For investors seeking the best returns, the decision of where to put the initial investment typically comes down to two choices. Put all the eggs in one big basket, and buy into the market’s giant corporations, the trillion-dollar companies with famously high share prices and a track record of steady growth – or to buy low, find a group of low-cost stocks in companies with sound business footings and high potential upside.

It all comes down to just how much of a return do you want. The market's three biggest companies, Apple, Microsoft, and Google, have upsides running between 10% and 20% for the year ahead. That’s a nice return, but it’s not the highest that the stock market has to offer.

For investors willing to shoulder some extra risk, the low-cost stocks, those with share prices under $10 each, offer a chance for far higher returns.

We’ve used the TipRanks database to pinpoint two stocks, currently priced under $10 each, that have attracted plenty of positive notice from the Street’s analysts. These are stocks with Strong Buy consensus ratings – and a recent review predicting an upside of 100% or more in the next year.

Greenlane Holdings (GNLN)

We’ll start with Greenlane Holdings, a cannabis industry supplier. Greenlane deals in accessories, rather than plants; the company markets a variety of premium products for smoke shops and dispensaries, including CBD, vapes, and liquid nicotine. Greenlane has 5 global distribution hubs, more than 50 partnerships with cannabis brands, and boasts that it reaches more than 10 million consumers. The company also markets directly through its own e-commerce website.

Greenlane is always alert to expansion opportunities, and in late March the company announced a merger with the competing supplier KushCo. The merger was an all-stock transaction, and Greenlane expects that the move will generate an additional $15 million to $20 million in annual revenues. The merger was completed on September 1 of this year.

In another important announcement, Greenlane reported that during 2Q21, it hit a record in core revenue. Core revenue is defined as non-nicotine sales; the core segment reached $34.5 million for the quarter, or 99.3% of the total quarterly revenue of $34.7 million. The total revenue was up 7.1% from the year-ago quarter; core revenue grew 14.9%.

Covering Greenlane for Jefferies, analyst Owen Bennett describes the company as a ‘compelling ancillary play very much under the radar.’ Getting into details, Bennett writes: “As an ancillary product/service provider with a critical role in the cannabis ecosystem, it has exposure to US growth, is accessible for all investors (not doing anything federally illegal), and is unique (less risky) among ancillary peers.”

Looking ahead, the analyst also likes what he sees in the company’s business model: “Of the products and services Greenlane provides, there is a mix between distributed third-party and fully owned products/services. With margins in the latter much more attractive (FY21E avg 33% vs. distro 18%), the company is actively shifting the business in this direction.”

These comments back up Bennett’s Buy rating on the stock, and his $6.30 price target suggests an upside of 190% in the next 12 months.

Greenlane has not attracted a lot of analyst attention, but those who have reviewed the stock agree with the Jefferies assessment. GNLN has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 3 recent reviews. The shares are priced at $2.17 and their average target of $5.77 implies a one-year upside potential of ~166%.

Cogent Biosciences (COGT)

The next stock we're looking at is Cogent Biosciences, a small-cap biopharma company working on an array of serious diseases and medical conditions with high unmet needs. Cogent’s focus is the development of precision treatment for genetically-driven diseases. Genetic mutations can cause a variety of illnesses, from autoimmune conditions to cancer.

Cogent’s leading drug candidate, bezuclastinib, also known as CGT9486, is a kinase inhibitor designed to selectively target the KIT D816V mutation. This is the genetic mutation behind Systemic Mastocytosis, a rare and serious condition that impacts multiple tissues and organs of the body. The APEX study, a Phase 2 clinical trial of bezuclastinib is ongoing, and early results show that the drug is effective at targeting the KIT mutations while also showing a minimum of brain penetration.

In addition to showing positive results from the APEX study, Cogent is on track to initiate additional clinical trials of bezuclastinib by the end of the year. The additional trials will target gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), as well as non-advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

Among the bulls is H.C. Wainwright's 5-star analyst Michael King who takes a bullish stance on COGT shares.

“In addition to the fact that Cogent has acquired a promising molecule in the form of bezuclastinib, the company’s valuation stands only modestly above its cash holdings of ~$218 million, a financial ratio which we have previously observed to be a favorable entry point for a viable company in our sector. We find the company’s technology value of ~$300 million attractive given that bezuclastinib has already shown an intriguing safety vs. efficacy profile in GIST patients, and therefore, we believe has a high probability of success,” King opined.

To this end, King rates COGT a Buy, and his $25 price target implies room for a stunning 215% upside potential in the next 12 months.

What does the rest of the Street have to say? 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. Given the $22.67 average price target, shares could climb 185% from the current price of $7.95.

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