BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

1.3800 9.2600
52 weeks
52 weeks

Mkt Cap 265.30M

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8 Upgraded Stocks to Buy in December

These stocks have gotten recent upgrades.

The S&P 500 index made new all-time highs in November and is now up 25% year-to-date heading into the final month of 2019. Third-quarter earnings season was better than feared, and volatile trade negotiations between the U.S. and China appear to be headed in the right direction. But while many investors are likely considering cashing out their 2019 stock gains, some analysts are getting even more bullish on a handful of select stocks heading into 2020. Here are eight upgraded stocks from the Bank of America analyst team in December.

CBRE Group (ticker: CBRE)

CBRE is the largest commercial real estate brokerage firm in the world. Analyst Michael Funk says CBRE is the market share leader in commercial real estate services, and its scale, diversification, growth opportunities and attractive valuation make it an exceptional long-term investment. Funk says CBRE should grow revenue by 7% annually in the next two years, outpacing its peer group. Commercial real estate is a cyclical business by nature, but Funk says multiples remain depressed following the 2008 market collapse. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $62 price target for CBRE stock.

CF Industries is the largest producer of nitrogen fertilizers in North America. Analyst Steve Byrne says his bullish outlook for CF is driven by his view that softness in 2019 U.S. corn production should help stimulate nitrogen prices in the fourth quarter and into early 2020. In the long term, he says nitrogen prices will likely be pressured by new agriculture technology. However, CF's low-cost production should make the company a safe investment in the medium term. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $56 price target for CF stock.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)

Dick's bounced back in the past two years after a horrible 2017. Analyst Robert Ohmes says Dick's has done an exceptional job of transforming its stores into a "one-stop shop" for athletic retail. In a difficult environment for brick-and-mortar retailers, Dick's reported 6% same-store sales growth in the third quarter, its best growth rate since 2013. Ohmes says that sales growth should continue in coming quarters thanks to Dick's premium footwear business and its exceptional online and in-store execution. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $60 price target for DKS stock.

Zscaler (ZS)

Cybersecurity company Zscaler is a growth stock that should benefit from several long-term trends, including software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) adoption, an ongoing shift to cloud-based applications, consolidation in security function and market constraints on security professionals. Analyst Daniel Bartus says Zscaler has a clear path to $2 billion in annual revenue by 2025, and the stock's 27% pullback in the past three months is a buying opportunity. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $68 price target for ZS stock.

WestRock Co. (WRK)

WestRock is the second-largest North American producer of containerboard. Analyst George Staphos upgraded the company in November after meetings with industry insiders, who said conditions in the North America containerboard market are improving. Staphos is bullish on WestRock's long-term packaging strategy, which includes greater emphasis on machinery and innovative designs. He also said WestRock's management team is a positive as paperboard and plastics continue to battle for e-commerce packaging market share. WestRock shares also pay a sizable 4.6% dividend. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $48 price target for WRK stock.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX)

BioCryst has one FDA-approved drug (Rapivab for flu treatment) and several more promising candidates in its development pipeline. Analyst Tazeen Ahmad says BioCryst has several near-term bullish catalysts related to its BCX7353 product after the company reported promising data on the drug in treating hereditary angioedema (HAE) earlier this year. Ahmad says physicians are intrigued by the convenience of BCX7353's oral dosing. Investors can expect a new drug filing for BCX7353 in treatment of prophylactic HAE in the near term. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $4 price target for BCRX stock.

Stanley is a power and hand tool producer and the owner of popular brands such as Stanley, Black & Decker and Craftsman. Analyst Ross Gilardi says trade war tariff pressures should be peaking, and the company's restructuring efforts are helping to mitigate much of the negative trade war impact. He says the company's balance sheet leaves room for potential buyout deals in 2020 and beyond. SWK stock is a rare double upgrade from Bank of America in November. Gilardi changed his rating from "underperform" to "buy" and raised his price target for SWK stock to $182.

Freeport-McMoRan is the world's largest public copper and molybdenum producer and the world's eighth-largest gold producer. Analyst Timna Tanners says Freeport-McMoRan's transition to underground and block cave mining weighed on profits, but earnings should normalize by 2021. In the long term, Tanners says the transition should help boost production and lower costs. In the near term, labor disruptions in Peru and Chile should help support slumping copper prices, and Tanners says very little new global copper supply is expected to come online through 2021. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $14 price target for FCX stock.

Top upgraded stocks to buy for December:

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