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Top 5 Value Stocks To Watch For 2019

A recent article by Pomona College finance professor Gary Smith has me thinking about stocks to buy over $200.

Smith’s opinion piece appeared on MarketWatch July 2; using three valuation models to make his case, he argued why Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still a buy at $200.

Admittedly, AAPL is not quite there yet, trading around $187 as a write this, but close enough.

A well-written and mathematically sound valuation of Apple stock, Smith concluded that if you buy at $200 and hold for ten years time, you’ll be happy you did.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that buying stocks trading over $200 are the key to your financial future, but they are often this high because of strong economic underpinnings.

Take Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), for example.

It crossed $200 in March 2012. If you’d bought 100 shares back then, today you’d have an annualized total return of 41% in the six-and-a-quarter years since and, more importantly, a profit of $151,257.

Out of all of the S&P 500 stocks, 52 trade at $200 or more. Here are my seven stocks — one from seven different sectors —  to buy over $200.

Top 5 Value Stocks To Watch For 2019: Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW)

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) is my pick from the basic materials sector. Down 0.40% year-to-date, it has some work to do if it wants to finish 2018 up double digits, something it has done five times in the past decade.

The global paint business was recently in the news, but not in a good way. Three people, including an analyst with S&P Global were charged with insider trading related to its 2016 purchase of Valspar. It seems the analyst allegedly tipped off two friends of the impending announcement netting them $300,000 on Valspar stock.

While that’s not Sherwin-Williams’ fault, it’s never good to have your company associated with this kind of profiteering.

The company’s Q1 2018 results paint a picture of a very strong global paint and coatings business that saw revenues grow 6.9% during the quarter to $4.0 billion generating $2.89-per-share in profits with expectations in fiscal 2018 of a minimum $16.05-per-share in earnings.

In the case of Sherwin-Williams combining with Valspar, one plus one equals three.

Top 5 Value Stocks To Watch For 2019: Diageo plc(DEO)

Do you like booze? Enjoy knocking back a few from time to time? Then hop on board Diageo (NYSE:DEO). We know for a fact there will always be some baseline demand for alcohol. No matter how healthy people claim they want to be, they will always give in to alcohol.

You know many of Diageo’s brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Why is alcohol a smart investment? Because it is a social product. When people get together, if one person buys, others tend to buy also. Marketing for alcohol centers around creating an experience, and creating and perpetuating social circles. In general, it is a good play because human social behavior is often centered around the consumption of alcohol.

DEO stock is being pushed higher thanks to increased efforts in flavored alcohols. The company is consistent and reliable, and pumps out more than $3 billion annually in free cash flow, returning about half of that to shareholders in the form of its 2.4% yield.

Top 5 Value Stocks To Watch For 2019: United Natural Foods, Inc.(UNFI)

United Natural Foods sells organic, natural and specialty foods to groceries in the U.S. Of course, the company, which sells a significant amount of products to Whole Foods, will benefit if that chain becomes much more popular.

Like Sprouts, United Natural Foods should be boosted by food inflation and by increased demand for healthier food. It’s looking to further exploit the latter trend by increasing its exposure to fresh food and growing its e-commerce business, the company said on its fiscal third quarter results conference call on June 6.

Importantly, United Natural Foods also reported that it’s outpacing the growth of the organic foods sector. Indeed, the company’s net sales jumped 12% year-over-year in the third quarter, while its net operating income soared 42% versus the same period a year earlier.

Despite the impressive growth, United Natural Foods stock has an anemic valuation. United Natural Foods stock is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 12, and its price-to-sales ratio is a tiny 0.22.

After the company reported its third-quarter results, multiple analysts complained about its margins. Last quarter, its gross margin came in at 15.4%.

I believe that, going forward, a combination of higher food inflation, supply chain improvements, and greater scale will meaningfully boost United Natural’s margins. Meanwhile, as Wall Street becomes much more enthusiastic about the organic food category, the multiples of UNFI stock should rise significantly.

Top 5 Value Stocks To Watch For 2019: Boeing Company (BA)

Boeing (NYSE:BA) is my pick from the Industrial Goods sector. Up 15% YTD compared to 4% for its aerospace and defense peers, it has managed to deliver an annualized total return of 17% over the past 15 years, 210 basis points greater than its peers.

