While discrediting the acumen of experts seems to be a popular exercise on the Internet, investors can potentially gain handsomely from top analyst stocks. Of course, you’ll find some research on this topic that implies that celebrated market gurus don’t always get it right. However, it still may be worthwhile to follow stocks backed by analysts.
For starters, not everyone plucked off the streets can be an analyst. Almost always, these folks have studied finance or accounting in college. If they haven’t, they certainly accrued significant real-world experience. Chances are, these experts have learned from handed-down knowledge, which offers confidence for the best Wall Street stocks.
Second, targeting these analyst-endorsed high-confidence stocks enables efficiencies for the retail investor. Quite simply, the average market participant doesn’t have the time to dedicate the hours necessary to conduct deep due diligence. So, by trading with the experts, retail buyers can get some of their time back. On that note, below are the top 7 analysts’ favorite stocks.
Top Analyst Stocks: Becton Dickinson (BDX)
A multinational medical technology firm, Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) – also known as BD – ranks among the top analyst stocks for good reason. By manufacturing and selling medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents, the business will never go out of style. Therefore, it enjoys insulation from various economic pressure points. Since the start of the year, BDX gained almost 11% of its equity value.
Most recently, analysts from Piper Sandler, Stifel Nicolaus, and Raymond James pegged BDX as a buy. Among the three experts, Stifel’s Rick Wise issued the highest price target at $325, which implies nearly 15% upside potential. Overall, the consensus assessment over the past three months stands at moderate buy. Further, the average price target lands at $291.82, implying 3% growth.
Again, it’s not the most exciting entity among stocks backed by analysts. However, BD enjoys consistent profitability, thus providing confidence. Also, BDX trades at a forward multiple of 20.79. As a discount to projected earnings, it ranks better than 72% of the competition.
Meta Platforms (META)
One year can make all the difference in the world as social media and technology juggernaut Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) can attest. Throughout 2022, a troubling combination of economic headwinds (thanks to hawkish monetary policy), digital advertisement market erosion and struggling traction with the metaverse hurt META considerably. However, 2023 represents an entirely new paradigm, with shares up 136% since the Jan. opener.
Most recently, analysts from Mizuho Securities and New Street assigned buy ratings on META stock. Both experts forecasted a price target of $350, implying nearly 19% upside potential. Overall, META carries a strong buy consensus view. This assessment breaks down as 36 buys, three holds and zero sells over the past three months. On average, the experts believe META will hit $326.45, implying nearly 11% growth.
Financially, it’s not difficult to see why the tech giant ranks among the top analyst stocks. Enjoying profitability year in and year out, Meta is also a growth machine. Specifically, its three-year sales expansion rate (per-share basis) clocks in at 20.6%, outpacing 71.48% of its peers.
A cybersecurity firm, Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) specializes in enterprise cloud security services. Fundamentally, Zscaler operates in a high-demand field. While digital connectivity fostered myriad positive innovations, it also sparked nefarious activities. Increasingly, data breaches and other forms of digital compromising events cost companies billions of dollars collectively. So, it’s no shock that ZS represents one of the top analyst stocks.
Speaking of which, BTIG’s Gray Powell assigned ZS stock as a buy. Further, the expert forecasts shares hitting $185, implying over 19% upside potential. Overall, Zscaler carries a strong buy consensus view. This assessment breaks down as 23 buys, seven holds and zero sells. On average, the experts’ price target lands at $172.41, implying over 11% growth.
Financially, ZS presents a bit of a tricky argument. For example, it trades at a forward multiple of 72.52, which is quite rich. At the same time, ZS makes a case for best Wall Street stocks because of its enormous growth, specifically a three-year sales expansion rate of 46.7%.
One of the most contentious names among top analyst stocks, brewery Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) landed in hot water recently for a one-off promotion that deeply offended politically conservative buyers of Bud Light, one of Anheuser’s brands. Consistently, Bud Light ranked as America’s top-selling beer, although that’s no longer the case. Obviously, bad PR doesn’t help.
However, BUD may still be one of the high-confidence stocks because eventually, controversies tend to blow over with time. I mean, it wasn’t too long ago that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick set off a fierce debate in America. Now, people don’t even talk about Kaepernick that much. I’m sure this, too, will pass.
In the meantime, BUD symbolizes one of the top 7 analysts’ favorite stocks. A few days ago, Morgan Stanley’s Sarah Simon initiated coverage of BUD with a buy rating. As well, the expert believes shares will hit $68.50, implying 17% upside potential. Overall, BUD carries a moderate buy consensus view with an average price target of $69.05, implying 18% growth.
Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)
Moving onto riskier ideas for top analyst stocks, Host Hotels & Resorts (NASDAQ:HST) is structured as a real estate investment trust. As you might imagine from its corporate name, the enterprise invests in hotel properties. So far this year, HST performs okay, with shares gaining nearly 10%. That’s not remarkable considering that the benchmark equities index is almost double the performance.
Still, HST happens to be one of the stocks backed by analysts. On the bullish side, Oppenheimer’s Tyler Batory upgraded HST to a buy. As well, the expert forecasts a $22 price target, implying nearly 26% upside potential. Overall, the consensus view for HST comes in as a moderate buy. The experts’ average price target lands at $20.25, implying almost 16% growth.
Financially, it appears that analysts believe in the narrative of revenge travel more so than the objective data. For example, investment data aggregator Gurufocus warns its readers that HST may be a possible value trap. Still, with shares trading at 8.53X funds from operation (FFO), Host Hotels could be undervalued.
An iconic motorcycle company, Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) riders probably won’t be caught dead with Bud Light at this juncture. Essentially a throwback to a more rugged time in American history, Harley may have some difficulty gaining traction with today’s youth. Still, Harley is evolving, with the icon moving into electric-powered motorcycles with its Livewire brand. From what I understand, these Livewire bikes are a real thrill.
Perhaps that’s why this old HOG still ranks among the top analyst stocks. A few days ago, D.A. Davidson’s Brandon Rolle upgraded shares to a buy. Also, a few days before that, BMO Capital assigned a buy rating with a $57 price target, implying nearly 53% upside potential. Overall, HOG rates as a moderate buy with an average price target of $45.67, implying over 22% growth.
What might appeal to speculators of the best Wall Street stocks is the value proposition. Right now, shares trade at a forward multiple of 7.74. As a discount to projected earnings, Harley-Davidson ranks better than 79.53% of the competition.
Coeur Mining (CDE)
Fundamentally, the equation for precious metals mining firm Coeur Mining (NYSE:CDE) seems simple. With the Federal Reserve struggling to combat stubbornly high prices, it has a long-term hawkish view. That’s going to tighten the money supply, which in turn will hurt CDE. Perhaps to little surprise, since the Jan. opener, shares stumbled 5%. So, why is Coeur one of the top analyst stocks?
A few days ago, Canaccord Genuity’s Dalton Baretto upgraded CDE to a buy. As well, the expert forecasted a price of $3.75, implying just over 16% upside potential. Overall, Coeur carries a consensus view of moderate buy. On average, the price target stands at $4, implying nearly 24% growth.
Financially, Coeur presents a challenging framework to put it diplomatically. For instance, its Altman Z-Score sits at 1.24 below zero, indicating a distressed business. As well, the company carries too much debt. At the same time, the company is attractively priced against tangible book value. Further, economic uncertainty might spark the fear trade, which could help lift CDE.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.