Tag Archives: GE

Fridays Vital Data: General Electric Company (GE), International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) an

U.S. stock futures are trading higher heading into the open, as Wall Street brushes off concerns about a government shutdown. The House provided a bit of confidence yesterday, after passing a one-month spending bill, but the measure has little support in the Senate.

stock market todayThe economic calendar is thin this morning, with only January consumer confidence data on tap.

Heading into the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 0.11%, S&P 500 futures have added 0.08% and Nasdaq-100 futures have gained 0.26%.

Turning to the options pits, volume remained above average but dipped well below the recent flurry of activity. Overall, about 21.1 million calls and 16.7 million puts changed hands. The CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rebounded to 0.56. The 10-day moving average held at 0.55.

Taking a closer look at yesterday’s options activity, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) continued to draw heavy put volume amid a four-day losing streak. Meanwhile, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) call traders are being burned this morning by a post-earnings selloff. Finally, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) is trading ex-dividend today with third-quarter earnings on tap next week.

Friday’s Vital Options Data: General Electric Company (GE), International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-300×137.png 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-65×30.png 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-200×91.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-400×182.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-116×53.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-100×46.png 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-110×50.png 110w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-78×36.png 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-19-2018-Top-Ten-Options-170×77.png 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 547px) 100vw, 547px” />

General Electric Company (GE)

GE stock is looking to bounce back this morning after suffering its largest four-day losing streak in eight years. GE is down more than 11% since announcing more than $11 billion in charges due to its long-term care insurance portfolio and the new U.S. tax laws.

The decline has sparked considerable options speculation for GE stock, which hasn’t left the top ten most actives list all week. On Thursday, volume rose to over 457,000 contracts, with calls managing to scrape together 52% of the day’s take.

Most of these appear to be closeouts, however, as the February put/call open interest ratio has risen from 0.58 on Wednesday to 0.67 today. However, at least on large block of calls appears to have been purchased yesterday.

According to Trade-Alert.com, a block of 10,480 March $19 calls crossed traded yesterday at 21 cents, or $21 per contract. The price was listed near the bottom of the March $19 call strike price range, but implieds rose nearly 1% when the trade crossed, indicating a buy to open.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

IBM stock is trading more than 3% lower heading into the open as investors fret over the company’s cautious 2018 guidance. Ironically, IBM posted it’s first rise in revenue in five years. Adjusted fourth-quarter earnings came in at $5.18 per share as revenue rose to $22.54 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $5.17 a share on revenue of $22.05 billion.

However, IBM expects 2018 operating profits of $13.80 per share, below the consensus estimate of $13.92. “Tax will be a headwind in 2018 year-to-year,” said CFO James Kavanaugh.

Options traders appear to have been caught flat footed. Volume rose to 214,000 contracts yesterday, with calls making up 71% of the day’s take. What’s more, the February put/call OI ratio arrives at 0.71 after having declined from a reading north of 0.80 last month.

Judging from February OI levels, IBM could be stuck between $160 and $170 through February expiration. Both the $160 strike and the $170 strike are home to more than 8,000 contracts in February, with only the deep out-of-the-money $230 strike sporting a higher level of open interest (10,000 contracts).

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

Caterpillar stock trades ex-dividend on Monday, which means that the stock is in for a heavy influx of call volume. That trend started yesterday, as volume surged to 171,000 contracts, more than five times CAT’s daily average. Calls gobbled up 92% of the day’s take.

Shareholders of record as of the close today are eligible for a dividend payment of 78 cents per share on Feb. 20.

There is another reason for CAT options traders to ramp up activity, however. Caterpillar will release its fourth-quarter earnings report on Thursday, Jan. 25. Analysts are expecting a profit of $1.77 per share on revenue of $11.97 billion. The whisper number arrives at $1.88 per share.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett was long on General Electric Company (GE) stock.