On July 2, the Brazilian news media reported that Boeing and Embraer (NYSE:ERJ) would submit the contracts bringing Embraer’s commercial aviation division together with Boeing’s commercial aviation business to the Brazilian government for its blessing.

Upon approval and completion, Boeing would control the operation, one that should compete more effectively against the Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY), Bombardier (OTCMKTS:BDRBF) tie-up with the C-Series jet.

The year is going well for Boeing despite the China tariff headwinds threatening its most significant growth market — Boeing will sell $1 trillion of its planes to China over the next 20 years — and bringing Embraer under its fold puts a cherry on top of the sundae.

There might be some turbulence for Boeing stock over the next 12 months; I would take any retreat of its stock price as an opportunity to buy at a better price.

Boeing’s currently operating at maximum efficiency and should be able to keep it up despite the storm clouds in China.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now

Sell right now and go away? That old adage would have been horrible advice for investors who owned three biotech stocks that soared over the last week.

Following stocks chalked up huge gains over the last five days. What sent these biotech stocks into orbit? And are they still smart picks for investors? Here’s what you need to know about the fantastic week for them along with what could be next for each stock.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL)

Alphabet, of course, often known as Google with lots of other stuff attached. The ticker symbol is even just still GOOG. I had a good exchange with my friend Scott Phillips, who helps run Motley Fool Australia, and he was taking me to task by email, in a fun way, for organizing alphabetically by ticker. And Scott said — and quite rightly [I agree, Scott] — "Aren’t we much more about the companies, themselves, and the businesses? Tickers are more for trader talk and people who don’t necessarily think about the businesses, often, but the tickers more."

And I agree with you, Scott, so I’m going to order this one by company name and I expect to continue that going forward. And I know if I screw up, first of all, I’ll try to blame Rick Engdahl because he’s my filter. He’s my whipping boy. He’s my producer. I would immediately try to blame Rick. But if he didn’t accept the blame, or people started realizing my game, here, then you could hold me accountable, Scott, and say, "Hey, Dave! You screwed that up. Make sure you keep these company names ordered alphabetically."

So, thank you, Scott! And yes, thank you Alphabet for being such an amazing company! A company, as I said to my gathered Tar Heels last week, that a lot of us associate, naturally, Alphabet with Google today and search, but 20 years from now our kids will think about Google as the AI company, the artificial intelligence company as artificial intelligence, as Kevin Kelly said on this show a month or two back. It begins to become a ubiquitous thing around us. You know how Wi-Fi is kind of ubiquitous these days and 30 years ago nobody knew what Wi-Fi was?

Well, 30 years from now Kevin Kelly says [I agree with him], AI will be all around us like Wi-Fi, and people will wonder what the world was like before that, and that’s the future we’re moving into and Alphabet is the leader.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Sinovac Biotech Ltd.(SVA)

Little-Known Stocks to Buy:Sinovac (SVA)

Source: Shutterstock

 

Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (NASDAQ:SVA) is a native Chinese biotech company that is focused on the Chinese market, and its key drugs are vaccines.

This is interesting on two fronts. First, vaccines are a good way for Chinese firms to enter into the pharmaceutical business because they are highly beneficial and if made locally, can be very cost effective.

For a nation that is looking to move from developing nation status to developed nation status, a healthy population and a solid healthcare system is an important factor.

Given this, SVA will get support from the government as it builds its expertise and reputation. What’s more, vaccines are proving to be highly effective in treating certain diseases as well as preventing them. This next-generation of vaccines could have significant potential.

But for now, the Chinese demand for improved native healthcare solutions is a key driver.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: SITO Mobile, Ltd.(SITO)

SITO Mobile Ltd (NASDAQ:SITO) is a provider of location-based advertising and mobile messaging platforms that allow brands to launch targeted mobile advertising campaigns.

The stock is sporting a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and the company has witnessed strong earnings estimate revision activity and is now expected to improve its bottom line by 94% in the current fiscal year.

That earnings growth is projected to come on the back of 25% revenue growth. The company is still expected to be in the red this year, but earnings are estimated to turn positive soon, and EPS expansion is expected to reach an annualized rate of 25% over the next three to five years. Meanwhile, the stock is trading with a respectable P/S ratio of 2.1.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Boeing Company (BA)

Last but not least, add aircraft maker Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) to your list of retirement stocks to own before and after you retire.

