Wall Street is convinced these stocks will do well this quarter — and Citi gives one 50% upside
Citigroup , Bank of America and Barclays have named a raft of stocks they think could do well in the third quarter, as the specter of a recession continues to loom large in the minds of investors. The S & P 500 has gained about 4.6% so far this quarter, after a first half of the year that saw the index sink into a bear market. But investors are still walking on eggshells ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week, when it is expected to raise interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point . Despite “considerable” short-term risks, Citi remains positive on equities for now. “Our global strategists remain bullish over the medium term, forecasting a 17% gain for the MSCI AC World to mid-2023,” Citi’s strategists, led by Robert Buckland, said on Jul. 14. The index is up 3% so far this quarter. Citi’s top picks The bank has compiled a list of the bank’s high conviction and above-consensus stock picks where “investors can build positions.” Tennessee-based automotive parts retailer AutoZone made Citi’s list. AutoZone has also historically fared well in recessionary environments, according to Citi. The bank expects the company to continue delivering “sustainable” double-digit earnings per share (EPS) growth, given its stable margin and high incremental shareholder returns. The bank believes the company’s “industry-leading” sales and rising market share in the “faster growing” commercial category will drive top-line growth that’s better than its peers. Synchrony Financial is another new addition to Citi’s list. The bank likes Synchrony’s positioning over the next one to three years, high excess capital, and “solid” potential top-and-bottom line growth. Investors are also overly pricing the severity of a potential recession, and there is “significant” upside to Synchrony’s share price, Buckland said. Citi has a price target of $50 on the stock, which represents a potential upside of 51.5% to the stock’s closing price of around $33 on Wednesday. The bank also likes scientific equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific , which it views as one of the top players in its sector and well equipped to weather a recession given its diverse markets . Read more BofA believes we’re already in a recession — and says these stocks have what it takes to beat it Morgan Stanley says these global stocks are set for earnings beats — and gives one over 45% upside Citi has a price target of $715 on the stock — the highest among analysts covering the company — according to the bank. That implies a potential upside of 32.7%, based on the stock’s closing price of around $539 on Wednesday. Within the Asian equity space, Citi likes Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision , better known as Foxconn — the world’s biggest manufacturer of iPhones. Other picks include Japanese pharmaceutical firm Daiichi Sankyo . Global picks Bank of America also named a number of “out-of-consensus” global stock picks. “Our analysts expect EPS growth of 24% this year for the European companies under their coverage, notably above consensus, at 15%,” Bank of America’s European strategists, led by Milla Savova, wrote in a note on Jul. 13. The bank’s price target for Norwegian energy firm Equinor is 24% above consensus, while its EPS estimates for the firm are 43% and 85% above consensus for 2022 and 2023, respectively. Meanwhile, its price target and EPS estimate for French bank Credit Agricole are 17% and 27% above consensus, respectively. Other stocks that made the bank’s list are luxury goods company Herm?s and aircraft manufacturer Airbus . Barclays is also bullish on several European stocks. In a Jul. 14 note, Barclays analysts introduced five overweight stocks, with an average potential upside of 39% based on the bank’s price targets. The bank’s picks include Europe’s largest independent oil company Aker BP , German energy firm RWE , and French food company Danone .