15 Fresh Analyst Stock Picks Called to Rise 50% to 100%

November 15, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

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This past week may have been painful for the markets with a 665 point drop in the Dow as the rate hike probability gets ever more realistic. Many key stocks were crushed after poor earnings, but others shined brightly. What has been amazing is that for over four years now the investing public has lined up in droves to buy their favorite stocks on pullbacks and when value scenarios arise.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research each weekday, which comes to a review of hundreds of these analyst calls each week. Most Dow and S&P 500 stocks with Buy or Outperform ratings are assigned upside of 8% to 15%, and some even get 20% to 30% upside. Then there are the much more aggressive analyst calls where an analyst, or several of them, see potential upside of 50% or even 100%.

Before investors just blindly jump in here chasing analyst calls, there are many serious issues to consider. Some analyst calls are just too optimistic, and some even seem to be a denial of reality, versus other research calls or the new market conditions. Then there are the cases that arise when analysts are just dead wrong in their assumptions. It can happen, and it can result in painful losses. Investors need to understand that Wall Street analysts often have no better information and data than institutional and savvy investors.

24/7 Wall St. tracked 15 fresh analyst calls in this past week alone in which analysts were calling for upside of almost 50%, all the way up to over 100% in implied upside. Some of these calls were in well-known companies, but others were in very speculative small cap stocks that most investors likely have never even heard of.

Keep in mind that very aggressive analyst calls almost always come with more risk than you might expect from a DJIA stock. The reality is that conservative or risk-averse investors just need to avoid these stocks at all costs. Also, the notion that some of these are in the heavily pressured biotech, solar, oil and services sectors should act as a further reminder that there is no free lunch.

Investors and traders need to understand that if these analyst calls are wrong, chances are high that they will be very wrong rather than just a little wrong — and big losses would be more likely than the big gains they were hoping for. Some of these stocks also have recently sold off and analysts have just tried to maintain what may be outlandish price targets based on prior data and market conditions. As such, we even included color on many of the calls if they seemed too aggressive.

These are this past week’s 15 fresh analyst calls with implied upside of 50% to 100% to each analyst’s price target. Caveat emptor!

BioMarin Pharmaceutical

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) was reiterated as Buy with a $166 price target at Jefferies late in the week. This was versus a prior $111.15 close, but the stock closed at $107.44 on Friday, for an implied upside of 54% if the firm is right.

Jefferies thinks there is upside in BioMarin from a high likelihood of a positive FDA panel vote for Kyndrisa. That massive target is only $7 above the consensus analyst price target and is not that much higher than the 52-week high of $151.75.

Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) has been unable to escape the trends hurting many organic and natural foods in 2015. Still, Hain Celestial was reiterated as Buy at Argus with a $78.00 price target this week. Just keep in mind that the pressure remains here, as the prior $45.26 close became a share price of $41.46 by Friday’s close.

The firm called Hain’s sell-off a buying opportunity, but other firms have been lowering their price targets aggressively as the 52-week high of $70.65 is history now and the stock hit a new 52-week low of $41.31.

Range Resources

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform by RBC Capital Markets on Thursday. The independent oil and gas outfit was assigned a $47.00 price target, up more than 50% from the prior $30.03 close.

Range Resources closed up almost 7% at $31.72 on Friday, and that would still leave an implied 48% upside if the firm is accurate. For that matter, Range Resources has a consensus analyst price target of $49.35 and a 52-week range of $27.55 to $74.47.

SunPower

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) was reiterated as Buy at Merrill Lynch on Friday, but readers should know that solar power stocks were stuck in the dark last week with big losses. SunPower’s price objective is $42.00 at Merrill Lynch, with the firm calling it a stable ship in the solar storm that still offers long-term growth.

SunPower’s prior close was $24.93, but its shares closed down 6.3% at $23.36 on Friday. With a consensus analyst price target of $35.72 and a weak solar trend in place, this has the hallmarks of a price objective that needs to be brought down more than just a couple of dollars.

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Yelp

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) received a late-week upgrade from RBC Capital Markets that almost negated any of the negative vibes you might have had watching this online reviews site lose three-quarters of its value from peak to trough.

