BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- With June now upon us, many investors are hoping that Memorial Day's respite from trading will help to quell some of the forces of volatility that have been in play for the last month. Fundamentally speaking, it's more of the same -- oil spill, Eurozone debt, and financial reform on Washington -- that will continue to drive the markets this week. And while this shortened trading week gives us one fewer day to look for gains, we'll still seek to make the most of them with another week of Rocket Stock plays.
Rocket Stocks are our weekly list of beaten-down stocks with near-term growth catalysts and long-term fundamental growth potential. In the past 45 weeks, our list of intraweek plays has outperformed the
index by 55.04% for a total return of 70.89%.
Here's a look at
At first glance, $21 billion financial holding company
is an interesting play because of its sheer size. With more than 1,800 branches throughout the Southeast and a market cap that rivals many of the smaller nationwide banking companies, BB&T tips the scales as one of the largest regional banks out there. But while its size is impressive, the fact that the company has managed to maintain its regional bank margins is even more so.
BB&T's relatively conservative balance sheet kept it from reaping some of the riskiest real estate profits, but it also kept the bank on firm ground as the subprime debt crisis consumed some of its larger competitors. In the last couple of years, investors have been benefiting from that mainly on a value basis -- now this bank is looking to grow.
Colonial BancGroup was one of the banking companies that imploded as its risk-laden debt book started to show serious defaults. BB&T acquired Colonial's $22 billion in assets and deposits after the company was seized by the FDIC back in 2009, leaving most of the risk behind -- but while the acquisition brought additional attention, we haven't yet really seen the effects of the integrated company. Not to mention how BB&T's margins will help it profit amid 2010's increased banking volumes.
Who Owns BB&T?
With significant upward potential and rising analyst sentiment, BB&T is well-positioned to deliver some gains this week.
. Chipotle has been one of my favorite companies for a while now as one of the best ways to get exposure to the restaurant business. After all, Chipotle's incredibly popular take on Mexican food and fast-casual dining model have kept the primetime lines long at most of the company's nearly 1,000 restaurants in North America. With international growth on the table for Chipotle, this company could impress investors in 2010 -- as soon as next week.
Until now, the chain's only international locations have been in Ontario, Canada -- a far cry from the international ubiquity of giants such as
(MCD) -- and while Chipotle's management team had been talking about expanding across the pond for a while now, the opening of the company's first London location is a significant milestone because it represents the first glimpse at what could be a huge market for Chipotle.
And although the company's June 8 shareholders meeting is a bit early to get meaningful numbers on how Chipotle's first European store is performing, expect management to provide insights on their growth ideas for 2010 -- and expect Wall Street to be impressed with what they have to say.
Investors are hungry for
, or at least that's what the numbers seem to say given that the company trades for 134 times earnings and 11.81 times book value right now. But investors, like consumers, like OpenTable's product offering enough that that valuation is likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future. And with analysts' impression of the company on the rise in 2010, share prices could easily rise in kind.
OpenTable provides "electronic reservation books" to restaurants, giving diners a portal to find a restaurant and reserve a table free of charge, and bringing in significant revenues for restaurants. OpenTable joins in the windfall too by collecting fees for restaurants to use their hardware and software, as well as a restaurant-paid fee for each reservation completed with OpenTable.
With discretionary spending on the upswing once again, analysts have been systematically increasing their ratings on OpenTable. Expect that trend to continue to pressure its stock price higher this week.
For more stocks that made this week's cut, including
, check out the
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the
Rhino Stock Report
, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including
, and has been featured in
Investor's Business Daily