8 Weak Stocks Getting Big Analyst Upgrades for Upside Ahead

Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) shareholders haven’t felt much love over the past six months, but maybe things have gone too far negative at a time when “new economy” stocks have so much potential upside. BTIG’s Peter Saleh sees better days ahead, potentially with upside of 30% or so. He started Grubhub with a Buy rating and a $95 price target.

Wall Street sort of yawned on Wednesday’s analyst call, as Grubhub shares were up 2% at $72.00 in early trading but were up only 0.8% at $71.13 later in the day. The stock closed the week at $71.18, with a consensus target price still over $100 and a 52-week trading range of $65.51 to $149.35. More details are available on this call.

Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO) is sometimes considered to be the “Tesla of China” in reference to its Chinese electric vehicle sales. Its shares lost more than half of their value after an unlucky IPO timing late in 2018. Despite the woes, two analysts upgraded Nio this week.

Merrill Lynch lifted its Underperform rating to Neutral and assigned a $6.20 price objective, up from a prior $6.80. Citigroup raised Nio’s rating to Buy from Neutral, but the firm’s official price target was lowered to $6.80 from $7.20. More detailed coverage is available on both calls.

Nio shares closed the week at $5.36, for a gain of only about 1% from the initial analyst calls, but the gain for the week was better than 5%. Its post-IPO trading range is $4.90 to $13.80.

Renewable Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $35 price target mid-week at Piper Jaffray. This call represented an implied upside of more than 50%, and the call noted that recent weakness in the stock price has created an attractive entry point for investors. The call is based on environmental pressures being pushed very hard for environmental conservation and to use cleaner fuels and energy.

This is the largest standalone biodiesel producer in the United States. Renewable Energy shares closed up another 3.4% at $23.27 on Friday, for a weekly gain of 6%. That said, its shares closed out 2018 at $25.70, and this was a $29 stock briefly in early February. The 52-week range is $12.50 to $32.52, and the market cap is still under $900 million.

UGI Corp. (NYSE: UGI) lost nearly 10% of its value at one point early in the week on news that it was acquiring the rest of AmeriGas Partners L.P. (NYSE: APU) that it did not already own. Investors have learned over time that shares of an acquirer drop when it announces a large acquisition, but in some instances they rise based on the improvements.

Jefferies raised UGI to Buy from Hold and raised its target to $60 from $54 on Friday. On Wednesday, Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and reaffirmed its $58 price target, after noting that UGI expects the UGI/APU transaction to be accretive to adjusted EPS beginning in 2020.

UGI shares closed up 1% at $53.03 on Friday, after seeing a low of $50.40 during the week. Its shares were at $55.39 prior to the deal announcement, and they have a 52-week range of $44.15 to $59.31.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) shares may have been in major rally mode the past two weeks, but its stock remains off by about 40% from last year’s highs above $50. After a 1.6% gain to $33.95 a share on Friday, the 52-week range is $27.60 to $52.50, and the consensus target price was $36.19.

D.A. Davidson’s John Morris raised his rating to Buy from Neutral with a $36 price target calling a forest of opportunity for the next few years. The stock’s long-term weakness is still represented, as the 200-day moving average was last seen up at $37.97.

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