TipRanks, a service that ranks Wall Street analysts, identified the top analysts and found which stocks they like right now. We use a natural language processing algorithm to rank analysts based on two factors:
- Average return of buy-sell recommendations
- Success rate of buy-sell recommendations.
TipRanks' stock screener allows you to screen for "best analyst consensus" stocks across the different sectors, revealing stocks with a "strong buy" best analyst consensus rating. We combined the screener's insights with a database scan to find the most popular stocks by top analysts right now.
Here are seven favorite stocks from the best-performing analysts.
1) Expedia Inc (EXPE)
The selection of this leading online travel company may come as a surprise. Expedia has just released surprisingly weak results for Q3. Gross bookings growth — a key data point — was up only 11 percent compared with the expected 13 percent. For the full year, management sharply lowered guidance on hurricane impact and increased marketing spend. Shares, previously at $147, are now trading at just $120.
However, according to the Street's best-performing analysts, now may be a great opportunity to invest. Overall the stock still has a strong buy analyst consensus rating with 15 buy ratings and just 4 hold ratings in the last three months. We can also see that the average analyst price target of $157 translates into big upside potential of 31 percent.
Top Citigroup analyst Mark May is still confident in Expedia's outlook. In a report on Oct. 30, he writes that, for long-term investors, shares are attractively valued post-sell-off. There is now an entry point given "conservative" estimates due to reduced expectations while the "solid long-term growth backdrop" remains firmly in place. His bullish $170 price comes out 41 percent above the current share price.
2) Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (AERI)
Health-care stock Aerie recently received a critical recommendation for its leading drug candidate, Rhopressa. An FDA advisory panel voted 9-1 in favor of the drug. The panel said Rhopressa could represent a major advance in the treatment of glaucoma, an aggressive eye disease which affects 2.7 million people in the U.S. alone.
In the last three months, AERI has received an impressive nine buy ratings versus just one hold rating from analysts. Furthermore, the $75 average analyst price target translates into 18 percent upside from the current share price. Five-star Mizuho Securities analyst Difei Yang assigned a buy rating to AERI with a $70 price target on Oct. 24. Yang believes there is a high chance that AERI could be snapped up by a larger pharmaceutical company:
"With a significantly de-risked profile following the FDA vote on October 13, we believe Aerie remains a strong takeout candidate. We believe this is true especially in an environment where a number of large pharmas face significant growth challenges due to lower productivity in R&D."
She is now keeping an eye out for the big date going forward: confirmation or rejection of the final approval for Rhopressa on Feb. 28, 2018.
3) Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)
Delta, a major U.S. airline, has the full support of the Street. In the last three months this strong buy stock has received an impressive six back-to-back buy ratings from analysts. These analysts have an average price target on DAL of $66 — which means big upside potential of over 31 percent from the current share price.
DAL has just reported very strong results for the third quarter. Revenue, for example, came in at $11.06 billion in the quarter versus $11.03 billion expected. Meanwhile, Delta reported EPS of $1.57, easily beating the expected $1.53. And its fourth-quarter guidance projects a solid 2 to 4 percent year-over-year increase in passenger unit revenue.
Following the results, Imperial Capital's Michael Derchin turned bullish on the stock, upgrading DAL from hold to buy on Oct. 12. He also boosted his price target to $63 from $50 previously, saying that DAL will increase unit revenue due to pricing power in key domestic hubs and better international results. This suggests DAL can rise over 24 percent during the next 12 months.
4) Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
E-commerce giant Amazon has now achieved 60 straight quarters of 20 percent-plus revenue growth. On Oct. 26, shares spiked from just $972 to the current share price of $110, following yet another quarter of impressive growth. Amazon reported revenue for the quarter of $43.7 billion (up 34 percent year over year) with all segments coming in ahead of estimates.
