- Uncertainty is high, but analysts maintain faith in these stocks.
- Boosted targets and upgrades point to rising share prices in the year's first half.
- These are the four Most Upgraded stocks the first week of 2024.
- 5 stocks we like better than Chipotle Mexican Grill
The market action in the first week of the year has been gripping. Uncertainty is the only certainty, and that is more certain than ever. Inflation is cooling, and the FOMC is on track to cut rates, but a new question has arisen. The FOMC is on track to cut rates, but when it will happen is debatable. However, some stocks stand out despite the uncertainty.
The way things look, the current interest rate environment will persist at least until mid-year and maybe longer if inflation doesn’t subside substantially. The risk between now and then is a recession. OPEC cutting its prices hints at slackening demand, which generally does not bode well for economic activity.
Through all the turmoil, there are some rays of light. The analysts have been active, revising many targets as soon as the first morning of the new trading year. They have set a bullish tone for many of the market's most actively traded and widely held names. This is a look at the four Most Upgraded Stocks for the first week of 2024.
Lululemon Athletica is a nice fit for analysts
Lululemon Athletica NASDAQ: LULU started the year with five revisions in the first week, leading the market. The five revisions are all boosted price targets with an average increase of 10.3%. They see this retail stock trading an average of 9% above the broad consensus, which is increasing. The Marketbeat.com consensus target for this stock is up nearly 20% compared to last year and up compared to last quarter and last month and is likely to move higher as the year progresses.
The new targets include the new high target of $610, nearly 25% above the current consensus. Assuming this trend continues, Lulu’s consensus price target could move to a new all-time high by mid-year. Thirty-one analysts rate Lululemon a consensus Moderate Buy. Their faith was rewarded the 2nd week of the year when the company raised its Q4 guidance, citing strong holiday trends.
Chipotle Mexican Grill: Carne Asada sizzles; analysts take a bite
Chipotle Mexican Grill NYSE: CMG is another hot stock with sizzling analysts' action in the year's first week. The analysts issued five revisions, all boosted targets, with an average increase of 20%. They see this stock trading about 14% above the current consensus, and the range includes the new high target. That target is $2800 and set by Barclays. Analysts at Stephens raised their price target after making seasonal channel checks, citing solid comps, improving traffic in December, and the carne asada special as reasons. Twenty-five analysts rate CMG stock a consensus Moderate Buy; the price target is up 24% YOY and 3.5% in the last month.
Domino’s Pizza is on the verge of a reversal
The price action in Domino’s Pizza NYSE: DPZ has been range-bound for the last two years, but that may be about to change. The stock price received four analysts' revisions in the first week, including one upgrade to Market Perform and four boosted targets with an average increase of 7.5%. The new targets don’t include a fresh high but two $470 targets, which align with the $475 high. It is about 15% above the consensus, which began to rise over the last quarter. If this trend continues, shares of DPZ will likely move above resistance at $415 and may sustain an uptrend in the first half of the year.
PPG Industries gets a fresh coat of paint
PPG Industries NYSE: PPG is another stock that may enter a reversal soon. The stock price has sharply increased since October 2023, and analysts are raising targets now. The three showing up so far have an average price target increase of only 3.5% but include an upgrade to Buy. Among analysts to issue research is Goldman Sachs, which listed PPG stock on its Conviction List Directors Cut, citing a 16% upside. However, the upside may be limited, with the consensus figure only 7% above the recent action and the new targets in alignment.
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