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10 Stocks That Could Surprise in 2018

The U.S. stock markets hit the jackpot in 2017, with all the major indexes up significantly — the S&P 500 gained 19% over the past year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up an impressive 28% — making year-end assessments by investors a very happy occasion.

Amazingly, the U.S, markets ranked 39th out of 47 countries in 2017, making this past year a relative stinker compared to the rest of the world’s stocks.

Why the “down” year?

It’s possible that investors have figured out that U.S. stocks are overvalued relative to stocks in other countries. So, while U.S. markets underperformed on a comparable basis, it can always be worse, as Canada demonstrates.

In 2017, Canadian stocks gained just 6% on the year with energy companies providing a significant headwind to better performance. Here in the U.S., the major indexes are much less dependent on energy stocks, hence the higher returns.

Given the perception U.S. stocks are overvalued, how does one make money in 2018?

Buy several of these ten stocks that lost 20% or more in 2017.  My bet is that, like the Dogs of the Dow, they will surprise in 2018.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Under Armour (UAA) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Under Armour (UAA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/uamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

It’s interesting that John Schnatter, the founder and former CEO of Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA), stepped down toward the end of 2017. Yet, Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) CEO and founder Kevin Plank had no such plans despite delivering a lump of coal in shareholders’ stockings.

Plank deservedly is on a list of “Worst CEOs” of the past year with Under Armour’s stock losing half of its value.

In early February, I suggested that Plank should move aside, hiring a more experienced direct-to-consumer retail executive who understands how to sell in an omnichannel world.

A couple of months later I proposed that Under Armour and Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) should join forces to deliver a more balanced business regarding men’s and women’s customer bases.

Personally, I believe both of these ideas are both valid. Furthermore, I see Lululemon’s CEO, Laurent Potdevin, as the perfect person to lead the merged organization.

Regardless of whether these two things come to fruition, I believe Under Armour can bounce back in 2018. 

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Newell Brands (NWL)

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Newell Brands (NWL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nwlmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />

Newell Brands Inc (NYSE:NWL) lost 29% in 2017 as it struggled to integrate the Jarden acquisition into its own business. This past year was the stock’s first significant annual loss since 2008 when it saw a drop of 59% due to the economic crisis.

Investors expected that the integration of Jarden would deliver sales growth and higher profits and neither of these has yet to materialize.

Its five-year restructuring process to save $1.3 billion by 2021 has saved $410 million through the end of Q2 2017. Although it’s going as planned, debt levels are still relatively high at $10.2 billion or 65% of its market cap. The company is on track to reduce its leverage ratio to 3.5 times or less by the end of 2019.

Newell has become home to a lot of brands that don’t have the scale to compete in a global world. Moving to four operating segments: Live, Learn, Work and Play, I see the company fine-tuning its focus in 2018 and beyond.

Newell stock hasn’t been this low since 2014. The transformation might be messy, but 2018 should see it turn the corner.

However, if you don’t have 2-3 years to wait for it to complete the restructuring, you’re best to look elsewhere.   

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Mattel (MAT) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Mattel (MAT)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/matmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

The bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us in 2017 says all you need to know about Mattel, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:MAT) past year. Therefore, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most investors that Mattel stock lost 41% of its value in 2017 and now sits 67% below its five-year high of $48.48.

Mattel’s situation has deteriorated to the point that it suspended its dividend in October to save cash and keep the business on a stronger financial footing. It also intends to look to boost its gross margin by focusing on fewer product offerings while cutting staff to lower its operating expenses.

While it’s tempting to look to a Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) buyout to save the day, it’s very likely that Mattel’s going to have to innovate its way out of the mess it currently finds itself.

None of its major segments are growing, unlike with Hasbro, which has weathered the Toys “R” Us storm far better than Mattel. That said, Mattel’s long-term debt is still only 34% of its market cap which isn’t outrageous for a company its size. 

Don’t get me wrong, buying Mattel is a speculative buy at this point. I would wait for the company to announce its Q4 2017 earnings at the end of January before considering a purchase because it’s entirely possible it will test single digits before bottoming.

With Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, it has got a reasonable shot at a turnaround. 

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Chipotle (CMG) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Chipotle (CMG)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cmgmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart Via Flickr

If it weren’t for bad luck, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), would have no luck at all.

I can remember how some analysts and investors were chastising Chipotle for going overboard on food preparation procedures after its E.coli outbreak a couple of years ago. 2017’s revisit of food safety concerns put the brakes on any chance for a recovery of its stock price which lost 23% in the past year.

Kyle Woodley, a former InvestorPlace editor and very astute investor, recently picked CMG as his “Best stock for 2018” suggesting profits and revenues are growing far more than most investors realize, and while his pick is speculative given the company’s history, the upside seems higher than the downside at this point.

I have to give former CEO and co-founder Steve Ells credit for stepping down in November as Chipotle’s chief executive. It’s never easy to admit that you’re not the one to lead your baby back from the wilderness, but shareholders ought to be thankful that Ells could see that a leadership change was necessary.

Who Chipotle hires as the man or woman to lead the company is critical to bouncing back in 2018. I think the board will make a smart choice with Ells’ input and it will be off to the races.   

It would not surprise me if a former McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) executive were at the top of the list.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Sally Beauty (SBH) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Sally Beauty (SBH)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sbhmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mainstream via Flickr (Modified)

At the end of November, I suggested that investors consider buying Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SBH) after dropping $3 in a month. Since then it’s up 18% and should the overall markets continue moving higher early in 2018, I expect SBH stock to do the same.

Sally Beauty’s stock lost 29% in 2017, the company’s third consecutive year of negative returns; it hadn’t had a breakout year since 2013 when it gained 28%. It is due.

Remember, Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA), one of specialty retail’s shining stars, also had a negative year in 2017. The coming year ought to be better for both companies.

While the jury is still out on whether the company can reignite sales, the lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% should deliver about 36 cents per share in additional earnings.

The company’s biggest weakness has always been its level of debt — $1.8 billion or 75% of its market cap — so I’d look for some indication from SBH management that it is planning to deleverage its balance sheet.

If it does that, given its free cash flow generation, the sky’s the limit for its stock.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bbbymsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

It wasn’t a good year for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NYSE:BBBY), down 44% in 2017. For that matter, it hasn’t been a good decade, losing 2% annually for long-time shareholders.

Eventually, the tide’s got to turn, doesn’t it?

Well, probably not if it keeps delivering woefully poor earnings results like Q3 2017. On December 20, it announced that sales were flat year over year at $3 billion, earnings per share were virtually halved from 85 cents a year earlier to 44 cents this year and comparable sales decreased marginally by 0.3%.

Despite the deterioration in its earnings, the company still generates significant free cash flow. It currently is valued at four times operating cash flow, its lowest level at any time in the past decade and less than half its industry peers.

Yes, the various banners it operates under have seen attrition in both gross and operating margins, yet it’s still expected to earn $3 per share in fiscal 2017.

At seven times earnings, there might not be a better value play than BBBY at the moment.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sktmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT) is an owner of retail real estate focusing entirely on outlet centers. It owns 40 outlet centers in 22 states and another four in Canada. Together, these 44 outlet centers provide 15.3 million square feet for retailers to lease.

Interestingly, the company estimates that there are only 70 million square feet of quality outlet space in the U.S., suggesting Tanger has close to 20% of the country’s leasable outlet space.

That’s what Warren Buffett would call a wide-moat.

Conservatively financed, it has grown its enterprise value by 7.5% annually on a compounded basis since 2005. Also, it’s a prominent grower of its dividend, belonging to the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrat Index. In the past three years, it has grown its dividend by 12% annually.

Tanger is an income investor’s dream stock.

Since going public in 1993, it’s never had an occupancy rate lower than 96%, providing investors with considerable comfort that cash flow isn’t going to disappear overnight.

