June 20, 2024


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J.P. Morgan: 2 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks to Snap Up

The ‘corona year’ has brought us confusion: a short, sharp recession last winter; a partial recovery last summer; and a pullback during the ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 in the fall and winter. As the country now heads into its second springtime of the pandemic, JPMorgan equity strategist Dubravko Lakos-Bujas made series of observations on the options facing investors. “We remain of the view that Cyclical stocks continue to lead on the upside as the business cycle strengthens, but also see some broadening out in market participation given the significant de-risking that has occurred within high Growth and expensive Momentum stocks… Growth stocks have also gotten substantially de-risked, de-coupled from Momentum factor, and now appear much less vulnerable (e.g. even to rising bond yields),” Lakos-Bujas noted. In short, the strategist sees opportunity for investors now, as economic growth appears to be grinding back into gear. Turning Lakos-Bujas’ outlook into concrete recommendations, JPMorgan analysts are pounding the table on two stocks that look especially compelling. According to these analysts, each name is poised to surge in the 12 months ahead. After running JPM’s stock picks through TipRanks’ database, we found out that the rest of the Street is also standing squarely in the bull camp as each boasts a “Strong Buy” analyst consensus. Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) The mining industry sounds like a good investment – and it frequently is. After all, what could have more cachet than owning a gold mine? The miners have some drawbacks, too: high overhead, unpredictable markets, and unproductive mines, to name just a few. Precious metal streaming companies, like Wheaton, exist to smooth over these bumps (which are sometimes substantial) and bring a level of predictability to metals markets. Streamer companies enter agreements with the mining companies, to buy up some or all production at a pre-determined price. The streamer can then sell the metals at the prevailing market price. Wheaton is one of the world’s largest precious metal streaming companies, with 2020 revenues of $1.09 billion, a company record, and a market cap of $18 billion. In its financial report on 4Q20, the company showed several strong metrics. Operating cash flow hit $208 million for the quarter, and $750 million for the full year. The company, as noted, record annual revenue, and was able to reduce net debt to just $2 million. Moreover, Wheaton raised its quarterly dividend to 13 cents per common share. Solid metal production, ahead of the previously published 2020 guidance, underlay these gains. JPMorgan analyst Tyler Langton likes what he’s seeing, noting: “At current metal prices, the company should generate around $1.0 billion of cash flow this year, which we think will be directed at deals and/or its dividend. While the precious metal stocks as a whole have been pressured recently by rising interest rates and falling gold prices, we still see upside in WPM’s stock price even when running a $1,600/oz. gold price through the model…” Langton puts an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating on WMP shares, and his $58 price target suggests it has room for a 53% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch Langton’s track record, click here) The Strong Buy consensus rating on WPM shows that Wall Street believes this stock is as good as gold. The 12 recent reviews here include 9 to Buy and 3 to Hold. Shares are priced at $40.12, and the $52.45 average target implies an upside of 30%. (See WPM stock analysis on TipRanks) Smartsheet, Inc. (SMAR) Next up is Smartsheet, a SaaS company, which offers cloud-based workspace management and collaboration products. These software products, permitting faster and more efficient remote access teamwork, have an obvious compatibility with the current office-work environment. Smartsheet reported its 4Q21 – and full fiscal-year results – earlier this week, and showed some strong gains on key metrics. For the quarter, revenue was up 40% year-over-year to $109.9 million. The top line was driven by a 49% increase in billings, to $151.2 million, and by a 42% increase in subscription revenue, to $101.1 million. The company had strongly positive cash flow in the quarter, $9.9 million in net free cash flow. This was a strong turnaround from the year-ago quarter, when cash flow was negative. For the full year, the company reported a top line of $385.5 million, up 42% yoy. Again, subscription revenue was particularly pointed out; this metric rose 45% you to $352.8 million. A look at Smartsheet’s recurring revenues will help shed light on the company’s confidence. Smartsheet tracks the annualized contract value (ACV) as a measure of gross income; customers with ACV greater of $5,000 or more grew by 31% yoy; with ACV of $50,000 or more grew by 58% yoy, and with ACV of $100,000 or more grew by 68%. This indicates that Smartsheet can rely on increasingly lucrative recurring revenues going forward. JPM’s 5-star analyst Mark Murphy is impressed with Smartsheet’s recent performance, enough to upgrade his stance on the stock from Neutral to Overweight (i.e. Buy). “We have been articulating a thesis that this category of collaborative work management wasn’t an immediate pandemic-response type of purchase, but we had theorized that it could start to gain attention later in the cycle as companies have more time to think about ways to get work done outside of Zoom and as they get more visibility into the distribution of their workforces post-COVID-19…. We continue to believe that Smartsheet faces ample growth opportunities across several vectors and thus carries potential to become part of the enterprise software fabric within organizations,” Murphy commented. Murphy puts an $83 price target on the stock to back his Buy rating, implying an upside of 32% for the next 12 months. (To watch Murphy’s track record, click here) All in all, a total of 8 analysts have weighed in on Smartsheet shares, and their recommendations include 7 Buys against just 1 Hold. This gives the stock a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. SMAR is selling for $62.86 right now, and its $82 average price target suggest a runway to 30% upside this year. (See SMAR stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.