Stocks to buy

7 Stocks Analysts Love for Their 20% Upside Potential

A popular investing strategy is to identify sectors and stocks while they are undervalued by the market. One way to do this is to look for stocks analysts love. This can be a key indicator of investor sentiment. And, these stocks tend to have a higher price target over a period of time.

Analysts have access to companies that retail investors lack. Their ratings usually come with a written analysis explaining their reasoning. As a result, their ratings tend to carry weight with institutional investors. And as many retail investors know, that’s when the big moves tend to happen.

There are forecasts that single-digit stock price growth will become the norm over the next year. That’s why it’s a good time to look at these seven stocks analysts love. Each stock has a price target that is at least 20% higher than its price as of this writing.

ET Energy Transfer $11.67
COP ConocoPhillips $102.75
FTNT Fortinet $54.29
SMPL Simply Good Foods $34.17
ELY Callaway Golf Company $24.30
LYV Live Nation Entertainment $97.89
PENN Penn National Gaming $37.70

Energy Transfer (ET)

Source: Casimiro PT /

There’s ample evidence to suggest that the world is actively transitioning to renewable energy sources. However, as the price of crude oil remains near $100 a barrel, investors should remember that fossil fuels aren’t going away anytime soon. And Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET) is trading as an undervalued stock in the energy sector.

Energy Transfer is a midstream oil and gas company that has a large portfolio of assets primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. As supply chain issues continue to beset the energy sector, midstream companies are becoming more profitable due to expanding margins. And a significant portion of Energy Transfer’s earnings comes from its fee-based, volume-driven business models. The company has also retired a substantial amount of debt in the past year which is showing up in the company’s free cash flow.

Currently ET stock trades at a trailing price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 9.2x. Analysts are giving the stock a consensus price target of $14, which is 20% higher than its current price.

ConocoPhillips (COP)

Source: JHVEPhoto /

If you’re looking for a larger name in the oil and gas sector, you can look at ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). The company makes this list of stocks analysts love for several reasons. It is one of the world’s leading suppliers of liquefied natural gas. With European countries increasingly looking to wean themselves from their dependence on Russian energy, Conoco is well-positioned to fill the gap.

But one reason that is particularly compelling is the company’s Norway operations. This gives the company the ability to supply Europe with the natural gas liquids it will need to get through the winter.

COP stock trades at an attractive P/E ratio of 7.9x. And analysts give the stock a consensus price target of $129.64 which implies 26% upside from its current price.

Fortinet (FTNT)

Source: Sundry Photography /

Cybersecurity will remain a growth sector for investors in the coming years. It is, however, becoming a crowded sector so it’s still important to look for value where you can find it.

In the case of Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT), the company provides, among other things, VPN services. In our hyperconnected world, VPN’s are becoming a best practice for protecting our personal information when we’re online. And in May, the company announced a suite of new FortiGate appliances to support diverse data center environments and offer better performance than its competitors.

The company is projecting double-digit growth in revenue that will average 22% in the next five years. And earnings growth is expected to be even stronger at 38% over that same period. Analysts give FTNT stock a consensus price target of $73.38 which is 35% higher than the current price.

Simply Good Foods Company (SMPL)

Source: melissamn /

When the economy is slowing and inflation is taking its toll on household budgets, it may seem counterintuitive to recommend Simply Good Foods Company (NASDAQ:SMPL), a mid-cap company that specializes in offering healthy snacks. But that’s exactly the case I’ll try to make.

As of the company’s last earnings report, revenue and earnings were both increasing on a year-over-year (YOY) basis. And while past performance doesn’t predict the future, this is a trend that is likely to have legs. My reasoning is that fresh food is becoming much more expensive. And for families on a budget, the company’s portfolio of low-carb, low-sugar products may offer a cost-effective alternative.

SMPL stock is down 26% from its all-time high in April 2022. However, in the next five years, revenue is projected to grow at an average range in the high single digits while earnings are supposed to average double-digit growth. Analysts give SMPL stock a price target of $44.50 which is 30% higher than its current price.

Callaway Golf Company (ELY)

Source: 360b/

The next company on my list of stocks analysts love is Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY). Golf made a resurgence during the pandemic. It turns out that a sport that’s played outdoors and allows for a certain amount of social distancing becomes popular when other forms of gathering are not available. It also remains a popular activity for destination travel.

Combine that with the growing popularity of the Top Golf experience and you have several catalysts for future growth. That being said, ELY stock is down 34% since June 2021, but it’s still trading slightly above pre-pandemic levels and it has a price target that suggests 54% upside.

The company is projected to have double-digit growth in revenue and earnings in the next five years.

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV)

Source: 4kclips /

Social media can be an imperfect metric in many ways, but it’s impossible for me to ignore that my timeline is filled with people getting back to live entertainment. Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV), which generates 70% of its revenue from live concerts, therefore is an interesting pick.

The company’s revenue isn’t back to pre-pandemic levels, but barring any unforeseen events, that should only be a matter of time. Consumers continue to show that they are willing to pay for experiences, and concerts fit that bill.

LYV stock is down 23% from its all-time high reached in February 2022. But the stock is still up 20% in the last 12 months and analysts give the company a consensus price target of $115.83, which implies 20% upside from its current level.

Penn National Gaming (PENN)

Source: Casimiro PT /

The last company on this list of stocks analysts love is Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN). The company operates more than 25 casinos and horseracing tracks spanning 17 states. The company also is home to the Barstool sports betting app.

That’s significant because in the company’s most recent earnings report, the company reported that it had 12% market share of the sports betting market outside of Nevada. And with Americans getting ready to welcome back college and professional football, it’s likely that the company’s leadership position in several states will show up in its bottom line.

There’s no question investors got out over their skis on the growth of sports betting and the relaxing of pandemic restrictions in 2021. But PENN stock has a much more attractive valuation of 15.2x and stands to benefit from strong revenue and earnings growth in the next several years.

On the date of publication, Chris Markoch 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 Publishing Guidelines. 

Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for over five years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019.

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