As CEO Steven Tanger likes to say:

“In good times people love a bargain, and in tough times, people need a bargain.”

That’s what makes its business model so strong.

Trading at levels not seen since 2011, I like SKT’s chances in 2018.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Acuity Brands (AYI) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Acuity Brands (AYI)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayimsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

I recommended Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) stock on two occasions in 2017.

The first time was in August when I picked Acuity Brands and seven other stocks whose share prices added up to $2,000. Although Acuity is known for its lighting solutions, the company is making a big push into the Internet of Things and while it’s early in that expansion, I can see it being just as successful.

In fiscal 2017 (August 31 year-end), Acuity earned $7.43 per share, 12% higher than a year earlier. With very little debt and steady free cash flow, it has the financial flexibility to drive future growth.

At the end of November, I suggested investors buy its stock on the dip around $160. It has since climbed 10% and is poised to move higher in 2018 on strengthening margins.

Long-term, Acuity might be one of the best stocks to buy on a significant downturn in its stock price.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP)

 

testinvestorplace.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, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pipelinemsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Maciek Lulko (Modified)

Like a lot of oil-related businesses, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE:BWP) had a dreadful year, down 23%, erasing a significant portion of the gains it made in 2016.

The operator of natural gas pipelines and storage facilities — in 2016, it transported 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and liquids — has been on a roller coaster ride the past few years. If oil and gas prices don’t remain where they currently are, investors can expect continued volatility in its stock price.

However, lower corporate and personal income taxes could result in a more buoyant economy. When people and businesses are more confident, they spend more money. Often, that spending comes in the form of automobile travel, which could put upward pressure on oil prices due to increased demand.

For those who aren’t so sure that oil and gas prices can go any higher, you might want to invest in Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), a holding company run by the Tisch family, which own 51% of Boardwalk’s stock.

Over the past five years, Loews’ stock has significantly outperformed BWP — 4% annually vs. -9% — although neither did anywhere close to the S&P 500.

In June 2017, I suggested that Loews take BWP private. Perhaps it will happen in 2018.

Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: General Electric (GE) Stocks That Will Surprise in 2018: General Electric (GE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/gemsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

This last one must be considered the “Hail Mary” of the bunch. I don’t like General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) as a business or a stock because it’s squandered so much shareholder goodwill over the past 20 years by being the worst kind of industrial conglomerate, one that’s afraid of taking chances and is stuck in some time warp.

CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, someone I generally respect, recently apologized to his loyal viewers for continuing to recommend GE stock despite its ongoing slide.

Cramer feels like GE could get it together under new CEO John Flannery. Therefore, he’s still not recommending investors sell the stock. I’m not as convinced. I believe GE’s business could be permanently broken.

In August, I predicted that GE stock would remain in the $20s for the foreseeable future. Since then, GE’s stock has dropped almost 30% on news the company’s problems are bigger than first thought.

That said, any obvious signs of life from GE as we make our way through 2018, should be good for a 5%-10% boost in its share price, perhaps more.

At these prices, GE could very well surprise in 2018.

As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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7 Dividend Growth Stocks Worth Owning

Do you invest in dividend growth stocks? If you don’t, you ought to consider doing so. These dividend stocks to buy could be your ticket to a better retirement.

Many dividend investors get caught up focusing on yield when the growth is what’s truly important. By utilizing the power of compound interest, investors can achieve higher returns by merely owning the stocks of companies who regularly hike their dividends.

A Canadian finance site, Hardbacon, provides an excellent example why investing in dividend growth stocks is a sound idea:

“If you invest in a stock which pays $1 in dividends a year and costs $25, it means it yields 4% at the time you buy it (dividend yield on cost),” wrote Sam Kovacs. “If the company increases its dividend 10 cents every year, in 10 years those same stocks which you bought for $25 will be paying out $2 in dividends, an outstanding 8% yield on cost.”

