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6 Large-Cap Stocks Underestimated By Analysts Over The Last Year

|Includes: AMZN, The Boeing Company (BA), C, CAT, COP, VALE

The following is a list of large-cap stocks that have been underestimated by analysts over the last year. To compile the list, we went back to July 2009 and compared analyst ratings for large-cap stocks by sector. We then fast-forwarded to the present day, and compared the 1-year return of the same group of stocks.

The stocks highlighted here had poor analyst ratings in July 2009, but have outperformed their sectors since then. If these stocks were underestimated a year ago, will the same be true for the next year? Or is this list just an example of poor analyst research?  What do you think?

All analyst ratings and 1-year performance data provided by Zacks Investment Research.

1. Boeing (NYSE:BA)

As the following chart shows, Boeing had a "Moderate Sell" rating in July 2009, much worse than other large-cap stocks in the aerospace sector.

...since July 2009, Boeing has returned more than 50%, outperforming competitors like Lockheed Martin and Honeywell.

Analysts seem to have become increasingly bullish on Boeing's outlook. At present, the stock has one of the highest ratings in the aerospace sector. Maybe a contrarian signal?

2. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

In July 2009, ConocoPhillips and PetroChina both had "Moderate Sell" ratings, according to Zacks Investment Research.

...since then, ConocoPhillips has outperformed most of the large-cap oil stocks.

Despite the stock's strong performance over the last year, analysts still don't buy into the ConocoPhillips story. At present, the stock has a "Hold" rating, roughly in line with other large-cap oil stocks.

3. Caterpillar

In July 2009, Caterpillar had one of the worst analyst ratings in the Industrial goods sector, ranked lower than Deere (NYSE:DE) and ITW.

...since then the stock has outperformed most of its competitors. It's interesting to note that Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN), which had a "Moderate Sell" rating in July 2009, also outperformed the group over the last year.

Analysts don't seem convinced by Caterpillar's good run over the last year. The stock now has a "Hold", in line with other large-cap Industrial Goods stocks.

4. Vale (NYSE:VALE)

Analysts didn't have high hopes for Vale in July 2009.

As it turns out, the analysts had it wrong. Vale outperformed most large-cap materials stocks over the last year.

Analysts currently have a "Hold" rating on Vale, which is higher than most large-cap materials stocks.

5. Citigroup (NYSE:C)

With an analyst rating of "Moderate Sell" at the end of July 2009, analysts didn't have high expectations for Citigroup.

It turns out that analysts underestimated the financial giant. The stock has outperformed most large-cap financial stocks since then.

Analysts still don't buy into Citigroup. The stock currently has a "Hold" rating, which is in line with most large-cap financial stocks.

6. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

In July 2009, analysts had a "Hold" rating for most of the large-cap stocks in the Retail and Wholesale sector. Amazon had one of the lowest average ratings in the group.

...since then, Amazon has outperformed most of the large-cap retail and wholesale stocks.

At present, Amazon has a "Hold" rating, which is in line with other large-cap retail and wholesales stocks.

Disclosure: No positions