Market Overview

Four Stocks Most Analysts are Bullish On

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Almost all major equity research firms give these stocks Buy, Outperform, Overweight, Hold, Equal Weight, Market Perform or Neutral ratings.

This might create a situation in which analysts are weary to go against the overwhelming majority. If one of these stocks declines drastically, almost all of its analyst's reputations would likely decline concurrently and none would likely be much worse off relative to each other. For this reason, giving a stock a loss-making rating may not be as significant of a risk when all analysts give similar ratings. However, a stock loved by almost all of its analysts also may be an obvious strong buying opportunity.

Here are four stocks analysts love:

Fossil (NASDAQ: FOSL): Of 14 major firms that rate this producer of watches and other fashion accessories, only one, EVA Dimensions, rates the stock Sell, Underperform or Underweight. Some may find this perplexing, considering the stock is down more than 30% today. Today's double-digit decline followed an increase of approximately 60% between the beginning of this year and May 7th.

Analysts might disagree with short sellers; whose short positions comprise around 7% of Fossil's floating shares. The firm released fiscal Q1 earnings this morning, with actual EPS of $0.93 beating analyst consensus expectations of $0.92, but sales of $589.5 million, lower than expectations of $617.64 million. In Fossil's earnings conference call this morning, the company released guidance for fiscal-year 2012 EPS between $5.30 and $5.40, a range that fell entirely below consensus analyst expectations of $5.56. Shares of Fossil have a 52-week trading range of $69.57-$139.20, and are currently trading at a price around $80.00.

Apache (NYSE: APA): Of the 31 notable research firms who cover this energy producer, not one rates it a Sell, Underweight or Underperform. Firms with Buy ratings include Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, and Ameriprise Advisor Services. Apache's share price has declined around 20% since late February. It is currently trading near $85.50, placing its P/E ratio around 8.23. Comparable companies EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) and Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) are currently trading with P/E multiples near 25.15 and 24.25, respectively. Apache has a current PEG ratio around .78, while EOG Resource's PEG ratio is near .65 and Noble Energy's is close to 1.38.

The consensus analyst estimate for Apache's full-year 2012 earnings per share has reached $12.40, after declining from the consensus 30 days ago, $12.62. For full-year 2013, the consensus analyst EPS estimate is $13.65. This represents an increase of approximately 10% from the full-year 2013 consensus, but has also declined from its level 30 days ago of $13.93. After 3 quarters of positive earnings surprises, the company released earnings per share on May 3rd of $3.00, 3% below analyst expectations of $3.09.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG): Of 39 major equity research entities that rate this technology giant, not one rates it a Sell, Underweight or Underperform. In fact, 32 of these 39 research firms rate Google a Buy, Outperform, Overweight or Positive. Google's stock is down a little more than 5% year to date. The company is currently trading with a P/E multiple around 18.27 and PEG ratio near 1. Chinese internet search provider Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) has a P/E multiple near 36.77 and a PEG ratio around .88. Digital media firm Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) has a P/E ratio close to 17.12 and a PEG multiple near 1.25.

On April 12th, Google released fiscal Q1 earnings per share of $10.08, exceeding analyst expectations of $9.65 by 4.5%. This followed a fiscal Q4 release in which Google's actual earnings per share of $9.50 fell short of analyst expectations of $10.50 by a margin of 9.5%. Late last month, Google released its Google Drive cloud storage service. At Google's annual meeting on June 21st, shareholders will vote on a unique stock split that would increase co-founders' power over the company. Shareholders might question if it is in their best interest to give that much power to Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL): 52 major research firms cover Apple, but only one, ACI Research, rates the firm a Sell, Underperform or Overweight. Of those 52 firms, 45 rate it a Buy, Outperform or Overweight. Shares of the consumer electronics producer and marketer have risen more than 35% year to date.

Apple's earnings have beat analyst consensus estimates by greater than 20% for the previous two quarterly releases, after releasing earnings lower than analyst estimates by 4.6% in Q4 of fiscal 2011. Apple has a P/E ratio around 13.65 and a PEG ratio near .73. Comparable company Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has a P/E ratio around 8.21, which may make it look cheap relative to Apple, but it also has a PEG ratio close to .81 that might tell an opposing story. Analyst opinions vary about when and if Apple will release Apple TV.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I did not own shares of any companies mentioned in this post.

Latest Ratings for APA

DateFirmActionFromTo
Dec 2014BarclaysMaintainsOverweight
Dec 2014Deutsche BankMaintainsHold
Dec 2014Imperial CapitalMaintainsOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for APA
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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