With the markets this choppy it’s hard to think that some stocks can still be enjoying anything resembling a hot streak. But there are an elite group of strong buy stocks that are weathering the storm- and indeed, even posting gains.
True, these stocks are now much harder to find. Even fundamentally strong stocks like Alphabet(NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) have been hit hard by the recent market selloff. GOOGL, for example, is now posting a loss on a year-to-date basis.
Also to note — these stocks have a strong setup going forward. Using TipRanks, I made sure to choose only stocks with a bullish “strong buy” analyst consensus. This is based on all ratings over the last three months. What’s more, we can use the average analyst price target to see how much upside potential remains ahead — and in the Street’s analysis — to get a better grip on what’s in store for these companies.
With that being said, let’s dive into these strong-buy stocks now:
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) is the darling of Wall Street right now. And no doubt it’s a popular pick for investors too. Shares are up 32% year-to-date.
“The tone of last night’s call was the most bullish we’ve heard this earnings season from a tech company of size as Salesforce rides the wave of digital transformation initiatives around the world” White told investors in his report.
“During Dreamforce, [CEO] Marc Benioff described the economy as ‘ripping’ and he doubled down on his colorful commentary last night” the analyst added.
The bullishness was justified following results that showed strength across the board. The Sales Cloud grew by 11% YoY, the Service Cloud 24%, the Marketing & Commerce Cloud by 37% and the Salesforce Platform & Other increased by 51%.
It’s no surprise that Nomura’s Chris Eberle highlights CRM as a top tech idea for 2019.
“Salesforce’s continued market share gains across multiple end markets and breadth and depth of products, combined with its keen customer focus, recurring revenue model, and strategic value to its customers, make CRM a core long-term holding in the software space,” he wrote.
Let’s now turn to the risky — but potentially rewarding — world of biotechs.
And what better stock to look at than Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN). This is a company that has posted tremendous gains recently. We are talking a whopping 320% year-to-date.
Luckily, the Street is confident that Amarin can keep delivering sizable gains. The average analyst price target of $35 suggests upside potential of over 100%.
“Buckle Up, Because Vascepa Rxs Could Take Off Soon” cheers Cantor Fitzgerald’s Louise Chen.
Vascepa is the first Pure EPA prescription Omega-3 clinically proven to lower very high triglycerides, without raising bad cholesterol. Essentially it is an oral tablet of an extremely potent fish oil.
“We continue to think that the peak sales opportunity for Vascepa, post positive REDUCE-IT results, is still underappreciated” writes Chen.
Further share-driving catalysts include a potential EU partner for Vascepa, which could bring in a meaningful upfront payment to help offset cash burn- and continued salesforce expansion to 400 reps so Rx growth could increase even more in 2019 and beyond.
Chen has just reiterated her buy rating with a $35 price target (106% upside potential).
MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB) is one of the most popular databases for modern apps. Also add to the picture MongoDB Atlas, the global cloud database on AWS, Azure and GCP. This is a stock with killer growth potential according to the Street.
“We are raising our estimates and PT to $100 from $88 as our confidence grows in MongoDB’s multiyear opportunity to sustain high growth in a large TAM” cheers top KeyBanc analyst Brent Bracelin on Dec. 4.
Bear in mind, this is one of the Top 20 analysts tracked by TipRanks, so he knows a thing or two about picking the best stocks. And according to Bracelin, this is a “new class of database [that] should flourish on trillion-dollar IT transformation.”
Public cloud spending at the 60 largest vendors could triple to $314B by CY22. These investments create a greenfield opportunity for a new class of database vendor.
“We argue that MDB’s leadership position in this new class of modern database should sustain high growth as the Company addresses one of the largest segments in software, the $45B-plus database TAM” sums up the analyst. Shares are up 180% year-to-date.
Telecom stock Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ:NXST) isn’t doing too badly either. Shares have put on a sprint over the last five days, prompted by a savvy acquisition agreement. This is with a 19% gain over the last six months, and 8% year-to-date.
Nexstar will snap up Chicago-based peer Tribune Media for about $4.1 billion in cash. Following the deal Nexstar will take the crown as the largest regional US TV station operator.
Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos gives the deal his seal of approval. On the news, he raised his price target from $96 to $115 (17% upside potential).
He is looking forward to Nexstar becoming the “dominant player in the broadcast space.” Longer-term, a buyout from private equity is now increasingly likely, Kurnos tells investors.
Meanwhile Barrington’s James Goss reminds investors that Nexstar makes it onto the firm’s research best ideas list.
“Overall, valuation multiples for the company at its current rate of profitability and cash flow generation are particularly attractive” he writes, adding “Upside to our target remains sizable.”
Known as the “llama biotech,” Argenx SE (NASDAQ:ARGX) is developing innovative therapies for severe autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Yes you heard right — the Dutch-based company combines the diversity of the llama immune system with antibody engineering to develop drugs.
Most notably, Argenx’s lead antibody, efgartigimod, reduces the number of bleeding events in patients with the autoimmune disorder primary immune thrombocytopenia. different antibogy, cusatuzumab, is being trialed for the treatment acute myeloid leukemia. The antibody blocks the checkpoint protein CD70, stopping cancer cells from evading the immune system.
“Acute myeloid leukemia continues to be an aggressive and deadly cancer of the blood and bone marrow with very high relapse rates,” stated CEO Tim Van Hauwermeiren. “Cusatuzumab offers a novel mode of action targeting leukemic stem cells… and has shown a compelling response rate and tolerability profile to date.”
The big dogs are now paying attention. The company has just signed a global licensing deal for cusatuzumab with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Janssen for $300M in cash and a $200M equity investment. Argenx is also eligible for $1.3B in milestones and retained 50/50 U.S. profit share and double-digit OUS royalties.
Shares surged 5% on the news, taking the stock’s year-to-date gain to near 60%.
Fast food giant McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is staging a comeback. We are looking at a stream of recent buy ratings, and an upgrade to boot. Morgan Stanley’s John Glass is the analyst behind the upgrade.
He advises “buying the McDonald’s of the future today.” The reason is simple — successful modernization of stores: “We are endorsing the notion that McDonald’s massive store modernization efforts, first rolled out in select international markets and now in the U.S. (its single largest market), will begin to pay off in ’19 and should produce best in class sales results for more years to come,” Glass told investors.
And that’s not all, given the choppy market conditions, Glass sees MCD as a savvy defensive stock pick. “McDonald’s provides a stabilizing, defensive counterbalance in a volatile market environment,” Glass said.
Citing the company’s “structurally improving” business model, the Morgan Stanley analyst also ramped up his price target from $173 to $210. This translates into 15% upside potential from current levels. Year-to-date shares have improved 6%, with am 11% gain in just the last three months alone.
Last but not least we have BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX), a biotech that has made a whopping 80%-plus gain year-to-date.
The company’s lead drug, BCX7353, is in phase II trials for severe swelling disorder (HAE), while the company’s first approved drug, Rapivab, is a powerful treatment for influenza.
“Even with the ~30% share appreciation in the last two weeks, we believe BCRX shares continue to undervalue the likelihood of success and future market opportunity for lead drug BCX7353” writes RBC Capital’s Brian Abrahams. Especially so given the drug’s differentiation from competitors as an orally delivered HAE treatment — which currently represents a high unmet need.
This stock can excel from both HAE prophylaxis, and in on-demand treatment, a potential market the analyst increasingly believes is being overlooked.
“We are updating our BCRX model to reflect what we believe could be an additional near-$200M in potential annual out- year revenues from the on-demand setting” he concludes.