Big Things Are Expected of These Stocks

With Monday being Columbus day, the bond markets and banks in the United States are officially closed. However, given that money never sleeps, the equity markets are open.

In this article, we examine five stocks that analysts have recently hiked their target prices on: Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB), Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), and Lumentum Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LITE). Let’s take a closer look at the stocks and also see what smart money investors from our database think about them.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 750 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on, can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see the details here).

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Although its American counterpart has experienced a tough first week of the fourth quarter due to the lack of interested acquirers, Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB) received some analyst love on Friday, as T.H. Capital reiterated its ‘Buy’ rating and bumped up its price target to $60 per share from the previous $38 per share. Shares of Weibo have done very well in 2016, rising by over 166% year-to-date on the back of several solid quarterly earnings results in addition to renewed confidence in the Chinese internet sector. If T.H. Capital is right, there could be additional upside to come. Among the funds we track, 12 funds owned $59.81 million worth of Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB)’s stock, which accounted for 4.50% of the float on June 30, up from 11 funds and $37.18 million, respectively, on March 31.

While the Department of Justice may have put the kibosh on its merger with KLA-Tencor Corp (NASDAQ:KLAC), Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) still has some fans among the sell-side. Needham analyst Edwin Mok is one of the bulls, as he recently raised his price target to $115 per share from $105. Mok thinks Lam Research management will focus more on execution and growth strategies now that they aren’t distracted with trying to push a dead-deal past the goal-line. Many investors clearly buy Mok’s line of thinking as Lam Research shares hit a 52-week high on Friday. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies raised its stake in Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) by 752% to 926,456 shares during the second quarter.

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On the next page, we take a closer look at analyst ratings concerning Priceline Group, Gap, and Lumentum Holdings.Although it may not be growing as fast as it used to, RBC Capital Markets still likes the travel portal company Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN). The investment bank has reiterated its ‘Buy’ rating, and increased its price target to $1,750 per share from the previous $1,600 per share. RBC analyst Mark Mahaney raised his price target in part due to his firm’s research conducted by online travel surveys that showed healthy demand. The hedge fund sentiment towards Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has been relatively stable, as the number of funds from our database with holdings in Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) fell by just two quarter-over-quarter to 85 at the end of June.

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The sell-side is loving Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) again after the retailer reported better-than-expected September sales results. Jefferies analyst Randal Konik hiked his price target to $32 from $30 on Friday due in part to the belief that a bottom might be setting for The Gap sales results. Konik also thinks that the stock offers ‘asymmetric risk/reward’ with ‘sizable upside potential’. The smart money was certainly more bullish on the retailer in the second quarter. A total of 32 funds tracked by us had a bullish position in Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) at the end of June, up by nine funds from the previous quarter.

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Analysts at Piper Jaffray reiterated their ‘Overweight’ rating on Lumentum Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LITE) and raised their price target on the stock to $47 from $38 last week. Due to their research with industry contacts, the analysts think that the upgrade cycle in China to 100 gigabit per second tech will benefit Lumentum and won’t wane as some expect in the second half of this year or next year. According to our data, 25 funds followed by Insider Monkey amassed 7.30% of Lumentum Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LITE)’s float on June 30.

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Disclosure: None