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7 Stocks With ‘Tax Cut’ Dividend Increases on Tap

Congress and President Donald Trump passed a historic tax cut late last year, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. This monumental legislation should place hundreds of billions of dollars back in the hands of corporations. But which companies will put these dollars in the hands of investors as dividend increases?

Some companies will use the money saved — or repatriated from overseas — to reinvest in their businesses. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for example, will invest $50 billion into infrastructure in the coming years.

Other companies will use the money to repurchase stock. Regrettably, those stocks are very overvalued right now.

Many companies, however, will boost their dividends to reward shareholders. This will be particularly true of companies that are already cash flow positive and are struggling to grow or would struggle anyway just given their business.

Here are seven likely candidates for dividend increases.

Dividend Increases: Apple (AAPL) Apple Inc. (AAPL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: via Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be one of the big winners in the tax cut game. For starters, it should be able to repatriate about $215 billion. It will also save about $2.2 billion in taxes. Now, Apple not only will have all that cash on hand, it also has free cash flow in excess of $50 billion.

What’s interesting about AAPL stock is the yield is only 1.49%, based on a $2.52 per share dividend. Apple could literally afford to plow the entire tax savings into an increased dividend — boosting it by $0.44 per share — to $2.96 per share or 1.72%.

Dividend Increases: Home Depot (HD) Why HD Stock Is Finally Too Expensiveinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is another huge winner in the corporate tax cut parade. HD will save close to $675 million annually.

The beauty of Home Depot is that the company is currently firing on all cylinders. They’re seeing fabulous same-store comps. And their current dividend payout is presently a mere 40% of free cash flow.

Home Depot can and should plow their entire tax savings into a dividend increase of $0.65 per share, lifting the dividend from $3.56 to $4.21 per share. That would push the yield from 1.88% to 2.22%.

Dividend Increases: Pfizer (PFE) PFE Stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) stands to save about $150 million annually. As a big pharma company, Pfizer must continually feed its R&D machine. R&D routinely costs about $7.5 – $8.5 billion annually, yet that money comes out of its extremely robust free cash flow which runs $13 – 16 billion annually.

Figure a $.025 dividend increase on top of its already annual increase, which results in a small increase in yield from 3.75% to 3.77%. Not big, but a lot of retirement investors hold PFE stock.

Dividend Increases: Cisco (CSCO) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has fallen into no/slow-growth territory with net income effectively stalling over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, CSCO stock generates about $13 billion annually in free cash flow. That’s pretty amazing, so the additional $350 million in tax savings would likely all go to increasing the dividend.

The $.07 per share increase would push the dividend from $1.16 per share to $1.23 per share, lifting the yield from 3.03% to 3.14%.

Dividend Increases: Coca-Cola (KO) The Coca-Cola Co KO stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Leo Hidalgo via Flickr (Modified)

The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) has really been struggling the past few years. The world moved away from sugary drinks and toward healthier choices. Revenue is falling, as is net income.

Nevertheless, KO stock has enjoyed bountiful cash flow for decades and has almost $40 billion of cash on hand. So while business is struggling, much of the $220 million in tax savings may go to either stock repurchases or dividend increases.

If the latter, that means a $0.05 per share increase to $1.53 per share, boosting the yield from 3.23% to 3.36%.

Dividend Increases: Microsoft (MSFT) Why You Should Buy Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock on the Dipinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart Via Flickr

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will win big with the tax cut as well. Because Microsoft is finally growing earnings again, but has tons of cash and cash flow, there is no need to plow the tax savings into the business.

MSFT can also start to make big strides towards becoming an income stock. Get this — before the cut, MSFT generated $30 billion in free cash flow last year, and paid out only $11.8 billion in dividends.

Tax savings could push another $0.04 per share into the dividend, lifting it to $1.72 per share.

Dividend Increases: Boeing (BA) Boeing BA stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Phillip Capper via Flickr

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) is another widely-held stock that’s in a sweet-spot as far as how to use its tax windfall. They aren’t saving an enormous chunk of money — about $93 million — but that still translates to a $0.16 per share dividend increase.