That’s the power of income-growth stocks. Here are seven dividend stocks to buy that are worth owning. If that’s not enough to get your mouth salivating, each has hiked its dividends in 2017 by 20% or more!

Dividend Stocks to Buy: Best Buy (BBY) Why Best Buy Co Inc BBY Stock Is a Great Buy Thanks to Apple Incinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bbymsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Austin Kirk via Flickr

If I told you that I could sell you a dividend growth stock that’s increased its annual payout for 14 consecutive years, is yielding more than 2%, and raised its 2017 dividend by 21.4%, you’d want to know more.

But slap this description on Minneapolis-based Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) and you’re likely to turn very skeptical. After all, Best Buy is supposed to be getting slaughtered in the electronics arena by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Not so fast.

Take a quick look at Best Buy’s stock chart and you’ll see that it’s currently trading within 3% of its all-time high of $69.39. In 2017, it gained 64% on the year and that’s after a 45% gain in 2016.

During the critical holiday shopping season, Best Buy held its own against Amazon according to industry analysis.

I’ve been a fan of CEO Hubert Joly all the way back to 2013 when the former hospitality executive implemented his turnaround plan for the electronics retailer.

Don’t be fooled by the company’s so-called weak Q3 2017 results. Same-store sales grew 4.4% and it earned 78 cents a share despite lowering prices to match Amazon, etc.

Best Buy could easily hit $100 in 2018.

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

The U.S. economy is unbelievably healthy right now and nobody benefits more from this than Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN), North America’s largest operator of ski resorts.

Its stock hasn’t had a down year since 2011 and although it’s down in early 2018 trading, all the signs point to another stellar year on the slopes.

“We have continued to drive significant growth in our destination markets which represent approximately 60% of our increase in pass units,” CEO Rob Katz said recently. “We continue to see strength across all geographies, with particularly strong performance in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast and continued solid growth in Colorado and British Columbia.“

The sale of season passes as of the beginning of December were up 14% in units and 20% in dollars over last year; they’re not headed downhill anytime soon.

Acquisitions drive Vail Resort’s growth — Whistler Blackcomb being its most significant to date — and it’s not about to stop looking for resorts to buy that cater to both the affluent destination visitor as well as the local season-pass skier.

We might be aging but not quickly enough to slow Vail Resorts over the next decade. MTN might be the best dividend growth stock of the bunch.

Dividend Stocks to Buy: Oneok (ONE) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/naturalgasmsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Andy Arthur via Flickr

Higher energy prices to a limited extent drive stocks like Oneok, Inc. (NYSE:OKE), one of the biggest midstream service providers in the U.S.

As most of the Northeast fight a brutal winter storm early in 2018, natural gas prices have spiked to unprecedented levels; a problem made worse by the fact there’s a shortage of pipelines shipping natural gas to cities like New York and Boston.

Oneok can’t help with the Northeast as its pipelines and processing facilities are primarily west of the Mississippi River. However, it can help with the processing and shipping of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the regions it serves.

On January 4 it announced that it’s building $1.4 billion pipeline to transport NGLs from the Rocky Mountains to its Mid-Continent NGL facilities providing the middle part of the country with a more significant energy supply.

In 2017, OKE stock was relatively flat, down 2% on the year, significantly lower than the S&P 500, which was up 22%.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Oneok upped its annual dividend this past year by 21.1% to $2.98, providing a juicy 5.3% yield — double the 10-year U.S. Treasury.

As energy stocks go, Oneok’s a keeper.

Dividend Stocks to Buy: Federal Agricultural Mortgage (AGM) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indoorfarmingmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

This mostly unheralded stock is currently trading within 5% of its all-time high of $80.47. In 2017, it was up 39%, which followed an 85% gain in 2016. Over the past decade, it’s achieved an annualized total return of 12%, 300 basis points better than the S&P 500.

