8 Analyst Stocks Under $10 With Massive Upside Potential

June 12, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

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This year just hasn’t turned out the way many investors expected when it began. The market tanked, then recovered, and then was within striking distance of highs. Even the “sell in May and go away” mantra may not work, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) might be unable to raise rates like it has desires. Now the S&P 500 has reached a value of 18 times expected 2016 earnings, something not seen since September 2009.

24/7 Wall St. is always on the hunt for undiscovered opportunities and hidden value. Each morning we review dozens of analyst upgrades and downgrades. This ends up being a review of hundreds of analyst calls each week.

Some analyst calls are about stocks to buy, and some calls come from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Other calls may have Sell ratings, and some may come from boutique firms.

When analysts issue buy ratings on Dow or S&P 500 stocks, they often offer upside of just 10% to 15%. But then there is a different category entirely. That is the stocks trading under $10 per share. Analyst calls in low-priced stocks and smaller companies often come with upside of 25%, 50% or even above 100%, if the calls prove to be right.

It is imperative for investors not to trust any analyst call blindly. There is no free lunch on Wall Street. Small-cap or low-priced stocks can come with huge risks. Some of these underlying businesses could ultimately fail or cease to exist in the years ahead.

Investors also need to consider that sometimes analysts just get it wrong. Sometimes the underlying fundamentals change, and sometimes markets become more risk averse and the revaluation crushes small speculative stocks. And other times it just so happens that companies fail to live up to their potential, sometimes not by any fault of their own.

24/7 Wall St. has identified eight analyst stock picks in shares priced under $10 for the week ended June 10. Again, these are likely far riskier than most Dow and S&P 500 stocks.

AK Steel

Credit Suisse raised AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) to Outperform from Underperform on Wednesday, June 8. The steel company was also given a $7 price target, much higher than the $4.58 close the prior day. It had a consensus analyst price target of $4.18, and it now has a 52-week trading range of $1.64 to $5.50. Then a Friday call came from Jefferies, which only reiterated a Hold rating, but the price target was lifted from $4.25 to $5.00.

Shares of AK Steel closed down 2% on Friday at $4.96 with the weak market, and the new consensus price target is listed only as $4.48.

Aerohive Networks

On June 8, Aerohive Networks Inc. (NYSE: HIVE) caught some jive from Wunderlich, with the firm starting coverage with a Buy rating and assigning an $8 price target. The prior close was $6.18, and shares ended the week at $6.35, after its 1.6% gain defied the stock market weakness. Its consensus price target is $7.52, and the 52-week range is $4.08 to $8.35.

Carbonite

Carbonite Inc. (NASDAQ: CARB) had a rough week, and it may be in the Under $10 Club only because of waves of insider selling putting more shares on the market. Still, B. Riley started the storage and backup data provider with a Buy rating and a $15 price target on Friday, June 10.

This call on Carbonite implied more than 50% upside from the prior $9.37 closing price, and it still implied over 50% upside from the $9.60 price late on Friday. The consensus analyst target is only $11.00, and the 52-week range is $6.50 to $12.26.

Cliffs Natural Resources

The good news for Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) is that it is restarting a mine earlier than expected. Macquarie also raised the stock to Outperform from Neutral on June 10. The firm’s $7.50 price target was considerably higher than the prior $5.10 close.

Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources were trading at $5.35 around noon on Friday, but the weak market left the gain at only 1.2% for a $5.16 close. The consensus price target was $3.38 prior to the call, but this and perhaps other analyst tweaks took the consensus target up to $3.81 by week’s end. The 52-week range is $1.20 to $5.83.

Please note that this Macquarie price target of $7.50 now is the highest analyst price target on Wall Street, and it still implies close to 50%, as long as you know the consensus target is under the current price handily.

Oncobiologics

Jefferies started Oncobiologics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ONSIU) at Buy on June 7. The price target was set at $7, versus a $5.11 prior close. Jefferies sees this as a platform story, with a pipeline of large opportunity biosimilars like Humira and Avastin. Jefferies said:

The main focus is the development of ONS-3010 which is expected to initiate a Phase 3 in the third quarter of 2016 with data in the first half of 2017. ONS-1045 will be partnered with OUS to fund its development. We expect Oncobiologics to achieve approximately $330 million in U.S. sales by 2025 from sales of ONS-3010 and ONS-1045.

Keep in mind that at the commencement of trading on June 13, the common stock, Series A warrants and the Series B warrants will trade separately on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbols ONS for the stock and ONSIW and ONSIZ for the warrants.

Rite Aid

On news that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actually may be in favor of the Walgreens deal, Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) shares closed up 3.4% at $7.83 on Friday. S&P Capital IQ reiterated a Buy rating on the stock over the prior weekend, and S&P kept its $9 price target.

Keep in mind that short sellers went to war against Rite Aid in May, and Credit Suisse was positive on Rite Aid earlier this year, even if the Walgreens buyout doesn’t happen. 24/7 Wall St. opined that the buyout price may undervalue Rite Aid by $1 per share or more.

Rite Aid’s would-be buyout price is also $9, but its 52-week range is $5.88 to $9.47.

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TETRA Technologies

TETRA Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TTI) is in the oil and gas services sector and known for providing fluids, testing and compression. Wunderlich reiterated its Buy rating on Friday and raised its target price to $10 from $6.

Shares of TETRA Tech closed up 2% at $6.57 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $4.62 to $9.44. The consensus analyst target is $7.86.

Turning Point Brands

Focused on the smokeless and smoking tobacco products, Turning Point Brands Inc. (NYSE: TPB) had a fairly recent initial public offering that priced at $10 a share. The stock took a beating last week, closing down 7% at $8.28 on Friday.

Cowen issued a new Outperform rating and $13 share price on June 6, when shares were just above $10 and the post-IPO range was $9.90 to $12.10. FBR Capital Markets mirrored that analyst call with a $13 price target and Outperform rating.

Now the post-IPO low is $8.14, also from Friday. Turning Point Brands has a post-IPO range of $8.14 to $12.10, and its market cap is just under $150 million. It will release its first ever earnings report on June 15.