That would push the dividend right up to $7 per share, lifting the yield from 2.32% to 2.34%.

Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, a specialty lender focusing on consumer finance and is the Manager of The Liberty Portfolio at www.thelibertyportfolio.com. He does not own any stock mentioned. He has 23 years’ experience in the stock market, and has written more than 1,800 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at TheLibertyPortfolio@gmail.com.

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Nippon Telegraph & Telephone: Hidden Value In Broadband Assets

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NYSE:NTT) is the dominant telephone and broadband company in Japan. Using a sum-of-the-parts valuation, the stock is attractively valued especially when one considers the opportunity of growing broadband usage opportunity in Japan and the surprisingly strong balance sheet.

Telecom

The largest part of the valuation puzzle regarding NTT is NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM), Japan’s largest telecommunications company with 73 million customers and a market share of 46%. Its primary competitors are KDDI (OTCPK:KDDIF) with 30% share and Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) with 24%. With only three main players, competition is limited and all players are profitable.

NTT DoCoMo is trading at a reasonable P/E of 16 while cash flow from operations minus capex is 20% higher than net income. NTT has a rock-solid balance sheet. Cash increased to 838B yen, of which up to 300B yen will be used for share repurchases while debt is only 222B yen. In addition to share repurchases, the company pays a decent dividend with a 3.74% yield. These valuation numbers compare quite favorably to US telecom companies like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) which have huge debt loads and are burdened by expensive tower lease contracts from American Tower (NYSE:AMT) and Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI).

The market value of NTT DoCoMo is currently 10.43T yen and NTT holds 66.7% of the company giving its share a value of 6.95T yen. Given the operational results and balance sheet I would consider NTT DoCoMo reasonably valued or even attractive, thus using a 6.95T yen for this sum-of-parts analysis is defensible.

Broadband

While the mobile market is very strongly developed in Japan with 164.1 million customers, the fixed market is not that strong with only 39 million customers. Only 29.7M of those customers use the fastest FTTH connections which have access speeds of 2 Gbps. In the FTTH market, NTT holds a 68% market share through its subsidiaries NTT West and NTT East. Since 2015, NTT is collaborating with the strong telecommunication companies to sell its fixed broadband connections. This has been an intelligent move since it allows NTT to cut its sales and marketing expenditures in this field while increasing subscriptions and profitability. Total FTTH subscriptions increased from 18.7M in 2015 to 20.9M currently, a meagre growth of 11.7%. Profits before taxes increased from 20.9B yen at NTT West to 81.2B yen while at NTT East it grew from 83.5B yen to 148.9B yen. The combined profit thus increased from 104.4B yen to 230.1B yen, an increase of 120%.

Profits however are not the best way to measure the value of a broadband network; that honour goes to free cash flow. Both entities have been turned into free cash flow machines. NTT West delivered 145.2B yen in free cash flow last year while NTT East contributed 214.9B yen which together is 360.1B yen in annual free cash flow.

While most broadband companies have borrowed heavily and have burdened balance sheets to match their stable cash flows, this is not the case in Japan. NTT East had 297B yen in cash and cash equivalents while having 365.8B in debt, resulting in a net debt of 68.8B yen. NTT West is considerably more leveraged with 66.3B in cash and equivalents while having 701.7B yen in debt. The combined debt load however is very manageable since net total combined debt at 704.2B yen is less than two years of the generated free cash flow.

Given the uncertain growth prospects and lack of peers, I propose two values to the broadband business. One, which is very conservative, values the business at 12 times free cash flow, which assumes basically no growth whatsoever or credit for its steady predictable income stream in a low interest rate environment. Using 12 times free cash flow results in a valuation of 4.32T yen.

Another scenario allows for a higher valuation given the under penetration of fiber customers in Japan, its growth prospects, low debt levels, and its stable subscription revenue stream. Using a modest value of 16 times free cash flow results in a valuation of 5.76T yen.

Both scenarios above use more conservative valuation multiples compared to US broadband companies with market positions like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) which trades at a P/E of 19.4.