Currently yielding 1.9% after all of these gains, Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (NYSE:AGM), better known as Farmer Mac, continues to be the agricultural industry’s best friend providing credit to agricultural lenders and businesses across the U.S.

With the need for food production likely to remain high indefinitely combined with a rigorous underwriting process, an investment in Farmer Mac is as reliable as they come.

In 2017, Farmer Mac upped the annual dividend by 38.5% to $1.44 a share. That’s money in the bank. Five years ago, AGM stock paid an annual dividend of just $0.48. In 2016, the company initiated a 30% payout target of core earnings which should keep the dividend growing at double digits on an annual basis.

If you like a little capital appreciation with your dividend growth stocks, AGM is for you.

Dividend Stocks to Buy: UnitedHealth (UNH) UnitedHealth UNH stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-116×58.jpg 116w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-800×400.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/unitedhealth-group-inc-unh-stock-ipsize-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

Can you guess the last time UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) stock lost money on an annual basis? Try the Reagan era. I’m just kidding. It was 2008. Since then it’s rattled off nine consecutive years of gains.

UNH operates two business segments: Health Benefits, which provides healthcare insurance to millions of Americans and Optum, its provider of healthcare services. Together, they play a big part in the wellness of America.

In December, UNH announced that it was buying the Davita Medical Group for $4.9 billion from Davita Inc (NYSE:DVA). Davita wants to focus on its dialysis business, so Optum was a natural home for the company’s nearly 300 clinics and six outpatient surgical centers.

When you’ve got a market cap of nearly $220 billion like UnitedHealth, a $4.9 billion acquisition is coffee money — but it provides additional growth for Optum, so it’s a win/win.

Bottom line: UNH stock isn’t a big yielder at 1.3%, but it’s track record of growing its stock price should be enough for most investors.

Dividend Stocks to Buy: Illinois Tool Works (ITW) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/itwmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Of all 31 stocks on my list, Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) has the fifth-longest streak for the consecutive number of years raising its annual dividend at 43. In 2017, it raised its dividend by 20.0% to $3.12 per share. Since 2012, it’s grown its annual dividend by 15% on a compounded basis with the last two years seeing increases above that average.

Yes, it only yields 1.9%, but the dividend yield isn’t nearly as important as the dividend growth because a growing dividend typically is the result of growing earnings.

Usually, I’m not a fan of share repurchases, but ITW does a good job keeping track of how it’s doing on its buybacks. Over the past five years it’s repurchased $11.4 billion of its shares reducing the share count by 28%, but more importantly, earning a 24% internal rate of return on those purchases.

Even better, over half the $11.4 billion was used to buy shares in 2013 and 2014 at prices of $85 or less — it currently trades at $166.

Over the past five years, the industrial conglomerate’s been on a transformation to building a business that’s growing its margins and organic revenues while responsibly allocating capital.

Frankly, Illinois Tool Works is what General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) ought to aspire to.

Dividend Stocks to Buy: Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cakemsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Who doesn’t love the Cheesecake Factory Inc (NASDAQ:CAKE)?

Seriously, anyone who doesn’t enjoy a meal at the restaurant chain best known for its variety of cheesecake desserts every now and again, really has a hard time letting loose.

Sure, it’s not gourmet, but when you’ve managed to increase your dividend by 20.8% in a single year and your stock is currently yielding 2.3%, the cheesecake isn’t the only thing worth trying at the California company.

The Cheesecake Factory might be old news in the U.S., but here in Canada where I live, the first location just opened this past November in Toronto at Yorkdale Mall, Canada’s most productive mall regarding sales per square foot.

Lineups were snaking through the mall of people trying to get their fill. Canada could easily use another 19 or 20. It will do very well here despite the fact Canadians have a hard time getting excited about cookie-cutter restaurant chains.

Cheesecake Factory’s financials might not be as strong as past years but its growth drivers — Canada, getting its cheesecake and other desserts into the grocery stores and investments in North Italia and Flower Child restaurants — suggest it’s got plenty to push the stock higher in the coming years.

