Category Archives: Penny Stocks

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now


Although the stock market seems to have taken a breather from its incredible bull run of the past several years, many valuations are still on the high end, historically speaking.

One big exception is the real estate sector, where rising interest rates have made real estate investment trusts, or REITs, among the market’s worst performers. Retail and healthcare REITs have performed particularly poorly, thanks to some industry-specific headwinds.

Although these specific REIT subsectors have been beaten down, some could be excellent long-term investments, especially at the current depressed valuations. With that in mind, here are a retail REIT and a healthcare REIT that look quite compelling now.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019

Emerging markets look attractive buoyed by improving economic growth in a number of developing countries, a pickup in manufacturing activity, rise in commodity prices, better current accounts balances, building foreign reserves, better-than-expected earnings, and several structural reforms taken by governments.

Governments of China, South Korea and Philippines have taken large infrastructural projects. Massive government spending are also supporting private investment growth in the region, particularly in the export-oriented industries.

Meanwhile, tax reforms and business-friendly policies of the governments are bolstering investment in several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Argentina recently proposed to reduce corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and the lowering of employer social security contributions.

Of late, emerging markets have achieved a significant position in the global investment space. To boost growth, several emerging economies have been resorting to policy easing via interest rate cuts or offering some accommodative measures.

In 2018, emerging markets may emerge as hidden gems in the global investment arena. We have narrowed down our choices to five stocks each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and strong growth potential.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019: Ethan Allen Interiors Inc.(ETH)

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (NYSE:ETH) is a turnaround play, pure and simple. Revenue has dropped over 1% through the first three quarters of the company’s fiscal 2018. An effort to redesign a substantial amount of the company’s product line and update its brand image has had some hiccups, in terms of both production and demand. Margins have weakened, and adjusted EPS has dropped about 10% so far this year.

But investors can get “paid to wait” and Ethan Allen has cleaned up its balance sheet in the meantime. Debt has dropped to under $2 million, against $52 million in cash. The dividend has been raised steadily over the past few years, and ETH now yields a solid 3.1%.

And there is room for a turnaround here. Ethan Allen remains a well-known, high-end brand. It’s possible that the resurgence at Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE:RH) is hurting Ethan Allen. Online retailer Wayfair Inc (NYSE:W) looks like a formidable rival as well. But if Ethan Allen’s new products start gaining some acceptance — backed by the higher marketing spend that is hitting margins at the moment — Ethan Allen could go back to being a fearsome competitor itself.

Ethan Allen is having some growing pains at the moment, but if the strategy is viable long-term, there’s reason to see some better days ahead. With the stock bouncing recently off a five-year low, more risk-tolerant investors might be willing to give ETH another shot.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019: Guess?, Inc.(GES)

Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) was one of the biggest surprises of the first quarter. A blowout first-quarter report sent GES shares up 28%, and the run didn’t end there. GES shares now have gained over 50% so far this year and have nearly tripled from an 11-year low reached last year.

Even after the gains, there’s still a case for more upside, however. GES has managed to minimize its exposure to the more difficult and more competitive U.S. market. Instead, it’s focused its investments on Europe and Asia — and is having significant success in both regions. Asia, in particular, represents a real long-term opportunity — but drove just 7% of operating earnings in fiscal 2018 (ending January).

The balance sheet remains pristine, with almost zero debt and nearly $4 per share in net cash — about 15% of the company’s market capitalization. Backing out that cash, GES is trading at 24x FY19 consensus EPS estimates.

That’s a big multiple in the world of retail these days — and might scare off some investors. But margins remain thin, and Guess? is in the early stages of a turnaround. With GES still yielding 3.5%, income investors looking for growth could see the stock as a worthy choice.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.(TSM)

My pick is chip-manufacturing giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. TSMC is the largest contract chip-manufacturing company in the world and provides manufacturing services to a wide range of customers serving an even wider range of markets, from the maturing mobile processor market to the fast-growing artificial intelligence chip markets.

The company’s shares recently came under pressure after it provided financial guidance for the second quarter that was below analyst expectations, thanks to a slowdown in mobile processors — though that weakness was partially offset by shipment strength in cryptocurrency chip shipments. In the near term, it’ll be tough for TSMC to make up for the weakness in mobile processors, as TSMC isn’t immune to broader market trends and the smartphone market is under pressure. Over the long term, however, I think things look good for the company.

