Some traditions are too time-honored to shirk, and on Wall Street, the annual ‘top picks’ are one. Usually made at the very end or very beginning of a year, the Street’s analysts publish reviews on the stocks they believe will show the best performance in coming months – their top picks.
The analysts have been analyzing each stock carefully, looking at its past and current performance, its trends on a variety of time frames, management’s plans – they take everything into account. Their recommendations provide valuable direction for building a resilient portfolio in the new year.
With this in mind, we used TipRanks' database to identify three stocks which the analysts describe as their ‘top picks’ for 2021.
Talos Energy (TALO)
The Gulf of Mexico has long been known as one of the world’s great hydrocarbon production regions, and Talos Energy, which produces some 48,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day from offshore operations in the Gulf, is an important player in the area.
Talos finished the third quarter of 2020 running a net loss, but revenues, at $135 million, were up 53% sequentially. The company reported over $353 million in accessible liquidity to end the quarter, including $32 million in cash on hand and $321 million in available credit.
In December of last year, and continuing into this January, Talos has firmed up its liquidity situation through issues of senior secured notes. The December issue, of $500 million at 12%, will be used mainly to pay down a previous note issue which comes due next year. The January issue, an additional $100 million, will be used to cover outstanding debt on the reserves-based lending facility. Both note issues are due in 2026.
Highlighting TALO as his top E&P pick for 2021, Northland analyst Subash Chandra wrote, "TALO is one of the few companies that we are aware of trading at trailing PDP values without a good reason, in our view. The company has addressed the maturity wall and credit facility stresses with a December equity offering and refi. They enter 2021 with breathing room to cross the finish line with Zama and look for scaling opportunities in GoM."
To this end, Chandra rates TALO an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and puts a $19 price target, indicating the potential for 91% growth in the coming months.
Overall, with five analyst reviews on file, including 4 Buys and a single Hold, Talos gets a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus. Shares are priced at $9.96, and their $14.33 average target gives ~44% upside on the one-year horizon.
Next up is Twilio, a Silicon Valley cloud communications company. Twilio’s software services allow customers to run their telecom service through their office computer servers, making available not just phone calls but chats, texts, and video conversations. The service includes security features such as user verification.
The COVID pandemic, and the shift to remote work that was enforced on the economy, has been a boon to Twilio. The shift put a premium on stable and reliable remote connections and telecommuting, and the company’s revenues, which were already strong and showing sequential gains in every quarter, rose to $447 million in 3Q20. Subsequently, Twilio’s shares have skyrocketed 225% over the past 52 weeks.
Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kiddron sees the company on a solid foundation for continued growth, writing, “While some puts and takes are in place in 1Q21, Twilio's long-term opportunity remains underappreciated by investors. We believe the company's differentiated product portfolio (communications/data) and evolving GTM approach (hiring/GSI) can drive G2K/int'l adoption/expansion and enable >30% rev. growth at scale (>$4B/$6B) through CY23/24.”
The 5-star analyst chooses TWLO as a ‘top pick,’ based on his upbeat analysis of Twilio. That comes with an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and a $550 price target implying one-year growth of 41%.
How does Kiddron's bullish bet weigh in against the Street? Overall, Wall Street likes Twilio, a fact clear from the 21 analyst reviews on record. No fewer than 18 of those are Buys, against just 3 Holds. However, the stock’s recent share gains have pushed the price up to $388.65, leaving room for just 2% upside before hitting the $396.88 average price target.
Medical tech is a field of near-endless possibility, and SI-Bone has found a niche. The company specializes in the diagnosis sand treatment of pain and dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint between the lower back and pelvis. The company’s revenues dropped off between 4Q19 and 2Q20, as the corona crisis put a damper on elective medical procedures. That turned around in Q3, when the economy began to open up; many industries, including the medical field, saw a burst of pent-up demand that has not yet dissipated.
In raw numbers, SIBN reported a 42% sequential revenue increase for Q3, with the top line at $20.3 million. Year-over-year, revenues were up 26%. During the quarter, the company passed 50,000 iFuse procedures, handled by 2,200 surgeons around the world. The company had $132 million in liquid assets available at the end of the quarter, against $39.4 million in long-term debt. Looking forward, the company guides toward an 8% to 10% yoy gain in full-year revenue for 2020, expecting that top line at $73 million to $74 million.
Analyst David Saxon, covering the stock for Needham, says, “SIBN has shown resiliency during the pandemic, and we believe its growth drivers can allow it to beat consensus revenue throughout 2021. Further, we expect SIBN's 2021 sales force expansion, building momentum in surgeon training, upcoming product launches, and direct-to-patient marketing will all contribute to strong revenue over the next few years.”
Saxon uses these points to support his ‘top pick’ status for SIBN. His average price target is $35, suggesting an upside of 23%, and fitting nicely with his Buy rating.
All in all, SI-Bone gets a Strong Buy from Wall Street, and it is unanimous – based on 5 positive reviews. The shares are selling for $28.48, and their $33.80 average target implies room for ~19% growth over the course of 2021.