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15 Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In

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·15 min read
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In this article, we discuss the 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to the 5 Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In.

Uncertainty has been clouding over the stock market in the United States as investors exercise caution in the wake of a dramatic rise in the prices of commodities and a Chinese government crackdown against dual-listed firms. In June, the Labor Department reported that inflation had surged at the fastest pace seen in thirteen years with the Consumer Price Index, an index that measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services, registering a 5.4% increase year-to-year, largely due to an increase in prices of cars, food, and energy.

In tandem with these inflation fears, Chinese stocks in the US have registered a dramatic drop in prices, evidenced by the recent freefall in the price of ride-hailing service DiDi after a blockbuster IPO. Beijing is also tightening control over crypto-related companies in the country, hitting crypto stocks that had been on a record bull run till a few months ago, with Bitcoin reaching an all-time high of around $64,000 in April. Amid all these uncertainties, it has become difficult to identify strong buys that are sure to offer investors handsome returns.

Investment advisory Raymond James, headquartered in Florida, has identified some Strong Buy stocks which include UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), among others. These are discussed in detail below. The stocks offer a mix of growth and value offerings. As consumers continue to beat the brunt of an increase in the prices of commodities, a Bank of America survey has revealed that professional investors believe inflation is only temporary.

The complexity of the interdependent world economy has made it exceedingly difficult to keep up with the market dynamics. The entire hedge fund industry is feeling the reverberations of the changing financial landscape. Its reputation has been tarnished in the last decade, during which its hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. On the other hand, Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 124 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and May 29th 2021 our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 206.8%, vs. 91.0% for the SPY. Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 115 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.

15 Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In
15 Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In

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With this context in mind, here is our list of the 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. These were ranked keeping in mind ratings by investment advisory Raymond James, hedge fund sentiment, and basic business fundamentals.

Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In

15. Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 7

Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC) is placed fifteenth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The stock has returned 43% to investors over the past year. The firm operates as a bank holding company. It is based in Illinois. In earnings results for the second quarter, posted on July 21, the firm reported earnings per share of $0.30, in line with market estimates. The revenue over the period was close to $30 million, down 10% compared to the revenue over the same period last year but beating estimates by $3.3 million.

On July 23, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC) stock but lowered the price target to $15 from $16. The stock is presently trading at around $11.7.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 7 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $709 million in Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC), down from 9 in the preceding quarter worth $511 million.

Just like UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSBC) is one of the best strong buy stocks to invest in.

14. SmartFinancial, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBK)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 9

SmartFinancial, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBK) is a bank holding firm based in Tennessee. It is ranked fourteenth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company’s shares have returned 73% to investors in the past twelve months. On July 20, the firm reported earnings for the second quarter, posting earnings per share of $0.58, beating market predictions by $0.11. The revenue over the period was more than $32 million, up 9% year-on-year and beating market estimates by $1.29 million.

On July 21, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on SmartFinancial, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBK) stock and raised the price target to $30 from $27. The stock is presently trading at around $24.3.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 9 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $242 million in SmartFinancial, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBK), up from 6 in the preceding quarter worth $227 million.

13. Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 14

Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) stock has returned 22% to investors over the past year. It is placed thirteenth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The firm markets engineered solutions for transportation and logistics. It is headquartered in Indiana. On April 28, the firm posted earnings for the first quarter, reporting earnings per share of $0.06, beating market estimates by $0.04. The revenue over the period was $392 million, up 1% year-on-year and beating predictions by close to $27 million.

On July 19, investment advisory Raymond James Wabash maintained a Strong Buy rating on National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) stock but lowered the price target to $18 from $21. The stock is presently trading at around $14.4.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 14 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $87 million in Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC), the same as in the previous quarter worth $72 million.

Alongside UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) is one of the best strong buy stocks to invest in.

12. Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 17

Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR) is ranked twelfth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company’s shares have offered investors returns exceeding 46% over the course of the past twelve months. The firm is based in Washington and operates as a bank holding entity. In earnings results for the second quarter, posted on July 21, the firm reported earnings per share of $1.56, beating market estimates by $0.44. The revenue over the period was close to $150 million, up 27% compared to the revenue over the same period last year.

On July 23, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR) stock but decreased the price target to $63 from $66. The stock is presently trading at around $52.2.

Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Chicago-based investment firm Citadel Investment Group is a leading shareholder in Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR) with 350,658 shares worth more than $18 million.

11. Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 19

Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) stock has offered investors returns exceeding 62% over the course of the past year. It is placed eleventh on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company is headquartered in Illinois and operates as a financial holding firm. On April 19, the firm posted earnings for the first quarter, reporting earnings per share of $2.54, beating market estimates by $1.13. The revenue over the period was $448 million, up 19% year-on-year and beating estimates by $34 million.

On July 21, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) stock but lowered the price target to $91 from $96. The stock is presently trading at around $70.2.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 19 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $176 million in Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC), the same as in the preceding quarter worth $137 million.

In addition to UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) is one of the best strong buy stocks to invest in.

10. Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 22

Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) is a Nevada-based leisure travel company. It is ranked tenth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company’s shares have returned 68% to investors over the past twelve months. On July 26, the firm announced that it had entered into a partnership with Live Nation, a firm that sells tickets to live events, as part of a plan to offer those traveling with the company exclusive access to some Live Nation events. In addition, those purchasing tickets would be granted discounted travel packages.

On July 21, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) stock but lowered the price target to $260 from $290. The stock is presently trading at around $191.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 22 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $402 million in Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT), up from 19 in the previous quarter worth $416 million.

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, Wasatch Global Investors, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“We recently purchased additional shares of Allegiant Travel Co. (ALGT) not because it’s a play on the economic reopening but because we like the company’s fundamentals and stock price from a risk/reward perspective. Allegiant offers airline flights, hotel bookings, car rentals, travel management and other related services. When the stock price declined in 2020, we performed more research on the company. Although other travelrelated companies were facing dire circumstances, Allegiant wasn’t forced to raise dilutive equity or take government money. Since then, Allegiant has strengthened its relationships with pilots and crews and has positioned itself to benefit from leisure travel—which should accelerate sooner than business travel.”

9. Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 25

Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET) is placed ninth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The stock has returned 56% to investors over the past year. The company operates in the energy industry and is based in Texas. On July 16, Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to Outperform from Peer Perform with a price target of $13, noting that the pullback in the price of the stock since June represented a buying opportunity. The company has a market cap of over $27 billion and posted close to $39 billion in revenue last year.

On July 21, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET) stock and raised the price target to $13 from $12. The stock is presently trading at around $9.9.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 25 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $647 million in Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET), the same as in the preceding quarter worth $543 million.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) are some of the best strong buy stocks to invest in, just like Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET).

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, Miller/Howard Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“Another upweight was Energy Transfer (ET), which was selling at a discount on EV/ EBITDA compared with the portfolio and had an attractive +20% FCF yield. Further, ET’s ample FCF should exceed the current distribution even if the Dakota Access Pipeline were to be shut down.”

8. Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 26

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) is an energy firm with interests in natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products. It is headquartered in Texas. It is ranked eighth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company’s shares have returned 31% to investors over the past year. On May 3, the firm posted earnings for the first quarter, reporting earnings per share of $0.64, beating market estimates by $0.17. The revenue over the period was more than $9.1 billion, up 22% year-on-year.

On July 21, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) stock and raised the price target to $28 from $26. The stock is presently trading at around $23.9.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 26 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $299 million in Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD), down from 30 in the previous quarter worth $316 million.

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, ClearBridge Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“While reducing in health care and consumer staples, we increased our exposure to high-quality names in economically sensitive areas of the market. We added to low-cost, high-quality energy names (including) Enterprise Products Partners LP. We are positive on this company’s strong balance sheets, competitive positions and exposure to an economic recovery.”

7. Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 32

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) stock has offered investors returns exceeding 74% over the course of the past year. It is placed seventh on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The firm markets passenger and cargo air transport. It is based in Washington. On July 22, the company posted earnings for the second quarter, reporting earnings per share of -$0.30, beating market predictions by $0.15. The revenue over the period was $1.53 billion, up 263% year-on-year and beating estimates by $10 million.

On July 20, investment advisory Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating on Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) stock but lowered the price target to $78 from $85. The stock is presently trading at around $59.5.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 32 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $587 million in Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK), down from 35 the preceding quarter worth $552 million.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) are some of the best strong buy stocks to invest in, alongside Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK).

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, White Brook Capital, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“Despite initiating a position in the fourth quarter, Alaska Airlines Group, Inc (ALK) was sold during the first quarter. The Alaska Airlines investment was envisioned to be a long-term investment, but the stock price appreciated more quickly than expected. Like many other “re-open trades”, the value of the company including its debt now exceeds the value pre-pandemic. For that to be reasonable I’d have to believe:

1) The company/industry had too little debt and by adding debt they’ve better optimized their balance sheet for equity returns while still maintaining downside resiliency;

2) The company/industry’s profitability will be better moving forward than it was pre-pandemic and therefore warrant a higher multiple; and/or

3) The company/industry was significantly mispriced before the pandemic.

The first was true of Alaska Airlines pre-pandemic, but the certainty one can have about the second and third is not high enough to compel continued investment at today’s prices. The intended long-term position turned into a short-term trade with an exceptional IRR.”

6. Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 33

Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) is ranked sixth on our list of 15 best strong buy stocks to invest in. The company’s shares have offered investors returns exceeding 145% over the course of the past twelve months. The company develops and sells natural ingredients. It is based in Texas. On July 20, investment advisory Evercore initiated coverage on the stock with an Outperform rating and a price target of $86, noting that biofuel and renewable fuel stocks had several growth catalysts ahead.

On July 16, investment advisory Raymond James initiated coverage of Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) stock with a Strong Buy rating and a price target of $95. The stock is presently trading at around $67.9.

Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, London-based investment firm Impax Asset Management is a leading shareholder in Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) with 2.6 million shares worth more than $193 million.

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Disclose. None. 15 Best Strong Buy Stocks to Invest In is originally published on Insider Monkey.