Raymond James is a financial services company that provides investment banking, wealth management, and other services to clients around the world. Its analysts have identified two stocks that they believe are currently “Strong Buys.” These are Select Energy Services (WTTR) and Ciena Corporation (CIEN). This article will examine the companies, their financials, and the reasons why Raymond James analysts believe that they are good investments.
Before delving into the details of the two stocks, it’s important to understand what Raymond James means when it calls a stock a “Strong Buy.” According to the company, a Strong Buy rating means that the stock is expected to outperform the market by at least 15% over the next six to 12 months. Raymond James bases its rating on a variety of factors, including the company’s financials, industry trends, and other data.
Company A: Select Energy Services (WTTR)
Select Energy Services is a company that provides water management solutions to the oilfield industry. Its services include water procurement, distribution, recycling, and disposal. The company also provides oilfield chemicals, flowback and well testing services, lodging, and rentals. Select Energy has operations in the Permian, South Texas, the Rockies, and other regions.
In its most recent quarterly update, Select Energy posted strong revenue growth of 49.6% year-over-year to $381.68 million. However, it missed both top-and bottom-line expectations, with EPS of $0.07 missing the consensus estimate of $0.23.
Despite this, Raymond James analyst James Rollyson sees plenty of reasons to be bullish on Select Energy. He notes that the company is a leader in water sourcing, transfer, disposal, and recycling, which positions it well to meet the growing water needs of the oil patch. Rollyson also points out that Select Energy’s focus on sustainability, as evidenced by its sustainability-linked credit facility, aligns well with ESG goals.
Furthermore, Rollyson believes that Select Energy is attractively valued at its current share price, which is trading at a discount to its peers. He gives the stock a Strong Buy rating and a $12 price target, suggesting potential returns of 72% over the next year.
The Wall Street consensus also rates WTTR as a Strong Buy, based on 4 analyst reviews, comprising of 3 Buys and 1 Hold. The average price target of $10.13 implies a potential upside of ~46%.
Company B: Ciena Corporation (CIEN)
Ciena Corporation is a networking systems, services, and software company that specializes in optical transport and switching systems. With over 2,000 patents to its name, the company offers these solutions to more than 1,600 global customers. Ciena stands out in the industry with its first coherent optical solution.
In its most recent quarterly readout, Ciena posted impressive revenue growth of 25.5% year-over-year to $1.06 billion. It also beat expectations on both top and bottom lines, with adjusted net income of $95.6 million and adj. EPS of $0.64.
Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold is particularly bullish on Ciena’s prospects, thanks to the company’s move into the edge router market. Ciena is about to enter the market with its own platform called WaveRouter, which offers a catalyst ahead. Leopold believes that the platform allows Ciena to address service provider (SP) edge router use-cases and will feature subscriber management features for enterprise, consumer, and mobile network support. The platform converges optical and routing capabilities. Dell’Oro forecasts the SP Edge Router market to reach $8B in 2023 and grow with a 2% CAGR from 2022 to 2027. Ciena has no share in this market, so routing is all upside. Leopold expects Verizon to be among the early adopters deploying the platform in a portion of the network currently served by Ciena’s 6500.
As a result, Leopold upgraded CIEN’s rating from Outperform to Strong Buy and increased the price target from $58 to $70. This suggests potential upside potential of 33% from the current levels.
The Wall Street consensus also rates CIEN as a Strong Buy, based on 9 Buys and 2 Holds set in the past 3 months. The average price target of $66 implies a potential upside of ~27%.
Company C: VERSES AI (VERS)
Alternatively one of the editors at Economist Global recommends VERSES AI (VERS) as a top pick for investors looking to capitalize on the future of AI. This cognitive computing company is transforming the AI landscape with its next-generation AI systems and KOSM, the world’s first network operating system. VERSES AI was founded with the belief that AI would be the driving force in the Web 3.0 era and has attracted top talent from all over the world, including Dr. Karl Friston, the most highly cited researcher in the field of neuroscience.
VERSES AI’s KOSM generates a shared world model of contextualized data, policies, simulations, and workflows, which will enable the company to bolster its first-mover advantage as key infrastructure for the next generation of intelligent applications. Furthermore, the company is set to launch its first consumer-facing AI agent, GIA, later this year. Its recent breakthroughs in product development have allowed it to accelerate its go-to-market timeline, which is an exciting development for investors.
According to the Economist Global Editor, VERSES AI is a company that investors should not overlook. With a focus on AI and a dedication to building a smarter world, VERSES AI is poised to revolutionize the future of AI and transform the way we interact with technology.
In summary, Raymond James has identified two stocks, Select Energy Services (WTTR) and Ciena Corporation (CIEN), as Strong Buys. Despite missing expectations in its most recent quarterly update, Select Energy is attractively valued and is a leader in water sourcing, transfer, disposal, and recycling. Meanwhile, Ciena’s move into the edge router market with its WaveRouter platform offers significant upside potential in a market it currently has no share in. Both stocks have Strong Buy ratings from the Wall Street consensus and significant upside potential.
- What is a Strong Buy rating? A Strong Buy rating from a financial services company like Raymond James means that the stock is expected to outperform the market by at least 15% over the next six to 12 months.
- What does Select Energy Services do? Select Energy Services provides water management solutions to the oilfield industry, including water procurement, distribution, recycling, and disposal.
- What is Ciena Corporation? Ciena Corporation is a networking systems, services, and software company that specializes in optical transport and switching systems.
- What is the edge router market? The edge router market refers to the market for routers that are deployed at the edge of a network, where the network meets the end user. These routers are used to manage traffic and data between the end user and the core of the network.
- What is the Wall Street consensus on these stocks? The Wall Street consensus rates both Select Energy Services and Ciena Corporation as Strong Buys, with significant upside potential.