Investing

7 Analyst Stock Picks That Could Surge 50%, 100% or Exponentially

Evolent Health Inc. (NYSE: EVH) was already rated as Buy at Goldman Sachs, but the firm added it to the prized Conviction Buy list with a $30 price target on March 8. This compared with a prior $19.05 closing price, and Evolent shares closed at $20.85 on Friday. In a more recent call from March 14, Oppenheimer started coverage with an Outperform rating and with a $28 price target. The health care delivery and payment solutions provider has a 52-week range of $9.51 to $26.84.

GeoPark Ltd. (NYSE: GPRK) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan on March 13. The firm’s price target was raised to $10 from $5, versus a prior $6.11 prior closing price. That represented about 63% upside at the time, but GeoPark shares ended the week at $6.73. The shares have a 52-week range of $1.90 to $8.00, and the market cap is only about $400 million. GeoPark is a small oil and gas exploration and production company with reserves in Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.

MeetMe Inc. (NASDAQ: MEET) could be set to see significant upside if two analyst teams are correct. The social network was started with a Buy rating at Canaccord Genuity on March 20, and the firm assigned a $10 price target, compared with a prior $5.19 close. Back on March 7, Roth Capital Partners had MeetMe as a Focus Pick, with a Buy rating and a $9.25 price target. The view there focused on its 2018 cash flow generation after an acquisition. Before buying unconditionally here, consider that both Roth and Canaccord Genuity were joint book-runners for a 9.2 million share secondary offering of stock that was raised to help pay for its if(we) acquisition. MeetMe shares closed at $5.25 on Friday, with a 52-week range of $2.71 to $8.11.

Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) was already rated as Buy at Goldman Sachs, but the firm added it to the prized Conviction Buy list with a $38 price target on March 8. Vodafone is already a huge international telecom company worth about $70 billion and its American depositary shares previously had a $25.04 close before the call. Those shares closed at $26.88 on Friday. The 52-week trading range is $24.17 to $34.70, and the consensus analyst price target was $33.73.

Zosano Pharma Corp. (NASDAQ: ZSAN) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $4 price target at Piper Jaffray on Friday, March 24 — just days after Zosano raised about $29 million in a secondary offering and Piper Jaffray was a book-running manager. This represented more than 100% upside from the prior $1.77 closing price. What was interesting here is that the shares were indicated up 6% at $1.89 on Friday morning, but they were actually down more than 2% at $1.73 by the end of the trading session. Zosano targets the central nervous system by providing rapid symptom relief to patients using known therapeutics and altering their delivery profile using its proprietary transdermal delivery system. The stock has a 52-week range of $0.45 to $3.54, and the company had a tiny market value of just $33 million before factoring in the effects of a recent capital raise.

As a reminder and final warning, investors need to reconsider that most Buy and Outperform analyst ratings in Dow or S&P 500 stocks come with upside of 8% to 15%. These seven analyst calls seen so far in March for upside of 50% to 100% (or more) likely come with far greater risk than conservative investors would be (and should be) willing to take.

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