Analyst sentiment is one factor that investors can use to predict the future performance of a stock. Analysts give stocks ratings ranging from “strong-buy” to “strong sell.” In many cases, they will issue a 12-month price target for the stock. In some cases, an analyst may not change their overall rating of a stock but may raise or lower its price target. When several analysts weigh in with an opinion about as stock, it tends to affect the company’s stock price in the direction of the analysts opinions.
Although analyst upgrades are not a guarantee of a stock’s future performance, they carry some weight because analysts have access to a company’s management team and, in some cases, have insights that can be difficult for retail investors to access. With that in mind, here are the 10 most upgraded stocks that have received the most upgrades (or have had their price target increased) by Wall Street analysts on MarketBeat in August 2021:
- Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) – Both GOOGL, and GOOG stocks crack this list in August. Informed investors know that Google’s parent company Alphabet has offered two classes of shares since 2014. GOOG shares, which do not come with voting rights, topped the list in the last 30 days with 23 upgrades from analysts. GOOGL stock took the third slot with 21 upgrades.
- Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) – Earnings season is typically a time when analysts issue new opinions about a stock. That’s been the case for Microsoft which has received heavy analyst coverage since reporting earnings on July 26. Of the 22 analysts to offer an opinion in the last 30 days, 17 have raised their price target. That combined with a significant decrease in short interest has been a reason for the stock’s recent strong performance.
- Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) – On the heels of a strong earnings report in late July, SHOP stock has been upgraded by 20 analysts. This is not particularly surprising since Shopify straddles the areas of technology and e-commerce; two sectors that continue to provide some of the strongest growth stocks.
- Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) – Facebook continues to rack up the victories with 18 upgrades in the last 30 days, 15 of them have included an increased price target, which has pushed the consensus price target for FB stock to a level that is 10% higher than the stock’s price when the markets closed on August 13. For the time being, investors are shrugging off any regulatory concerns and are bidding the stock up higher.
- ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) – ServiceNow is the developer of the Now Platform, an enterprise cloud computing solution that helps deliver digital workflows on a single cloud platform. The stock has received 17 upgrades in the past 30 days which likely has to do with a strong earnings report, coupled by the Delta variant that is causing employers to reassess return to office plans.
- ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ: ON) – One way to invest in the current global chip shortage is to invest in the companies that semiconductors in highly impacted industries such as the automotive market. That’s one reason why analysts are bullish on ON Semiconductor as the company’s product offerings include lidar, image, radar, and ultrasonic sensors used in the industry today.
- McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) – 17 analysts have offered an upgrade on McDonald’s stock in the last month. This comes as the company reported strong earnings that highlighted the strength of its digital initiatives. The restaurant chain proved its mettle as stores were forced to close at the beginning of the pandemic and is also showing itself to be a strong recovery stock as well.
- Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) – Apple continues to stack one impressive earnings report on another as the company continues to remind investors that it’s not just about the iPhone anymore. Services and Wearables continue to comprise more and more of the company’s revenue, which should keep analysts bullish for quite some time. In this last 30-day period, 16 analysts upgraded AAPL stock.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) – Despite receiving a downgrade from Raymond James, Chipotle has received 15 upgrades in the past 30 days. And the downgrade has a caveat, the analyst raised his price target for CMG stock. Like McDonald’s, Chipotle has shown itself to be a strong performer both as the chain’s stores were closed and as they reopen
- Snap (NYSE: SNAP) - Snap, the social media company that features the popular Snapchat platform, rounds out this list. Like Chipotle, the company had 15 analyst upgrades in the last month. The company has a firm grip on the prized 18-24 demographic and is showing investors that it has several ways to monetize its signature app.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks some of the largest publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs.
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