BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) — The stocks the “smart money” loves right now just may surprise you.
Professional investors have spent most of 2013 playing catch-up with the broad market indices. By and large, they were too slow to click “buy” when the rally kicked off last November, and they were too quick to hit “sell” when stocks temporarily corrected in June. As the S&P 500 hits its head on new all-time highs again this week, that’s putting scores of fund managers in buy mode as we round the corner to August.
And a handful of their favorite names may come as a surprise. After all, for an industry that’s focused on consumer-driven blue chips for most of the year, any move to out-of-favor tickers says a lot about portfolio managers’ priorities. So today, we’ll take a closer look atfive of their favorite surprise stocks.
Top Blue Chip Companies To Buy Right Now: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
- [By Brian Gorban]
Fast food giant and world-renowned company McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) is undoubtedly a name you’ve heard of, as “the golden arches” are ubiquitous–and with good reason: The company operates over 33,000 restaurants in 119 countries. With over $27 billion in revenue and a market capitalization near $90 billion, McDonald’s is simply a juggernaut and should continue to be a beneficiary of the global growth story happening predominately in the “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries in the years and decades to come.
Of course, those countries have not been spared the current economic carnage and that has caused the company to miss the past two quarters’ consensus estimates, but that has created a buying opportunity. With the stock trading not far above its $83.31 52-week low, McDonald’s is now yielding an attractive 3.5% dividend yield, and with a low 54% payout ratio, look for the dividend to not only be safe but be raised in the near future. Add in the fact that the company has a comparatively and historically low 16x forward and trailing P/E, and I think MCD should serve investors well for the long-term while one can wait and happily collect the nice 3.5% dividend.
Top Blue Chip Companies To Buy Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.
- [By Peter Hughes]
International Business Machines (IBM) — our aggressive pick for the year — is one of the world’s most dominant technology companies, with annual revenues of $105 billion and net income of $16 billion.
- [By Paul]
IBM. Emerging markets are a big growth driver for this computer systems and software provider. Not only that, Resendes says, IBM has "a bullet-proof balance sheet that will allow it to weather the current storm and position it for superior growth and profitability in the long term." He thinks the stock, which recently traded at $93, is worth $120 a share: ”There are some obvious companies that offer much bigger discounts, but you have to incorporate the safety factor. You’re getting a premium company here that’s a good spot to be in within the tech space."
- [By Geoff Gannon] Wells Fargo (WFC)