Stocks hit an all-time high this past week. What is puzzling now is that investors and traders keep hearing that the raging bull market is over, and that this has turned into a stock picker's market. Investors still will try to make gains, but they will want to avoid getting caught in bad stocks. As 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst upgrades and downgrades each day of the week, there are almost always some hidden gems, many of which are in stocks trading under $10.
Before you blindly follow these analyst calls, 24/7 Wall St. wants to remind its readers up front that stocks trading under $10 are often among the riskiest segment of the market. If you want to see proof of this, consider that only four stocks in the S&P 500 index trade under $10 -- and only one of those has a stock price under $9.
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Most stocks under $10 would also fail the "widows and orphans" suitability test as well, a term that brokers and financial advisors have to consider when it comes to ethics and suitability of investments for their clients. In short, small-cap and low-priced stocks can have risks that are way above average.
We have found eight appropriate analyst calls from this past week that called for potentially huge upside in stocks under $10. We have listed what the analyst calls were and given the price targets if available. These were the top analyst calls of the stocks trading under $10 for the week of May 27 to May 30. And don't forget that last week's stocks under $10 included 13 picks.
Array BioPharma Inc. (ARRY) could be a double if the analyst call is right. The small molecule biotech signed a pact with Biogen Idec, and it was started as Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald on Thursday. Its price target of $9.00 implies more than 100% upside to the $4.35 price target mid-day Friday.
Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS) was raised to Buy from Neutral by B. Riley on Tuesday. The boutique firm's price target of $12.50 compared to a prior close of $9.39. Shares were up around $9.75 in trading on Friday.
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FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL) was issued a new Buy rating by Stifel on Wednesday, and the firm assigned a price target of $2.90. If the analyst was right, then FuelCell Energy could have an implied upside of 30%. Shares were at $2.23 prior to the call, and the stock rose to almost $2.50 on the call. Shares were back down to just under $2.30 in Friday trading.
Halcon Resources Corp. (HK) was talked up on Friday by Zacks Investment Research. While it only has a Hold rating, Zacks said that investors may definitely want to consider this stock to profit in the near future. Keep in mind that this looks as though it may be the first stock to double from our nine stocks that could double in 2014 as we put that on the list at $3.50. The stock was at $6.36 on Friday, but we would point out that the consensus price target is down at $5.75.
Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (HMY) was raised to Neutral from underweight by HSBC on Thursday. This may not sound like much, but it removes a key negative call. This stock had been put on the same "analyst stocks under $10" two weeks earlier when J.P. Morgan raised the rating to Overweight. Shares were at $3.15 back then, but the stock price was even lower at $2.61 in trading this past Friday.
Office Depot Inc. (ODP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, and the target price was $7 for the stock. Office Depot was at $5.04 prior to the call, and shares were trading at $5.20 on Friday. This one has made several recent appearances for upgrades of late.
Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc. (FRSH) was trading at $9.34 prior to the call, but shares hit above $10 on Friday. Wells Fargo started coverage with an Outperform rating and gave it an $11 to $12 fair value target. William Blair also assigned an Outperform rating. Keep in mind that this company's initial public offering was on May 1, at a price of $11 per share. This is the franchisor and operator of the largest Take 'N' Bake pizza chain with more than 1,400 locations.
Quotient Ltd. (QTNT) is a new and relatively unknown company that sells blood transfusion diagnostic products. We saw that Robert W. Baird started coverage with an Outperform rating and $12 price target. UBS also started coverage with a Buy rating. Quotient's shares were at $6.25 on Friday.
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