While it’s always nice to read a range of opinions about the market, targeting top Wall Street upgrades this week may be a more sensible choice. Fundamentally, the major indices have printed red ink as economic jitters again rose to the forefront. This time around, investors appear skeptical about the Federal Reserve’s efforts to spark a soft landing.
Of course, stock upgrades tend to be a contentious issue. Peruse the internet long enough – and it really doesn’t take that long – and you’ll discover keyboard commandos blast analysts as incompetent. And let’s be real, analysts are humans. Humans make mistakes. At the same time, these humans tend to have a wealth of experience, education, and significant resources.
Though you may have your own day job and invest on the side, these folks do this for a living. Plus, they’re employed by some of the biggest research firms in the world. Believe me, if they’re really that awful, they would not be keeping their jobs in fear of reputational damage. On that note, below are compelling analyst upgrades to consider.
A multinational computer software firm, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) garners fame for its programs dedicated to creative expression. These include applications for graphics, photography, illustration, animation, multimedia and video, among others. Moreover, the market has responded robustly to ADBE, with shares up nearly 51% since the beginning of this year. In the trailing one-year period, ADBE is up almost 20%.
Recently, Bank of America Securities analyst Bradley Sills upgraded ADBE to “buy” from “hold.” Further, the expert forecasts shares hitting $630. If so, this would imply just under 24% upside against Friday’s closing price. Overall, ADBE carries a consensus view of a moderate buy. On average, the expert price target lands at $550.83, implying over 8% upside potential.
While it’s not the most intense idea among top Wall Street upgrades this week, ADBE probably won’t steer you wrong. Fundamentally, the underlying company benefits from the burgeoning gig economy. As well, it’s a very profitable business with practically sector-leading margins.
An American technology firm, Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) offers products and services for energy and water resource management, per its public profile. The company’s products measure and analyze electricity, gas, and water consumption. Given the broader political and ideological sentiment shift toward sustainable solutions, Itron ranks among the top Wall Street upgrades this week.
On Aug. 18, Argus Research analysts upgraded ITRI to “buy” with an $82 price target, implying slightly over 22% upside potential. Presently, Wall Street analysts overall peg shares as a consensus moderate buy. This assessment breaks down as three buys, two holds, and notably one sell. Overall, the average price target clocks in at $77.83, implying nearly 16% upside potential.
Financially, though, ITRI presents a significant risk even with the stock upgrades. Per investment data aggregator Gurufocus, ITRI trades with a lofty trailing earnings multiple of 79x. At the same time, Itron posted strong revenue growth of over 25% year-over-year in the second quarter. Thus, it might be worth consideration for speculators.
Portland General Electric (POR)
An intriguing and arguably relevant idea for top Wall Street upgrades this week, Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) is a Fortune 1000 public utility based in Portland, Oregon. Per its public profile, the company distributes electricity to customers in parts of Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Yamhill, Washington, and Polk counties. This coverage map encompasses about 44% of Oregon residents.
On Aug. 18, analysts at Guggenheim upgraded shares to “buy” from “neutral.” In addition, they set a price target of $48, implying nearly 9% upside potential from Friday’s closing price. Overall, the Street views POR as a consensus strong buy. This assessment breaks down into three buys, one hold, and zero sell ratings. Further, the average price target comes in at $52, implying almost 18% growth.
To be sure, it’s not the most discounted enterprise available among analyst upgrades. However, POR does trade at 1.36x tangible book value. In contrast, the sector median stat stands at a loftier 1.84x. Additionally, Portland features consistent profitability, something you’d expect from an important utility player.
Strategic Education (STRA)
Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA) features a core ethos: improve lives through education. To achieve this directive, the company creates innovative and relevant learning experiences that prepare its students for the workforce. As well, management seeks to improve college affordability and student engagement, making STRA fundamentally relevant.
So far this year, shares tumbled almost 6%. Nevertheless, last Friday, Bank of America analysts upgraded STRA to “buy” from “neutral.” Also, they lifted the price target to $99 from $90, implying a very respectable 32% growth.
Overall, analysts peg Strategic Education as a consensus strong buy. This assessment breaks down into three buys, one hold, and zero sells. Moreover, the average price target hits $88.75, implying almost 19% upside. Financially, Strategic features a mixed bag, commanding decent stability in the balance sheet while suffering from lackluster operational stats. However, the company benefits from consistent profitability, making it a worthwhile idea for top Wall Street upgrades this week.
Matador Resources (MTDR)
Based in Dallas, Texas, Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR) was among the top Wall Street upgrades this week. In the trailing one-month period, MTDR gained almost 10% of its equity value. Fundamentally, that has much to do with its core business: an independent energy company focused on the exploration and development (upstream) of oil and natural gas resources.
With geopolitical flashpoints and supply concerns bolstering hydrocarbon energy, MTDR enjoyed an uptick in sentiment. It also became one of the subjects of analyst upgrades. Specifically, Mizuho analysts upgraded shares to “buy” from “neutral.” In addition, they boosted the price target to $78 from $66, implying over 18% upside.
Compellingly, analysts peg MTDR as a unanimous strong buy. This assessment stems from six expert voices. Further, their average price target stands at $73.60, implying nearly 21% upside potential. Financially, Matador’s core attribute centers on its top-line expansion. Over the past three years, its revenue growth rate clocked in at 44.7%, above 90.97% of its peers.
CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP)
An enticing but also controversial idea among top Wall Street upgrades this week, CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) is a biotechnology firm focusing on the burgeoning gene-editing field. On paper, the underlying expertise fosters significant implications for addressing the human condition. From the eventual possibility of treating rare, incurable diseases to stopping conditions from materializing in the first place, CRISPR commands extraordinary scientific relevancies.
At the same time, the “playing God” effect presents ethical concerns. In addition, gene editing isn’t a walk in the park. Do one thing wrong and circumstances can go badly awry for the patient. Nevertheless, on Aug. 17, Citigroup analysts upgraded CRSP to “buy” from “neutral.” As well, they set a price target of $70, implying over 45% upside potential.
Overall, analysts peg CRSP as a consensus moderate buy. This assessment breaks down into 10 buys, six holds, and one sell. Moreover, the experts’ average price target comes in at $81.50, implying over 69% upside potential. Thus, it’s a tempting idea among recent stock upgrades.
Perhaps the riskiest idea on this list of top Wall Street upgrades this week, Magnite (NASDAQ:MGNI) in exchange for the danger offers the highest upside potential. An American online advertising technology firm, Magnite suffers from spending declines in the digital advertising space. Sure enough, since the start of the year, MGNI gave up over 19% of its equity value.
Unfortunately, MGNI was looking to post a strong return for the year. However, an analyst price target downgrade appears to have hurt sentiment. Nevertheless, MGNI overall remains an intriguing contrarian idea for analyst upgrades. Specifically, Evercore ISI analysts upgraded shares to “outperform” from “in-line.” In addition, they lifted the price target to $14 from $11.
Overall, analysts peg MGNI as a consensus strong buy. This assessment breaks down as eight buys, one hold and zero sells. Moreover, their average price target clocks in at $14.44, implying almost 81% upside potential.
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.