3. AeroVironment ( AVAV) sells unmanned, remote-control military aircraft and rapid-charging battery stations for electric vehicles. The stock has fallen due to concerns over U.S. defense budget cuts. According to Benchmark Research, the company should do well because of growth in its electric-vehicle-charging business. "We will see major deployment of electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure in the coming year to support multiple electric-vehicle introductions and the White House's target of 1 million EV by 2015." AeroVironment was recently named to a list of stocks by Goldman Sachs that have a 15% probability, or better, of being acquired. Shares of AeroVironment rocketed 20% Wednesday as quarterly earnings exceeded analysts' estimates. While the shares are not quite as attractive compared with when I first ran the screen June 20, they still have upside potential, given TheStreet Ratings $38 price target.
5. Whole Foods Market ( WFM) has turned in a lackluster performance over the past three months, with the shares down 6%, trailing the food-and-staples industry by over 7%. Investors, concerned about the sluggish economy, have avoided the company. But the news has been good, as the company issued a bright outlook for the remainder of 2011. At first glance, the shares don't look cheap. Based on the expectations from management for $1.87-$1.90 EPS for 2011, the stock trades at a P/E multiple of roughly 32 times 2011 earnings. But Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts argue the stock looks attractive and maintain a $68 price target. "We believe WFM's valuation is attractive given its strategy to improve its competitive price position and enhance its cost discipline, which broadens its growth prospects and supports an outlook for improving returns while lowering the company's operating risk profile," Merrill analysts say. TheStreet Ratings has a slightly more optimistic $77 price target on shares of Whole Foods Markets. Note that the shares jumped $4 on Tuesday, based on upbeat comments from the company's CEO, who said the natural-foods grocer is gaining market share and he is "feeling pretty bullish" about Whole Foods' future. Despite the gain, I would still consider an investment.
7. Horace Mann Educators ( HMN), which provides car and homeowners insurance for teachers and other educators, recently lowered its full-year profit forecast because of a spike in tornado- and storm-related disasters during April and May. Management reduced 2011 EPS guidance to $1.10-$1.30 from a previous $1.75-$1.95. With the shares down 10% over the past three months, investors might want to consider the recent dislocation as a buying opportunity. At the midrange of restated guidance, the shares are trading for 12.8 times fiscal 2011 estimates and, more importantly, at just 0.7 times book value. TheStreet Ratings has a $20 price target on Horace Mann.
9. Partner Communications ( PTNR) is Israel's second-largest wireless operator, but is facing fierce competition in the industry. Recent regulatory changes in the cellular market are also a major headwind for the company. The government has implemented a massive 76% cut in interconnection fees (the charges by mobile-phone operators when connecting users between networks) and lower exit penalties. The company has warned that free cash flow will likely be significantly hurt over coming quarters. So what's there to like here? Israeli analysts at Bank Leumi believe the selloff has been overdone, saying "the market has overshot to the downside by pricing in an unreasonably pessimistic outcome to the changes in the industry." The stock currently pays a 7.3% dividend, but that could change, given the downward pressure on cash flow. Consider this a high-risk, high-reward investment. TheStreet Ratings has a $19 price target on Partner Communications.