Wall Street Loves These Stocks. Should You?


Despite all of Wall Street's conflict and contention, a fortunate few companies enjoy unanimous support among professional analysts. If the market's movers and shakers agree that these companies will beat the long-term averages, well, surely they will -- right?

Not so fast! With help from the 180,000 members of Motley Fool CAPS, we'll see whether these high-flying favorites deserve analysts' unwavering support. Just because Wall Street loves 'em doesn't mean you have to. Analyst sentiment is just the jumping-off place for your own research.

Smaller is bigger
Investors in Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NAS: KERX) at least know where they stand right now and have better insight into how their fortunes will fare. After shares plunged following the late-stage trial failure of perifosine -- the colorectal cancer treatment it and AEterna Zentaris were developing -- to perform any better than a placebo, it gave the drug back to AEterna to develop it further for multiple myeloma and will receive some royalties if that biotech ends up doing anything with it.

Keryx will focus its attention on its other drug, Zerenex, a therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease who suffer from elevated phosphate levels. There's much more likelihood for success here than there was with perifosine, which had a spotty history though its end-market target was much larger than what Keryx can expect from Zerenex.

Yet success with a smaller opportunity is preferable to failure with a larger one, and positive results in Japan from Zerenex can give investors hope they'll be able to realize a return on their investment from Keryx's current levels.

The half-dozen Wall Street analysts rating the biotech on CAPS are unanimous that it will be able to beat the market averages going forward, and even the broad CAPS community is upbeat, with 92% of the 402 members who've rated it seeing it coming out ahead. NHWeston102 admits there's still risk here, but thinks it has a chance to also get bought out considering the heady M&A climate in the space:

A badly wounded stock but not without assets and dirt cheap at a time when the big pharmas are snapping up little companies like [Keryx]. You're rolling the dice here, OK, but there's a real chance of a double.

Let us know on the Keryx Biopharmaceuticals CAPS page or in the comments section below if you think it'll see success with Zerenex or if it will be a successful acquisition target. Then add the stock to your watchlist to be kept up to date on what happens.

A company with drive
Probably more than other hard-drive makers, Seagate Technology (NYS: STX) benefited from the floods in Thailand last year, giving a new twist to the old saw that a rising tide raises all boats.

While Western Digital (NYS: WDC) , whose facilities were flooded, ended up profiting because of rising prices in the wake of the shortages stemming from supply chain disruptions, Seagate was able to keep its customers supplied, nailed down long-term contracts from others who wanted to make sure they wouldn't be shut out in the future, and enjoyed the higher profits that came from the elevated pricing environment.

Although analysts fear that Western Digital and Seagate won't command the same pricing power now that equilibrium has returned to the industry, with them owning 90% of the hard-disk drive market, the virtual duopoly suggests margins won't slip too far. Admittedly, Seagate was late in getting into the solid-state drive business and has some catching up to do in a market dominated by more experienced players like Fusion-io (NYS: FIO) , STEC, and OCZ Technology (NYS: OCZ) .

At just seven times trailing earnings and three times estimates, Seagate seems to me to be exceptionally cheap (Western Digital commands equally ridiculous depressed valuations). As CAPS member and fellow Fool Rich Smith (TMFDitty) highlights, it's an inexpensive stock all around: "Low P/E, nearly as-low P/FCF, and superb growth prospects for this make of hard-disk drives. SSD may be the wave of the future -- but this stock has a solid presence in the present."

They may not be unanimous like Wall Street's 16 analysts, but the CAPS community is solidly behind Seagate's ability to regain ground, with 92% of those rating the drive maker marking it to outperform the market indexes. Add Seagate Technology to your watchlist to see how solid of an investment this is.

Agree to disagree
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorRich Dupreyowns shares of Seagate Technology but does not have a position in any of the other companies mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Western Digital and Fusion-IO. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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