By using Natural Language Processing, TipRanks filters and ranks analysts based on the historical success rate and average return per recommendation. Here are the top five FANG analysts of the past year, ranked by highest one-year returns per FANG rating (see “Top dogs”).
1. The best FANG analyst is Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. On March 25, 2015, Munster reiterated an overweight rating on Facebook (FB) and set a $92, 12-month price target. He commented on future catalysts for FB and was bullish on the company’s ability to enter new markets, advertising opportunities and its impressive and growing user base of 1.4 billion.
At the time of Munster’s rating, FB shares were trading at about $79. One year later, shares rose to $110. Investors who followed Munster’s advice would have earned a 41% return on their investment.
2. The second best FANG analyst is Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital. On Jan. 30, 2015, the analyst maintained an outperform rating on Facebook, though he educed his price target to $90 to account for FX headwinds. Mahaney attributes his rating to Facebook’s Q4 2014 earnings release, marked by increased investments in key growth drivers and various monetization opportunities.
At the time of Mahaney’s rating, shares of FB were trading at $76.24. One year later, shares climbed to $109.11. Investors who bought FB shares when Mahaney suggested would have earned a 43% return.
3. The third best FANG analyst of the past year is Cantor Fitzgerald’s Youssef Squali. On April 15, 2015, Squali recommended shares of Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), setting a 12-month price target of $635. Squali believed that investors should not worry too much about an EU antitrust investigation that could result in a $6 billion fine for the company. He said, “We continue to see Google as one of the best plays on global online ad and commerce growth at a compelling valuation.”
It turns out Squali was correct. At the time of his rating, shares were trading at $541. One year later, shares climbed to $780. Investors who followed Squali’s advice would have experienced a 44% return on their investment.
4. Doug Anmuth of JP Morgan is the fourth best FANG analyst. Anmuth recommended Netflix (NFLX) on Jan. 13, 2015, and set a $450 12-month price target. He predicted additional international launches in Southern Europe and Japan, following plans to expand to Australia and New Zealand. Anmuth noted the long-term gains are worth the added launch expenses.
Anmuth’s prediction came true as Netflix has aggressively launched into new international markets in the past year, which among other factors has caused the stock to display an impressive year-over-year increase. At the time of Anmuth’s rating, shares of the video streaming giant were trading at around $46. One year later, shares climbed to about $104. Had investors followed Anmuth’s advice and bought shares of Netflix when he suggested, they would have earned a 126% return.
5. The fifth best FANG analyst is Mizuho Securities’ Neil Doshi, who recommended shares of e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) at a time when internet stocks were down an average 12% in Doshi’s coverage portfolio. Doshi set a 12-month price target for the stock of $625, stating that “if the global economy will start to slow, consumers and businesses would choose to utilize to best-in-class services first.”
Doshi also highlighted Amazon as his second top internet pick after Facebook. At the time of Doshi’s rating, shares were trading at $466. Shares climbed to about $703. Investors who followed Doshi’s advice would have earned a 50% return on their investment.