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The Most Loved and Hated S&P 500 Stocks

In our prior post, we highlighted which sectors the analyst community likes and loathes the most.  Below we take a look at the individual stocks in the S&P 500 that have the highest percentage of buy and sell ratings.  To make the list, the stock had to have coverage from at least 5 analysts.

As shown, SLM Corp (SLM) has the highest percentage of buy ratings at 100%.  Every analyst covering SLM rates it a buy.  Seven other stocks in the S&P 500 have at least 90% buy ratings -- Agilent (A), Schlumberger (SLB), CVS (CVS), Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Covidien (COV), Fluor (FLR) and EMC (EMC).  Apple (AAPL) is another name on the list that's noteworthy.  Of the analysts that cover Apple, 87.7% rate it a buy.  The reason this is so impressive is because it has the highest analyst coverage of any stock out there at more than fifty.  Qualcomm (QCOM) and Boeing (BA) are two other notables on the list of stocks that are the most loved by analysts.

Most of the stocks that are loved by analysts are up quite a bit in 2012, but there are two -- Allegheny (ATI) and Peabody Energy (BTU) -- that are down more than 30% year to date.  It's surprising that analysts are sticking with these two stock since they've done so poorly over the past seven months.

Receiving a buy rating is no big deal since "buys" make up a majority of analyst calls.  Receiving a sell rating, on the other hand, stands out since only 5% or so of all calls are sells.  Below are the S&P 500 stocks with the highest percentage of sell ratings.  As shown, Sears Holdings (SHLD) owns the title of most hated stock in the S&P 500 with 85.7% sell ratings.  Federated Investors (FII) ranks second at 66.7%, followed by Lexmark (LXK) at 58.3%.  The rest of the stocks on the list have sell rating percentages below 40.  

Interestingly, four of the six most hated stocks in the S&P 500 are having stellar years.  The most loathed stock of all -- Sears -- is up a whopping 70.83% year to date, while FII is up 34.39%, Whirlpool (WHR) is up 50.33%, and Weyerhaeuser (WY) is up 26.41%.

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