Stock Groups

The most accurate analysts on Wall Street in 2021


On the New York Stock Exchange’s floor, August 23, 2018, a KKR logo was displayed.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

It is not for the weak of heart to trade stocks on the capital market in 2021.  

An exciting year might be marked by events such as a strong influx of retailers traders or other interesting developments cryptocurrency-linked stocksRising with Bitcoin prices or an expected economic reopening driving optimism  

However, 2021’s stock markets may see traders reminiscing about other macro trends. They could include uncertain Federal Reserve policies, component and semiconductor shortages, a dearth of labor, or the persistent shipping congestions that are affecting the supply chains.  

Although 2021 was originally an economic story of reopening, new variations have emerged and are spreading across borders. It seems that this theme is now quite different.  

TipRanks is a website that aggregates financial data. It offers a variety of tools to help everyday investors get an overview of both the big picture and the details. TipRanks has a number of notable aspects, including its analyst pages. This year they have compiled over 174,000 stock ratings in a digestible format.  

Collectively, the top analysts have a success rate of 82.7% and an average return of 13.95% on stock picks.

These results are significantly higher than those of the analysts who had an average success rate (48.02%) and a return per rating (0.16%) in 2021.  

TipRanks created a complete list of five top-performing analysts for 2021. Analysers’ performance was determined by monitoring three-month rolling periods. The order of analysts was based on the weighted success rate and average return rates.  

MKM Partners, John Gerdes  

John Gerdes, MKM Partners’ acting managing director, is our top pick for this year. Gerdes, who is the acting managing director of MKM Partners, has earned the highest rank due to his stock rating accuracy and high average return percentages.

Gerdes was a petroleum engineer before joining MKM. Shell (NYSE: RDS.AHe was an associate vice president of Jefferies Group. After leaving Jefferies Group, he was a managing director at several investment companies, such as Canaccord and KLR for around 19 years. 

Gerdes’ solid financial history has certainly contributed to his success rate which is currently at 93%. Not surprisingly, getting correct about almost all one’s stock ratings only half of the battle. Gerdes ranks at 24.9% for securing an average productive return rate.

We identify the impressive Q3 end-of-Q3 position of one of his most lucrative ratings. Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN). Gerdes remained bullish from Aug. 9 through Nov. 9. Over the course of three months, the valuation for this exploratory oil company rose 68%. It then topped out a little later. Gerdes had a good projection of the stock’s temporary rise, although it actually has fallen about 10% over time.  

Despite Devon’s impressive quarter the analyst is still bullish about DVN. He cited Devon’s recent $1 billion share purchase program and Devon’s nearly 5% rise in natural gas liquids production in his latest report.  

Gerdes stated that Devon would generate free cash flow of $18.7 trillion (FCF) between 2021 and 2026. This is approximately two-thirds the company’s total market capitalization. This high level of free cash flow will increase operational leverage and help DVN gain a competitive edge.  

Gerdes remained true to his thesis, rating the stock as a buy and increasing his price target from $49. to $50.  

KeyBanc, Leo Mariani  

Leo Mariani is KeyBanc Capital Market’s managing director, equity research analyst and executive officer after 20 years working in the sector.  

Mariani spent time at several prominent investment companies before being awarded his current title. They include NatAlliance Securities, RBC Capital Markets and Jefferies Group. Following his graduation from Brown University, he began his professional career working as an investment banking specialist at UBS or PaineWebber.  

Leo’s extensive CFA charter holding experience over many decades has enabled him to surpass much of his peers this year. 81% of Leo’s 2021 stock predictions were accurate. They returned 16.2% when taken together.  

This average return is not the best, but how was Mariani’s highest-performing rating? Mariani received a bullish rate on Jan. 7, 2020. SM Energy (NYSE: SM). SM climbed to 110.1% over the following three months.  

SM, an exploratory firm for hydrocarbons, had a very rough 2020. Due to Covid-19 contagion lockdowns, global economic activity halted. oil and natural gasPrices fell from a height. The stock dropped by 85% between mid-February and mid-March that year. However, it recovered its losses when Mariani called. Surprisingly, stock traded at around $26.50, after it fell to $1.19 in the pandemic era.  

Mariani maintained a strong position of optimism throughout SM’s huge bull run. Mariani has not yet downgraded his rating but stated that he believes there is more upside. 

The analyst stated that although the stock’s return is highly susceptible to volatility in oil commodities prices, SM “has solid hedge protection 2021-2022 which helps mitigate commodity price risk.” He also mentioned that the company has improving liquidity and expects to produce free cash flow by 2022.  

Mariani’s most recent rating for the stock was another buy and had a $42 price target.  

