2 Companies To Consider After Having Their Price Targets Raised By Analysts

Includes: AGU, MON, P, SIRI
by: Matt Schilling

Of the 28 analyst price target changes that took place on August 8th, there are 2 companies that could serve as an enhancement to any portfolio of a potential investor looking to establish a position in either. In this article I will focus on the recent price target adjustments for Agrium (NYSE:AGU), and Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) and then demonstrate some of the positive catalysts for each company.

Agrium trades in a 52-week range of $60.15 (52-week low) and $97.89 (52-week high), and closed trading at $96.88/share on Wednesday as the company had its price target raised from
$103.00/share to $123.00/share by AltaCorp who has an outperform rating on the stock. The two positive catalysts to consider in terms of AGU are the company's EPS trends over the last four quarters and the company's returns on both equity and assets over the last 12 months. Over the last four quarters AGU has surpassed estimates three times by an average of 18.56% with the only anomaly coming during the September 2011 quarter when the company missed by $0.08/share or 4.10%. The second sets of catalysts to consider are the company's returns on assets and equities. Over the last 12 months AGU has demonstrated a return on assets of 10.50% and a return on equity of 24.30%, and when compared to the returns of industry competitor Monsanto (NYSE:MON) which demonstrated a 10.40% return on assets and a return on equity of 18.17%, Agrium certainly performed much better.

Sirius XM Radio trades in a 52-week range of $1.27 (52-week low) and $2.51 (52-week high), and closed trading at $2.47/share on Wednesday as the company had its price target raised from
$2.50/share to $2.70/share by Piper Jaffray who has an overweight rating on the stock. When it comes to SIRI there are two things potential investors should consider. The first catalyst is the company's EPS trends and in the case of SIRI, the more in-line the better. In three of the last four quarters the company has been right in-line with estimates and during the September 2011 quarter SIRI managed to surpass estimates by 100%. If the company can continue to meet or surpass estimates during the second half of the year this stock could be trading in the high $2.60/share - low $2.70/share range. The second variable to consider is the company's return on equity of 79.54% over the last 12 months, which is pretty impressive when compared to the return on equity of Pandora Media (NYSE:P) who demonstrated a negative return on equity of -57.60%.

Final Analysis

I'd remain slightly conservative on both companies and keep an eye on any future recommendations or price target increases. The two main variables to consider that are relative to both companies are EPS and Returns on Equity, if for any reason a drastic change occurs in either, I'd restrict the size of the potential capital I was going to consider investing. If both companies continue to surpass estimates I'd look to increase my potential position.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.