2015

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

With the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age and S&P hit­ting new all-time highs through­out 2014 and with the bull mar­ket now near­ing its sixth year, we wanted to see which an­a­lyst picks in mid-cap to large-cap stocks of­fer the most up­side. We have taken five top stock picks from mul­ti­ple bro­ker­age firm an­a­lysts in this re­view. Again, th­ese are only in ac­tive mid-cap or large-cap stocks in or­der to avoid the crazy calls. Some of th­ese stocks still have very big up­side tar­gets on the sur­face, which is why we have gone in depth on the re­search call and on the ex­pec­ta­tions for the year ahead. One con­sid­er­a­tion to keep in mind about the broad mar­ket is that the Santa rally may have eaten into ex­pected 2015 gains. With the Dow up about 11% and the S&P 500 up about 15%, the Wall Street strate­gists are just not see­ing as much huge up­side to the year-end or peak tar­gets in 2015. The con­sen­sus es­ti­mates for the S&P 500 from the strate­gists im­ply gains of close to 6% for 2015, plus the div­i­dend yields to con­sider.

Cel­gene Corp. (NAS­DAQ: CELG) had a mas­sive gain in Oc­to­ber, ris­ing from about $86 to more than $115 by the start of De­cem­ber. Now its mar­ket cap is a whop­ping $90 bln. Ear­lier in De­cem­ber, UBS main­tained its Buy rat­ing and raised its price tar­get to $130 from $112 after re­cent 2014 Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Hema­tol­ogy com­ments gave UBS more con­fi­dence in the safety and ef­fi­cacy in key drug can­di­dates and prod­ucts. It even talked about a 29% five-year com­pounded growth rate on earn­ings. UBS talked up un­recog­nised value in its pipe­line as well.

RBC also re­cently named Cel­gene a top biotech pick, with an even higher price tar­get. The gain to the UBS tar­get would be over 15%, but the street-high tar­get price of $145 would gen­er­ate up­side of 28%. The trick here is that an­a­lysts have been chas­ing this stock higher and higher, so it seems pos­si­ble to ex­pect more of the same ahead. and the con­sen­sus tar­get was just un­der $29. Trad­ing at $21.35 re­cently, it has a con­sen­sus an­a­lyst price tar­get im­plies some 35% up­side. The Stifel tar­get, which was $1 shy of the street-high an­a­lyst price tar­get, im­plies up­side of right at 50%.

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