If you think passenger jets and military aircraft are cyclical, you’re 100% right. Those cycles aren’t exactly aligned with broad economic cycles though, so at the very least a stake in Boeing is a counter-cyclical position.

More than that though, any down-cycle headwind Boeing may face in the future is likely just a mini down-cycle within a much bigger bullish super-cycle. Boeing believes the global industry is going to take delivery of 41,000 new airplanes over the course of the coming 20 years just to keep up with growing demand for air travel. For perspective, there are only about 23,500 commercial aircraft in use now.

It’s the kind of trade that requires a very long-term mindset, but retirement can last a long, long time. So can the time needed to build that nest egg.

Best Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: (KHB)

KB Home (NYSE:KHB) is a well-known homebuilder in the United States and one of the largest in the state. The company’s revenues are generated from its Homebuilding and Financial Services operations. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 16%. The stock currently has a Value Score of B and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019

Stocks opened higher on Monday ahead of what is sure to be another busy week for investors, as they assess some major economic indicators. Furthermore, with many more big-names set to report their quarterly earnings this week, it’s time to take a look at a few stocks investors might want to buy.

Investors have started to react to news that capital spending seems to be booming. Credit Suisse estimated that the amount of money companies spent on big-ticket items surge 20% in the first quarter, which would mark the biggest quarterly growth rate since 2011. Some of the biggest spenders so far include tech giants Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) .

Moving on, titans from Disney (DIS) to Nvidia (NVDA) are set to report their quarterly earnings results this week. With that said, investors need to hunt for companies that are set to report better-than-expected quarterly earnings results while market uncertainty remains.    

Luckily, Zacks Premium customers can utilize the Earnings ESP Screener in order to search for stocks that are expected to surprise, in one way or the other. This is done because, generally speaking, when an analyst posts an estimate right before an earnings release, it means that they have fresh information which could potentially be more accurate than what analysts thought about a company two or three months ago.

A positive Earnings ESP paired with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better ranking helps us feel confident about the potential for an earnings beat. In fact, our 10-year backtest has revealed that this methodology has accurately produced a positive surprise 70% of the time.

Today, we are giving our readers a free look at three of these strong stocks ahead of their upcoming earnings reports. Check them out now:

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019: MGM Growth Properties LLC(MGP)

One of the best stocks of the last decade has delivered eye-popping total returns of 1,311% with a relatively simple business model — and one that has mostly remained out of sight. MGP Ingredients operates as a contract distiller for premium brands large (Diageo) and small (various regional labels). In other words, it’s in the business of making whiskeys, gins, and vodkas.

After shares rose 54% in 2017, there’s still plenty to like about the company. I actually encouraged investors to sell the stock in late October, but it has gained 47% since then. Oops. After reading through the full-year 2017 earnings report, it’s clear that the business has earned its premium valuation. Can I change my wager, Mr. Dealer?

Last year MGP Ingredients grew year-over-year revenue 9.2%, boosted its gross margin to 21.9% from 20.5%, and converted a record 12% of sales into net income. Importantly, premium beverage alcohol sales — the highest margin product — jumped over 18% in the year-over-year comparison. While primarily a distiller, the company has worked to diversify its business over the years by vertically integrating operations, which means it sells agricultural byproducts leftover from the upstream distilling process for both animal feed and human food ingredients. 

Those provide important sources of value, but they’ll be taking a backseat to premium alcohols in 2018 and 2019 when more valuable aged whiskey products will be leaving the warehouse. The expected result: MGP Ingredients thinks operating income will grow 10% to 15% in 2018, and another 15% to 20% in 2019. 

Throw in projects that add value without showing up on financial statements, such as sourcing 100% renewable energy and ditching single-use plastic consumables at its operating assets, and investors can find a lot to like about this whiskey stock. It remains a buy for the foreseeable future.

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019: Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation(RL)

Moving on, Ralph Lauren is another famous name in retail that has outperformed the S&P 500 by a wide margin. The stock has soared 59% over the last year and has also climbed 5.6% over the last 12 weeks. Ralph Lauren’s quarterly revenues are expected to dip by 4.7% to hit $1.49 billion. At the other end of the income statement, RL is also projected to experience a decline from the prior-year period.

