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Why These 3 Stocks Are Getting Upgraded by Analysts

Nike logo close-up at sportswear store

Key Points

  • Three stocks call for Wall Street analysts' attention despite seeing recent sell-offs that would otherwise drive analysts away. 
  • Seeing double-digit upside in these companies comes with the growing tailwinds that form behind the stocks to build bullish analyst cases.
  • EPS growth rates are set to wipe out these stocks' recent sell-offs, closing the gap for investors to take advantage of.
  • 5 stocks we like better than United Airlines

Whenever analysts choose to upgrade a stock, investors could benefit from attempting to reverse engineer the reasons behind the boost for the specific stocks these analysts picked. Because reputations—and jobs—are on the line, these analysts are often careful to boost the stock, so they typically have strong reasons to believe there is an upside in the stock they recommend.

Today, three stocks earned Wall Street’s favor despite showing market bearish price action. However, that only strengthens the analyst recommendation, as analysts don’t often boost stocks that have sold off recently. These stocks include none other than Nike Inc. NYSE: NKE, Enphase Energy Inc. NASDAQ: ENPH, and even United Airlines Holdings Inc. NASDAQ: UAL.

Each of these stocks has a strong fundamental tailwind that pushes them closer to where these analysts want to see them, but the story doesn’t end there. There will be other reasons that will become clear in just a bit as to why investors should start paying attention to these companies moving forward.

Nike Stock Price Drops, but Its Quality Remains Unshaken

NIKE Today

NIKE, Inc. stock logo
NKENKE 90-day performance
NIKE
$72.70
+0.32 (+0.44%)
(As of 07/19/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
$71.24
$123.39
Dividend Yield
2.04%
P/E Ratio
19.49
Price Target
$96.44

Nike's shares have sold down to only 79% of their 52-week highs, which fits the Wall Street description of a bear market. As any 20% or more sell-off would qualify as a bearish trend, Nike stock is far from being a stock that commands Wall Street's attention, yet it did.

It is beyond the scope of research why those at J.P. Morgan Chase decided to boost Nike’s valuation up to $116 per share. Still, investors could anchor that the bank calls for a 19.3% upside in Nike stock from where it trades today.

NIKE MarketRank™ Stock Analysis
Overall MarketRank™
4.95 out of 5
Analyst Rating
Hold
Upside/Downside
32.7% Upside
Short Interest
Healthy
Dividend Strength
Strong
Sustainability
-3.82
News Sentiment
0.09mentions of NIKE in the last 14 days
Insider Trading
Selling Shares
Projected Earnings Growth
13.14%
See Full Details

Analysts at Oppenheimer took their targets a step further, pushing Nike stock’s potential ceiling as high as $120 a share, daring the company to recover by as much as 23.4% from today’s price.


But analysts aren’t the only ones feeling bullish on Nike stock. Markets aren’t shy about letting investors know what they think about Nike stock, as their message couldn’t be more precise.

Trading at a 28.6x P/E ratio would place Nike stock at an approximate 125% premium to the consumer discretionary sector, now valued at an average P/E ratio of 12.7x today.

Despite the sell-offs in Nike stock, the market is still valuing it as if nothing ever happened, and this gives these analysts the confidence they need to boost the stock in the middle of bearish price action.

Enphase Stock’s Growth is Coming Whether Fossil Fuels Like it Or Not

Enphase Energy Today

Enphase Energy, Inc. stock logo
ENPHENPH 90-day performance
Enphase Energy
$105.46
-2.48 (-2.30%)
(As of 07/19/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
$73.49
$182.26
P/E Ratio
54.93
Price Target
$129.74

Wall Street analysts are now forecasting up to 132% earnings per share (EPS) growth for Enphase stock, a bold move by any measure. Warren Buffett's decision to invest heavily in the energy sector, completing a nine-day buying streak in shares of Occidental Petroleum Co. NYSE: OXY, backs these claims.

Enphase’s business is in solar energy, so how can a bullish view of oil prices help Enphase stock become a top pick? The answer is in the price of oil itself. If even Buffett expects oil to rise, then more expensive fuel will likely make alternative energy sources (like solar) a more attractive proposition.

Enphase Energy MarketRank™ Stock Analysis
Overall MarketRank™
4.66 out of 5
Analyst Rating
Hold
Upside/Downside
23.0% Upside
Short Interest
Bearish
Dividend Strength
N/A
Sustainability
-1.18
News Sentiment
0.23mentions of Enphase Energy in the last 14 days
Insider Trading
Selling Shares
Projected Earnings Growth
139.86%
See Full Details

Knowing this, analysts at HSBC saw it fit to boost their valuations for Enphase stock to a high of $166 a share. To prove these analysts right, Enphase will need to rally by as much as 55.6% from where it sits today.

This upside, while bold, is made realistic by the fact that the stock is now trading at only 55% of its 52-week high price. Knowing these inevitable trends, markets feel as comfortable paying a premium price for this stock today.

Enphase stock’s 55.6x P/E ratio will be head and shoulders above the energy sector’s average P/E valuation of 13.6x today. On a price-to-book (P/B) basis, the stock also gets a lot of credit from markets, as its 14.8x multiple blows past the energy sector’s 3.4x average valuation.

United Airlines Shorts Retreat On Recent Travel Uptick

United Airlines Today

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. stock logo
UALUAL 90-day performance
United Airlines
$47.93
+1.54 (+3.32%)
(As of 07/19/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
$33.68
$58.23
P/E Ratio
5.92
Price Target
$72.20

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported a record daily number of passengers in May 2024. Because United Airlines holds roughly 9.7% of the domestic U.S. travel market share, more passengers could translate into more profits.

How much more? Wall Street analysts suggest that EPS could grow by as much as 15% in the next 12 months, and those at Citigroup held nothing back when updating their valuation models for United Airlines stock.

United Airlines MarketRank™ Stock Analysis
Overall MarketRank™
4.93 out of 5
Analyst Rating
Moderate Buy
Upside/Downside
50.6% Upside
Short Interest
Healthy
Dividend Strength
N/A
Sustainability
-5.87
News Sentiment
0.78mentions of United Airlines in the last 14 days
Insider Trading
N/A
Projected Earnings Growth
14.36%
See Full Details

Seeing a ceiling of up to $96 a share directly dares the stock to jump by nearly 100% from where it trades today. Because the stock traded down to 83% of its 52-week high, it is starting to gain more momentum despite its recent sell-offs, a good sign in backing analyst projections today.

The U.S. consumer is also looming on the hopes of the Federal Reserve (the Fed) cutting interest rates this year, which could help boost travel consumption and accelerate travel trends. According to the CME’s FedWatch tool, these potential cuts could come as soon as September 2024, giving investors – and analysts – a more reasonable timeline to draw out.

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Should you invest $1,000 in United Airlines right now?

Before you consider United Airlines, you'll want to hear this.

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While United Airlines currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

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Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli
About The Author

Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli

Contributing Author

Value Stocks, Asian Markets, Macro Economics

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Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
4.6593 of 5 stars
4.66 / 5 stars
$105.46-2.3%N/A54.93Hold$129.74
NIKE (NKE)
4.9534 of 5 stars
4.95 / 5 stars
$72.70+0.4%2.04%19.49Hold$96.44
United Airlines (UAL)
4.9284 of 5 stars
4.93 / 5 stars
$47.93+3.3%N/A5.92Moderate Buy$72.20
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