week at one point. JPMorgan raised AK Steel’s rating to Overweight from Neutral on Thursday morning, and they assigned a $5.00 price target.

Still, AK Steel closed down almost 6% on Friday and the consensus price target is $4.87. AK Steel has a 52-week range of $2.38 to $11.37.

Precision Drilling Corporation (NYSE: PDS) was in a very positive group call by Merrill Lynch this week. While this was no formal upgrade, the reality is that the firm sees huge upside if things correct in the sector. The Canadian oil services stock has a $7.00 price objective at the firm, implying upside north of 40% if its dividend north of 4% is sustainable.

PDS closed at $5.09 on Friday against a 52-week range of $4.53 to $12.83, and the consensus price target is even much higher at almost $9.50 as of now.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) got through earnings by closing higher at the end of the week than it came into the week. Wunderlich Securities raised its rating to Buy from Hold with a $4.60 price target. Sirius XM shares closed on Friday at $3.96 and its consensus analyst target rose to $4.55 from $4.46 as result of this call.

Sirius XM has a 52-week range of $3.14 to $4.04, and shares even briefly hit $4.00 three days this week for the first time since April 29.

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Scorpio Bulkers Inc. (NYSE: SALT) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank on Wednesday, and the price target was raised to $3.00 after an 8.5% gain to $1.79 the prior day. Shares closed on Friday at $1.81, but there was also news that Scorpio Services Holding Ltd. purchased an aggregate of 1,050,000 common shares of Scorpio Bulkers in the open market at an average price of $1.88 per share.

This $607 million market cap of Scorpio Bulkers comes with a consensus price target of $3.42 and a 52-week range of $1.30 to $8.26.

Sonus Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONS) saw its shares surge this week after earnings and on positive carrier news. Sonus was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $10 price target at Barrington Research on Wednesday.

The upside in the Sonus call was versus a prior $6.78 close, but shares were closer to $6.00 the day before that. Sonus had such a strong gain that it closed out the week at $8.07. Maybe some of the upside was eaten up, but the 23% implied upside might mean investors should be opportunistic on pullbacks. Sonus has a $10.22 consensus price target and a 52-week range of $5.91 to $21.15.

Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML) traded lower this week after missing earnings and revenues. We saw many price target cuts and a formal downgrade by Dougherty & Co., but Needham & Co., Topeka Capital Markets, and Wedbush Securities all maintained Buy or Outperform ratings when they lowered their targets.

Atmel closed down 1.7% at $8.28 on Friday, lower than the $8.67 highs of the week and against a 52-week range of $6.32 to $10.50. Atmel’s consensus price target is now $9.21.

Cametek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT) is a small-cap stock in the automatic optical inspection systems field. On Monday it was started as Buy with a $4.00 price target at Needham & Co., versus a prior $2.86 close and versus a close of $2.87 on Friday. Cametek has only 3 analysts covering the stock, but it appears that the $4.00 price target is shares by all.

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So, back to those risk disclosures about small-cap and low-priced stocks. This is very important, and not considering risks can come with some very serious disappointments and can result in potential losses.

If analyst calls in Dow or S&P 500 stocks generally come with upside projections of 8% to 15%, what does it tell you when you see other calls for upside of up 25%, 30%, 50% or even more? It means there is a lot more implied risk.

Investors need to understand that Wall Street analysts are sometimes given more credit or clout than they deserve. Many analyst calls often fail to live up to expectations, and in many cases the analysts covering a stock have the same or hardly any more intimate knowledge about a company and its industry than investors.

Some of the speculative analyst reports even feel like they are all-or-none calls. They can be the proverbial Hail Mary pass. Some stocks with small market caps and low share prices just flounder for a decade or more. Some of the stocks end up getting delisted, and some of them even implode.

While there are young companies that eventually will grow up into multibillion giants, the reality is that most companies that are listed on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange have limited total addressable markets. Also, some of them are just niche companies which simply may never make it above a certain size.

Lastly, small-cap and low-priced stocks are generally only suitable for very aggressive investors and traders. Conservative investors, retirees and the so-called widows-and-orphans investors better stick to larger well-known stocks, with dividends, with years of operating history and in businesses that are deemed very stable.

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