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The Street's favorite S&P 500 stocks for 2015

A Nabors Industries floor hand uses a towel to wipe drilling fluid from a section of pipe on a crude oil rig outside New Town, N.D.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Nabors Industries floor hand uses a towel to wipe drilling fluid from a section of pipe on a crude oil rig outside New Town, N.D.

Wall Street believes many oil stocks will emerge from their funk this year, according to a report from Birinyi Associates.

The firm compiled analyst recommendations and 12-month price targets for S&P 500 stocks. Seven of the 10 most bullish analyst picks have a hand in the struggling oil and gas sector, based on price targets compared to the stock's January close.

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Sluggish past performance, of course, leave room for upside. For instance, shares in top pick Freeport-McMoRan have dropped about 40 percent in the last year amid free falling U.S. crude oil prices.

Top 10 names by price target

Ticker Name ANR 1/31/2014 Target % Change
FCX Freeport-McMoRan 4.19 $23.36 $36.12 54.62
NBR Nabors Industries 4.17 $12.98 $19.58 50.84
RRC Range Resources 4.2 $53.45 $79.94 49.56
EQT EQT Corporation 4.48 $75.70 $112.18 48.19
GME GameStop 4.13 $33.80 $49.31 45.89
GNW Genworth Financial 3.83 $8.50 $12.31 44.85
QEP QEP Resources 4.08 $20.22 $28.22 39.58
SWN Southwestern Energy 3.55 $27.29 $38.06 39.48
NBL Noble Energy 4.12 $47.43 $65.71 38.54
WYNN Wynn Resorts 4.04 $148.76 $205.53 38.16
Birinyi Associates

Analysts believe Staples will take a hit. They predicted that shares in the office supplier would drop off more in 12 months than any other S&P 500 stock.

Despite their optimism for some energy names, analysts felt others, including Diamond Offshore and Wisconsin Energy, would continue to struggle this year.

Bottom 10 names by price target

Ticker Name ANR 1/31/2014 Target % Change
SPLS Staples 3 $18.12 $14.37 -20.67
DO Diamond Offshore 2.09 $36.71 $30.28 -17.51
AN Autonation 3.38 $60.41 $53.86 -10.85
WFM Whole Foods Market 3.42 $50.42 $45.10 -10.55
CVC Cablevision Systems 3.23 $20.64 $18.67 -9.56
CLX Clorox 2.5 $104.21 $94.61 -9.21
WEC Wisconsin Energy 2.67 $52.74 $47.95 -9.08
GPC Genuine Parts 3.25 $106.57 $97.25 -8.75
SIAL Sigma-Aldrich 3.15 $137.27 $125.42 -8.63
PNW Pinnacle West 3.44 $68.31 $62.50 -8.51
Birinyi Associates

While they provide a good summary of Wall Street sentiment, price targets rarely predict stocks' actual performance, said Robert Sicari, an analyst at Birinyi Associates. When the firm compiled similar projections last year, there was "a major disconnect" between predictions and prices, he said.

"I don't think there's any connection between the two," Sicari said.

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Sicari noted that outlook on construction and maintenance company Quanta Services surprised him most. It garnered the highest average recommendation of any S&P 500 stock.