NTT Data

NTT Data (OTC:NTTDF) is a provider of system integrations and IT solutions. While this sounds promising and revenues have increased steadily, profits are rather low and free cash flow even lower. I think it is a very competitive market constantly disrupted by technological change. Some of its business might be fairly sticky and repetitive, but in such fast changing landscape nothing can be taken for granted. NTT Data generated 1.73T yen in revenue and net income of 66B yen. The balance sheet used to be in good shape but was weakened by the acquisition of Dell Services for $3.05B. Cash is 198B yen while debt amounts to 574.3B yen resulting in a net debt position of 376.3B. The cash flow from operations was 238.5B yen while capital expenditures amounted to 158B yen, resulting in CFO – capex of 80.5B yen.

The market value of NTT Data is 1.9T yen, which means it has a P/E of 28.7. Personally, I have insufficient knowledge or confidence to give this business such a valuation and therefore value the company at a 50% discount to its market value. If somebody has more knowledge about IT services companies and their growth potential, please leave some insightful comments in the comment section.

NTT Data is 54.2% owned by NTT, which means that the market value of its ownership share is 1.03T yen while I will be using 515B yen.

NTT Communications

Historically provided long distance communication services but has expanded into related applications like enterprise mail and solution services but also more attractive areas with growth potential like data centers and undersea cables. While voice communications seems to be in a slow terminal decline, this business is quite valuable since it helps the world cope with increasing data flows. A company which in some regards is doing a similar job is Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ:LVLT). NTT Communications is hardly a growth stock due to all its legacy business but still managed to increase revenues from 1.26T yen in 2014 to a forecasted 1.33T yen in 2017.

NTT Communications has a decent balance sheet. Debt is 257B yen while cash amounts to 10.7B yen resulting in a net debt of 246.3B yen. This is a reasonable amount of debt and something which can be easily paid back.

Net income from the last 12-month period amounted to 93B yen. Cash flow from operations was 211.2B yen while capital expenditures were 120B yen. This results in a free cash flow of 91.2B yen. Given that NTT Communications is trying to actively grow certain parts of its business but also still relies for 22.2% of its revenues on voice communications, it is difficult to value this business within this conglomerate. My best estimate for a conservative valuation is 11 times the free cash flow or 10 times last 12 months’ earnings. The average leads to a valuation of 966B yen.

Other businesses

Next to all its business units which are grouped around communication and data transfer, NTT has various other businesses. Some like vendor finance are pretty common but NTT has quite a diverse set of other businesses. NTT is active in real estate as an owner/operator of commercial and residential real estate. In addition it also builds and manages energy efficient buildings, solar power solutions and data centers through NTT Facilities. Other activities grouped together in this group are system development, NTT advanced technologies, and advertising. While one can argue that those businesses are a distraction, they are at least producing profits fairly consistently. Operating profit is expected to be 75B yen. Given the large uncertainties around these business units and the distraction they provide for management, I think a fair conservative valuation would be 8 times expected operating income of 75B yen, resulting in a value of 600B yen.

Sum of the parts

While, as expected, the shares in NTT DoCoMo are still responsible for the majority of the value at 6.95T yen, what is surprising though is that because of its strong cash flow generation, the broadband assets might be a lot more valuable than most people give it credit for. This hidden gem has a value between 4.32T yen and 5.76T yen. NTT Data is a risky proposition; because of its low profitability, it is valued at 515B yen, a 50% discount to its market value. NTT Communications is a decent business, which is transforming to cope with the decline in voice communication revenue and worth 966B yen. While the other businesses are valued at a combined 600B yen, this leads to a value for the entire NTT conglomerate of 6.95 + 5.76 + 0.515 + 0.966 + 0.6 = 14.79T yen or for more conservative investors 6.95 + 5.76 + 0.515 + 0.966 + 0.6 = 14.35T yen.

Both are significantly above the current market value of 11.22T yen and do not take into account the low levels of debt on the balance sheet.