For example, as artificial intelligence chip shipments grow, TSMC is poised to benefit, as it’s the go-to contract chip manufacturer for virtually all of the small and large players here. Moreover, while smartphone unit shipments are proving to be a bit of a letdown, smartphones keep getting more complex — which means that the chips inside of them get more complex, a trend that benefits TSMC.

Moreover, TSMC is a reasonably cheap stock, trading at less than 18 times trailing-12-month earnings. Considering that the company’s long-term growth prospects look bright and its position in the markets that it serves is strong and seemingly getting stronger, this is a chip stock that I think investors should seriously consider for their portfolios.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019: NutriSystem Inc(NTRI)

Shares of NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI) plunged after Q1 earnings in February. The company pulled down full-year guidance after admitting that it had erred with its advertising strategy for the key diet season at the beginning of the year.

I was long shares of NTRI heading into the report — and as I wrote at the time, I averaged downon my position after the post-earnings plunge. This is a company that has been growing nicely for several years — and still has a nice growth runway ahead.

A solid Q1 did send NTRI higher, but I believe there’s still more upside from a current price near $33. The company still has about $2.50 per share in cash – and no debt. It yields 3%. And the midpoint of 2018 guidance suggests a P/E around 16x, and under 15x backing out the company’s cash.

That’s a multiple that suggests Nutrisystem’s growth has come to an end – but I don’t believe that will be the case. The core Nutrisystem business isn’t performing as poorly as management feared, and will have plenty of room for a rebound in 2019. South Beach Diet, acquired for a pittance, is growing like gangbusters and should become a material contributor to profit next year as well.

This a stock that received a P/E well north of 20x just a few months ago because investors believed it had years of growth ahead of it. One poor diet season — with fixable mistakes already addressed by management — shouldn’t change that outlook.

If Nutrisystem is back on track, and get back near that multiple, there’s a case for NTRI to double over the next couple of years.

Hot Energy Stocks To Buy For 2019: Sogou Inc.(SOGO)

Sogou controls about 4% of the online search market in China, according to StatCounter, making it the country’s fourth-largest search engine after Baidu, Alibaba’s Shenma, and Qihoo 360’s Haosou — in that order. Sogou claims, based on iResearch’s numbers, that it’s the "second largest search engine by mobile queries in China" with a market share of 17% last year.

Sohu, one of China’s oldest internet companies, spun off Sogou in an IPO last November. Sohu retains the largest stake in Sogou, followed by Tencent. Tencent owns WeChat, the top mobile messaging app in China with nearly a billion monthly active users worldwide.

On its own, Sogou seems like a weak investment. But with its integration into WeChat’s ecosystem and Tencent’s QQ browser (which controls 11% of China’s mobile browser market), Sogou might stand a chance against Baidu.

Sogou currently trades about 35% below its IPO price of $13 per share, due to concerns about its sales growth, tough competition, and trade tensions with China. Yet only four analysts currently follow Sogou. On average, those analysts expect Sogou’s revenue and earnings to grow 37% and 35%, respectively, this year.

Those are robust growth figures for a stock that trades at 22 times forward earnings. By comparison, Baidu trades at 25 times forward earnings, and analysts expect its revenue to rise just 17% this year as its earnings slip 7% on higher investments. Therefore, Sogou might be a hidden gem in China’s crowded tech sector.

Top 10 Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now

If you haven’t noticed, there has been a lot of talk about something that we haven’t heard about for almost a decade — inflation.

For the past nearly 10 years, the Federal Reserve and all the central banks in all the industrialized nations have been managing interest rates to keep them outrageously low until the financial system had a chance to right itself.

Now, we’re in the next phase of that great experiment. Economies are coming back online and central banks are starting to raise interest rates to keep inflation a bay while not shutting off the green shoots of growth.

But this isn’t a science. It’s a bit messy. It means that growth will be more uneven than it has been in the past. And you need to find firms with solid sales earnings growth as well as technical and fundamental strengths to keep the profits rolling.

These are seven fast-growing stocks to buy today that will keep you in good stead for years to come.