As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Mondays Vital Data: Apple, Micron and General Electric

U.S. stock futures are headed lower this morning, as Wall Street digests the possibility of more interest rate hikes in 2018. On Friday, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester hinted to Reuters at the possibility of four rate hikes this year. On Saturday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams backed the current pace of three hikes due to economic lift from the tax plan.

More from the Fed will arrive today. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is due to speak at the Rotary Club of Atlanta this afternoon. Additionally, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren will participate in a panel to discuss whether Fed should stick to a 2% inflation target.

While futures were headed higher early this morning, they have since reversed course. At last check, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 0.06%, S&P 500 futures are off 0.15% and Nasdaq-100 futures have fallen 0.13%.

Turning to the options pits, Friday’s volume remained brisk. Overall, about 20.5 million calls and 16.4 million puts changed hands. The CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose to 0.58. The 10-day moving average held at 0.56.

Taking a closer look at Friday’s options activity, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) attracted heavy call volume heading into what proved to be a rather rough weekend for the company. Meanwhile, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) options received a sentiment boost after a bullish note on memory chip demand from Keybank. Finally, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), last year’s ultimate dog of the Dow, has emerged as one of 2018’s top 10 favorites.

Monday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) and General Electric Company (GE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-300×138.png 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-65×30.png 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-200×92.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-400×184.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-116×53.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-100×46.png 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-109×50.png 109w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-78×36.png 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-170×78.png 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 547px) 100vw, 547px” />

Apple Inc (AAPL)

Apple stock options were extremely call heavy on Friday. Volume topped out at 543,000 contracts, with calls snapping up an above average 69% of the day’s take. The net effect was to drive AAPL’s January 2018 put/call open interest ratio lower from a reading near 1.16 to today’s perch at 1.12.

Sentiment was up after the company said that it would quickly patch any semiconductor vulnerabilities. Chip stocks were hit hard after revelations of exploits affecting Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) processors.

Today, however, could be a different story. Apple was hit with fresh concerns over worker conditions in China following the suicide of a Foxconn worker at an iPhone production plant this weekend. Additionally, investors are calling for Apple to investigate the potential harm of iPhone and tablet-like devices on children.

AAPL stock is down fractionally in pre-market trading.

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU)

Micron stock remained volatile on Friday, despite a bullish research note from analysts at Keybanc. According to Keybanc, news in the DRAM and NAND markets is “neutral to good.” Specifically, DRAM supply is tight and should help support prices, while NAND is headed for “oversupply.” However, NAND oversupply should work its way out of the system later this year, returning pricing power to Micron.

Options traders appeared to take profits following the recent run higher, however. Volume on Friday rose to 305,000 contracts, with calls accounting for 65% of the day’s take.

The resulting January 2018 put/call OI ratio rose to 0.65 from last week’s reading of 0.62. The activity hints that options traders may be taking profits after MU rallied more than 11% last week.

General Electric Company (GE)

After finishing 2017 as the worst performing member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, GE stock has emerged as one of the potential top performers of 2018. General Electric has made the top 10 list of several notable top-ranked stock newsletters, including George Putnam’s, The Turnaround Letter.

GE stock is already up more than 6% in 2018, enjoying a solid first week for the year. Options traders have also taken up the bullish call. Volume on Friday rose to 272,000 contracts, or more than 1.5 times GE’s daily average. Calls gobbled up 72% of the day’s take.

Short-term options traders have grown heavily bullish on GE stock heading into the first expiration of 2018. Specifically, the January put/call OI ratio has fallen to a reading of 0.43, with calls more than doubling puts among front-month options.

Finally, there could be more gains to come. GE closed above its 50-day moving average on Friday and could be set to challenge resistance at $19 this week. A breakout above resistance at $19 could be a significant short-term boon for GE bulls.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett was long General Electric Company (GE) stock.