Conclusion

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone is a strong Japanese telecom conglomerate with strong market positions, strong cash generation, and low debt levels. The company is trading at a discount on a conservative sum-of-the-parts analysis and has a P/E ratio of only 12.5. The dividend yield is currently 2.83%, but the payout ratio is only around 30%, and significant sums are invested in share buybacks. The company has clearly become more focused on shareholders, and shareholder remuneration is a clear management goal.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in NTT over the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

SeekingAlphaAbout this article:ExpandAuthor payment: $35 + $0.01/page view. Authors of PRO articles receive a minimum guaranteed payment of $150-500.Tagged: Investing Ideas, Long Ideas, Technology, Telecom Services – Foreign, JapanWant to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.Disagree with this article? Submit your own.To report a factual error in this article, click here

10 Stocks to Buy for Surefire Gains in 2018 and Beyond

With everyone looking ahead now to 2018, investors are getting bombarded with ideas regarding the best stocks to buy.

Everyone has their own suggestion about which stocks are going to hit the big time in the coming months, but fear not! Here we have a list of 10 sure-fire winners that tick all the boxes. These stocks to buy are not purely subjective. Instead, they have big support from the Street’s top analysts and the upside potential to match based on the average analyst price target.

I found these stocks using a nifty Top Analyst Stocks tool on TipRanks. This pulls up stocks with bullish recent ratings from multiple top analysts. Scanning through this list, I was able to identify 10 top stocks that make compelling investing opportunities right now. Just to note, I purposefully eliminated stocks that only have big upside potential because share prices are plummeting.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and see which stocks make the cut for 2018:

Stocks to Buy: Micron (MU) Stocks to Buy: Micron (MU)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Over the last three months, semiconductor stock Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) has received a whopping 19 buy ratings and just 3 hold ratings. As a result, the stock has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus rating. These analysts believe (on average) that Micron has big upside potential of over 30% from the current share price. This would take MU from $44.12 all the way to $57.65. Bear in mind, MU has already doubled year-to-date!

Five-star Rajvindra Gill assigned a buy rating to MU with a very confident $76 price target on Dec. 20 (72% upside). He says the market is undervaluing MU and he sees serious potential in: 1) 3D NAND transition, which generates a significant cost advantage (30%-35%); and 2) technology limitations in DRAM supply growth.

“We believe investors are focusing too heavily on a NAND pricing decline to see the big picture. With another record quarter and guide (beat revenue and EPS consensus by 5.6% and 11.4%, respectively) in the bag, Micron is on track to generate quarterly EPS of nearly $2.50 or roughly $10 per share of annualized earnings” said Gill on Dec. 20.

Note that this is a top analyst worth following. He is ranked No. 43 out of over 4,700 analysts tracked by TipRanks.

Stocks to Buy: Spark Therapeutics (ONCE)

Stocks to Buy: Spark Therapeutics (ONCE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />

Spark Therapeutic Inc’s (NASDAQ:ONCE) innovative gene therapy has just received a critical approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Excitingly, this is the first gene therapy to restore sight to individuals with a rare inherited eye disease that can cause blindness. The treatment, known as Luxturna, can treat both children and adults. Following the news, three analysts quickly reiterated their Spark buy ratings.

“Today’s approval marks another first in the field of gene therapy — both in how the therapy works and in expanding the use of gene therapy beyond the treatment of cancer,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “This milestone reinforces the potential of this breakthrough approach in treating a wide range of challenging diseases.”

Overall this ‘Strong Buy’ stock has a bullish average analyst price target of $73 (38% upside potential). We don’t know the drug’s price just yet, but Phil Nadeau, a top Cowen & Co analyst, says: “$500,000 per procedure is reasonable for a once-per-lifetime therapy that has the potential to be curative.”

Meanwhile, Raymond James’ Reni Benjamin notes that: “1) with no negative surprises, the label is slightly better than expected, only excluding the use of this gene therapy in infants under 12 months of age; 2) Spark also received a Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher, which we estimate is worth approximately $125 million based on recent transactions.”

Stocks to Buy: Alcoa (AA) Stocks to Buy: Alcoa (AA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Josh Hallett via Flickr (Modified)

Pennsylvania-based Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA) is the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum with locations all over the world. The stock is catching the attention of investors following a bullish upgrade from Credit Suisse. On Dec. 20, five-star Credit Suisse analyst Curt Woodworth ramped up his price target from $42 to $61. This now suggests 22% upside potential from the current price. Woodworth is anticipating that tighter aluminum supply will push up prices due to alumina and bauxite closures.

