The tougher the going gets in the stock market, the more investors want to make very sure they have their bets on companies that have every possible attribute working in their favor. There are dedicated Wall Street metrics that always make sense when investing, and when they are overlaid with other tried-and-true investing guidelines, good things usually happen.
In a new report from Oppenheimer, analysts combine their fundamental rating on a company of Outperform with positive earnings revisions, and then toss in a bullish technical profile for good measure. This triple-play combination is then used to screen their universe for top stocks to buy now. They have added five new companies rated Outperform that make good sense for investors in a market that appears to be teetering some.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) is one of the biggest independent oil and gas producers in the country, with exploration or production work in all major domestic drilling areas, as well as in South America, Africa, Asia and New Zealand. Worldwide, natural gas makes up just over half of Anadarko's reserves, but 87% of the new wells it drilled in the United States last year were gas wells. The company has daily production over 2.6 billion cubic feet. Investors are paid a 1% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $124.97 Anadarko closed Tuesday at $108.10.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) is one of the top consumer cable and entertainment names on Wall Street. The largest cable company in the United States continued its push to be a top entertainment name. The Oppenheimer analysts think 2014 and 2015 will be banner years for entertainment stocks, with continued strong pricing power, advertising spending growth and new digital platforms. Comcast shareholders are paid a 1.7% dividend. The consensus price target is $62.43. Comcast closed Tuesday at $53.18
EMC Corp. (EMC) shares have rallied recently on news that Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund Elliott Management has accumulated a stake worth more than $1 billion in the storage giant. Many think the activist play is an attempt to spin off and monetize the huge position in cloud software giant VMware in an attempt to provide additional value for shareholders. While the stake is significant, the firm certainly at this point can’t dictate terms to EMC. The storage giant pays shareholders a 1.7% dividend. The consensus price objective is $32.03. EMC closed Tuesday at $29.23.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) is a top stock that crushed earnings as its leading drug Sovaldi continues massive sales. During the quarter just released, revenue for Sovaldi, its drug to treat hepatitis C, delivered product sales of $3.48 billion, exceeding average analysts' estimates of $2.92 billion. Wall Street analysts are looking for positive data on the company's Phase 3 HIV "TAF" (son-of-Viread) pivotal data. Viread is Gilead's hepatitis B and HIV drug that will go off patent in 2018. The consensus price target is $109.86. Gilead closed Tuesday at $92.27.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and it contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities. The company posted solid second-quarter numbers and delivered improved execution on operating expenses, which if maintained should create a higher earnings-per-share run-rate through 2015. Investors are paid a 1.8% dividend. The consensus price target is at $91.48. The stock closed Tuesday at $80.99.
The Oppenheimer triple-play stocks make very good sense in a rocky market. They are leaders in their sectors, and are big enough to continue that leadership. Plus, with the three positive metrics behind them, they should withstand any market sell-off well.