Editor’s note: This story is a replay that was previously published on Dec. 27, 2017. It has since been republished and updated.
With everyone looking ahead now to 2018, investors are getting bombarded with ideas regarding the best stocks to buy.
Everyone has their own suggestion about which stocks are going to hit the big-time in the coming months, but fear not! Here we have a list of 10 sure-fire winners that tick all the boxes. These stocks to buy are not purely subjective. Instead, they have big support from the Street’s top analysts and the upside potential to match based on the average analyst price target.
I found these stocks using a nifty Top Analyst Stocks tool on TipRanks. This pulls up stocks with bullish recent ratings from multiple top analysts. Scanning through this list, I was able to identify 10 top stocks that make compelling investing opportunities right now. Just to note, I purposefully eliminated stocks that only have big upside potential because share prices are plummeting.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and see which stocks make the cut for 2018:
Stocks to Buy: Micron (MU)
Over the last three months, semiconductor stock Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) has received a whopping 19 buy ratings and just 3 hold ratings. As a result, the stock has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus rating. These analysts believe (on average) that Micron has big upside potential of over 30% from the current share price. This would take MU from $44.12 all the way to $57.65. Bear in mind, MU has already doubled year-to-date!
Five-star Rajvindra Gill assigned a buy rating to MU with a very confident $76 price target on Dec. 20 (72% upside). He says the market is undervaluing MU and he sees serious potential in: 1) 3D NAND transition, which generates a significant cost advantage (30%-35%); and 2) technology limitations in DRAM supply growth.
“We believe investors are focusing too heavily on a NAND pricing decline to see the big picture. With another record quarter and guide (beat revenue and EPS consensus by 5.6% and 11.4%, respectively) in the bag, Micron is on track to generate quarterly EPS of nearly $2.50 or roughly $10 per share of annualized earnings” said Gill on Dec. 20.
Note that this is a top analyst worth following. He is ranked No. 43 out of over 4,700 analysts tracked by TipRanks.
Stocks to Buy: Spark Therapeutics (ONCE)
Spark Therapeutic Inc’s (NASDAQ:ONCE) innovative gene therapy has just received a critical approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Excitingly, this is the first gene therapy to restore sight to individuals with a rare inherited eye disease that can cause blindness. The treatment, known as Luxturna, can treat both children and adults. Following the news, three analysts quickly reiterated their Spark buy ratings.
“Today’s approval marks another first in the field of gene therapy — both in how the therapy works and in expanding the use of gene therapy beyond the treatment of cancer,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “This milestone reinforces the potential of this breakthrough approach in treating a wide range of challenging diseases.”
Overall this ‘Strong Buy’ stock has a bullish average analyst price target of $73 (38% upside potential). We don’t know the drug’s price just yet, but Phil Nadeau, a top Cowen & Co analyst, says: “$500,000 per procedure is reasonable for a once-per-lifetime therapy that has the potential to be curative.”
Meanwhile, Raymond James’ Reni Benjamin notes that: “1) with no negative surprises, the label is slightly better than expected, only excluding the use of this gene therapy in infants under 12 months of age; 2) Spark also received a Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher, which we estimate is worth approximately $125 million based on recent transactions.”
Stocks to Buy: Alcoa (AA)
Pennsylvania-based Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA) is the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum with locations all over the world. The stock is catching the attention of investors following a bullish upgrade from Credit Suisse. On Dec. 20, five-star Credit Suisse analyst Curt Woodworth ramped up his price target from $42 to $61. This now suggests 22% upside potential from the current price. Woodworth is anticipating that tighter aluminum supply will push up prices due to alumina and bauxite closures.
“We note three smelters curtailed production last week, and the government is set to sharply increase inspections in January. We expect the aluminum market to tighten into late 1Q-18 as downstream demand sharply recovers.” Plus, China’s increased commitment to environmental policy will further curtail supply according to Woodworth.
Overall, AA has a ‘Strong Buy’ rating, with only buy ratings from top analysts in the last three months. At the same time, the average analyst price target of $60 stands at 20% upside from the current share price.
Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ)
Keep a close eye on Florida-based specialty contractor engineer MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ) in 2018. The company’s work spans electric power infrastructure, oil and natural gas pipelines, renewable energy facilities and wireless networks. Strength across the board has resulted in 100% Street support with seven analysts publishing recent buy ratings. Indeed, MTZ has received no hold or sell ratings from the Street for over 8 months.
“We reiterate a BUY on MTZ ahead of what we expect to be increasing 2018 estimates and an expanding multiple. With all segments poised for growth in 2018, a more diversified positive top line performance is likely to be enhanced on the bottom line by better Oil and Gas margins and a generally improving pricing and mix environment from large projects” writes top Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Burleson. His buy rating comes with a $58 price tag (15% upside). We can also see that he has an incredible track record on his MTZ ratings with a 100% success rate and 51.6% average return.
Stocks to Buy: TherapeuticsMD (TXMD)
I have already banged on about TherapeuticsMD Inc (NASDAQ:TXMD) in my recent piece on top healthcare stocks. But this is an intriguing stock pick that I felt was worth including again. TXMD is a unique biotech making waves in the world of female healthcare. The company develops and commercializes products exclusively for women. Its lead product candidate is the TX-004 soft gel capsule for post-menopausal pain. This approach clearly has the backing of the Street, as TXMD has a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating.