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7 Stocks Leading the New Year Charge

Stocks are surging higher on Tuesday, the first trading day of 2018, as investors kick off the new year just as they left the old one: With smooth, consistent buying strength.

There is no particular catalyst for the move higher, although seasonality points to first-business-day-of-the-month portfolio inflows and a tendency for the beginning of January to be strong. Can the momentum continue?

The folks at the Almanac Trader note that January has had a volatile reputation since 2000, with 10 of the past 18 years featuring nasty declines starting with the 5.1% pullback that kicked off the dot-com collapse. January 2009 featured an 8.6% loss that was the worst January on record going back to 1930.

If the bulls are going to buck the trend, these seven stocks need to keep pushing higher:

Stocks to Buy: Alphabet (GOOG)

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Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) shares are on the move, reversing a multi-week downtrend off of the high of near $1,080 set back in the middle of December. Shares are up 15% from the lows seen in September.

The company will next report results Feb. 1 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $9.96 per share on revenues of $31.60 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 26, earnings of $9.57 beat estimates by $1.17 on a 23.7% rise in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares are pushing back up towards their late November highs, rising off of the low of $170 set in early December.

Overall, the stock is up more than 20% from the lows seen back in early July thanks to steady user growth, the success of Instagram with younger audiences and the ongoing shift to higher margin video ads.

The company will next report results on Jan. 31 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.93 per share on revenues of $12.5 billion. When the company last reported on Nov. 1, earnings of $1.59 beat estimates by 31 cents on a 47.3% rise in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: Disney (DIS)

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Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) shares are surging more than 3% higher on Tuesday, encouraged by an upgrade from analysts at Macquarie.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has officially become the highest grossing movie of 2017 bolstering sentiment after some internet-driven blowback against the plot line and Luke Skywalker’s role. Nerds.

The company will next report results on Feb. 6 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.60 per share on revenues of $15.5 billion. When the company last reported on Nov. 9, earnings of $1.07 per share missed estimates by five cents on a 2.8% decline in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: General Electric (GE)

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General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is a stock that Wall Street has seemingly left for dead after suffering more than a 43% decline from its summer 2016 highs.

This on frustration with the company’s direction, lack of confidence in its new management, and an underwhelming corporate restructuring plan that didn’t do enough, apparently, to trim weak performing areas like transportation.

A possible relief rally could be underway now, however, with shares pushing up and off of a three-month consolidation range near $17.50.

The company will next report results on Jan. 24 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 30 cents per share on revenues of $33.6 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 20, earnings of 29 cents missed estimates by 20 cents on an 11.5% rise in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: Schlumberger (SLB)

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Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB) shares are pushing further away from its 200-day moving average, breaking above a seven-month trading range to return to levels not seen since May.

The bulls are being encouraged by the steady rise in energy prices with crude oil rising above the $60-a-barrel threshold today.

The company will next report results on Jan. 19. Analysts are looking for earnings of 45 cents per share on revenues of $8.1 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 20, earnings of 42 cents per share matched estimates on a 12.6% rise in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: Chevron (CVX)

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Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) shares are pushing to new highs, up nearly 30% from their summertime 2017 lows to push well beyond the previous highs hit in the summer of 2014 before the Saudis started their energy price way in the first place.

Analysts are Cowen recently raised their price target on optimism surrounding the company’s free cash flow and Permian basin performance.

The company will next report results on Jan. 26 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.30 per share on revenues of $38.6 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 27, earnings of $1.03 beat estimates by six cents on a 20.1% rise in revenues.

Stocks to Buy: Netflix (NFLX)

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares are surging nearly 5% higher on Tuesday, closing in on its previous high near $205 set back in October. Analysts at Loop Capital recently upgraded their price target and named the company one of their best trading ideas of the year.

The company will next report results on Jan. 22 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 42 cents per share on revenues of $3.3 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 16, earnings of 29 cents per share missed estimates by three cents on a 30.3% rise in revenues.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

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