Enough with the gloom - not every stock is expected to go straight down for the next 12 months. Here are four firms that have seen price targets raised or ratings bumped higher in the last week.
AASTRA TECHNOLOGIES LTD.
Concord, Ont.-based Aastra, which develops telecommunications gear, has seen its stock soar 80 per cent higher since bottoming out in November.
Kris Thompson, an analyst at National Bank Financial, on Thursday raised his earnings estimate for the year by 4 cents, to 95 cents a share. He hiked his forecast after the company held an auction to buy back and cancel 1.4 million shares.
"We view the Dutch auction as a positive signal that management is confident in Aastra's financial position and prospects in navigating the challenging telecom spending environment," he said.
The company's shares are followed by six analysts, according to Bloomberg, with two "buy" ratings and four "hold" ratings, with an average 12-month price target of $14.50.
CALIAN TECHNOLOGIES LTD.
When you're an Ottawa-based company and 80 per cent of your revenue comes from the federal government, recessions probably don't seem as scary. Calian said last week sales would likely come in 8-per-cent higher than expected, while share profit would jump 21 per cent above guidance, to between $1.50 and $1.70 a share.
"Although Calian is not a high-growth story, we believe investors should take another look at the company, which we believe is well-positioned to withstand the recession," Desjardins Securities analyst Benoît Poirier said.
Mr. Poirier is the only analyst covering the stock, according to Bloomberg. He has a "buy" rating, and a 12-month price target of $17. The shares closed at $12.95 Friday, up 60 per cent from its October low and 17 per cent so far this year.
CGI GROUP INC.
CGI Group is an IT services company, with revenues approaching $4-billion. Its shares are up 3 per cent so far this year, and have rebounded 11 per cent from its 52-week low set in October. When the Montreal company reported earnings last week, it said profit rose 10.5 per cent from the year-ago quarter to $79.5-million.
"We continue to favour the IT services sub-segment of technology, and like CGI, given its emerging growth in the U.S. market, conservative capital structure and, in our view, an inexpensive valuation," TD Securities analyst Scott Penner said as he bumped his 12-month price target to $12 from $11.50.
Twelve analysts follow the shares, according to Bloomberg, with eight "buy" ratings and four "holds." They have an average 12-month price target of $9.49.
With gold hovering above $900 (U.S.) an ounce, producers such as Iamgold are seeing their stocks steadily climb. The Toronto-based miner said last week that it mined almost a million ounces in 2008, but that production would drop 12 per cent after the sale of a Quebec mine.
Production in 2009 is projected to be 880,000 ounces at a cash cost of $470 to $480 an ounce.
"We continue to believe Iamgold is attractive compared to its peers due to its project pipeline adding growth in production," Scotia Capital analyst David Christie said Friday as he raised his price target to $10 from $8.50. "We believe that for a company trading at just over 1.0 times NAV [net asset value] and many of its peers trading at over two times NAV, Iamgold is very attractive."
Scotiabank wasn't alone Friday - TD Securities raised its target to $10 from $9.50 and GMP Securities raised its target to $11. Dundee Securities wasn't feeling so bullish, dropping its target to $11.60 from $12.