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10 Trending Stocks Based on Recent Analyst Activity

Investors are constantly looking for stocks that will hold up regardless of economic uncertainty. A good starting point is recent analyst activity. A ratings boost or a price target increase can give us a better sense as to whether a company has the potential to outperform the rest. Not to mention these changes can have an effect on share prices. For example, Salesforce.com (CRM) is up 2% after Compass Point initiated its coverage with a Buy on August 13.

Here are 10 trending stocks based on recent analyst activity.      

McDonald's Corporation (MCD)

The fast food giant just received good news from MKM Partners. Brett Levy, a three-star analyst according to TipRanks, initiated his coverage of MCD with a Buy and set a $250 price target. He thinks share prices could increase by 15% over the next twelve months. “We believe that strong domestic and international sales growth is sustainable for the restaurant chain,” Levy explained on August 12. The analyst has an impressive 71% success rate.

MCD boasts a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $230 price target, suggesting 6% upside potential.

D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI)

D.R. Horton is one of the largest home construction companies in the U.S. On August 12, SunTrust Robinson’s Rohit Seth initiated coverage with a Buy rating and set a $56 price target, suggesting 19% upside potential. “We see the stock as a premier large-cap homebuilder offering attractive cash generation with superior position in the rapidly growing entry-level segment. We expect D.R. Horton to outperform in the second half of this year with orders and price mix as the homebuilding industry growth accelerates thanks to lower interest rates,” he noted. The four-star analyst has a 58% success rate and gets a 12% average return per rating.

The Street is bullish on DHI. The stock has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $52 average price target, implying 12% upside.

Humana Inc. (HUM)

The health insurance provider just received a ratings boost from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper after it posted strong second quarter earnings results. On August 12, the five-star analyst upgraded the rating to a Buy and set a $345 price target, implying 17% upside potential. He argues that the company's strong 2Q19 results were fueled by continued success in Medicare Advantage and cost management. "MA continues to grow at a nice clip, and HUM’s recent Louisiana Medicaid contract award demonstrates its success outside Medicare. Importantly, we believe the company’s investments in population health management and social determinants of health will accelerate growth over time,” Halper added.

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic. HUM has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and a $326 average price target, suggesting 10% upside potential.  

Walt Disney Company (DIS)

Some investors have expressed concern regarding Disney's earnings miss. However, Credit Suisse’s Douglas Mitchelson stated, “While Disney [stock] has outperformed the S&P 500 by 8% YTD, we see scope for further upside to Disney+ investor sentiment into its U.S. launch. We see a number of positive catalysts the next few quarters and believe downside risks to Disney estimates are now well understood by investors." On August 8, he upgraded DIS to a Buy and raised the price target from $130 to $150, indicating 11% upside potential. The five-star analyst has a 61% success rate and gets an average return of 15%.

DIS has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $157 average price target, indicating 16% upside potential.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL)

Jeff Cantwell, a five-star analyst, believes that the online payment company’s valuation represents an improved opportunity for investors. On August 13, the Guggenheim analyst upgraded PYPL from a Sell to a Hold. “We note the recent pullback in PYPL’s shares, which has occurred against a backdrop of increasing macro uncertainty; shares have now fallen below our prior $104 PT. We believe the current level probably better reflects PYPL’s fair value; in that context, we see risk/reward as being more balanced,” he explained. Cantwell has a 74% success rate and an average return of 16% per rating.

The Street is optimistic about this stock. PYPL has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $131 average price target, suggesting 27% upside potential.

Roku Inc. (ROKU)

On August 12, Needham’s Laura Martin gave the streaming platform a vote of confidence. The five-star analyst, reiterated her Buy rating and raised the price target from $120 to $150, suggesting 12% upside potential. The price target hike sent shares surging 7%. “Roku is an arms dealer in the streaming video space, as its hardware facilitates multiple streaming platforms. Roku is therefore able to present a highly targeted proposition to advertisers, as each new Roku user is assigned a unique device ID and all content viewed can be extracted for superior targeting,” she said. Martin has a 63% success rate and gets an average return of 21% per rating.  

Roku has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and an average price target of $115, implying 14% downside.

Zendesk (ZEN)

Zendesk provides customer service software and support ticketing services. After a second quarter that produced strong growth, the company received a boost from Compass Point analyst Marshall Senk on August 13. The five-star analyst initiated coverage with a Buy and set a $100 price target. He thinks share prices could soar by as much as 34% over the next twelve months. Senk has a 77% success rate and gets an average return of 22% per rating.

The Street is also bullish on ZEN. It has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus and a $102 average price target, implying 38% upside potential.  

Creditcorp Limited (BAP)

Creditcorp is the largest financial services holding company in Peru. The company just received a positive signal from J.P. Morgan after its August 9 Q2 earnings release. Three-star analyst, Domingos Falavina, upgraded BAP to a Buy and raised the price target from $232 to $250. He believes the stock could surge by 24% over the next twelve months. Falavina has a 70% success rate and gets an average return of 9% per rating.

BAP has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and a $250 average price target, suggesting 24% upside potential.

William Lyon Homes, Inc. (WLH)

The home construction company just got a ratings boost from Wedbush analyst Jay McCanless. The three-star analyst upgraded his rating from a Hold to a Buy and raised the price target from $20 to $21, indicating 23% upside potential. He notes that the recent pullback in shares has effectively discounted the reduction in his 2019 EPS estimates following the Q2 results. "Overall, we view the shares as undervalued at current levels,” McCanless added on August 13.

WLH has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and a $21 average price target, implying 18% upside.  

New Relic Inc. (NEWR)

Despite the slowdown reported in its first quarter earnings, one analyst is vouching for the software analytics company. Joseph Bonner, a five-star analyst, upgraded NEWR from a Hold to a Buy and set a $93 price target on August 13. He believes share prices could jump 47% over the next twelve months, arguing that the slowed growth is not a long-term trend. The Argus Research analyst has a 67% success rate and gets a 12% average return per rating.

NEWR has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and a $95 price target, suggesting 50% upside potential.

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