Overall, AMZN has received an incredible 32 buy ratings and only 1 hold rating in the last three months. With an average price target of $1,247, analysts are optimistic that shares can climb by a further 12 percent. Top RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney ramped up his price target to $1,200 from $1,100 previously on Oct. 27. AMZN's growth outlook is arguably the strongest of the major internet platforms, says Mahaney, because it operates in the largest (and least penetrated) markets. For example, Amazon has still only captured 10 percent of the massive $20 trillion global retail market.
Mahaney uses the term Internet Staple to describe Amazon's relentless growth profile: "Amazon, along with a few other select Internet companies, is an Internet Staple. You know Consumer Staples? Those companies that deliver low-to-mid single digit % Revenue Growth and trade at Market Premiums because they are considered to have extremely reliable future EPS growth because they are Consumer Fixtures? Internet Staples is the same thing…except with growth rates 4X, 5X…10X higher."
5) Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN)
Global biopharma Alexion develops therapies for patients with devastating and rare diseases. Its key drug, Soliris, is already approved for the treatment of blood disorders and is now being trialed for further applications. Top analysts have an average analyst price target on the stock of $165 — close to 30 percent upside from the current share price. And in the last three months, 13 out of 15 analysts have recorded a bullish sentiment on ALXN.
Take, for example, Cowen & Co analyst Eric Schmidt, who calls Alexion a "top pick." On Oct. 26 he assigned a buy rating to ALXN with a $170 price target (41 percent upside from current share price). Schmidt, one of the top 25 analysts on TipRanks, says: "We continue to view Alexion as a premier large cap growth company heading into Soliris's launch in gMG, which we expect to be rapid and robust." gMG is a progressive neuromuscular disease that leads to severe muscle weakness and episodes of respiratory failure.
6) Alibaba (BABA)
This Chinese e-commerce giant is an indisputable favorite of top analysts. The strong buy stock has received 17 consecutive buy ratings from analysts in the last three months. Meanwhile, the average analyst price target of $202 stands at an upside of over 11 percent from the current share price.
Five-star SunTrust Robinson analyst Youssef Squali has just reiterated his buy rating on BABA. He also boosted his price target to $205, up $5. "We remain positive on BABA considering its leadership position and outsized growth and margins in China's ecommerce market, its diversified portfolio of digital assets and current valuation," Squali wrote on Oct. 20.
In particular, Squali says Chinese retail growth is very promising for BABA. He notes that Chinese online retail sales spiraled up 36 percent in the third quarter, according to analysis of data from China's National Bureau of Statistics. "We view the pick-up in online sales positively for Alibaba's GMV [gross merchandise value] growth, given the company's dominant share of ecommerce in China and the positive correlation between the two metrics."
7) CBS Corporation (CBS)
Mass media conglomerate CBS is the strongest growth story in traditional media, say analysts. However, the stock has been struggling recently, with softer NFL ratings. As a result, shares are now trading at $56 from $66 three months ago.
But despite this weakness, the stock has retained its strong buy consensus from the Street. In the last three months CBS has received 10 buy ratings and only 2 hold ratings from top-performing analysts. These analysts predict that CBS has 35 percent upside potential from the current share price.
Top Benchmark Co. analyst Daniel Kurnos acknowledges the stock's troubles, which he blames on weaker ratings and some licensing revenue shifting from Q3 to Q4. To reflect this, he reduced his price target from $81 to $80 on Oct. 24. However, Kurnos is ultimately bullish on CBS and says: "We continue to rate CBS our favorite content play in the media space, and at just 8x 2018E EV/EBITDA, we believe shares look attractively priced even if a softer overall advertising environment continues."
Similarly, FBR's Barton Crockett also has an $80 price target on CBS stock. In fact, CBS is the only TV network conglomerate that he is staying bullish on. In a report dated Oct. 31, he says "because of the persistence of secular concerns, we … have a BUY rating only on CBS, in a nod to the strength of its broadcast footprint, direct to consumer efforts and increasingly valuable TV production."