With stocks at all-time highs and after the Dow rose more than 22% and the S&P 500 rose over 28% in 2019, many investors have yet to make many changes in the portfolios for what could be another solid 2020. The bull market is now well over 10 years old, China and the United States signed the phase-one trade accord, and global growth may see some rekindling while interest rates are expected to remain steady. There are of course still many risks in 2020, and it’s an election year, and the major indexes do look and feel overbought in the short term. The big question for investors at the start of 2020 is what to do with new money that needs to be invested without paying the “top-tick.”
This is a time where many investors are looking for some of the overlooked or undervalued companies as potential investments. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations each day. This ends up being hundreds of analyst calls each week. Many speculative stocks are mixed in with the major index and large companies in the research calls, and some of these offer major upside price targets that are well above the typical 8% or so implied upside when analysts give Buy and Outperform ratings on Dow Jones industrial or S&P 500 stocks.
This is where some of the overlooked or battered stocks come into play, and for some reason investors sometimes look for “cheap” to mean share prices under $10.00. After screening the weekly analyst calls, there were many stocks getting Buy and Outperform ratings with share prices under $10.00 during the week of January 17.
First and foremost, investors should not buy or sell a stock just because of one analyst rating. The other issue to consider is that if low-priced stock picks come with upside of 25%, 50%, or even 100% or more, then there is obviously much more risk than larger and more established companies. And with stocks having risen exponentially in this long bull market, some of these companies either have run into problems along the way or their path to becoming a public company was not typical.
There are many other risks to consider in speculative stocks that require much more research and attention than most companies that are already index leaders. Here are 10 stocks trading under $10.00 per share where analysts have issued the equivalent of Buy and Outperform ratings with massive upside potential for 2020.
Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) was started with an Overweight rating and a $10 price target at Cantor Fitzgerald on January 16. The shares were only trading at $6.16 on Friday with a $383 million market cap. The firm is a timid bull here, noting that it was cautiously optimistic as a high-risk and high-reward scenario for the next year to year and a half.
The Compugen report calls for a larger biopharma player perhaps being more willing to form a partnership for its anti-tumor activity.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) is largely hated by the investing community and many people wonder how long there will continue to be actual GameStop stores. Its shares were above $5.50 shortly before earnings, but disappointing numbers took it to $4.75 by the end of the week. Wedbush decided to maintain its Outperform rating and $8 target price.
This call is not the consensus at all (consensus is a $4.45 target price) and the firm feels GameStop is turning the page on a disappointing quarter ahead of the key Xbox and PlayStation console refreshes coming this fall. To prove how hated this stock is, the last short interest of 62.7 million shares represented more than 15 days worth of trading volume.
Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU) was started as Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets on January 15. The call also included Zynga (see below) and the Glu Mobile target of $8 represented about 35% upside at the time. Glu closed at $6.17 as its shares remained firm, implying about 30% upside was still there.
KeyBanc sees Design Home, Covet Fashion, and Tap Sports Baseball leading the majority of its bookings and said its new Diner Dash Adventure is off to a strong start with three more expected releases ahead that can drive more interest and expand its portfolio that much more.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) traded up nearly 6% to $2.97 late on Friday and the trading volume was more than 50% above an average trading day. The driver here was that UBS upgraded the daily and ongoing deals website to Buy from Neutral with a $3.50 price target. That represents about 25% in implied upside and is more or less in-line with the consensus target price of $3.45.
Groupon has a 52-week range of $2.17 to $3.98. One driving force that had been in place since the end of 2019 was that MIG Capital had taken an activist investor stake and would make proposals regarding the company’s capitalization and operations, as well as its ownership structure and board composition. Groupon has also been the subject of M&A rumors not so long ago.
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