“We note three smelters curtailed production last week, and the government is set to sharply increase inspections in January. We expect the aluminum market to tighten into late 1Q-18 as downstream demand sharply recovers.” Plus, China’s increased commitment to environmental policy will further curtail supply according to Woodworth.

Overall, AA has a ‘Strong Buy’ rating, with only buy ratings from top analysts in the last three months. At the same time, the average analyst price target of $60 stands at 20% upside from the current share price.

Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ) Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Keep a close eye on Florida-based specialty contractor engineer MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ) in 2018. The company’s work spans electric power infrastructure, oil and natural gas pipelines, renewable energy facilities and wireless networks. Strength across the board has resulted in 100% Street support with seven analysts publishing recent buy ratings. Indeed, MTZ has received no hold or sell ratings from the Street for over 8 months.

“We reiterate a BUY on MTZ ahead of what we expect to be increasing 2018 estimates and an expanding multiple. With all segments poised for growth in 2018, a more diversified positive top line performance is likely to be enhanced on the bottom line by better Oil and Gas margins and a generally improving pricing and mix environment from large projects” writes top Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Burleson. His buy rating comes with a $58 price tag (15% upside). We can also see that he has an incredible track record on his MTZ ratings with a 100% success rate and 51.6% average return.

Stocks to Buy: TherapeuticsMD (TXMD) Stocks to Buy: TherapeuticsMD (TXMD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

I have already banged on about TherapeuticsMD Inc (NASDAQ:TXMD) in my recent piece on top healthcare stocks. But this is an intriguing stock pick that I felt was worth including again. TXMD is a unique biotech making waves in the world of female healthcare. The company develops and commercializes products exclusively for women. Its lead product candidate is the TX-004 soft gel capsule for post-menopausal pain. This approach clearly has the backing of the Street, as TXMD has a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating.

In fact, in the last three months, TherapeuticsMD has received seven back-to-back buy ratings. Plus the $15.30 average analyst price target represents a huge 161% upside from the $6 current share price. Crucially, even the lowest price target of $9 from Noble Financial and Deutsche Bank still suggests 55% upside potential.

The most bullish analyst of the pack is top Cantor Fitzgerald analyst William Tanner. He reiterated his TXMD buy rating on Dec. 19 with a $28 price target. Tanner notes that the FDA has opted to conduct a longer Class 2 review of TX-004. But ultimately, he calls the drug ‘an important new therapy’ for atrophy. He says: “We believe the likelihood of approval is high, 85% probability, the highest we use to account for some revenue forecasting uncertainty.”

Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN) Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Seyfang via Flickr

Year-to-date Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has already soared by 56%. But even with shares at $1,176, we can see that the Street still sees AMZN spiking over 11% to $1,311. In fact, in the last three months this stock has received an eyebrow-raising 33 buy ratings vs. just one hold rating.

The most recent rating comes from top RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney. He has just carried out a survey on Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa. And he likes what he sees. “Following our third annual Alexa survey, we are more impressed with the traction of these devices and more convinced of their potential long-term impact. With tens of millions of users and 20K+ skills, we see Alexa’s value prop as becoming increasingly powerful as awareness and ownership ramp. We think AMZN could see $10-$11B in Alexa-related Rev by 2020.”

In fact, recent reports suggest Alexa made a popular holiday gift. On Christmas Day, Amazon’s Alexa app took the No. 1 spots on both the U.S. Google Play and iPhone App Stores’ free app charts.

Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA) Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

The cable sector has been down in the dumps, but it is now looking for a comeback in 2018. And there is one company that stands out in particular: mass media king Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). In the last three months, Comcast scores 10 out of 10, with 10 consecutive buy ratings from the Street. These analysts have an average price target of $45- 10% upside from the current share price.

Top Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak is confident that the stock is setup for a solid 2018. On Dec. 19, he told investors: “Recall, our belief that the cable malaise would be winding down by year-end ’17 and we continue to believe that this is the case. Comcast management’s data guidance raise in 4Q, implied material acceleration in capital returns and ’18 cable EBITDA margin expansion helped alleviate these investor fears.”

