Stocks finished out a solid week today as the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) both closed at record highs again. There were no major events pushing markets higher as stocks were more or less flat until late in the session. Investors have been enthused recently by strong earnings reports, economic data, and signaling from the Fed that its monetary stimulus will continue. In a speech today at the Chicago Federal Reserve, Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the recovery still has a way to go, indicating that stimulus measures should stay in place in the near term. For the day, the blue chips gained 36 points, or 0.2%.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , despite no big news, led all Dow stocks today, jumping 1.7%. Rival Dell, however, was back in the headlines as activist investor Carl Icahn made the case for his bid to take the No. 3 PC maker private. Since HP and Dell both operate in the same declining industry, any belief that one company's holding unlocked value is likely to rub off on the other. After hours, a judge ruled that the company must defend itself in a lawsuit alleging that former management had defrauded shareholders. Its shares, however, remained unmoved.
Top Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2014: 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 based in Armonk, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [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 Louis Navellier]
IBM (NYSE:IBM) is an international IT company made famous by its line of personal computers and various IT services. A year-to-date gain of 18% shows IBM stock has a lot to offer.
- [By Jim Cramer]
When this company talked about lofty EPS for 2015, initially the street was skeptical especially after IBM reported a blah quarter soon after the expectations were laid out. I now think the company has $20 earnings per share capabilities out three years and that $13 is doable for 2011. You keep the multiple the same and you get a $169 stock. I think it does just that. This one's cheap, way too cheap and it will be cheap next year, too, but on a bigger earnings base which is how it can get to my price target.
- [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."
Top Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2014: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Hesler]
Colgate-Palmolive Company(NYSE: CL), together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. This dividend champion has raised distributions for 48 years in a row and currently yields 2.80%.
- [By Louis Navellier]
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) is a staple of consumer products, selling its oral, personal, home care and pet nutrition products in over 200 countries. A nice year-to-date return of 16% has helped keep Colgate stock holders happy all year.
Top 5 Growth Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)
Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Curtis]
Even though Apple's stock has now reached the $420 price range (for just one share!), many analysts believe that AAPL is one of the most undervalued large-cap stocks.
Despite the loss of Steve Jobs last year, Apple has continued to gain value, and the trend is expected to continue through 2012 with the hotly anticipated iPad 3 and iPhone 5 releases. In fact, AAPL is predicted to hit $510 per share in the next year.
- [By Jim Jubak]
Not all my picks for 2013 are riding trends. Some, including Apple (AAPL), make their own trends. If Apple's remarkable and maddening stock performance in 2012 demonstrated anything, it was that this stock dances to its own music. Apple shares are capable of climbing when everything else is tumbling and of plunging while the rest of the market is slowly moving ahead.
The stock ended 2012 in deep retreat as sentiment, rather than fundamentals, turned against it. (And sentiment on this baby can quickly go into reverse.) Apple fell from $589 on Nov. 11 to $509 on Dec. 14 -- and that's after a plunge from $702 on Sept. 19 to $526 on Nov. 15.
Investors sold Apple at the end of 2012 on downgrades from Wall Street analysts that cited order reductions to Apple suppliers. But curiously, sellers seem not to have read all the way through these opinions. For example, the analyst at Canaccord Genuity who cut his target price to $750 from $800 (while maintaining a buy rating) wrote that reduced orders to iPhone suppliers could be a result of softer-than-expected sales in international markets or Apple's intention to launch a new iPhone model in June. Other technology analysts,most notably Horace Dediu on Asymco, have argued that Apple is moving to a six-month cycle from a new-model-every-year cycle. This would be a huge change, and I find the argument convincing.
- [By ANDREW]
I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think. We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good. People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market. Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool. That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base. Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure. Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment. Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck. Apple users proudly pay the big premium. That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall Street. They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time. They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash. I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012. Very strong buy.
Top Blue Chip Stocks To Own For 2014: 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.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jeff Reeves]
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) isn’t quite as dramatic as Apple when it comes to stock performance. The company has “only” doubled since 2007 and “only” tripled since 2005 — compared with 330% gains since 2007 and 900% gains since 2005 for Apple.
But you have to admit, those gains still are incredibly impressive — especially for a mammoth blue chip like McDonald’s that is dominant worldwide.
Also worth consideration is the fact that, since 2007, McDonald’s has paid dividends totaling $9.26 per share. Since McDonald’s stock was trading around $45 four years ago, that means on top of doubling your money via the share appreciation, you would have gotten back about 20% of your initial investment via dividends alone. Or if you reinvested those funds, you really could have supercharged your returns even more.
Looking forward, McDonald’s shows no signs of slowing down. It has surpassed analysts’ expectations in?four of its past five earnings reports, most recently with second-quarter numbers boasting a 15% increase in profits. While its revenue has risen at a modest 3.6% annual rate during the past five years, net income has surged at a 14.6% annual rate — proving MCD can maintain margins and grow profits even if sales don’t soar.
McDonald’s, like Apple, knows how to deliver small-cap gains despite its blue-chip size. That makes this pick a keeper.
- [By JON C. OGG]
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is at $85.08 and analysts have a consensus price target objective of $97.68. It carries a 2.9% dividend yield and the stock is down 5% from its 52-week high. McDonald’s trades at close to 6-times book value, but its return on equity is 37%. S&P carries an “A” local long-term rating on the Golden Arches. In the “you gotta eat somewhere” theory, McDonald’s seems to keep winning over and over and its shares and same-store sales keep rising handily.