Our current estimates are calling for Ralph Lauren’s quarterly earnings to slip by 3.4% to hit $0.86 per share. However, the company is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and rocks an earnings ESP of 2.92%, mostly because its bottom line estimates have climbed recently. RL’s Most Accurate Estimate comes in at $0.88 per share, which is 2 cents above our current consensus estimate. This means that the upscale fashion giant could impress investors with a bottom line beat that might send its stock up, at least in the near-term. Ralph Lauren is set to report its quarterly results before the opening bell on Wednesday, May 23.

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019: Boeing Company (BA)

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) went from a frustratingly stubborn stock to one that couldn’t be stopped. Consider that BA stock was flat from January 2014 through October 2016, almost a three-year lull. However, shares then exploded 90% in 2017.

So what now?

It obviously wouldn’t be surprising to see Boeing stock settle down and consolidate a bit. Even bouncing between $300 and $360 for a few quarters would represent a relatively healthy consolidation period.

I like BA for its intense earnings growth, commitment to capital return and huge free-cash flow. It’s not the cheapest stock in the world anymore, but valuation and consolidation aren’t enough of a reason to sell the stock.

Shares still look great in the short-term, as our chart shows. Poking through resistance with plenty of support nearby, BA stock could retest its old highs if these patterns hold steady. It’s got bullish momentum and isn’t overbought yet either.

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019: Best Buy Co., Inc.(BBY)

Things have gone remarkably well for Best Buy lately, especially considering how vulnerable investors thought the retailer was to "showrooming," or the shopper habit of examining products at brick-and-mortar stores before ordering them at lower prices from online rivals.

A couple looking at TVs in an electronic store

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Best Buy made the appropriate changes to adjust to that trend, and its strategic initiatives are clearly working. Comps gains sped up to a 6% pace in fiscal 2018 from a flat result in the prior year even as profitability held steady. CEO Hubert Joly and his team are expecting comps gains to slow back down to about 2% in fiscal 2019, and earnings will also be hurt by more investments in its growth initiatives. However, Best Buy’s strong financial position should allow it to navigate this tricky retail environment better than most of its rivals, and that’s great news for its shareholders.

Top Penny Stocks To Watch For 2019: Repligen Corporation(RGEN)

Repligen lives in the biopharma sector, but it doesn’t bother with the usual regulatory headaches. That’s because the company supplies processing equipment and consumables required to test and manufacture biologic drugs, rather than develop therapeutics in risky clinical trials. That simple hack allows it to piggyback on the overall growth of biopharma without the commensurate risks.

It’s been a great business strategy so far. Shares are up 600% in the last 10 years, although a market cap of $1.6 billion hints that there’s plenty of room for expansion for the bioprocessing leader.

In 2017, Repligen reported total revenue of $141 million. That’s hardly a drop in the biopharma bucket, but it amounted to an impressive 35% jump from the prior year. Management sees much of the same in the year ahead, thanks largely to a recent acquisition. The bioprocess leader expects total sales of $180 million to $186 million at gross margin of up to 56.5% in 2018. That could deliver adjusted net income of up to $32 million this year, compared to just $27 million last year. 

Just as in prior years, acquisitions and organic growth should continue to power the business higher for the foreseeable future. Repligen is also perfectly positioned to exploit the shift toward single-use processing equipment, which allows biologic drug manufacturers to greatly reduce contamination risks and downtime while improving margins and production volumes.

Case in point: The company recently announced the first and only commercially available single-use purification column suited for commercial biologics production. Products like that may go largely unnoticed by investors, but they could very well end up being a game-changer for customers. 

A sand timer and columns of coins.

best securities to invest in

A favorite maxim of Warren Buffett is that the best time to sell is never. While not even the Oracle of Omaha abides by that advice all the time, his track record makes clear that owning a stock for an extra-long time is still a sound approach.

Yet finding the best stocks to buy and hold isn’t easy. So to help get you started, we asked three Foolish investors to pick a growth stock that they believe investors would be wise to buy now and hold for the long term. Read on to learn why they like these stocks.

best securities to invest in: Cisco Systems, Inc.(CSCO)

Cisco is a worldwide leader in the information technology industry. The company develops and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products. Cisco is currently sporting a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is gearing up for another strong earnings season, with consensus estimates for the period trending upward and growth expected on the top and bottom lines.

