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Investors who want a shot at making above-average gains need to consider stocks that have high potential for strong gains. That often means looking at beaten down stocks, out of favor industries, and even stocks that could see a short squeeze rally in order to generate potentially big returns. It also pays to consider stocks where analysts see upside potential that perhaps the market has not yet recognized. With that in mind, here are a handful of stocks that analysts expect to provide upside of about 70%, or even more.

Tutor Perini Corp. (NYSE:TPC) is a leading construction company that is focused on building high-profile projects like casinos, hotels, resorts, hospitals, educational facilities, and other large-scale developments. It was a contractor for projects like: The City Center in Las Vegas, the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge, the Santa Monica Hospital, the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, the San Jose Arena, etc.

Tutor Perini owns a number of subsidiaries that focus on four main areas: Civil engineering, building, specialty contractors, and construction management services. This gives the company a wide range of resources which allows it to bid on and win contracts around the United States and the world. Tutor Perini continues to be awarded new contracts and it recently won a $94 million deal with University of California San Francisco.

Tutor Perini is solidly profitable but the stock has not performed to its full potential in part because the company has reported lower than expected earnings in the first half of 2012. However, the company has re-affirmed full-year proft guidance at $1.50 to $1.70 per share. The stock looks very undervalued when looking at a number of metrics and it is a great time to buy while the valuation is still depressed. Other large construction and engineering firms in this sector trade at higher levels which is another sign this stock is a bargain. For example, Flour Corporation (NYSE:FLR) trades for about 16 times earnings and The Shaw Group (NYSE:SHAW) trades for about 20 times earnings. Tutor Perini shares trade for just about 6 times forward earnings which also represents a huge discount to the S&P 500 Index average of about 15. It trades for about half of book value which is $22.22 per share. The average analyst price target for this stock is $18 per share. That would give investors buying now a potential gain of about 70%.

Key Data Points For Tutor Perini From Yahoo Finance:

  • Current price: $11
  • 52-Week Range: $9.21 to $17.49
  • Dividend: none
  • 2012 Earnings Estimate: $1.47 per share
  • 2013 Earnings Estimate: $2.20 per share
  • P/E Ratio: just about 6 times earnings

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares have been slammed this year and the stock is now trading at about half the 52-week high. The rise of the tablet seems to have come at the expense of PC sales which are slumping. However, it is still too early to declare that PC makers have no future, as it seems so many investors have done. Many consumers and businesses have become more budget-minded and this means that the tech budget has to be allocated accordingly. That means PC's have competition for tech spending that has risen as tablets have become more popular. It seems that the market and PC makers must adjust to this new reality and that could take time, but it does not necessarily spell long-term doom for companies like Hewlett Packard.

Investors often get overly optimistic and send stocks to highs that exceed fair value. By the same token, investors and shorts often get overly negative and send stocks down to levels that are way below fair value. That could be the case with Hewlett Packard shares as it trades well below book value which is about $19 per share. It also trades for just around 4 times earnings estimates while the S&P 500 Index trades at about 14 times earnings. Analysts at ISI Group put a recent buy rating on this stock with a $26 price target. That would provide investors with a gain of about 80%.

Key Data Points For Hewlett Packard From Yahoo Finance:

  • Current price: $14.57
  • 52-Week Range: $14.02 to $30
  • Dividend: 53 cents per share which yields 3.7%
  • 2012 Earnings Estimate: $4.05 per share
  • 2013 Earnings Estimate: $3.60 per share
  • P/E Ratio: about 4 times earnings

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is a leading hotel and casino operator and it owns properties like The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Bellagio, The City Center in Las Vegas and others. It also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau Resort and Casino. MGM has a high debt load that the CEO has successfully managed even during the height of the financial crisis. The company could see significant benefits to the bottom line if it continues to refinance its debt load at lower rates. The balance sheet has about $1.87 billion in cash and $13.37 billion in debt. MGM shares have been held back by the debt load and also because the company has been posting losses. However, the losses have been narrowing and expected to be near break-even levels by 2013. A continued focus on repaying debt and refinancing it at lower rates, along with an improving economy in the future should result in profits and a significantly higher stock price. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus have buy rating with a $20 price target, which is one of the higher targets in the investment community. That would provide investors with a near double.

Key Data Points For MGM From Yahoo Finance:

  • Current price: $10.73
  • 52-Week Range: $8.83 to $14.94
  • Dividend: none
  • 2012 Earnings Estimate: a loss of 52 cents per share
  • 2013 Earnings Estimate: a loss of 38 cents per share
  • P/E Ratio: n/a due to ongoing losses

Data is sourced from Yahoo Finance. No guarantees or representations are made. Please consult a financial advisor before making investments.

Disclosure: I am long HPQ, TPC. 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.

Source: 3 Bargain Stocks Where Analysts Expect Upside Of 70% Or More