Winner: H&R Block
Return Since Shutdown: +6%
H&R Block (HRB) has been a winner for most of the year, boasting 50% gains since Jan. 1. This fall, though, the stock began to show some weakness, declining around 15% during August and September.
That downward trend reversed on Oct. 1 as Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen upgraded HRB from “equalweight” to “overweight” and upped his price target from $25 to $33. The new target translates to 17% upside on top of its already blistering run — and the upgrade has already sent the stock 6% of the way there.
The reason for Allen’s bullishness is simple: Obamacare. See, H&R Block signed a deal with online insurance company GoHealth recently, which will allow the company’s customers to buy health insurance online.
According to Allen, the new federal mandate combined with the fact that H&R Block is already the nation’s biggest U.S. tax preparer creates a “significant opportunity” for this new program to take off.