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Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now

For better or worse, growth stocks are notoriously volatile. But for astute investors who can manage to recognize timely buying opportunities, they can be a fantastic way to generate outsized gains over the long term.

So we asked three top Motley Fool investors to each discuss a growth stock that they think investors should consider buying now. Read on to learn why they like following stocks.

 

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Twitter, Inc.(TWTR)

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) added to its 47% spike in 2017 to gain over 80% so far this year. The micro-blogging platform isn’t logging anything near the user growth or the profit boosts that peer Facebook has managed. However, Twitter did post a 21% sales improvement in the most recent quarter as growth accelerated sharply from the prior quarter’s 2% uptick. Looking ahead, shareholders are hoping that CEO Jack Dorsey and his team can significantly boost the user base from its current level of 336 million. As its content trends toward high-margin video, meanwhile, advertising income should help Twitter log another year of earnings improvements as it works toward achieving annual profitability.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Hess Corporation(HES)

While red-hot oil prices helped fuel Hess’ gains this year, it was far from the only catalyst. Hess and its partner ExxonMobil announced three more offshore discoveries near Guyana, bringing the total to eight. The partners now plan to develop three phases of that field, which could produce more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day by late 2023. In addition to that, Hess continued cleaning up its portfolio and balance sheet by selling its joint venture in the Utica Shale and paying off more debt. Meanwhile, the company has used the excess cash generated by higher oil prices to buy back stock, authorizing a $1.5 billion repurchase program, enough to retire nearly 10% of its outstanding shares. The company could expand that program even further later this year given the uptick in crude prices.  

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Red Hat, Inc.(RHT)

This is a rare opportunity to pick up shares in a red-hot growth stock at a serious discount.

The Linux and open-source software veteran had seen its share prices double in 52 weeks, heading into June’s first-quarter report. In that report, Red Hat exceeded its own guidance targets across the board and also stomped Wall Street’s expectations. Yet, the stock took a 12% nosedive the next day and has stayed down ever since. Today, Red Hat shares are trading 23% below those pre-earnings highs.

Analysts took one look at Red Hat’s modest second-quarter guidance, ignoring optimistic full-year targets, and punished the stock with a slew of downgrades and target-price cuts.

It’s true that Red Hat shares were trading a little high before this correction, as the market cap amounted to 112 times trailing earnings and 36 times free cash flows. But Red Hat has earned its druthers by posting a long string of fantastic high-growth results. In the first quarter, earnings rose 24% year over year on 20% higher sales.

The growth story hasn’t changed — analysts simply overreacted to a strong seasonal swing. Right now, Red Hat’s stock trades at 27 times free cash flows — quite comparable to larger and slower-growing enterprise software rivals SAP (NYSE: SAP) at 33 times FCF and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) price-to-FCF ratio of 23.

This sale won’t last. Grab Red Hat’s stock while the discount is hot.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Successful investors know the value of a company that generates cash and has a durable competitive advantage over the competition. If you combine those with growth you get a stock with home run potential. That’s why after all these years of the stock going up, Apple is still a great buy today. 

The chart below shows that Apple is still a growth company, increasing revenue by 45% over the last five years and generated over $53 billion of net income in the past year. 

AAPL Revenue (TTM) Chart

AAPL REVENUE (TTM) DATA BY YCHARTS.

What Apple has going for it is an engrained ecosystem in smartphones that will be nearly impossible for competitors to penetrate. The iPhone may only have 15.6% of the global smartphone market, according to IDC, but it’s the premium portion of the market and generates far more value than competitors. iPhone is also the center of the ecosystem, which expands to Macs, Apple TVs, AirPods, and other products that work seamlessly with Apples apps and services. 

For investors, the earnings you see above are returned in the form of a dividend, currently yielding 1.6%, and share buybacks using the $145.4 billion of net cash on the balance sheet. With a new plan to be "cash neutral," that could mean hundreds of billions in share buybacks over the next decade, $100 billion of which is already authorized by the board of directors. Whether you’re looking at earnings, cash on the balance sheet, or a company with a wide competitive moat, Apple fits the bill. 

