Megan Leonhardt | CNBC
Friday’s rally gave investors a bit of respite from the latest bout of stock market tumult, but more volatility is likely ahead.
It doesn’t help that inflation continues to bite, and the Federal Reserve’s move to raise rates has created further uncertainty.
Wall Street’s top pros are reminding investors to look past the turbulence and set their sights on long-term investing. Analysts are picking out their favorite stocks to weather the storm, according to TipRanks, which ranks the best-performing Wall Street professionals.
Here are five stocks that analysts are highlighting this week.
Coursera (COUR) provides online courses covering a broad range of disciplines and qualification levels, including degree programs. It targets individuals and enterprises, including companies that seek to upskill their workforce.
Coursera partners with industry experts and universities to provide the course content. Customers can purchase individual course certificates or buy a subscription plan. Coursera’s revenue rose 36% year-over-year to $120.4 million in the first quarter of 2022, beating the consensus estimate of $116.7 million. (See Coursera’s Blogger Sentiment on TipRanks)
Coursera could not avoid the sell-off that has hit stocks across the board. Yet, those buying the dip may be getting a great deal. Needham’s Ryan MacDonald attended Coursera’s recent annual conference and came away convinced that the stock presents a great long-term investment opportunity. In a recent report, the analyst pointed out that the conference discussions provided an outlook that implies growing opportunities across Coursera’s segments.
MacDonald rated the stock a buy with a price target of $32.
In the consumer segment, Coursera is expanding professional certificate offerings with a high gross margin. This strategy will support revenue growth and margin expansion, the analyst said. According to MacDonald, in the enterprise segment, Coursera is introducing innovative offerings and freebie add-ons that should help it win new customers while also expanding its wallet share.
Out of the nearly 8,000 analysts in the TipRanks database, MacDonald is ranked at No. 545. His success rate stands at 47%, with an average return of 12.5% per rating.
ZoomInfo (ZI) sells access to valuable database information that companies rely on for marketing and talent hiring. Its TalentOS platform, for instance, enables companies to recruit more efficiently.
In the first quarter, ZoomInfo beat consensus estimates on its top and bottom lines. The company went on to provide an upbeat outlook for the second quarter and the full year. (See ZoomInfo Earnings Data on TipRanks)
Despite the strong quarterly results and upbeat guidance, ZoomInfo’s stock has been caught in a downturn. According to Raymond James analyst Brian Peterson, the sell-off in ZoomInfo is a blessing in disguise for investors with a long-term view since they can buy the stock cheaply. In a recent report, the analyst said that ZoomInfo has more room to grow profitably, citing the company’s introduction of new products, acquisitions and international expansion drive.
Peterson rated the stock a buy with a price target of $65.
Amid strong demand, ZoomInfo is accelerating its international expansion. The company is increasing its headcount in London, and it has also recently opened its first physical office in India.
At the same time, ZoomInfo is continuing with strategic acquisitions. It recently acquired Comparably and Dogpatch Advisors to bolster its recruitment and sales solutions, respectively. As it expands overseas and enhances its solutions with acquisitions, ZoomInfo is winning more business from existing customers. For example, it recently had a deal expansion with Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL), the analyst said.
Peterson is ranked at No. 100 out of the nearly 8,000 analysts in the TipRanks database. His stock ratings have been right 59% of the time, with an average return of 19.2% per rating.
Big-box retailer Costco (COST) currently operates a network of about 830 stores and plans to open shops in 30 additional locations in 2022. The move could boost its sales. (See Costco Stock Charts on TipRanks).
In its latest quarterly report, Costco posted revenue and profit that surpassed consensus estimates. However, Costco stock has continued to trade below where it began the year. Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh believes that Costco remains a great investment and that the discount in the stock is a great opportunity to buy it at a lower price. In a recent report, the analyst highlighted Costco’s strong management team and good track record of shareholder returns.
Parikh rated the stock a buy with a price target of $645.
In terms of shareholder returns, Costco has a long history of dividend payments. It recently boosted the payout to $3.60 per share on an annualized basis. Parikh sees prospects for a special dividend. The analyst also noted Costco’s strong April sales despite the many headwinds that retailers across the board are grappling with. The analyst also sees Costco as having a strong competitive position, which should enable it to continue to gain market share.
Parikh is ranked at No. 352 out of about 8,000 analysts in the TipRanks database. The analyst has been accurate 62% of the time in his stock ratings, with an average return of 10.5% per rating.
Fintech company Green Dot (GDOT) offers prepaid debit cards, checking accounts, and consumer cash processing services. It also helps with wage disbursements and the processing of tax refunds.
The company delivered strong first-quarter results, as revenue and profit both improved from the same quarter the previous year and exceeded consensus estimates. Green Dot went on to issue upbeat guidance for the second quarter and the full year. The company has also launched a $100 million share repurchase program. (See Green Dot Risk Analysis on TipRanks)
However, Green Dot stock has remained under pressure amid the broader market sell-off. According to Needham analyst Mayank Tandon, GDOT has bright prospects and the current pullback presents a bargain opportunity.
Tandon rated GDOT a buy with a price target of $35.
The analyst noted that the pandemic has accelerated adoption of digital banking and payments, adding that the trend plays into GDOT’s core focus areas. Tandon also noted that GDOT’s management continues to invest in driving future long-term growth. The investments, coupled with share repurchases, could drive double-digit per-share earnings growth in 2023 and beyond.
Out of the nearly 8,000 analysts in the TipRanks database, Tandon is ranked at No. 573. The analyst’s calls have been correct 48% of the time, with an average return of 10% per rating.
Health insurance company Cigna (CI) is bucking the broader market sell-off. Investors have continued to flock into Cigna stock after the company reported strong quarterly results and issued upbeat guidance for the full year. Mizuho Securities analyst Ann Hynes believes that is the right thing to do now.
In a recent report, the analyst notes that Cigna’s prospects remain bright. The company recently launched a provider consult service that it says is designed to deliver better outcomes for cancer patients. The service is powered by Evernorth Health Services. In a community pilot, Cigna said results showed that 40% of the patients benefited from updated therapy guidance, thanks to the provider consult service. According to Hynes, the Evernorth business performed well in the first quarter and it remains well positioned for growth in 2023. (See Cigna Dividend Data on TipRanks)
Hynes rated the stock a buy with a price target of $291.
According to Hynes, Cigna’s Evernorth unit is benefiting from new business wins and strong renewal rates. The analyst further noted that there is a great cross-selling opportunity for Cigna between its health-care segment and the Evernorth unit.
Of the nearly 8,000 analysts in the TipRanks database, Hynes is ranked No. 568. The analyst’s calls have been right 57% of the time, with an average return of 8.9% per rating.