RBC raised Yelp’s shares to Outperform from Sector Perform, and the price target was raised to $42.00 from $34.00 in its call. The prior close was $25.90 and Friday’s close was $27.10 that still implies more than 50% upside if the firm happens to be right here. What investors need to consider here in Yelp is that it still has nosebleed valuations.

Many analysts and investors view the company as a great source of information, but one that may struggle to be profitable. We would point out that the trend has been for analyst downgrades and lowered price targets to the point that the consensus analyst price target is closer to $31.00.

CPI Card Group

CPI Card Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PMTS) was started as Buy with a $16 price target (versus an $11.90 close) at Goldman Sachs on Monday. The problem is that the market took the shares down for a 7% drop on Friday to $10.91, implying upside of 47%.

Also, that $16.00 target is not even close to the highest analyst target price for this recent IPO that priced at $10.00 per share in mid-October.

Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTA) was started as Overweight at JPMorgan on Friday, and the firm assigned a $26 price target. This implied 46% upside from the prior $17.76 close, although Momenta shares rose almost 2% to $18.11 after the call.

Momenta’s consensus price target is almost $22.00, and its 52-week range is $10.22 to $25.56.

TerraForm Power

TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP) is another one that may feel a bit awkward when it is all said and done due to poor performance. TerraForm is a yieldco and was maintained as Buy with a $34.00 fair value estimate at Janney Capital Markets after earnings.

Here is the potential problem in this call’s upside: TerraForm closed at $18.30 before the call was made but ended the week at $13.80. Janney liked the earnings report when the rest of Wall Street ran for cover.

Why does over 100% implied upside now seem like yet another target that needs to come down?

TETRA Technologies

TETRA Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TTI) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan on Tuesday. It was assigned a $12.00 price target, implying just over 50% upside from the prior $7.84 close. The problem here is that TETRA Tech closed up at $8.71 on Friday and is now just under its 52-week high of $8.86.

The oil and gas services company is expected to post a profit this year and next, but TETRA has a spotty earnings history, and its $700 million market cap is smaller than many analysts will cover. This $12.00 target is the highest of all analysts and the consensus analyst price target is closer to $10.18.

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VOXX International

VOXX International Corp. (NASDAQ: VOXX) was started with an Outperform rating at Oppenheimer on Thursday. The thinly covered small-cap auto components and audio systems player was given a $9 price target, which implied over 70% upside from the prior $5.21 close and the $5.20 close on Friday.

This is the most aggressive of the handful of analysts following VOXX, and its market cap is only $125 million with a 52-week range of $5.05 to $9.85.

And Others

Other more brief analyst summaries this past week with implied upside in the 50% arena, or even 100%, were as follows:

  • AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAG) was reiterated as Buy with a $70 price target at Jefferies, up over 100% from the prior $28.95 close. The firm says that AMAG is well positioned for upside after resolving temporary disruption from sales integration. Just keep in mind that its stock has been gutted and has lost nearly two-thirds of its value.
  • Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) was started with a Buy rating at Rodman & Renshaw on Tuesday, and it was assigned a price target of $4.00 that implied more than 100% upside from a prior $1.63 close. This $290 million stock closed even lower at $1.51 on Friday.
  • CorMedix Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMD) was started with a Buy rating and a $6.50 price target at Rodman & Renshaw. Friday’s closing price of $2.40 is against a 52-week range of $1.25 to $10.40, and its market cap is a puny $82 million. If you have ever heard of this one, congratulations (maybe).
  • Medgenics Inc. (NYSEMKT: MDGN) was started as Buy with a $12.00 price target (versus a $7.19 a prior close and Friday’s close of $7.15) at Needham. Medgenics has a mere $235 million market cap, and it is a relatively unknown company.
  • Perceptron Inc. (NASDAQ: PRCP) was started as Outperform with an $11 price target (versus a $7.32 close) at FBR Capital Markets. This is a tiny company in automated industrial dimensional inspection and 3D scanning products. It has a mere $70 million market cap and an average daily volume that is so small that some days it trades fewer than 10,000 shares.

ALSO READ: 7 BioHealth Movers Too Big to Ignore

OK, so hopefully you remember that there are big risks in chasing the most aggressive analyst calls. Some of these types of analyst calls do land huge gains, but some of them also crash and burn.

As a final warning, there is even a better than average chance that some of these companies may not even exist a few years from now.