BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, Citigroup (C) - Get Report and Ford (F) - Get Report are tirelessly touted by the media and fund managers. Yet, analysts favor lesser-followed companies.
Here are 10 large-cap stocks, all
members, that receive rave reviews from analysts but get little attention from investors. The stocks are ordered by the share of "buy" ratings received, from bullish to most-bullish sentiment.
is a global power company, selling electricity to utilities and other wholesale customers. Since 2007, AES has increased earnings per share 121% annually, on average, trumping the profit growth of competitors. Yet, its stock dropped 23% a year over that span. It currently trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 9.5 and a price-to-cash-flow ratio of 2.8, 51% and 39% discounts to peer averages. Of analysts covering AES, 5, or 83%, rate its stock "buy" and one ranks it "hold." A median target of $16.67 suggests 67% of upside.
Public Service Enterprise Group
sells electricity and natural gas in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. During the past three years, it has boosted net income 24% a year. Public Service shares sell for a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 11, a modest discount to the multi-utility industry average. They offer a dividend yield of 4.1%, with a payout ratio of 41%. Of researchers following Public Service, 16, or 84%, advise purchasing its shares and three recommend holding. A median target of $35.81 implies 7% of upside.
sells insurance and reinsurance products. Since 2007, it has increased revenue 4% annually, on average. The company is scheduled to release second-quarter numbers July 27. First-quarter profit increased 33% to $755 million, or $2.22, as revenue gained 10%. ACE trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 7.4 and a price-to-cash-flow ratio of 5.2, markdowns of 35% and 52% to peer averages. Of analysts covering the stock, 20, or 87%, rate it "buy" and three rate it "hold." A median target of $64.93 reflects a potential 20% return.
makes industrial flow-control equipment, specifically pump systems and components, used by oil and gas, chemical, power-generation and water-treatment companies. During the past three years, it has grown net profit 47% annually, on average. Its stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 11 and a cash flow multiple of 11, 43% and 24% discounts to machinery industry averages. Of researchers rating the stock, 13, or 87%, advise purchasing and two suggest holding. A median target of $134.89 implies 52% of upside.
explores for and sells coal. Its coal products generate an estimated 10% of U.S. electricity. Since 2007, Peabody has expanded net sales 6.3% a year. Its stock dropped 4.5% a year over that same span. It sells for a PEG ratio, a measure of value relative to predicted long-run growth, of 0.3, indicating a 70% discount to fair value. Its forward earnings multiple of 9.4 indicates a 26% discount to the peer average. Of firms evaluating Peabody, 23, or 88%, advise purchasing its stock, two say to hold and one recommends selling the shares.
provides products and services to oil and gas companies, including production-optimization technology. The company is due to release second-quarter numbers July 19. First-quarter profit tumbled 46% to $206 million, or 23 cents, as the operating margin contracted to 12% from 16%. Halliburton has dropped 7.9% in 2010, in part due to reputational damage from the
spill. Its stock trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 13, a 40% discount to its peer average. Of analysts covering the stock, 89% rank it a "buy."
designs and sells the tools that researchers use for drug discovery. During the past three years, the company has increased revenue 42% annually, on average. Its stock returned 6.9% a year over that span. Life is expected to report its second-quarter performance July 29. First-quarter profit rose six-fold to $92 million, or 48 cents. The stock sells for a PEG ratio of 0.1, a 90% discount to fair value. Roughly 89% of researchers covering the shares rank them "buy." A median target of $61.46 suggests 31% of upside lies ahead.
collects and disposes of waste. It merged with
in 2008. During the past three years, Republic has boosted revenue 38% annually, on average, helped by the merger. Republic is scheduled to release second-quarter results July 28. First-quarter profit tumbled 42%, to $65 million, or 17 cents a share, as revenue declined 5%. Republic shares sell for a PEG ratio of 0.9, a 10% discount to fair value. Researchers are bullish on the stock, with 91% rating it "buy." A median target of $36.29 implies a return of 21%.
is an electric and gas utility in Michigan. Since 2007, it has boosted earnings per share 49% a year, on average. Its stock has gained 29% in the past 12 months, beating indices. The company will announce second-quarter results July 28. First-quarter profit advanced 22% to $88 million, or 35 cents. The stock trades at a PEG ratio of 0.3, a 70% discount to fair value. It offers a dividend yield of 3.8%, with a payout ratio of 63%. Roughly 93% of analysts covering the stock rate it "buy" A median target of $18.08 suggests 15% of upside.
provides transaction-processing services. During the past three years, it has grown revenue 14% annually, on average, and more than doubled profit, on average, each year. Its stock returned 7.8% a year over that span, outperforming tech peers. MasterCard is due to release second-quarter numbers Aug. 3. Its stock sells for a forward earnings multiple of 13, a 20% discount to its peer average. Of researchers following MasterCard, 94% advise purchasing shares. A median target of $289.62 indicates a potential 44% return.
-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.
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