RBC Capital, Scott Hanold  

Our third choice is the RBC Capital Markets managing director for energy research.  

Scott Hanold is a veteran of the finance industry for more than 26 years. He started his career as an analyst with U.S. Bank. Then, he was promoted to auditor at Allianz. After a few years working as a financial analyst at Minnesota’s Musicland Group, Hanold settled into a job at RBC in 1999.  

Analyzing his stock ratings has shown that his success rate was remarkable 79% and that his average return per rating is 18.3%.  

If you look closely, it is easy to see how successful he was at stock-selection.

Hanold received the highest-performing rating Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPEHe assigned a bullish buy rate to Callon on Jan. 18, 2021. Callon’s stock had increased by a significant 121.6% as of April 18. Callon’s return of 121.6% is second on our list. This would make any investor happy.  

Hanold appears to have noticed the increase in energy prices and has adjusted his CPE strategy accordingly. The analyst had a target price of $20 at the time the initial rating was opened. This puts Callon at a significant discount to its current price per share, which was $47.84 on Thursday.

Hanold wrote recently about the stock. Hanold stated, “A healthy cost structure combined with an efficient maintenance capital program created robust FCF generation that was superior to other peers in the following few years.” With leverage higher than the peer average we expect shareholders to return in the near future. However, debt levels will need to be reduced until then. 

The stock could also become less attractive if the commodity price is not performing well. This possibility exists due to the new Covid-19 varieties.  

Hanold went from being bullish to a more neutral view of Callon as the years progressed. Hanold has maintained a stock rating of hold and set a $72 price target.  

Oppenheimer and Chris Kotowski  

We are at number 4. Our list of top 4 finalists is as follows: top performing analysts for 2021Oppenheimer’s senior analyst and managing director of large-cap banks, and wealth management companies. Chris Kotowski is no stranger to outperforming the market, as he has been rather successful at his various roles at Oppenheimer and formerly Leerink Swann & Co., now known as SVB Leerink. 

The analyst spent 11 years initially at Oppenheimer before moving to SVB Leerink where he worked for five years. He then returned to Oppenheimer to finish his career. Kotowski’s hard work has paid off.

Stock ratings for the past year were successful in 85% of cases and returned an average 10.4% per stock rating.  

There were so many ratings we could examine, so we looked at the top ones.

Over the three-month period of Jan. 12 to April 12, Kotowski returned more on a rating than the S&P 500 has year-to-date.

He gave an investment company a highly-recommended buy rating in order to start the new year. KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKRHe delivered. KKR grew 29% over those 90 days which pushed up Kotowski’s average return metric.  

KKR’s steady rise since his rating has been evident. Stock closed Thursday trading at $74.77. Kotowski has a current buy rating of the stock and a price target $73. 

Oppenheimer considers KKR an alternative asset manager that operates in three important sectors, namely credit, real assets and private equity.

Kotowski updated his hypothesis regarding asset managers, stating that there was a significant upside to distributable income over time, as there are ample opportunities for real asset and public markets platforms to grow and balance sheet investment can be monetized. There is also a positive outlook about base management fees growth on funds associated to the next-generation flagships, and associated strategies. 

Jefferies Group, Randy Giveans  

Randy Giveans is Jefferies senior vice president equity research for the energy and maritime industries. He holds the final position. Given the challenges faced by the shipping sector over the past year, Giveans’ research led to him achieving high stock rating returns.  

Giveans began his career at Continental Airlines in financial analysis. After three years, he was promoted to the position of senior financial analyst for corporate finances.  

Given the maritime difficulties this year, which included huge shipping delays at ports and an oversupply of containers as well rising fuel costs, Giveans managed to maintain a 76% success rate with his maritime stock pickings. They have also resulted in an average return rate of 22.7%.  

Out of all his choices for marine-based investments this year, on was the most profitable Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM). It was initiated back in January and changed three months later on March 8. Giveans raked in a remarkable 135.50% profit on his shipping and maritime logistics stock. His timing is remarkable, with the stock’s value peaking shortly thereafter.  

Giveans has since reaffirmed his NMM buy rating. Last week, he reiterated the price target for NMM at $52 per shares.  

Recent pullbacks have caused significant damage to the stock. Giveans therefore reiterated his “buy” rating.

According to a report dated December 8, he stated that increasing supply and fuel costs should be balanced out, which would aid the tanker market. He expanded on his hypothesis and said, “Management believes that 3Q21 was the bottom of the tanker market because there were substantial crude and products draw in the US and Europe. This put downward pressure upon seaborne transport rates and demand.”  

Companies like Navios will be required to replenish inventories if European gas companies are experiencing low supplies.