While it's never a good idea to slavishly follow analyst price targets (which often get revised downward after the share price falls), these projections can be a marker for finding value among stocks you might be interested in.
These Wall Street analyst consensus price targets can help designate stocks that are trading at a significant discount. Using them as a jumping-off point for further analysis can be beneficial. With that in mind, here's a quick look at five prime stock candidates.
1. Danaher remains a winner from the pandemic
The life sciences and diagnostics company Danaher (DHR 0.44%) trades at a 12% discount to the consensus price target. Analysts like the stock because the company is demonstrating it can grow strongly even after its COVID-19-related revenue subsides. Its earnings received a boost from the pandemic because its diagnostic tests are used to detect the virus, while its life sciences tools are used to research and develop vaccines and therapies.
The good news is Danaher's non-COVID-19-related revenue is doing just fine; in fact, it received a long-term boost from the pandemic. For example, the company placed more diagnostic test platforms with new customers (wanting to use its COVID-19 tests), which it can now upsell its other tests. Similarly, the massive investment in vaccines and therapies has led to a surge of interest/investment in monoclonal antibody research -- great news for bioprocessing technology companies like Danaher and Repligen. That suggests Danaher has a long pathway of growth ahead of it.
2. Allegion is a smart stock to buy
Trading at a 19% discount to the Wall Street consensus target, security doors and locks company Allegion (ALLE -0.44%) is another attractive candidate. It's primarily a play on the secular trend of convergence in electrical and mechanical security doors and locks in commercial, institutional, and governmental buildings.
By using smart locks, building owners/operators can monitor and control who has access to which room and for how long. That's a significant plus to ensure security and measure and improve workforce productivity. Meanwhile, its recent acquisition of Stanley Black & Decker's automatic doors business is complementary to its existing portfolio of mechanical doors and locks.
3. nVent is a play on the electrification megatrend
The electrical connection and protection products company nVent Electric (NVT 0.82%) is a play on the trend toward electrification in the economy. Its electrical enclosures, fastening, and thermal management solutions are essential to invest in electrical infrastructure -- not least to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and reduce the risk of failure. Its primary end market is the industrial sector, with construction, infrastructure, and energy also key markets.
nVent will benefit from increased spending in a host of growth megatrends, such as industrial automation, smart infrastructure, smart buildings, e-mobility charging stations, data centers, and renewable energy infrastructure. Trading at a 13% discount to analyst consensus, and with management upgrading growth estimates through 2022, nVent is a highly attractive stock.
4. Univar Solutions, an under-the-radar gem in the chemical sector
Univar Solutions (UNVR) quietly reshaped itself recently and is now focused on its core competency, specialty chemical distribution. Thanks to its mergers, acquisitions, and divestments policy, it has reduced its exposure to agriculture and energy from a combined 26% in 2014 to just 9% today.
The company's focus is now on chemicals and ingredients distribution. Operating in a highly fragmented market (the top three chemicals distributors only account for 10% of the market), Univar has several significant margin expansion opportunities. First, it can consolidate the specialty chemicals distribution market through acquisitions. Second, it can expand margins to meet those of its main peer, Brenntag. The company is well on its way to doing so, and management has already raised full-year guidance twice this year. Its restructuring plans are working, and that's part of the reason why Wall Street thinks the stock is 38% undervalued.
5. Baker Hughes looks like a good value
If you are an oil bear, read no further; Baker Hughes' (BKR 2.36%) equipment and services will be of no interest to you. However, if you are an oil bull or don't think you can accurately predict where oil is headed, then the stock should interest you a lot. Wall Street thinks the stock is 47% undervalued.
It may have fallen out of favor due to fears of a recession negatively impacting oil demand. However, oil is still at $92 a barrel -- a price conducive to investment -- Baker Hughes is also benefiting from strong liquefied natural gas demand, and management has promised cost-saving restructuring action. If you are agnostic on the price of oil, then Baker Hughes is an attractive stock.