Meanwhile, the stock is trading with a reasonable Forward P/E of 17.2, which comes at a discount to its industry’s average. The stock also has a PEG ratio of 2.9, so investors are getting a decent price for its EPS growth potential. Cisco also generates about $2.63 in cash per share and offers a dividend yield of roughly 3%.

best securities to invest in: AppFolio, Inc.(APPF)

Lewis: Yeah, it certainly seems like there’s a pretty good growth runway ahead of it. Why don’t we talk about company No. 2, and this is AppFolio?

Feroldi: Sure. This is a company that I really like a lot, too. These guys cater to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses that are kind of in niche, niche markets that you wouldn’t normally think of, and none of these are consumer-facing. AppFolio was founded, and their initial target market was the property management business. So, you think about companies that own, say, a small apartment complex or a multi-family building. If you were a property manager, what kind of things are critical to making your apartment profitable? Well, you need to attract clients. You need to make sure that they’re paying their bills. You need to be able to foster communication between the client and the property manager if there’s maintenance things. You need to help with background checks on potential tenants and screening. 

So, there’s a hodgepodge of software that’s out there that can help with each of those things. AppFolio basically took all of that and put it together on a cloud-based platform, and they sell their service to property managers. So, they can come on to AppFolio’s platform, they pay a small subscription fee, and they get access to basically all of those services in one easy-to-use cloud-based system that can be managed through a cellphone or on a tablet.

Lewis: And you talk about this market, and even just hearing you describe it, property managing software, there’s a niche there. [laughs] 

Feroldi: It’s pretty niche.

Lewis: There’s a pretty clear niche. And frankly, it’s a space that’s probably a little too small for big players to want to hop in.

Feroldi: Absolutely, yeah. There can be a big advantage to stay in the niche. The big software boys, it’s just not a big enough market for them to go after, to really invest the resources to make a customized solution. But, AppFolio, they’re not so much a property management company as they are just trying to dominate a few small niches, and by combining them together, they can grow into a much bigger software platform.

Lewis: Yeah. They’re getting outside property management, right? They’re doing something in the legal space, as well?

Feroldi: Exactly. A couple of years ago, they bought a company called MyCase, which caters to the needs of legal professionals. So, you think about a small law practice. Well, they also need help with billing and tracking their time and attendance and marketing themselves. There’s always back-office stuff that these companies need help with. So, AppFolio recently entered into that business, too, through an acquisition. It’s still very small, it’s less than 10% of their revenue. The property management business is about 90% of their market right now. But, between these two, they’re adding customers to both platforms at a double-digit rate. 

The way that they make money is, their customers pay a recurring monthly subscription fee just to be on the platform, but they also sell premium, what they call value-plus services, on top of that. So, if you wanted AppFolio’s app to facilitate taking money out of the client’s checking account and sending it over to the property manager, like, so they can pay their rent, AppFolio’s platform can do that for them, and they charge an extra small fee for that. Or, if they wanted to do a detailed background check when they’re screening for tenants, you can also do that on AppFolio’s platform, but they also charge a small fee for those kinds of services.

Lewis: You talked about the stickiness of the platform. I think they have a customer retention rate of 97% or something crazy like that.

Feroldi: It’s extremely high. That’s a big reason why I love software-as-a-service businesses. Once a customer gets into the platform, and their entire back office gets set up around using this platform, it becomes extremely painful for them to consider switching providers, because everything is built for this one platform. So, it makes the business very, very sticky.

Lewis: And, you have employees that are trained on using that, right? So, there’s the actual friction of switching systems and maybe not having the data interplay the way that you would like it to, but there’s also the cost of having to retrain employees to use these programs or to bring in vendors and review these offers from new vendors, which is going to be tough for everyone’s time, especially if you’re a smaller business.

Feroldi: Absolutely, especially since, if you’re a smaller business, you don’t really have time to do that kind of stuff. AppFolio is growing its top line extremely quickly. Last year with 40% year over year top line growth, about $144 million in revenue. So, again, they’re going after niche markets, but they’re still big enough to actually become profitable, become cash flow positive. Their balance sheet is squeaky clean. Another thing I like about this company in particular is, the founders of the business are the Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Strategy Officer, so they’re still very involved. Very high inside ownership rates. And, this is another company that just gets rave reviews from employees about the culture that they have.

best securities to invest in: Mellanox Technologies, Ltd.(MLNX)

Mellanox Technologies is a leading supplier of semiconductor-based, interconnected products to world-class server, storage, and infrastructure OEMs. The company’s VPI enables standard communication protocols to operate over any converged network with the same software solution.

