Analysts’ Top Services Picks: UNH, CASY

By Ryan Adsit

There’s a lot to be optimistic about in the Services sector as 3 analysts just weighed in on UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH), Casey’s General (NASDAQ: CASY) and Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST) with bullish sentiments.

UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH)

In a report released today, Michael J. Baker from Raymond James assigned a Buy rating to UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH). The company’s shares opened today at $221.02, close to its 52-week high of $231.77.

J. Baker said:

“We note that United also remains interested in home care services, particularly higher value clinical services including infusion.”

Currently, the analyst consensus on UnitedHealth is Strong Buy and the average price target is $240.89, representing an 9.0% upside.

In a report issued on November 29, RBC Capital also maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a $244 price target.
Casey’s General (NASDAQ: CASY)

In a report released today, Benjamin Brownlow from Raymond James maintained a Buy rating on Casey’s General (NASDAQ: CASY). The company’s shares opened today at $123.82, close to its 52-week high of $126.49.

Brownlow noted:

“We’re maintaining our Outperform rating and tweaking our F2Q EPS/EBITDA estimates slightly higher ahead of next week’s earnings release. In short, we’re modeling a consensus EPS/EBITDA beat on strong fuel margins and relatively healthy non-fuel SSS of 4% (slightly lowered from our prior model amidst a challenging demand backdrop and less-than-favorable weather quarter-end). We also expect progress updates on several new initiatives (price optimization, loyalty program etc.), which we see tracking on schedule for implementation 1H18.”

According to TipRanks.com, Brownlow is ranked #2153 out of 4729 analysts.

Casey’s General has an analyst consensus of Moderate Buy, with a price target consensus of $105.

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST)

In a report released today, Sam Darkatsh from Raymond James reiterated a Buy rating on Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST), with a price target of $61. The company’s shares opened today at $53.55, close to its 52-week high of $55.35.

Darkatsh wrote:

“We reiterate Strong Buy and raise our price target to $61 from $55. Improving end-markets and growth initiatives are driving sales, as demonstrated by six straight months of double-digit average daily sales growth. We continue to view Fastenal as well positioned against e-commerce threats and better insulated against pricing transparency headwinds in the industry, given its high-touch service model and focus on saving customers money through the total cost of procurement, as opposed to just product cost. Shares of FAST are still trading below the five- and 10-year median multiples relative to the market.”

According to TipRanks.com, Darkatsh is a 4-star analyst with an average return of 10.8% and a 71.8% success rate. Darkatsh covers the Services sector, focusing on stocks such as Foundation Building Materials Inc, Houston Wire & Cable Company, and Beacon Roofing Supply.

Fastenal Company has an analyst consensus of Moderate Buy, with a price target consensus of $52.86.

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