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Barron's Picks And Pans: Boston Beer, MGM, Target, Visa And More

Nelson Hem

This weekend's Barron's cover story takes a look at digital payments giants.

Other featured articles review the top dividend payers of the first quarter; placing bets on the future of tech; tariffs and the price of beer.

Also in the issue: the prospects for a lagging hospitality giant, an agriculture spinoff and two very different retailers.

This weekend's Barron's cover story, "The Power in Payments" by Tae Kim, suggests that Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc (NYSE: V) might look pricey by traditional metrics — but the digital-payments giants show no signs of slowing down.

Andrew Bary's "MGM Stock Is Worth a Wager" points out that shares of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) have languished in recent years. Barron's believes that investors may be overlooking a number of positives.

"Corteva Is a New Agriculture Stock. FMC Is a Safer Bet" by Al Root says that, because the agriculture business is not correlated with the broader economy, a DowDupont spinoff is all the more intriguing. See what that means for FMC Corp (NYSE: FMC). 

Large dividends often signal a company's underlying strength, but investors cannot rely on them entirely, according to "A Dozen Stock Dividend Champions" by Lawrence Strauss. Stocks featured include Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE: RDS-A).

In Lawrence Strauss's "Uber, Slack, and a Hedge Fund's Other Big Bets on the Future" see how partners at the featured investment management firm have prospered by getting ahead of the biggest trends in technology. After Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), what comes next?

See also: Trade War Update: Trump Says Huawei Blacklist Negotiable, G20 Meeting In Jeopardy

"Target Stock Triumphs in a Brutal Week for Retail" by Avi Salzman makes a case that even with shoppers shifting their purchases online, competition ramping up and inventory sitting dormant, retailers such as Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) are showing they can succeed in a tough environment.

In "Tariffs Raise the Price of a Beer? Say It Ain't So!," Al Root suggests that higher beer prices are a big sign that the trade war with China just got real. See what that means for the likes of Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE: SAM) and even restaurants that sell beer.

The Liberty Media chairman and other insiders have bought up millions of dollars in Qurate Retail Inc (NYSE: QRTEA) stock while it traded at a record low. So says Ed Lin's "John Malone Bets Millions That QVC Parent Qurate Can Fight Amazon."

Also in this week's Barron's:

  • Artificial intelligence, Facebook and hate speech
  • What's up with Nelson Peltz and Legg Mason
  • How annuities can undermine teacher retirement savings
  • Some safe Texas municipal bonds
  • How fund companies are tackling financial literacy
  • What's next for Narendra Modi and India

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

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