MLNX has started to pick up steam after its fourth consecutive earnings beat. It is also an explosive growth pick, with earnings and revenue expected to improve by 78% and 19%, respectively, this year. Shares are currently trading with a reasonable Forward P/E of 20.8 and an attractive PEG of 1.4.

best securities to invest in: Boeing Company (BA)

I was one of many in the business media writing about Boeing Co’s (NYSE:BA) stellar first-quarter earnings April 25. Boeing delivered adjusted earnings per share of $3.64, 41% higher than the consensus estimate. While we’re on the subject of beats, its free cash flow was $2.74 billion, 84% higher than analyst expectations.

“Well it’s not every day that a mega-cap company beats consensus by 40 percent,” Robert Stallard, an analyst with Vertical Research Partners said in a note to clients. “The wall of cash that the company is generating makes it hard to be absent from the stock.”

Indeed.

Based on an enterprise value of $196.4 billion and a trailing 12-month free cash flow of $12.6 billion, Boeing has an FCF yield of 6.4%, a perfectly decent yield for a company that’s firing on all cylinders at the moment. Here’s what I had to say about Boeing in April a couple of weeks before earnings:

“Now that I’m back on Boeing wagon, I do believe that Boeing stock could deliver 20%-25% compound annual growth over the next five years,” I wrote April 10. “If it does, a $1,000 stock price is not out of the realm of possibility.”

After its strong first quarter, I have no doubt it’s possible by 2023.

best securities to invest in: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.(CLF)

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE:CLF) is one of the few stocks enjoying Friday’s trading session, up more than 10% after beating on earnings and revenue expectations.

The trend-line of support looks good, especially with CLF rocketing higher on the day. But bulls will have a big test soon if they keep taking CLF higher: $8.50. This level has been Major — with a capital “M” — level of resistance over the last few years. Bears will surely take a shot on the short side at this level, but if bulls can ultimately push through, $10 becomes the next target. It helps that energy prices have been strong.

Keep this one on your radar.

Top 5 Tech Stocks For 2018

Lately, on Industry Focus: Tech, we’ve focused on the megacap businesses that have been dominating the news — at the cost of shedding some light on smaller companies with massive growth potential. In this week’s episode, host Dylan Lewis talks with Fool.com contributor Brian Feroldi about following ultra-compelling small-cap tech companies.

Tune in to find out how each business works, how companies like AppFolio thrive in markets that are too small for the big guys, the biggest risks investors should know before taking a closer look at these companies, which particular one is the most exciting story today, and more.

Top 5 Tech Stocks For 2018: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company(GT)

You’ve likely heard new-vehicle sales in the U.S. are currently plateauing, which makes it difficult to sell a near-term growth story for automakers. Nonetheless, the auto industry has trends that could provide strong growth for Goodyear despite the company’s being sold off with the rest of the industry — it currently trades at a paltry forward P/E of 6.6, per Morningstar estimates.

Total sales are plateauing, but the sales mix is wildly shifting in favor of larger vehicles such as SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks. That means more larger tires on the road, and that means better margins for Goodyear. In 2009, light trucks were 45% of the U.S. new vehicle market; that exploded in the years since to 68% during the first quarter of 2018. Further, LMC Automotive predicts light trucks will generate roughly 73% of the market as soon as 2022.

A sales mix in the Americas with such a large percentage of light trucks is one growth catalyst for Goodyear, but there’s a long-term catalyst as well: driverless vehicles. Consider that by 2030, 25% of global miles traveled will be shared, according to The Boston Consulting Group, and the autonomous market will be a $7 trillion business by 2050, according to an Intel report. As the market shifts to fleet ownership, rather than individual consumers, Goodyear could leverage its physical-store tire services to sign partnerships with fleet owners, which could become a lucrative business.

Granted, the driverless-car future is an uncertain one, but one thing is certain: Tires, and other products associated with driverless cars, will become much more complex. That means growth — long-term growth — for Goodyear if it can leverage its distribution network, innovative tires, and service bays to carve out its place in the market.

Top 5 Tech Stocks For 2018: Amphenol Corporation(APH)

Aphria (TSE: APH) is an early leader in Canada’s high-growth cannabis industry. With a market cap of $2.4 billion, Aphria is the second-largest cannabis company in Canada behind Canopy Growth Corp’s (TSE: WEED) $6.6 billion.