Plus, he believes that “the elimination of net neutrality laws, which effectively gave regulatory cover for video/phone competitors to freely use the cable plant, should also help with monetization.” His $50 price target translates into 22% upside potential.

Stocks to Buy: Smart Global Holdings (SGH) Stocks to Buy: Smart Global Holdings (SGH)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

SGH is a global leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions for the electronics industry for over 25 years. On the back of a strong beat and raise quarter, three analysts reiterated their Smart Global Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SGH) buy ratings on Dec. 22. Shares popped 10% on the news. And now these analysts say shares can move another 25% from the current share price to hit $43.

SGH CEO Iain MacKenzie commented that the company enjoyed “strength across the board.” Revenue, gross margin and earnings-per-share all exceeded the high ends of previous guidance. He now has even higher hopes for the coming quarters, due to Brazil and the improving global memory market. Indeed, current strength in Brazil is expected to continue throughout the year as the economy recovers.

Stocks to Buy: Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) Stocks to Buy: Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Eye disease pharma Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) received an early holiday gift from the FDA. The US regulatory body has just approved Aerie’s lead product Rhopressa two months ahead of schedule. Aerie is now set to hire a 100-person strong sales force in preparation for launch in 2Q18.

“The FDA has approved Aerie’s Rhopressa drug for the treatment of patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. We see this announcement as a positive for the company and also a positive read-through for the potential upcoming approval of Roclatan in 2019,” writes five-star Mizuho analyst Difei Yang.

Intriguingly, she also adds: The approval of Rhopressa reinforces our view that Aerie Pharmaceuticals is a strong takeout candidate.” Yang has an $87 price target on the stock and a very strong AERI track record (86% success rate and 73% average return).

Overall, AERI boasts 100% Street support with 7 buy ratings in the last three months. These analysts believe (on average) that AERI can leap a further 32% in the coming months.

Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB) Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has a big catalyst heading its way for 2018. The company has already premiered its ‘Watch’ tab, but 2018 could be the year where it really takes off. (Of course, this is on top of all the stock’s other catalysts like Instagram, WhatsApp and a new Direct messaging app.)

One of TipRanks’ top 100 analysts, Brent Thrill, believes the ‘Watch’ tab is about to make a sizeable impact on user video consumption. He says the tab will drive video engagement alongside improved network effects and sharing. Plus, Facebook’s data-driven approach to content and partner revenue share agreements is the smart way to go. He is now looking for revenue purely from the Watch tab to hit $12 billion in 2022. Thrill’s $225 price target suggests considerable upside of 27% from the current share price.

Strong Buy stock FB has scored 30 buy ratings and just 1 sell rating in the last three months. Meanwhile, the average analyst price target of $210 indicates 19% upside potential.

TipRanks offers investors the latest insight into eight different sectors by tracking the activity of 4,700 analysts, 5,000 financial bloggers and even 37,000 corporate insiders. As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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George Soros 7 Best Stock Picks of 2017

Sometimes identifying the best stocks to buy can be difficult, but you could do a lot worse than check out the stocks selected by one of the world’s wealthiest hedge fund managers — George Soros.

Self-made Soros fled Hungary and funded his way through an economics degree by working as a railway porter and waiter. Years of successful investing gave him a net worth of $25.2 billion and the no. 1 ranking on Forbes’ hedge fund manager rich list. (Warren Buffett, who has a whopping $75 billion net worth, wins the no.1 title for the wider finance and investments community). In 1992, Soros shorted the British pound and reportedly made a profit of $1 billion. He became known as the man who broke the Bank of England.

Now we can track the latest trades of his family office, Soros Fund Management. Just-released SEC forms reveal a valuable glimpse into which stocks Soros likes, and which he doesn’t. I looked back over 2017 and pinpointed Soros’ best stock picks this year. These are the stocks that this legendary hedge fund manager is most bullish on. Note that Soros has just shifted an incredible $18 billion from the fund to charity. Following the move, the fund manages about $4 billion in portfolio assets.

