The Stocks That Analysts Are Talking About

Getty Images

Find out what Wall Street analysts were saying about McDonald's, Costco, Apple, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup in this Stock Blog Roundup.

McDonald's same-store sales turned positive in November after a dismal October, but Rachel Rothman, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group told CNBC it's too early to get positive on the stock.

"It is some positive momentum in the right direction, but it may be premature to call a complete turn right now," said Rothman about the same-store sales improvement.

She added that the discretionary consumer sector is a "pretty tricky place right now" since consumers go for value and do not spend more money than necessary for a quality meal. Still, McDonald's stock may be cushioned somewhat from this consumer caution because of its attractive dividend for investors.

After reporting a 30 percent rise in fiscal first-quarter earnings, Colin McGranahan, senior retail analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said that Costco looks richly valued at current levels despite being a strong business.

"There's not a lot of margin opportunity," he said. "It's a good long-term growth story, it's a phenomenal business but it looks like it's fully valued here."

Apple shares should also snap back in the new year, said Abhey Lamba, an analyst with Mizuho Securities.

"Take a look at the fundamentals," he said. "Let's not get stuck in the data points coming in right now, from the fundamentals, it's still the leading smartphone vendor and there is still is strong growth in the category,"

Banks were also in focus on Wall Street this week.

Atlantic Equities analyst Richard Staite named Bank of America a top pick among U.S. banks as it can start buying back more stock and issuing a bigger dividend.

In a report on Wednesday he wrote, "BAC already met its Basel III capital requirements in Q3 thus putting it in a strong position to return capital to shareholders."

KBW analyst Frederick Cannon also sees a sweet spot for bank dividends in general next year. He expects JPMorgan to see its dividend yield climb from an already attractive 2.82 percent to a fat 3.76 percent in 2013.

Citigroup may also be a winner. Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch on Wednesday reiterated his "outperform" rating for the stock, with a $48 price target, saying that the massive expense cuts announced last week, including 84 branch closings and the elimination of 11,000 jobs, wouldn't hurt the company's strategy for growing revenue in emerging markets.

Additional Views: Long-Term Bull Turns Bearish for 2013

Additional News: JPM Uses Counter-Terrorism Tools to Monitor Staff

By's Justin Menza


Disclosure information can be found in the individual Stock Blog stories.