Top 10 Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now: Welltower Inc.(WELL)

Another REIT I have my eye on is healthcare REIT Welltower, the largest real estate investment trust that specializes in healthcare properties and one of the largest REITs of any kind in the market.

Healthcare REITs have also been one of the sector’s underperformers recently, especially those that own senior housing. One big factor is that there are fears of oversupply in the senior housing industry. And to be clear, I’m not refuting that — developers have certainly produced new inventory faster than the growth rate of the market.

However, oversupply is a temporary problem, especially with a long-term growth opportunity as big as senior housing. And as a result of it, along with overall REIT weakness, Welltower trades for less than 13 times last year’s FFO.

Welltower owns nearly 1,300 healthcare properties, the majority of which are senior-oriented. Approximately 72% of the company’s NOI comes from senior housing and another 11% comes from long-term care properties. The other 17% of the portfolio is made up of outpatient medical facilities, and while this isn’t a senior-specific property type, they do make a disproportionately large amount of their money from older patients.

Here’s why you should care, especially if you measure your investment time horizon in decades. The U.S. population is aging rapidly, due to a combination of the massive baby boomer generation and generally longer life expectancies. In fact, the 65-and-older population is projected to roughly double by 2050 (when the oldest millennials will be pushing 70), and the 85-and-older population is expected to double in just 20 years.

This should create a huge, sustained growth in demand for senior-focused healthcare, and with such a high concentration of these properties, Welltower is in a good position to benefit. Furthermore, Welltower has the financial strength to develop properties in high-barrier urban markets, like Manhattan and Toronto, where the company is currently building senior living facilities. These properties provide the company a big edge over competitors, as 65% and 73% of the seniors in those respective cities want to stay.

Top 10 Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now: Chevron Corporation(CVX)

Chevron has a good reputation for paying dividends. Not only does the oil giant have a yield of 3.6% right now, it’s also made annual dividend increases for more than 30 years. The most recent boost came earlier this year, taking the quarterly payout up by 4% to $1.12 per share.

Offshore drilling rig at sea with small boat in background.


Many oil companies have had to adjust to lower crude prices by finding ways to enhance production rates by adding to their assets. Yet at least so far, Chevron has avoided that strategic direction, instead focusing its efforts on cost reduction and making the most of its current production assets. Chevron isn’t giving up on strategic acquisitions and other investments, but anticipated annual spending levels of $18 billion to $20 billion aren’t nearly as large as they might seem for a company its size. With the recent rise in oil prices, Chevron’s bigger bet on the long-term promise of various shale plays across the U.S. could pay off without nearly as big a shift in its business model. And that could prove to be the best possible outcome for this global oil giant.

Top 10 Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now: Twitter, Inc.(TWTR)

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) shares look ready to resume the upward march that started late last summer, more than doubling off of its September low into the high set in March.

A profit-taking pullback ensued, but the bulls are on the charge again pushing shares up and over their 50-day moving average. Aegis analysts highlighted in a recent note to clients that both Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) have announced partnerships to deliver content — including live and unique programming — on the platform.

The company will next report results on July 26 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 16 cents per share on revenues of $696.4 million. When the company last reported on April 25, earnings of 16 cents per share beat estimates by five cents on a 21.3% rise in revenues.

Top 10 Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now: Phillips 66(PSX)

Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) is a welcome breath of fresh air in the energy space. That’s because while many energy stocks were slowing dividend growth down to a trickle during the oil-price collapse starting in summer 2014 – or even cutting payouts – Phillips 66 has kept the income pipeline flowing.

Namely, since 2014, this refiner and midstream company has juiced its dividend by nearly 80%, including a substantial 11% hike last year.

PSX should have plenty of ammunition for another dividend increase come early May, when it typically makes an announcement. That’s because the company reported yet another excellent quarter a couple months ago that beat the pants off analyst estimates – profits of $1.07 per share were well ahead of the consensus estimate of 86 cents.

But the spending won’t end there. Phillips 66 also plans to spend $500 million more on capital expenditures in 2018 than it did in 2017, which should fuel growth over the coming years.

Top 5 Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now

A strong start to earnings season helped the S&P 500 Index inch higher over the last week. Several major businesses added to the positive sentiment with announcements of higher dividends.