In fact, in the last three months, TherapeuticsMD has received seven back-to-back buy ratings. Plus the $15.30 average analyst price target represents a huge 161% upside from the $6 current share price. Crucially, even the lowest price target of $9 from Noble Financial and Deutsche Bank still suggests 55% upside potential.
The most bullish analyst of the pack is top Cantor Fitzgerald analyst William Tanner. He reiterated his TXMD buy rating on Dec. 19 with a $28 price target. Tanner notes that the FDA has opted to conduct a longer Class 2 review of TX-004. But ultimately, he calls the drug ‘an important new therapy’ for atrophy. He says: “We believe the likelihood of approval is high, 85% probability, the highest we use to account for some revenue forecasting uncertainty.”
Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)
Year-to-date Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has already soared by 56%. But even with shares at $1,176, we can see that the Street still sees AMZN spiking over 11% to $1,311. In fact, in the last three months this stock has received an eyebrow-raising 33 buy ratings vs. just one hold rating.
The most recent rating comes from top RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney. He has just carried out a survey on Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa. And he likes what he sees. “Following our third annual Alexa survey, we are more impressed with the traction of these devices and more convinced of their potential long-term impact. With tens of millions of users and 20K+ skills, we see Alexa’s value prop as becoming increasingly powerful as awareness and ownership ramp. We think AMZN could see $10-$11B in Alexa-related Rev by 2020.”
In fact, recent reports suggest Alexa made a popular holiday gift. On Christmas Day, Amazon’s Alexa app took the No. 1 spots on both the U.S. Google Play and iPhone App Stores’ free app charts.
Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA)
The cable sector has been down in the dumps, but it is now looking for a comeback in 2018. And there is one company that stands out in particular: mass media king Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). In the last three months, Comcast scores 10 out of 10, with 10 consecutive buy ratings from the Street. These analysts have an average price target of $45- 10% upside from the current share price.
Top Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak is confident that the stock is setup for a solid 2018. On Dec. 19, he told investors: “Recall, our belief that the cable malaise would be winding down by year-end ’17 and we continue to believe that this is the case. Comcast management’s data guidance raise in 4Q, implied material acceleration in capital returns and ’18 cable EBITDA margin expansion helped alleviate these investor fears.”
Plus, he believes that “the elimination of net neutrality laws, which effectively gave regulatory cover for video/phone competitors to freely use the cable plant, should also help with monetization.” His $50 price target translates into 22% upside potential.
Stocks to Buy: Smart Global Holdings (SGH)
SGH is a global leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions for the electronics industry for over 25 years. On the back of a strong beat and raise quarter, three analysts reiterated their Smart Global Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SGH) buy ratings on Dec. 22. Shares popped 10% on the news. And now these analysts say shares can move another 25% from the current share price to hit $43.
SGH CEO Iain MacKenzie commented that the company enjoyed “strength across the board.” Revenue, gross margin and earnings-per-share all exceeded the high ends of previous guidance. He now has even higher hopes for the coming quarters, due to Brazil and the improving global memory market. Indeed, current strength in Brazil is expected to continue throughout the year as the economy recovers.
Stocks to Buy: Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI)
Eye disease pharma Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) received an early holiday gift from the FDA. The US regulatory body has just approved Aerie’s lead product Rhopressa two months ahead of schedule. Aerie is now set to hire a 100-person strong sales force in preparation for launch in 2Q18.
“The FDA has approved Aerie’s Rhopressa drug for the treatment of patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. We see this announcement as a positive for the company and also a positive read-through for the potential upcoming approval of Roclatan in 2019,” writes five-star Mizuho analyst Difei Yang.
Intriguingly, she also adds: The approval of Rhopressa reinforces our view that Aerie Pharmaceuticals is a strong takeout candidate.” Yang has an $87 price target on the stock and a very strong AERI track record (86% success rate and 73% average return).
Overall, AERI boasts 100% Street support with 7 buy ratings in the last three months. These analysts believe (on average) that AERI can leap a further 32% in the coming months.
Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)
Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has a big catalyst heading its way for 2018. The company has already premiered its ‘Watch’ tab, but 2018 could be the year where it really takes off. (Of course, this is on top of all the stock’s other catalysts like Instagram, WhatsApp and a new Direct messaging app.)
One of TipRanks’ top 100 analysts, Brent Thrill, believes the ‘Watch’ tab is about to make a sizeable impact on user video consumption. He says the tab will drive video engagement alongside improved network effects and sharing. Plus, Facebook’s data-driven approach to content and partner revenue share agreements is the smart way to go. He is now looking for revenue purely from the Watch tab to hit $12 billion in 2022. Thrill’s $225 price target suggests considerable upside of 27% from the current share price.
Strong Buy stock FB has scored 30 buy ratings and just 1 sell rating in the last three months. Meanwhile, the average analyst price target of $210 indicates 19% upside potential.
TipRanks offers investors the latest insight into eight different sectors by tracking the activity of 4,700 analysts, 5,000 financial bloggers and even 37,000 corporate insiders. As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.