10 calls the analysts got right

Analysts are far from perfect. But sometimes their predictions are correct -- and can produce spectacular returns.

By Benzinga Jun 8, 2012 2:03PM

By Ilir Shkurti, Benzinga Staff Writer

Analyst ratings are a special breed of financial news that can yield profitable trading signals when caught early and approached the right way. 

Below are 10 analyst calls made this year that have so far produced at least a 50% return:

10. Bank of America on SOL: 52%

Bank of America (BAC) downgraded ReneSola Limited (SOL) to "underperform" from "buy" on March 23, and reduced its price target to $2 from $6.50. SOL opened at $2.53 on that day. If you shorted the stock, which currently trades at $1.22, you would have been up 52.16%.

9. Auriga on JKS: 53%

Auriga downgraded JinkoSolar Holdings (JKS) on Feb. 14 to "sell" from "hold." Shares traded at $8.60 at the start of that session. Had you gone short (plenty of opportunity to do so as shares reached as high as $8.85), you would have locked in a 53.3% profit with Thursday's $4.02 price. Of course, shares traded as high as $9.45 on Feb 21, so you would have needed enough resolve to suffer a nearly 10% drawdown on the position (for a day).

8. Cantor Fitzgerald on EGLE: 53%

Cantor Fitzgerald moved on March 15 to downgrade Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE) to "sell" from "hold" with a $1 price target. You would have needed steel nerves to hold on to a short trade on this stock from its opening price of $6.88, as shares went as high as $8.28 (a 20% drawdown on the trade). If you held on, however, you'd sit at a healthy 53.6% right now, with shares at $3.19 a share.

7. Deutsche Bank on TC: 54%

On Feb. 28, Deutsche Bank (DB) moved to downgrade Thompson Creek Metals Company (TC) to "sell" from "hold" and reduced its price target to $7.50 from $8.50. If you'd gone short at the opening price of $8.01, you'd have a nice 54.3% profit, as shares trade at $3.66.

6. UBS on RDEA: 55%

On April 12, UBS (UBS) initiated Ardea Biosciences (RDEA) with with a "buy" rating and a $31 price target. That's about where shares traded this week, so if you had assumed a long position at the $20.59 price, you'd be in good shape with a 55.2% profit. That, of course, would have meant your patience was enough to hold on to the trade without exiting until April 23, when shares really took off.

5. Piper Jaffray on CKEC: 56%

On March 7, Piper Jaffray (PJC) upgraded Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) to "overweight" from "neutral" and announced a $10 price target. Shares opened at $8.58 and have since blown past the target price and on to about $13.36. The profit on that long position? A cool 55.7%.

4. Wunderlich Securities on AONE: 56%

Wunderlich Securities downgraded A123 Systems (AONE) to "sell" from "hold" on Feb. 9, and reduced its price target from $3 to 50 cents. Had you taken that short signal at the opening price of $2.32, you'd have made 56.47% as the price reached $1.01.

3. DNB Markets on FSLR: 61%

When DNB Markets moved to downgrade First Solar (FSLR) to "sell" from "hold" on Feb. 29, FSLR traded at $33.70. Since then, shares have regressed to $13 per share, which means that a short sale at that open would have netted you 61.42%.

2. BMO Capital Markets on ARNA: 71%

BMO Capital Markets upgraded Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) to "outperform" from "market perform" on May 9, and raised its price target to $7 from $1. Shares are almost there, up from an opening price of $3.79 at the time of the call. A long position would have returned 71.5%.

1. Ascendiant Capital Markets on RPRX: 87%

And finally, on April 10, Ascendiant Capital Markets initiated Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) with a "strong buy" rating and a $6 target price. Shares opened at $4.16 and have worked their way to $7.79 a share, for a whopping 87.2% return since, thus fully deserving that bullish call and more. Had you been on that trade, you would have doubted yourself for the first week, as shares dropped as much as 11.5% before rallying.

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