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Barron's Latest Picks And Pans: Bank Stocks, BDCs, Blackstone, Fluor, Oracle And More

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Nelson Hem
·4 min read
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  • This weekend's Barron's cover story explores one enterprise software company's transformation into a cloud giant.

  • Other featured articles discuss who dominates the public cloud, who stands to benefit as Texas rebuilds and how to tell when tech companies are overvalued.

  • Also, the prospects for a private-equity giant, an engineering company, bank stocks, business development companies and more.

Cover story "Oracle Is Turning Into a Cloud Giant. Why Its Stock Is a Buy" by Eric J. Savitz discusses how a new giant is starting to flex its muscles in cloud computing, and it isn't some upstart. See why Barron's claims that enterprise software company Oracle Corporation (NYSE: VZ) has been undergoing a Microsoft-like reinvention, and why that makes the stock a buy.

Avi Salzman's "Texas Looks to Rebuild. Here Are 6 Stocks That Could Benefit" suggests that companies that provide energy infrastructure and oil-and-gas producers that were spared storm damage in Texas offer opportunities. What does that mean for the likes of Eaton Corporation PLC (NYSE: ETN), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) and even General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).

In "Who Rules the Cloud? The Answer Is Hazy," Eric J. Savitz points out that the data showing who dominates the U.S. public cloud market are obfuscated by definitions that can make comparisons among providers such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) almost impossible. Is that a problem?

Private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE: BX) is pushing hard into life sciences at a critical time, according to "Blackstone Makes a Big Bet on Life Sciences" by Liz Moyer. See what that means for Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) and a number of others.

In Daren Fonda's "Fluor Is Engineering a Turnaround. Its Stock Could Soar," the focus is on how engineering and construction company Fluor Corp (NYSE: FLR) is pivoting toward growth industries and fixing its past problems. Find out why the Texas-based company could be a beneficiary of U.S. infrastructure spending and why Barron's sees the share price rising as much as 80%.

"Tech Valuations Are Getting Scary. Here's How We Know" by Eric J. Savitz explains that companies such as Snowflake Inc (NYSE: SNOW) and Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) trade at more than 35 times sales estimates for 2021. That doesn't leave much room for error, and Wall Street doesn't seem to be concerned.

See also: Benzinga's Bulls And Bears Of The Week: Disney, QuantumScape, Tesla, Walmart And More

A Goldman Sachs strategist lays out the case for stocks to shine, which includes an accelerating vaccination program and a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. So says Jack Hough's "Welcome to Earnings Valhalla. Why Stocks Can Still Shine." Find out what Barron's thinks that could mean for everything from Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) to 3M Co (NYSE: MMM).

In "Bank Stocks Are Getting Hot. They Still Have Room to Run," Carleton English says that bank stocks today trade roughly where they did a year ago, with the KBW Bank Index up more than 16% this year, outpacing the S&P 500's 4% gain. Find out if Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) or JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) are among those with room to run.

Alexandra Scaggs's "BDCs Yield Around 9%, but Their Quality Varies. Here's How to Judge Them" explains that business development companies such as Owl Rock Capital Corp (NYSE: ORCC) are reporting earnings, and income investors should consider paying attention to the status of their loan portfolios for some attractive yield.

Also in this week's Barron's:

  • What investors want to see in Warren Buffett's letter to shareholders

  • The latest Barron's annual ranking of the best fund families

  • What it means for interest rates that the doves are in charge again

  • How much equity investors care about rising rates

  • A review of a century of infrastructure projects and costs

  • Why this bull market shows no sign of ending soon

  • What Carl Icahn plans for an Ohio-based electric utility

  • Whether investors should worry about bitcoin mining in China

  • An international fund that stays a step ahead of Wall Street analysts

  • The next smart-beta category

  • What to expect as food prices continue to rise

  • Three retirement savings tricks

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

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