The stock market may have shown that it actually can sell off in a hurry if it wants to or needs to earlier this week. That being said, it snapped back with gains after strong earnings and a strong jobs report on Wednesday. The bull market’s strength is now almost nine years old, and investors have done well buying every single market pullback for more than five years now.
Investors are wondering how they should be positioning their portfolios for 2018 and beyond. There is corporate tax reform, accelerating earnings growth, accelerating global growth, better expensing, higher spending and repatriation of cash, and even pay raises that all have to be considered in 2018.
One area for investors to consider allocating new money into new companies is targeting companies that have strong earnings and also are facing rather positive views by the investing community. Sometimes these stocks do not automatically rise after even a strong earnings report, but this is sometimes viewed as an opportunity to get shares on the cheap after good news. And ask yourself this about news and fundamentals with stronger analyst support: who wants to own problematic companies for which analysts are slashing expectations in the middle of the greatest bull market of this generation?
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week, hunting for some of those new ideas for investors and traders alike. While some of these analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy, what is amazing is that on some days there are many stocks that have faces multiple analyst upgrades or price target hikes ahead of and after earnings.
Additional color and commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
These are the 10 stocks tracked by 24/7 Wall St. that received multiple analyst rating upgrades or price target hikes of Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) shares were down 3% on Tuesday after the news of the Bezos, Buffett, Dimon health initiative with a $187.89 closing price, but its stock was up 0.7% at $189.20 on Wednesday after seeing numerous analyst price hikes. Aetna’s target price was raised to $212 from $197 at Citigroup, and Credit Suisse raised its price target to $208 from $200. Jefferies ticked its target higher to $205 from $202, and Piper Jaffray was a tad more aggressive by hiking its target to $212 from $207. Raymond James also raised its target to $207 from $200.
Merrill Lynch does not have a formal rating and target, but the firm said that Aetna’s tax reform guidance looked conservative and its guidance implies that Aetna’s core business is stable.
Aetna’s 52-week trading range is $118.04 to $194.40, and its prior consensus target price was $203.53. Its market cap is about $62 billion.
Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV) was last seen up over 1.3% at $151.46 after the automotive safety systems player beat earnings expectations, but this was a second-day gain as it was a $137 stock earlier in the week. Mizuho has a Buy rating and raised its target to $160 from $140, and Robert W. Baird raised its rating to Outperform and lifted its target price to $192 from $137. JPMorgan (Neutral) hiked its target to $147 from $138, and RBC Capital Markets (Sector Perform) raised its target to $142 from $126.
Autoliv’s 52-week range is $96.08 to $151.79. Its prior consensus target price was $132.97, and its market cap is $13 billion.
CA Inc. (NASDAQ: CA) was last seen up 0.7% at $35.80 on Wednesday afternoon, and the stock is challenging a prior 2017 high of $36 now that it posted record revenues. Barclays (Equal Weight) raised its target price to $37 from $34, and Credit Suisse (Neutral) raised its target to $36 from $34. RBC Capital Markets (Sector Perform) raised its target price to $37 from $34.
Oppenheimer maintained its Perform rating, but it said that CA has improving prospects with rising growth and accelerating new product introductions. Jefferies was far more aggressive with its Buy rating, raising its CA price target to $41 from $38 in its call.
CA’s 52-week range is $30.45 to $36.56, and its prior consensus target price was $33.25. The market cap is $15 billion.
Crane Co. (NYSE: CR) was trading up 3.2% at $99.95 on Wednesday afternoon after beating earnings estimates and revising 2018 guidance. This one also challenged the $100 mark for an all-time high, after going up over $102 earlier in the day. Canaccord Genuity raised its target price to $110 from $95.
Oppenheimer (Outperform) raised its price target to $105 from $92, noting that earnings visibility into 2020 should trump any decelerating trends. Stifel was more aggressive as it raised its own rating to Buy from Hold and the price target went to $113 from $99.
Crane’s 52-week range is $70.56 to $102.65, and its prior consensus analyst target was $95.38. Its market cap is $6 billion.