Red-Hot Energy and Technology Companies Are Top Picks at Jefferies

Increasingly, the Wall Street firms that we cover are starting to agree that while the future’s still bright for the U.S. economy, it may be one of stock market gains that are much lower than the norm has been over the past decade. When that is the case, then investing strategies often shift from indexing to a more disciplined stock picking routine, and that’s when investors need solid growth ideas.

Jefferies highlights the firm’s top growth stocks to buy each week, and this week is no exception. While these companies are better suited for accounts that have a higher risk tolerance, they all make good sense now, and all have outstanding upside potential. These four look extremely good now.

Edwards Lifesciences

This company pioneered the artificial heart valve, and it could be poised for big growth. Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) provides products and technologies to treat structural heart disease and critically ill patients worldwide. The company offers transcatheter heart valve therapy products, comprising transcatheter aortic heart valves and their delivery systems for the nonsurgical replacement of heart valves.

The company also provides surgical heart valve therapy products, such as pericardial valves for aortic and mitral replacement, and minimally invasive aortic heart valve system, as well as tissue heart valves and repair products, which are used to replace or repair a patient’s diseased or defective heart valve.

Top Wall Street analysts feel that the company’s acquisition of privately held CardiAQ last year made good sense going forward. CardiAQ has human implants of transcatheter mitrial valves, and Edwards is focused on the mitrial valve opportunity after its very strong success in aortic valves.

The company has also had tremendous success with transcatherter valve replacement. These are rapidly gaining favor in the medical community for use in those patients who are deemed unsuited for open heart surgery, and they are a fast-growing revenue stream for the company.

Jefferies has remained bullish on the company and noted this:

We met with the CEO and Investor Relations in New York recently. The message we received from management was consistent with our view over the past few years that the transcatheter aortic valve replacement market is proving much larger than expected and that the company’s competitive position is secure and pricing remains steady. In addition, The company has multiple shots at mitral/tricuspid, which we believe will begin to drive meaningful growth in the coming years. We continue to believe Edwards Lifesciences has one of the strongest growth stories in MedTech and we raise our price target.

Jefferies raised its price target to $155 from $150, and the Wall Street consensus target is $145.95. The shares closed trading Monday at $138.06.

Diamondback Energy

This is a top Permian Basin play for more aggressive accounts and is a top pick across Wall Street. Diamondback Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FANG) is an independent oil and natural gas company headquartered in Midland, Texas, and focused on the acquisition, development, exploration and exploitation of unconventional, onshore oil and natural gas reserves in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Diamondback’s activities are primarily focused on the horizontal exploitation of multiple intervals within the Wolfcamp, Spraberry, Clearfork and Cline formations.

Wall Street analysts have noted in the past the company’s top-tier asset base, solid accretive additions and financial discipline, which they think allows for not only continued solid cash flow, but could put the company in play as a takeover target. Diamondback continues to drill some of the most economical wells in the United States as efficiencies improve, costs decrease and activity remains in the better regions.

A Jefferies report noted this:

On exploration and production company conference calls, operators broadly stuck to their guns on capital discipline and spending within cash flow. Permian basis was a major focus this earnings season, and there appears to be a view that companies negotiating for Permian takeaway capacity now, like Diamondback, are disadvantaged but we believe the company’s size and scale position them well versus peers in these negotiations.

The Jefferies price target on the stock is $170, and the consensus target is $156.67. Shares closed Monday at $124.24.

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