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3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks Bloggers Are Betting On

TipRanks doesn’t just rate the Wall Street analysts – the platform’s advanced natural language algorithms review over 12,000 financial bloggers, too. TipRanks applies the same methodology to the bloggers as it does to the financial analysts, reviewing their recommendations for success and return rate, so that you’ll know whose advice has proven reliable. And what’s better than combining the wisdom of both financial bloggers and the Street?

Using TipRanks powerful Stock Screener tool, we scanned for stocks which have a Very Bullish sentiment from top bloggers and a Strong Buy consensus rating from top analysts. These are the best-performing analysts who consistently outperform the market based on their success rate and average return per rating. Let’s take a closer look:

Cigna Corporation (CI)

While not a household name, Cigna is a huge player in the US health insurance market. It’s a major provider for both the Medicare and Medicaid markets, offering health, life, and accident insurance policies. In late summer of last year, Cigna shareholders approved a deal for the company to acquire Express Scripts, giving Cigna leg into the lucrative Pharmacy Benefits Management market.

In its recent Q3 report the company beat the forecasts handily. Revenues came in at $35.83 billion for the quarter, 5% better than expected and far above the year-ago quarterly figure of $11.5 billion. EPS was $4.54, against a $4.37 forecast. That was a positive surprise of 3.8%.

In a recent article, 5-star blogger Thomas Lott made four key points about Cigna, explaining his bullish stance on the stock: “Fundamentals at Cigna are as strong as ever, with the company expected to grow EPS by 18% this year and about 10% next year… Despite that, the stock trades at an historic low multiple at 9x… The CEO recently bought 5mm of stock in the open market… The overhang, a potential Medicare For All bill, is an extremely unlikely event, and maybe already priced into the stock.”

4-star Barclays analyst Steven Valiquette agrees that Cigna is a buying proposition. He writes, “Cigna continues to leverage its strength in controlling medical costs, continues to gain market share in the commercial business and returns to industry growth in Medicare.” Getting into more detail, Valiquette describes the upside case as reflecting “a more favorable medical cost trend outlook and higher than expected share gains in the commercial segment.” He maintains his $207 price target, implying an upside of 13%. (To watch Valiquette’s track record, click here)

All in all, based on the word of the Street, Cigna is one of Wall Street’s favorite stocks, considering TipRanks shows a unanimous bullish vote from all 8 analysts polled in the last 3 months. With a solid return potential of about 20%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $221.43. (See Cigna price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)

Facebook (FB)

Facebook has grown from an idea in a college dorm room to a $56 billion company in just 15 years, an impressive performance that very few other companies come close to matching. While it hasn’t got the longevity of Apple or Microsoft, or the sales reach of Amazon, Facebook has changed the way that we interact with each other online, in ways that are still reverberating through society. Love it or hate it, you are almost certainly reached by it.

Daniel Sparks, the #2 rated blogger in the TipRanks database, is bullish on the stock. He points out that FB’s Q3 results beat down the expectations, with 20% year-over-year EPS growth and a 9% yearly gain daily active users. He sees two key points showing that FB can likely keep on growing, even if not at such a gangbuster pace.

First, he sees Stories ads as a driver for income. He notes that “Facebook expects Stories to drive revenue growth because of the growing frequency of this format.” While admitting that Stories ads monetize at lower rates, that would be offset by increased frequency.

And Second, Sparks sees a connection between Messaging and e-commerce. He points out, “The company recently added a button for Stories ads that will take users straight to Messenger to initiate a conversation with a business. In addition, the social network has been testing WhatsApp Pay, a mobile payment capability for its WhatsApp messaging app…”

Lloyd Walmsley, 5-star analyst from Deutsche Bank, is bullish enough on FB to give the stock a $260 price target, showing room for an impressive 35% upside. Walmsley was impressed by the Q3 report, and writes simply, “We come away from Facebook 3Q earnings with increased confidence around engagement in the core Facebook app, prospects for stable revenue growth in 2020, and in the medium term operating and free cash flow margins.”

Facebook has an impressive 27 Buy ratings in recent weeks, along with 3 Holds and a single Sell. This adds up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. Shares are selling for $191 now, and the average price target of $235 implies a 22% upside to the stock. (See Facebook stock-price forecast on TipRanks)

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon is the third largest publicly traded company in the world, with a market cap of $890 billion and a famously high share price. The company, started in the late 90s as an online bookstore, survived the dot.com bubble and its days a dollar stock and has expanded to into every imaginable sphere of online digital commerce. In the process, Amazon has made Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man.

Despite the company’s enormous scale and huge sales, Amazon did not report a good third quarter. EPS declined by 26%, falling to $4.23 against an expectation of $4.62. Revenue was up slightly, however, at $70 billion for the quarter. The forecast there was for $68.8 billion. Amazon has been spending heavily in recent quarters on expansions of its one-day delivery, and expects to increase capital expenditures in Q4 as it expands warehouses and product selection.

Perhaps most importantly, Amazon reduced its Q4 forward guidance to $83.25 billion, significantly lower than the expected $87.4 billion. Some economy watchers see this as an early indication that the holiday shopping season may not measure up – which in turn could be a red light for the economy as a whole – however, the reduced Q4 guidance is in line with Amazon’s heavy capital spending.

Blogger Ian Cooper, right after the earnings report, noted the weaknesses and shrugged them off. He points out that the company frequently gives low-ball guidance on forward earnings, which it then beats handily to boost share price. He also adds that the one-day delivery push is stressing Amazon’s general system, forcing increased spending by the company – but says, “I believe a good deal of that is priced in. I also believe that with all of that accounted for, Amazon is a buy on fear.”

As the bottom line, Cooper writes, “AMZN stock is a long-term winner that hit a temporary rough patch. I don’t believe it’s anything to be concerned with… With patience, I expect Amazon stock to resume its powerful uptrend, especially as we approach the holiday season, and as investors realize the pullback was overblown.”

Expressing similar optimism, Jefferies analyst Brent Thill wrote: “Buying past Q3 pullbacks has been a good strategy: AMZN’s stock price has decreased in four of the past six years on the day following Q3 results (includes most recent print). Importantly, buying post Q3 weakness has been a good strategy. AMZN’s stock has increased each year in the following 90 days, returning an average of 6%…” Thill gives AMZN a Buy rating and a $2,300 price target, suggesting an upside of 28%. (To watch Thill’s track record, click here)

Overall, AMZN has a unanimous consensus rating of Strong Buy, based on a remarkable 34 Buy ratings. Shares sell for an eye-opening $1,795, so this is not a stock for the faint of heart. The average price target, $2,181, gives AMZN shares an upside potential of 21%. (See Amazon price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)

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