Here I also include TipRanks’ stock insights from Wall Street’s best-performing analysts. Does the Street sentiment match Soros’ stocks to buy — or is Soros going rogue with his stock picks? We can check the overall analyst consensus as well as the average target price. This indicates how far the stock can spike over the coming months.

“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring” says Soros. With this sobering thought in mind, let’s dig down into Soros’ top seven stock picks of 2017: George Soros Stocks to Buy: Altaba (AABA) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/techmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Investment company Altaba Inc (NASDAQ:AABA) is seen by many as a cheap play on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA). Since initiating the position in Q217, Soros has built up a position of 2.8 million shares valued at $185.7 million. This makes AABA the fourth-largest stock in the fund’s portfolio.

AABA, formerly Yahoo!, has a 15% stake in Alibaba which is now worth a massive $65 billion. AABA is up 81% year-to-date largely due to its valuable BABA stake. Nonetheless, the stock still trades at a big discount to the sum of its assets. It is likely that at some point the company will wind down and distribute its value to shareholders.

In the meantime, however, five-star Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein is bullish on AABA’s outlook. He says shares are undervalued and reiterated his buy rating on Nov. 7. “We are raising our AABA target to $99 from $75, following a more bullish outlook for BABA shares. BABA reported strong F2Q results, with the Ant Financial SME loan business growing ~400% y/y. As a result, we increased our BABA target price to $220.” Other elements supporting AABA include: the market value of Yahoo Japan shares ($9 billion) as well as its cash & marketable debt securities portfolio.

Overall the stock has a relatively positive Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating on TipRanks. The average analyst price target of $85 indicates 23% upside from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) George Soros Stocks to Buy: SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/solarmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Soros has just initiated a new position in solar energy leader SolarEdge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG). He snapped up 695,305 SEDG shares worth close to $20 million in Q3. The company has just delivered very impressive third quarter earnings results with “near flawless” execution. For the quarter, SEDG reported revenue of $166.5M, easily beating guidance of $155M to $165M.

“We’re staying buyers as this innovator is delivering what growth investors want — big revenue and margin upsides/guides (with the added benefit of solid cash flow)” comments top Canaccord Genuity analyst John Quealy. He has a buy rating and $40 price target on the stock.

“While the broader solar market is experiencing the typical boom/bust dynamics that many other industrial growth sectors have, SolarEdge’s differentiated power conversion and control offerings offer a clearer path toward secular profit improvement, in our view” says Quealy. However he adds that “shares will still likely exhibit volatility given the dependence on solar, risks around increased competition, and pricing pressures.” A key date to look out for is President Trump’s final import tariff decision expected on January 12/13.

Overall, this “Strong Buy” stock has received seven buy ratings in the last three months and just one hold rating. (Note however that if we look at only top analysts the stock has 100% buy ratings.) Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at close to 10% upside from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: InterXion (INXN) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  InterXion (INXN)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cloud-storage-msn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Throughout 2017, Soros has been ratcheting up his stake in data storage pioneer InterXion Holding NV (NYSE:INXN). Now Soros holds 400,000 INXN shares worth almost $20.4 million. Luckily for Soros, INXN has just delivered very strong earnings results for the third quarter. Five-star Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan also ramped up his INXN price target from $55 to $62 last month.

“INXN reported strong growth helped by an improved European economy, strong cloud growth and charging for cross-connects” says Horan. He believes that “Europe is in the early stages of cloud adoption; we see a long runway for growth.” Meanwhile demand dynamics remain favorable in key markets with INXN pricing its services below demand to expand its interconnectivity-focused datacenters.

We can see from TipRanks that this “Strong Buy” stock boasts an impressive six back-to-back buy ratings from analysts over the last three months. These analysts believe (on average) that INXN will spike 10% to hit $62 over the coming months.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Kraft Heinz (KHC) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  Kraft Heinz (KHC)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/khcmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) is one of the big stock picks from Soros this year. He poured money into the food and drink powerhouse in Q1, Q2 and Q3. Indeed, in the last quarter Soros boosted the fund’s Kraft position by 48% with the purchase of 299,587 shares. Following this move Soros now has a $53.1 million position in the stock.