 

Shares of Aphria are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol APH. Shares are also traded on US, OTC (over-the-counter) markets under the ticker symbol APHQF.

If there is one stock to own to profit from the cannabis revolution, Aphria is the choice. Let me explain…

Aphria Is Benefitting From A Legal Monopoly
Aphria won the cannabis lottery back in 2014 when it received an exclusive permit to grow and sell cannabis from Health Canada, the regulatory agency responsible for issuing permits.

At last count, more than 1,000 companies have applied for a license. But as it stands, Health Canada has only issued 93 permits — and Aphria is one of the lucky recipients.

This exclusive permit gives Aphria two powerful and sustainable competitive advantages. First, it gives Aphria a huge head start on the competition. Second, it will protect Aphria from new competition. 

Health Canada will issue more permits in the next few years. But it is deliberately restricting the number of permits to encourage young cannabis companies’ profitability, as this will help to remove illegal cartels from the cannabis trade.

Aphria Is Constructing A 1 Million Square Foot Greenhouse
After securing its exclusive permit, Aphria quickly turned its attention to building one of the largest cannabis greenhouses in the world. The company’s 1 million square foot, state-of-the-art cannabis greenhouse will be one of the largest in the world when completed.

The new facility will include:
 
— 700,000 square feet of Dutch-style greenhouses.
— 230,000 square feet of infrastructure, including new level 9 vaults.
— Automation of the greenhouses, processing areas, and warehouse facilities.
— Annual production capacity of over 150,000 lbs of cannabis.

This new greenhouse positions Aphria to be the number one low-cost provider of cannabis in Canada — and eventually the world as it continues expanding into international markets.

The final phase of the project is projected to be completed this summer.

Top 5 Tech Stocks For 2018: Boeing Company (BA)

I was one of many in the business media writing about Boeing Co’s (NYSE:BA) stellar first-quarter earnings April 25. Boeing delivered adjusted earnings per share of $3.64, 41% higher than the consensus estimate. While we’re on the subject of beats, its free cash flow was $2.74 billion, 84% higher than analyst expectations.

“Well it’s not every day that a mega-cap company beats consensus by 40 percent,” Robert Stallard, an analyst with Vertical Research Partners said in a note to clients. “The wall of cash that the company is generating makes it hard to be absent from the stock.”

Indeed.

Based on an enterprise value of $196.4 billion and a trailing 12-month free cash flow of $12.6 billion, Boeing has an FCF yield of 6.4%, a perfectly decent yield for a company that’s firing on all cylinders at the moment. Here’s what I had to say about Boeing in April a couple of weeks before earnings:

“Now that I’m back on Boeing wagon, I do believe that Boeing stock could deliver 20%-25% compound annual growth over the next five years,” I wrote April 10. “If it does, a $1,000 stock price is not out of the realm of possibility.”

After its strong first quarter, I have no doubt it’s possible by 2023.

Top 5 Tech Stocks For 2018: 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 Tech Stocks For 2018: Brookfield Renewable Powerr Fund(BEP)

When investors are looking at the energy industry today, there’s a lot to consider. Volatile oil prices can make big oil stocks risky, changing utility markets have hurt formerly safe utility companies, and even natural gas isn’t the profitable business it once was. But renewable-energy production around the world is growing, and companies that own renewable assets can generate consistent cash flows capable of funding dividend growth for years to come.

 

One of the best dividends for in-the-know investors is Brookfield Renewable Partners, a yieldco that owns 16,000 megawatts of generating capacity around the world. Eighty percent of that capacity is hydropower, but the company is adding more wind and solar assets after acquiring a 31% interest in TerraForm Global and a 16% interest in TerraForm Power (NASDAQ:TERP).

 

What’s unique about Brookfield Renewable Partners is that it’s not as tied to the idea of issuing stock to fund acquisitions as many yieldcos have been in the past. Instead, it expects to grow its dividend 5% to 9% annually and use any excess cash from the business to grow cash flow organically. If you look at the dividend over the past decade, you can see that the strategy has resulted in steady growth:

Energy markets can be volatile, but a renewable-energy company like Brookfield Renewable Partners usually buys projects backed with long-term contracts to sell energy to utilities under a set rate. Yieldcos that can do that well will be big winners for investors, and that’s why Brookfield Renewable Partners is a great dividend stock today.