6 notable dividend stocks increased their payouts over the last week. This included two midstream energy companies, a global manufacturer of home appliances, and a major regulated utility.

Here are top dividend stocks increasing payouts.

Top 5 Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now: Albemarle Corporation(ALB)

Albemarle is the world’s largest lithium producer, and it’s likely to remain in the top spot for the foreseeable future. That’s mostly owed to the company’s enviable assets in South America’s bountiful Lithium Triangle, although the new government of Chile just opened the floodgates by increasing the company’s production quota to 145,000 metric tons (MT) per year. By comparison, total global production was just 215,000 MT last year.  

While the move was somewhat anticipated, the company’s shares haven’t responded. To be fair, Albemarle won’t come close to producing 145,000 MT of lithium in a year in South America anytime soon, nor will it need to. For starters, global demand couldn’t handle that volume. And the Chilean government quota extends to 2043.

Either way, Albemarle is well-positioned to remain a leading lithium stock for years to come. Considering the company’s lithium segment grew sales and adjusted EBITDA 35% and 43%, respectively, from 2016 to 2017, that could be great news for shareholders. The current eye-popping margins enjoyed by lithium producers probably won’t last indefinitely, but most projections call for nearly insatiable demand for the next decade at least. 

Of course, things could deteriorate quickly if that proves wrong. The good news is the company is relatively well diversified compared to peers, with 58% of revenue and 41% of adjusted EBITDA sourced from non-lithium businesses. Therefore, if you want to own a piece of the electrification of transportation and coming-of-age of energy storage — and hedge against potential downside — then Albemarle stock might be the best way to do that.

A close-up of the top of a stainless steel bioreactor.

Top 5 Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now: Microsoft Corporation(MSFT)

Microsoft Replacing Surface Pro 4s in “Flickergate” Resolution

Source: Mike Mozart Via Flickr


Microsoft stock is probably not the first investment you think of when it comes to playing the wearables trend. The company was unsuccessful with its own fitness tracker and eventually discontinued the Microsoft Band and admitted defeat.

However, it’s important to note that the smart watches seen on the streets today are only just the beginning and focusing solely on that one aspect of wearables would be extremely shortsighted.

As wearable tech gets more and more advanced, it’s application will stretch beyond just another cool gadget and Microsoft is looking to focus on that part of the wearable space.

The firm partnered with Trekstor to develop commercial wearables that will use cloud connectivity to increase productivity and streamline business activities. Microsoft says the devices could transform everything from inventory management to healthcare by replacing hand-held devices. 

So far we haven’t heard much about this project, but in the year to come I’d expect to see Microsoft capitalize on its strong position in the cloud computing space by offering a line of wearables that links on to Azure and further automate operations. 

Top 5 Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now: Weyerhaeuser Company(WY)

Although it’s easy to conjure up images of clear-cut forests when thinking of timberlands, that’s a horribly inaccurate depiction of the industry. The reality is that timberland management is highly regulated and, because of that, is often a boon to wilderness areas. And when it comes to timberland management, Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) has it down to a science: all of its 12.8 million acres of timberlands are certified sustainable.

That’s been great for business. In 2017 the company generated $4.9 billion in revenue from wood products and another $1.9 billion in timberland management, although both segments contributed about the same earnings: $569 million and $532 million, respectively. Considering wood is one of the most important renewable products on the planet, and the recent upward trend in housing construction in the United States, Weyerhaeuser and its 3.5% dividend yield easily make any list of eco-friendly stocks.

Top 5 Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now: Senior Housing Properties Trust(SNH)

 If you’ve retired, then current income can be the most important thing you need. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) can be good answers to provide solid levels of income, and retirees can understand quite well the reason why a REIT like Senior Housing Properties Trust would be attractive. The business is based on owning and collecting income from leases on medical office buildings, senior living communities, and other real estate that is in high demand from the demographic shifts toward an aging America. As more people retire and need housing that’s tailored to their evolving medical and lifestyle needs, Senior Housing Properties Trust has an immense opportunity to grow and profit.

