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10 Top-Ranked Stocks with Big Upside

The S&P 500 Index has rallied 5 percent in September as improving economic data reassured investors. The long fixed-income, short-stocks trade appears to be unwinding.

Individual investors that need equity exposure should consider the following 10 stocks; they get the highest aggregate ratings from analysts and are expected to make big gains in the weeks ahead. They are ordered by sentiment, from bullish to most bullish.

10. G-III Apparel designs outerwear and sportswear apparel. G-III swung to a fiscal second-quarter profit of $3 million, or 16 cents a share, as revenue grew 39%. The operating margin turned positive. G-III's stock trades at a trailing earnings multiple of 12, a forward earnings multiple of 10 and a book value multiple of 2.4 — 36%, 39% and 32% discounts to peer averages. Its PEG ratio, a measure of value relative to predicted long-run growth, is 0.3, signaling a 70% discount to fair value. Piper Jaffray expects the stock to gain 34%, to $40.

9. Magellan Health Services is a managed health care company. Second-quarter profit nearly doubled to $35 million, or $1.05 a share, as revenue increased 17%. The operating margin rose to 8.2% from 4.7%. Magellan's stock sells for a trailing earnings multiple of 12, a book value multiple of 1.6 and a cash flow multiple of 5 — 21%, 35% and 43% discounts to health care industry averages. Its PEG ratio of 0.5 signals a 50% discount to fair value. Barclays forecasts an advance of 22%, to $56.

8. AboveNet sells high band-width connectivity services to companies. Second-quarter profit fell 34%, to $16 million, or 62 cents a share, as revenue gained 14%, to $101 million. The operating margin rose to 28% from 26%. AboveNet's stock trades at a premium to telecom peers based on projected earnings, book value, sales and cash flow. But its growth rates are superior. Since 2007, AboveNet has grown net income 63% annually, on average. SunTrust offers a target of $73, implying that the shares are undervalued by 36%.

7. Steel Dynamics manufactures and sells steel products. Steel Dynamics swung to a second-quarter profit of $49 million, or 22 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss as revenue more than doubled to $1.6 billion. The operating margin stretched to 7.1% from 0.8%. Steel Dynamics shares sell for a forward earnings multiple of 8.1, a book value multiple of 1.5, a sales multiple of 0.6 and a cash flow multiple of 13 — 46%, 54%, 95% and 34% discounts to metals industry averages. UBS offers a price target of $22, suggesting that 48% of upside lies ahead.

6. Activision Blizzard designs online, computer, console and handheld games. Second-quarter profit gained 12%, to $219 million, or 17 cents a share, as revenue declined 6.9%, to $967 million. The operating margin climbed to 31% from 23%.

Activision Blizzard's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 14, a book value multiple of 1.2 and a cash flow multiple of 12 — 43%, 74% and 36% discounts to peer averages. Its PEG ratio of 0.1 reflects a 90% discount to estimated fair value. RBC predicts that the stock will advance 43%, to $16.

5. Delta Air Lines provides air transportation for passengers and cargo. Delta swung to a second-quarter profit of $467 million, or 55 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss as revenue increased 17%, to $8.2 billion. The operating margin jumped to 11% from 0.8%. Delta's stock sells for a forward earnings multiple of 5.4, a sales multiple of 0.3 and a cash flow multiple of 4.5 — 77%, 71% and 5% discounts to airline industry averages. Delta has grown sales 17% a year since 2007. Barclays offers a price target of $21, implying a return of 89%.

4. Jo-Ann Stores is a specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts. Jo-Ann swung to a second-quarter profit of $5.4 million, or 20 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss as revenue ascended 4.7%, to $439 million. The operating margin turned positive. Jo-Ann's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 11, a book value multiple of 2 and a sales multiple of 0.6 — 23%, 26% and 32% discounts to specialty retail peer averages. Its PEG ratio of 0.4 signals a 60% discount to estimated fair value. Wedbush Securities predicts that the stock will gain 31%, to $56.

3. Synopsys sells electronic design automation software. Fiscal third-quarter profit decreased 17%, to $39 million, or 26 cents a share, as revenue declined 2.4%, to $337 million. The operating margin tightened to 15% from 18%.

Synopsys shares sell for a forward earnings multiple of 14, a book value multiple of 1.7, a sales multiple of 1.6 and a cash flow multiple of 11 — 43%, 65%, 68% and 38% discounts to software industry averages. Its PEG ratio of 0.4 reflects a 60% discount to fair value. D.A. Davidson expects a rise of 18%, to $28.

2. Aircastle acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircraft. Since 2007, it has boosted sales 29% a year. Second-quarter profit fell 34%, to $18 million, or 23 cents a share, as revenue declined 4.5%, to $130 million. The operating margin narrowed to 47% from 51%. Aircastle's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 7.8, a book value multiple of 0.5, a sales multiple of 0.5 and a cash flow multiple of 2 — 47%, 83%, 36% and 80% discounts to industrial peer averages. JPMorgan and Jefferies forecast that the stock will rise 48%, to $13.

1. UGI is a gas utility in the U.S. UGI has expanded net income 9.4% a year since 2007. UGI swung to a fiscal third-quarter profit of $3.4 million, or 3 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss as revenue declined marginally to $962 million. The operating margin contracted to 2.4% from 3.5%. UGI's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 12, a book value multiple of 1.8, a sales multiple of 0.6 and a cash flow multiple of 5.2 — 24%, 31%, 50% and 21% discounts to gas utility industry averages. UBS offers a target of $36, implying 28% of upside.

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Disclosures:

Disclosure information was not available for Lynch or his company.

Disclaimer