Best China Stocks To Buy Right Now

Many conservative investors gravitate toward blue-chip dividend stocks with healthy yields well above what the overall market pays. Right now, the market average of about 2% isn’t all that much for income-hungry investors, especially as bond rates start to rise more sharply.

Fortunately, you can find a number of solid investment choices within the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) that yield 3% or more. Among them are these stocks. Each of them faces challenges that could present difficulties in the short run, but they’ve demonstrated an ability to overcome adversity and produce long-term growth.

Best China Stocks To Buy Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appeared to be the showstopper on Friday as it sprung to a record high of $184.25 during Friday on news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc had beefed up its stake in the iPhone maker.  Apple shares jumped more than 3.9% on May 4, 2018, marking the largest weekly percentage gain since October 2011.

Apple’s ascent eradicates fears about subdued iPhone demand which clouded the tech and semiconductor market a few days back. The technology giant topped the earnings and revenue estimates in the most-recent earnings report. Apple beefed up its plan to return cash to its shareholders through dividend hikes and additional buybacks.

Best China Stocks To Buy Right Now: Quanta Services, Inc.(PWR)

Quanta Services Inc (NYSE:PWR) is a leading national provider of specialty contracting services and one of the largest contractors serving the transmission and distribution sector of the North American electric utility industry.  Quanta Services has operations in the United States., Canada, Australia and other selected international markets. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Value Score of A. The 3-5 year EPS growth rate for the stock is estimated at 8%.

Best China Stocks To Buy Right Now: Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.(ULTA)

Ulta Beauty, which sells cosmetic products and uses in-store salons to generate foot traffic at its stores, opened 100 new stores in 2017 and finished the year with 1,074 locations. It plans to open another 100 stores this year.

Ulta Beauty is confidently expanding because it consistently grows its comparable-store sales, revenue, and earnings at impressive rates. The retailer’s comps rose 11% last year as its revenue and adjusted diluted EPS grew 21% and 25%, respectively. Those are solid growth rates for a stock that trades at 24 times this year’s earnings.

However, two factors caused Ulta’s shares to slide 14% over the past 12 months. First, Ulta expects just 6% to 8% comps growth this year, with revenue growth in the "low teens." This indicates that Ulta could rely more on new store openings than comps growth to fuel its revenue expansion.

Second, some investors fear that Sephora’s advance into J.C. Penney stores, Amazon’s partnerships with high-end beauty brands, and other headwinds could diminish Ulta’s leadership.

Those concerns are valid, but Ulta’s comps growth remains impressive for a 28-year-old retailer, and its unique combination of stores with salons should hold its rivals at bay. The company also has $397.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments to fall back on, as well as a clean balance sheet. With a strong track record and solid financials, I think Ulta still has room to run.

Best China Stocks To Buy Right Now: Markel Corporation(MKL)

Warren Buffett gave the world a great method of making money: Open a successful insurance operation and then invest the premiums that clients pay in investments that pay a lot more than the fixed-income securities that most insurance companies choose for their portfolios. Markel’s history as a publicly traded company dates back to 1986, and the company has an extremely good track record of generating positive underwriting profits, running about 70% with several years sporting very attractive returns.

Markel still has a much different emphasis than the Oracle of Omaha’s insurance operations. Rather than having brand-name car insurance that ranks among the nation’s most popular brands, Markel instead offers only specialty lines of insurance. There’s not as much volume for the types of insurance that you can get from Markel as there is for vanilla lines like auto, home, or life insurance. But because it’s tough to find other companies that are willing to take on the risks that Markel’s willing to assume, the specialty insurance company is able to get enough of a margin to protect it from adverse events. Moreover, because it writes a lot of different types of insurance, Markel’s different risks aren’t as correlated with each other, making a catastrophic year where everything goes wrong less likely.

With a sizable investment portfolio, Markel has generated strong returns the same way Buffett has. As long as its stock-picking prowess remains good, Markel should continue to find ways to deliver performance for its shareholders.