Right now, Senior Housing Properties Trust carries an impressive dividend yield of more than 10%. That’s raised some eyebrows among investors, some of whom believe that a dividend cut is likely as funds from operations have declined recently. Yet even if the dividend yield falls somewhat from its current double-digit-percentage levels, investors in retirement should still find themselves amply rewarded. Moreover, with the REIT’s shares having lost considerable ground over the past year due in part to fears about rising interest rates, Senior Housing Properties Trust offers a rare bargain that could enhance your overall returns if this retirement-oriented real estate player comes back into favor in the investment community.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Watch Right Now

 When most people think of investing in stocks, all too often, the risk of outsized volatility comes to mind. And for better or worse, that volatility — and any given stock’s near-term direction — can be amplified depending on whether we’re in a bull or bear market.

But some businesses are much less susceptible to the whims of broader market conditions. So, we asked three Motley Fool investors to each pick a stock that thrives in both bull and bear markets. Read on to learn why they like these stocks.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Watch Right Now: Roku, Inc.(ROKU)

Shares of Roku had surged over 7% through morning trading on Monday in a sign that investors might be expecting massive results from the streaming video platform. However, before today’s climb, Roku stock had plummeted nearly 28% over the last 12 weeks. The newly public company is expected to report quarterly revenues of $128.41 million after market close on Wednesday.

However, Roku, like many other young tech companies, is projected to post an adjusted quarterly loss for at least the next couple of years. In the first quarter, Roku is expected to report an adjusted quarterly loss of $0.16 per share. Still, Roku is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) that rocks an Earnings ESP of 14.56%, with its Most Accurate Estimate coming in 2 cents better than our current consensus estimate. This, of course, means that Roku is poised to top quarterly earnings estimates, and might be a stock to consider buying.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Watch Right Now: Rite Aid Corporation(RAD)

Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) is a national drugstore chain known for providing both over-the-counter medicine and prescription pharmaceuticals.

Shares of the company have dropped over 60% in the last year due to bearish sentiment about the company’s odds of holding on to its market share in the face of increasing competition from CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

However, Wall Street leaving Rite Aid out in the cold allows us to pick up the company at bargain prices.

Last month, Rite Aid received federal approval to move forward with a proposed merger with Albertsons Cos. LLC, a privately owned American grocery conglomerate.

Albertsons is currently the second-largest supermarket chain in North America, controlling 1,075 stores under various brands across the United States.

Merging with Albertsons will give Rite Aid access to a far larger system of distribution and resource allocation than the company has had access to previously – a move that is likely to bolster its bottom line once the merger is complete.

In fact, analysts believe Rite Aid’s market price is likely to spike to $2.50 after the merger is complete – a gain of over 50%.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Watch Right Now: Vuzix Corporation(VUZI)

Never heard of Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ:VUZI)? You’re not alone. This U.S.-based hardware company is a meager $140 million market cap and is thinly traded at just 160,000 shares per day.

However, with a primary focus on augmented reality, it could be the breakout tech pick your portfolio is looking for.

Some experts estimate augmented-reality tech will outpace virtual reality in terms of commercial units sold, with the potential market of 20 million commercial AR headsets in the market by 2021. Vuzix is tailor-made to ride this trend with its M300 smart glasses available globally and well-received by many early adopters in the tech space.

There will always be detractors who mock augmented reality after the early struggles of Alphabet and its Google Glass device. And others will say that a money-losing gadget company of this size is a long-shot that isn’t right for the typical investor portfolio.

I’ll admit that VUZI is an aggressive play. But if you adhere to the buy-below price and keep a long-term perspective, then it is highly likely that this tech will not only see widespread adoption but that a bigger player like Google or Facebook will snatch up Vuzi at the first glimmers of momentum to consolidate their grip on the emerging virtual-reality and augmented-reality space.

With shares comfortably under $10, that makes a tripler very possible here. Just watch the buy-below price on this particularly fast-moving stock.

Hot Undervalued Stocks To Watch Right Now: Edgewater Technology, Inc.(EDGW)

Edgewater Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:EDGW) had a good run during the dotcom bubble.

It was a leading strategic consulting group that engaged in helping businesses integrate technology solutions into their corporate processes. As the digital age began, this was an industry with huge potential because there was enormous need.

Nowadays, not so much.

And that’s reflected in its stock price. The stock is off 56% since its IPO in 1996. The S&P 500 is up almost 280% over the same timeframe. In the past year, EDGW is off 25%.

It’s going to be a tough road back from here.