3 Stocks With New Analyst Upgrades That Caught My Eye Today

Includes: BBBY, PAG, VZ
by: Bret Jensen

One of the first things I do before the trading day is to peruse the list of stocks that have just been upgraded by analysts for long ideas. Here are three stocks that have just been upgraded in the last few days that have caught my eye today.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) operates a chain of retail stores. It sells a range of domestic merchandise, such as bed linens and related items.

4 reasons BBBY has upside from just under $59 a share:

  1. Oppenheimer upgraded the shares to an "outperform" and raised its price target to $71 a share from $67.
  2. The company looks like it will grow revenue in the double digits for their fiscal year 2013 and the stock sports a five year projected PEG near 1 (1.05).
  3. BBBY sells at under 12x forward earnings, a discount to its five year average (15.6).
  4. The company should be a lagging beneficiary of the housing recovery much like Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) have been over the last year.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide.

4 reasons VZ is a good income and value play at under $43 a share:

  1. Canaccord Genuity just upgraded the shares from "hold" to "buy" and raised its price target to $50 from $47 a share. The analyst firm cited the company's subscriber momentum and lead in 4G deployment for the upgrade.
  2. The company has an A-rated balance sheet and pays a generous yield of 4.8%.
  3. The stock is cheap from a cash flow perspective, trading at just 4x operating cash flow.
  4. The company is well positioned to benefit from the migration to smartphones and the exponential data increase needs that will drive.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) operates as an automotive retailer. It sells new and used vehicles of approximately 40 vehicle brands; offers vehicle maintenance and repair services; and engages in the sale and placement of third-party finance and insurance products.

4 reasons PAG is undervalued at $32 a share:

  1. KeyBanc Capital just upgraded the shares to a "buy" from "neutral" and raised its price target to $36 a share. KeyBanc cited positive trends in new car sales and the automotive retail space.
  2. Revenues are set to post a 15% gain in FY2012 and the stock sports a five year projected PEG of under 1 (.81).
  3. Consensus earnings estimates have ticked up for FY2013 over the last three months. The company has also beat earnings estimates each of the last 12 quarters. The average beat over consensus during the last four quarters has averaged 10%.
  4. The stock yields 1.7% and is priced at a reasonable 13x forward earnings.

Disclosure: I am long BBBY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.