As the stock market races to new highs, all investors seem to ask the same question. With this much positive momentum, how do I stay involved? Can I commit new capital and not get scorched if a wicked sell-off comes around? One way is to seek out strong areas that look to benefit from untapped growth. To do that, investors can track the influential Architecture Building Index, or ADI. The research team at UBS is doing just that, and there are some positive signs.
In a new research report the UBS team notes that the ADI increased to 50.4 in January after three sequential declines, including two readings below 50 (a score below 50 indicates a decline in demand for design services). The ADI generally leads construction spending by nine to 12 months. The index can be choppy and has posted year-over-year declines in each of the past four months. One thing that looks positive, given six months of growth prior to November, the UBS analysts are bullish on a pickup later this year.
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In their report, UBS highlights six top names to buy that should benefit from this pickup in activity.
Danaher Corp. (DHR) reported earnings of $0.96 a share in the fourth-quarter 2013, which beat the consensus estimates by a penny. The results increased 10.3% compared to the earnings of $0.87 a share reported in the prior-year period. The healthy increase in earnings was mainly attributable to core revenue growth and better margin expansion. Specific initiatives for new product development and increased investment were the other positives for the company. Investors are paid a 0.5% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $87. The Thomson/First Call estimate is set at $84.64. Danaher closed Monday at $76.82.
General Electric Co. (GE) has lagged the rally, which may provide investors a solid entry point. The company continues to expand its investment into energy, committing $10 billion to its "ecomagination" budget through 2020. GE plans to use the initiative to develop alternative technologies to replace water in the hydraulic fracturing process. In 2012, fracking used more than 50 billion gallons of water, according to a report by Bloomberg. With water shortages in places like California, energy companies are looking for ways to cut back on water use. Investors are paid a very solid 3.5% dividend from the blue-chip name. The UBS price objective is $30, and the consensus target is $28.92. GE closed Monday at $25.41.
Ingersoll-Rand PLC (IR) is a top industrial name to buy at UBS and is showing up on the stocks to buy lists at many of the major Wall Street firms we cover. In fact, it makes the Jefferies franchise list of top stocks to buy. With the housing market and commercial construction continuing to grow this year, the company's wide range of portfolio products should continue to sell well. Investors are paid a 1.3% dividend. UBS has posted a $70 price target, and the consensus price objective is $63.95. Ingersoll-Rand closed Monday at $60.33.
Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (SWK) has strengthened its position as a diversified industrial company. With $3.1 billion in revenue, the industrial segment comprises industrial and automotive repair tools, tool storage systems, engineered industrial fasteners and infrastructure solutions. It commands the number one or number two market share position in each of these categories. Organic growth has been positive for all regions and strategic business units. Shareholders are paid a 2% dividend. The UBS price target is $89, and the consensus target is $84.91. The stock finished Monday trading at $82.34
3M Co. (MMM) is another quality Industrial name on the UBS list of stocks to buy. The company received a big upgrade recently from the analysts at Nomura. The stock responded accordingly. Nomura now expects 3M to post EPS of $7.50 in 2014. Very strong fourth-quarter earnings were posted, and growth should continue to drive the share price. Investors are paid a 2.6% dividend. UBS has a $151 price objective, and the consensus number is lower at $141.80. 3M closed Monday at $132.94.
Tyco International Ltd. (TYC) wraps up the top industrial names to buy at UBS. The company is the world's largest pure-play fire protection and security company. Tyco provides more than 3 million customers around the globe with the latest fire protection and security products and services. With strong earnings growth, the company generated more than $10 billion in revenue last year. Tyco has approximately 65,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations across 50 countries, serving various end markets, including commercial, institutional, governmental, retail, industrial, energy, residential and small business. Investors are paid a 1.5% dividend. The UBS price target is $46, and the consensus target is $44.60. Tyco closed Monday at $42.69.
The quality names to buy at UBS share good traits: decent dividends, solid growth patterns, diversified businesses and exposure to the potential commercial construction lift that many of the firms we cover feel will take place in the second half of the year. Best of all, though their multiples have edged higher, they still have some solid upside, even with the market at record highs.
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