The end of 2015 brought the first slightly down year since 2008, and 2016 has turned out to be a very hard time for the bulls to keep their conviction. The world growth story has been slowing, even as the Federal Reserve seems more eager than not to raise interest rates. Investors in 2016 have become more value conscious and have been selling into rallies rather than the prior four-year trend of buying dips. It is also an election year and the daily rhetoric is mind-numbing. All of this is setting up for a serious tug-of-war between a tired bull market and a rising bear market case ahead.
24/7 Wall St. is always on the hunt for undiscovered opportunity and value in the financial markets. After all, there is always an opportunity to make money somewhere. Each morning of the week we review dozens of analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations, totaling hundreds of calls per week. These are from bulge bracket firms like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and even include many middle market and boutique research firms.
One category of analyst calls often comes with the most wild predictions. That is stocks trading under $5 and $10 per share with sometimes zany upside predictions. This of course also means that there is almost certainly more risk than you might expect say from a Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500 stock’s typical analyst upside prediction of 8% to 15%. In the lower priced and smaller cap stocks you often see implied analyst upside projections of 35%, 50% or even over 100%. Again, this is much higher risk, and there are of course no sure bets.
Many of these stocks have been beaten up or are down handily from their highs. Be advised that analysts are often wrong. Many times something new comes into play, and other times they just looked at the situation upside-down. These calls also often seriously conflict with other analysts, but that is par for the course in analyst calls and is one thing that helps to make a solid market. Many times you see the same analysis but the opinions end with “therefore, we think investors should buy” or “therefore, we think investors should sell.”
You may notice that some of the upside targets listed here have been lowered. While this seems like a downgrade in those cases, the reality is that this is rather typical of what to expect during market sell-offs, as old price targets may look more unrealistic. There are many more caveats to consider, but here are eight analyst stock picks under $10.00 with massive upside potential, if the analyst assumptions in each prove to be correct.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) had a volatile week, with the European bank fears about negative interest rates and mounting international lending losses. Still, BBVA was raised to Outperform from Underperform at BNP Paribas. The stock closed down 3.2% at $6.09 on Tuesday but was indicated up 5.5% at $6.42 on Wednesday — only to close out Friday at $6.22.
BBVA’s consensus analyst target price was listed as $6.60 ahead of the call and $6.35 at the end of the week, but this may be imperfect for American depositary shares (ADSs), and its 52-week trading range is $5.89 to $10.75.
Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) looks as though it missed earnings expectations, but it has been in the midst of a serious gold and massive gold stocks rally in 2016. In fact, this 2016 gold rally now already has taken Kinross shares up to $3.00 from $1.82 at the end of 2015.
Kinross shares were raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $2.75 from $2.25 by Credit Suisse this past week. Kinross is expected to have potential margin expansion and the firm increased its net asset value to $2.43 per share from $2.25. What does an analyst say when his target gets hit and then exceeded in very short order?
Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was deemed to be one of the winners over the next three years, if oil stays at or under $35.00, in a big, long-term screening call by Goldman Sachs. It does deserve merit to point out that Marathon shares did not rally on the call, probably as energy investors have grown very tired of hearing “Buy me now!” only to see their toenails ripped out.
Marathon’s share price was $7.28 shortly after that call but closed out the week at $7.49. Marathon has a $5.1 billion market cap, a consensus price target of $15.21 and a 52-week range of $6.52 to $31.53.