Using a market downcycle to accumulate shares of companies with strong fundamentals and prospects can lead to good returns when the market goes up. To that end, keeping an eye on which stocks analysts are recommending can be a good practice.
Here are five stocks picked by Wall Street's top analysts, according to TipRanks, a service that ranks analysts based on the performance of their ratings.
Micron (MU) is striving hard to be the most efficient and innovative global provider of semiconductor memory solutions. Growing demand for memory chips from cloud-computing providers, along with the rapid proliferation of 5G cellular network and IoT (Internet of Things), are driving the company's growth.
However, the company's near-term seems to be unsettled, with weak demand from the PC and smartphone market. Moreover, supply constraints for certain components are also expected to hurt bit shipments for some time. (See Micron Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)
Last week, the company's fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 painted a dull picture of its developments. Nonetheless, Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya Hari did not move from his bullish stance. The analyst was "encouraged by Micron's supply-side response," which included the company's cost-reduction strategy. Notably, Micron is working on decreasing its FY23 capital expenditures (CapEx) by about 30% year-over-year (that is around $4.1 billion).
That said, the company also said that it would double its construction investments and undertake other strategic moves that will slow the ramping of certain DRAM and NAND processes. But these steps will ensure a smoother long-term growth runway. "From our perspective, we believe that these actions highlight Micron's commitment to make difficult decisions to preserve profitability and shareholder return and are likely to be well-received by investors, per our previous conversations," noted Hari, reiterating a Buy rating on the MU stock. Taking into account the near-term headwinds, though, the analyst cut the price target from $63 to $62.
Hari, who has been ranked at No.318 of nearly 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks, has delivered profitable ratings 57% of the time. Moreover, each of his ratings has garnered 16.3% average returns over the past year.
Amazon (AMZN) is benefiting from solid Prime momentum thanks to quick delivery and a strong content portfolio. Additionally, the company's cloud dominance is consistently being enhanced by the strong adoption rate of AWS. Most importantly, the company's strong global presence and its unwavering customer centricity remain its biggest selling points. (See Amazon Stock Investors on TipRanks)
Amazon is hosting a Prime Early Access Sale next week, ahead of which, Monness Crespi Hardt analyst Brian White is optimistic. The analyst believes that a sale ahead of the holiday season will enhance the value of Prime and will also benefit customers who are struggling with high expenses.
In a bid to enhance its Prime platform, Amazon also offered its U.S. Prime members a free one-year membership to Grubhub+. The company has also been investing heavily in improving its content portfolio in the past few months. Moreover, White also believes that Amazon's acquisition of MGM Holdings.
Moreover, looking at Amazon's reinvestments back into the business, White believes that the company's current profitability is way below its long-term potential. Needless to say, the analyst reiterated a Buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $172.
"We believe the company's long-term growth path is attractive across the e-commerce segment, AWS, digital media, advertising, Alexa, robotics, AI, and more," said White, justifying his bullishness.
White comes 491st among nearly 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks. Notably, 56% of his ratings have been successful, each generating 10.10% returns on average.
Apple (AAPL) has been trying its best to beat a slowdown in demand and rising costs. Its consistent and compelling product launches are pushing the brand forward amid an increasingly uncertain environment.
Against this backdrop, Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth did not seem to worry too much about the near-term threats that the company is facing. The analyst kept his Buy rating on the AAPL stock recently, believing that "ongoing innovation, new product introductions, and increasing Services revenue will continue to drive long-term shareholder value creation."
The analyst points out that the CarPlay Interface for vehicles is a testament to its automotive expansion and integration, which can be a major growth driver. Furthermore, Feinseth is also looking forward to the launch of a virtual reality headset later this year or early in 2023. The analyst believes that the launch can "drive a further paradigm shift for services and the AAPL ecosystem."
Moreover, the company's balance sheet and cash flow are strong enough to allow Apple to pursue growth initiatives and enhance shareholder returns.
Feinseth, who is a five-star analyst on TipRanks, holds the 288th position among about 8,000 tracked analysts. 57% of his ratings have generated profits, and each rating has given back 10.6% returns on average.
DHI Group (DHX), which offers a subscription-based career marketplace for techies, is riding on the competitive moat presented by the 6.4 million technologist candidates currently subscribed to its two brands — Dice and ClearanceJobs.
Barrington Research analyst Gary Prestopino believes that DHI has the advantage of a long-term secular demand for tech specialists. "DHI specializes in employment categories in which there is long-term excess demand for highly skilled technologists who work in a variety of industries or have active government security clearances," said the analyst. (See DHI Group Stock Chart on TipRanks)
Prestopino also found that the worldwide digital global technology job capacity is expected to grow from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025, which highlights the immense opportunity in the market that DHI serves.
Moreover, the analyst was encouraged by the relatively cheap valuation for a company with such strong growth and profitability potential. "DHI sells at an over 60% discount to its peer group on 2022 and 2023 TEV/EBITDA multiples," said Prestopino, who initiated coverage on the stock with a price target of $12.
Prestopino, who is also a five-star analyst on TipRanks, stands 61st among almost 8,000 analysts followed on the platform. Interestingly, 55% of his ratings have successfully garnered 31.5% average returns each.
The last on this week's list of analysts' top stocks is McDonald's (MCD), which is gracefully navigating yet another downturn of its lifetime. BTIG analyst Peter Saleh, who stands at No. 600 among about 8,000 analysts on TipRanks, gave us valuable insights last week on the company, on which he has long been bullish.
To deep-dive into the company's developments, the analyst interviewed several franchisees and took notes about their sales, demand and supply of plant-based meat, labor, commodities, and automation. After the survey, Saleh was encouraged by McDonald's healthy sales trends that seemed to defy the inflated food and gas prices.
Furthermore, the analyst gathered that labor and overtime contractions can bring in meaningful margin expansion for the franchises as labor availability improves. (See McDonald's Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)
"We view McDonald's as one of the strongest restaurant concepts in the world that is in the middle stages of a multi-year sales recovery. After several years of lackluster results, management has restored sales and earnings growth through a combination of relevant menu offerings, restaurant upgrades, digital engagement and stronger leadership," said Saleh, who also noted that these steps have improved sales trends.
The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on MCD stock, with a price target of $280.
Saleh has a 55% success with his ratings. Moreover, each rating has accrued 9.8% returns on average.