And Soros isn’t the only fund guru betting on KHC. Perhaps he was inspired by Warren Buffett, aka the Oracle of Omaha, who has a huge KHC position of $25.5 billion. In fact, Kraft Heinz is Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) second biggest position after Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC).

From the Street side, David Palmer is a five-star RBC Capital analyst with a bullish $94 price target on the stock. He says 2018 may be a year of accelerating top and bottom line growth for KHC, boosted by the full-year benefits of 2H17 supply chain investments. The company is also looking to repatriate key brands like Ketchup in Europe and Australia to scale up ex-U.S. growth.

Overall, KHC has a cautiously optimistic “Moderate Buy” rating from the Street. In the last three months this breaks down into five buy and three hold ratings. The $88 average analyst price target indicates 13% upside potential from the current share price.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: EQT Corporation (EQT) George Soros Stocks to Buy:  EQT Corporation (EQT)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Maciek Lulko (Modified)

Soros revealed a very bullish sentiment on natural gas producer EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) over just two quarters. In Q217 he initiated a $38 million position — and then quickly snapped up a further 609,165 shares in Q3. After this 93% boost, Soros now holds $82.5 million shares of EQT. As a result, the stock is now no. 11 in the fund’s portfolio.

On Nov. 13, EQT completed its takeover of Rice Energy for roughly $8.2 billion. “With the closing of the transaction, we are combining two of the leading operators in the Appalachian Basin to create an even stronger company that is positioned to deliver greater returns to shareholders through operating efficiencies and improved overall well economics,” commented Steve Schlotterbeck, EQT’s CEP. The deal should make EQT the largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. — and could create synergies of up to $2.5 billion.

This “Strong Buy” stock has an encouraging outlook from the Street. Five analysts have published buy ratings on EQT in the last three months, versus just one hold rating. These analysts are predicting (on average) a spike of 35% from the current $57 share price over the next 12 months.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA) cmcsa stock comcast stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw,728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Last quarter, Soros made a new play for mass media corporation Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). He initiated a serious position in the stock of 1 million shares worth $41.7 million. And the 100% bullish outlook from the Street is also an encouraging sign for investors. In the last three months eight analysts have published buy ratings on CMCSA. Meanwhile the $44 average analyst price target indicates that the stock can rise over 16%.

Top Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak is even more confident on CMCSA than the average analyst. He sees $50 as a price target — which suggests sweet upside potential of 30%. According to Wlodarczak $35 is as low as CMCSA can go (it is currently at $38) but investors will need to be patient as Comcast ‘proves the sky is not falling out.’

The stock is cheap right now because CMCSA is currently transitioning from a focus on video/data/phone revenue to customer growth driven by high margin data. “Investors historically don’t like transitions which is partly why the cable names and Comcast have underperformed, however we believe the current Comcast valuation (7.3X 2018 EBITDA) is so low (and the risk/reward so high) that the shares are quite compelling” says Wlodarczak. He is now looking for solid financial guidance for 2018 — boosted by increasing data speeds and share taking.

George Soros Stocks to Buy: Monsanto (MON) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/monmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Last but not least we have biotech giant Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) — one of the world’s top suppliers of farm pesticides and seeds. Throughout 2017, Soros made a number of bullish MON trades. Starting in Q1 he initiated a position — which he then increased in both Q2 and Q3. Now the fund holds 188,539 MON shares worth close to $22.6 million.

German drugs and pesticide group Bayer AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) is planning a massive $66 billion takeover of Monsanto. The deal was supposed to go through in 2017, but it has been delayed by an antitrust review from the European Commission (EC). The EC will now deliver its verdict in January 2018.

However, Reuters is already reporting that EU regulators are about to warn Bayer that its proposed takeover may hurt competition. According to sources, the EU now has a charge sheet of objections to the deal — although a final decision has not yet been made. As a result Bayer could be forced to make further concessions for the deal to go through.

The Street has a more divided take on Monsanto. With a “Moderate Buy” analyst consensus rating, analysts are predicting 8% upside from the current share price.

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