Stocks ended Friday on a positive note, but an uncertain week – with a Federal Reserve meeting – looms ahead.
The three major averages notched gains for Friday’s session and were higher on the week. Nevertheless, investors are likely watching the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policy meeting to see how the central bank will proceed on interest rate hikes. That means a market shake-up could be in store.
Investors need to look past short-term market developments and pick out stocks that can withstand these uncertain times. Here are five stocks picked out by the top Wall Street professionals, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their track records.
Premier K-12 education services provider Stride (LRN) is a steady company that reported an earnings miss but beat revenue expectations in its most recent quarter. Moreover, the stock quietly entered the oversold territory (with the relative strength index falling below the 30 mark), which is a sign for investors to take interest in it.
Barrington Research analyst Alexander Paris analyzed the earnings performance and studied the outlook. The coming months have several headwinds tied to the broader economy, and the analyst reduced his 2022 estimates to reflect these. Nonetheless, Paris noted that although the company has given guidance on lower margins for the year, management still “believes it may be able to offset these expected declines during the year through ongoing efficiency efforts.”
Despite the near-term challenges, Stride assured investors that it is still on track to hit its long-term (FY25) financial goals set in 2020, and that is what led Paris to reiterate a buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $50. (See Stride Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)
Paris holds the 207th position among around 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks. With 56% profitable ratings, his convictions about Stride may be worth considering. Moreover, each of his ratings has garnered an average of 14.3% returns.
Timken (TKR) develops, manufactures and markets bearings and power transmission products. Thanks to the strong demand in the industrial market, the company has been navigating through 2022 quite well, despite the supply-chain setbacks and rising costs.
Last week, Timken handily beat Wall Street expectations in its latest quarterly results, primarily driven by its process industries unit and complemented by lower corporate and interest expense. Oppenheimer analyst Bryan Blair reiterated a buy rating and $84 price target on the stock, citing several upsides.
“Combining Timken’s operational momentum, backlog position, solid end market reads, and improved price/cost, we like the team’s prospects of achieving revised 2022 EPS guidance and driving further earnings growth next year. TKR’s valuation should also prove supportive,” said Blair.
The analyst was also buoyed by a guidance lift for 2023, which reflects the positive trends going into next year. (See Timken Company Insider Trading Activity on TipRanks)
Blair, who has a No. 302 ranking out of about 8,000 analysts on TipRanks, has a 60% ratings success rate. Moreover, each of his ratings has brought 15.5% returns on average.
Semiconductor bellwether Texas Instruments (TXN) is another stock to take note of, despite its recent downbeat guidance for the final quarter of the year. Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland seems to agree.
The company’s quarterly results came in higher than estimates. Management expects most end-markets (except auto) to decline sequentially in the fourth quarter, as “weakness has spread beyond Personal Electronics to affect Industrial, which to date has been resilient.” (See Texas Instruments Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)
While this may sound worrying at first, Rolland said that TXN stock is a great long-term investment, as its durable competitive edge, which has been gained through scale, far outweighs the near-term challenges.
“This scale advantage helps provide unmatched analog product breadth (a catalog of 100k parts), comprehensive service and sales support, and manufacturing prowess,” said Rolland.
Rolland, who stands at No. 62 among more than 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks, reduced the price target on the stock to $195 from $215, but stayed put on his buy rating on Texas Instruments. The analyst had 63% success in his ratings in the past year, with each rating bringing 19.8% average returns.
Juniper Networks (JNPR), provider of products and services for high-performance networks, recently delivered strong quarterly results and a solid outlook. The company’s pipeline of deals remains strong even through the challenges of the economy this year.
Going by what Needham analyst Alex Henderson has to say about Juniper, the stock is a resounding buy.
“Juniper delivered a strong quarter, offered a healthy, yet still Supply-constrained guide and noted confidence in its near, intermediate, and long term prospects,” said the analyst. (See Juniper Networks Stock Chart & Stock Technical Analysis on TipRanks)
Henderson said that the solid backlog provides a strong upside to Juniper’s revenue growth over the next two to three years. The analyst thinks a 10% revenue growth is possible through this timeframe.
Henderson also cites “strong cash flow, improving product line, and expansion into the Cloud and Enterprise markets over time” as upsides that can aid stock appreciation and boost the financial health of the company.
Henderson is ranked No. 144 among over 8,000 analysts followed on TipRanks. He has a 55% success rate and average returns of 17.3% per rating.
Application delivery and security solutions provider F5 (FFIV) is another of Henderson’s favorite stocks for the season. The company beat top and bottom line estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter recently, despite a significant slowdown in software revenues.
The only matter Henderson is slightly concerned about is the revenue mix, which the analyst thinks is unfavorable. However, with management guiding 9% to 11% revenue growth for fiscal year 23, Henderson was prompted to raise his revenue and earnings per share estimates. (See F5 Networks Hedge Fund Trading Activity on TipRanks)
On the other hand, F5’s software business stands fragile right now and recovery is uncertain in the near-term. This issue prompted the analyst to lower the price target to $200 from $303. Nonetheless, Henderson maintained his buy rating, reflecting his long-term bullishness on the FFIV stock.
“FFIV offers a strong blend of accelerating Revenue growth, expanding GM and Operating Margin, Strong Balance Sheet with $9.05/share in Cash, over $1.2 billion worth of share repurchases authorized and free cash flow generation. We expect the positives to support a rising multiple as the stock increasingly becomes a play on Kubernetes, modern application workloads, and Security,” said Henderson.