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Top Casino Stocks For 2019

Oil prices have been blistering hot so far in 2018. A barrel of WTI, which is the U.S. oil price benchmark, has rocketed 23% in the first half to more than $74, its highest level since November 2014. Meanwhile, Brent, the global oil benchmark, has been almost as hot, rising 18.8% for the year to more than $79 per barrel.

Those surging crude prices fueled big gains for the stocks of oil producers, with the following five components of the S&P 500 leading the way:

Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Fossil Inc.(FOSL)

The S&P’s single best performer is a stock that many investors had left for dead before the start of the year. In fact, Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) shed 70% of its value in 2017 as demand for wearable tech disrupted its core watch business. The stock has rebounded lately thanks mainly to surprising strength in its new wearables segment. However, for shares to continue their growth, Fossil will need show that it can return to steady sales and profit gains. That isn’t likely this year, given that management is projecting revenue declines of between 14% and 6% in 2018, compared to an 8% drop last year.

These market-thumping gains raise the pressure on each of the companies to show strengthening results in the quarters ahead. The shifting investor opinions on their businesses, meanwhile, are likely to drive future volatility — one way or the other — in their stocks.

Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation(APC)

Anadarko Petroleum is also sending more money back to shareholders thanks to higher oil prices. After initially authorizing a $2.5 billion repurchase program last fall (enough to retire 10% of its outstanding shares), the oil giant added $500 million to its buyback this year and is expected to spend the entire amount by the end of the second quarter. On top of that, Anadarko announced a fivefold increase in its dividend and committed to repaying another $1 billion in debt by the end of next year. With oil running well above Anadarko’s $50-a-barrel budget level, the company should generate even more excess cash that it could send back to shareholders.

Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Mastercard Incorporated(MA)

There are several ways to find a growth stock, but one of my personal favorites that I believe has a high success rate is investing in well-established companies that are poised to ride the next megatrend. Think digitization, and payment processing companies like Mastercard.

You’d be surprised to know that nearly 80% of consumer purchase transactions across the globe are still made in cash, and that includes rapidly growing economies like India. Incidentally, India is also among the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, which means there’s tremendous underlying potential for a company like Mastercard. And it’s not just about India or e-commerce — it’s about improving financial literacy, greater financial inclusion and the shift of the unbanked population to banks, and the rising adoption of cashless methods of payments like credit cards across nations.

Mastercard is already a global brand that’s been connecting financial institutions, merchants, and consumers for more than five decades and facilitating electronic modes of payments. Over the years, the company has expanded its reach to more than 210 countries and conducts transactions in more than 150 currencies.

Mastercard stock has grown exponentially over the years, backed by solid growth in earnings, cash flows, and 50%-plus operating margins. With management now focused on advanced technologies like biometrics and artificial intelligence to keep up with the times even as the global shift from cash to cashless gathers steam, Mastercard should continue to see investors succeeding in the game.

Best Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2019

Do you think penny stocks are best left to amateur traders who don’t understand that cheap stocks are cheap for a reason? It’s not an entirely unfair assessment. Many of these young (and doomed companies) are the beneficiaries of great sales pitches, but their investors often end up suffering buyer’s remorse.

It’s a misnomer, however, to think all penny stocks — let’s quantify them as equities priced at less than $5 per share — aren’t worth owning. Thanks to factors ranging from prolonged weakness in the commodities market to strategic stock splits to poorly-timed IPOs, a handful of these low-priced equities are actually compelling prospects.

In fact, here’s a run-down of four of the best penny stocks to mull for 2018, and maybe beyond, none of which aren’t exchange-listed names.

Best Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2019: Lockheed Martin Corporation(LMT)

The most important key to identifying great dividend stocks is finding companies that fall into the six "Unstoppable Trends."

The trick to making huge profits is to find "must-have" companies that fall into what Keith calls the six "Unstoppable Trends": medicine, technology, demographics, scarcity and allocation, energy, and war, terrorism, and ugliness (also known as "defense"). The Unstoppable Trends are backed by trillions of dollars that Washington cannot derail, the Fed cannot meddle with, and Wall Street cannot hijack.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), one of the world’s largest and most profitable defense contractors, is a solid "defense" trend company and one of our favorite dividend stocks.

The company has an annual revenue of $47.2 billion and a profit margin of 10.37%, which means the company is raking in a profit of almost $5 billion a year. And last year, Lockheed increased its profit projection by another 5%.

These numbers allow LMT to pay out a hefty dividend of $2.00 a share. That’s $2 per share every quarter for just owning the stock.

And that’s before the significant growth of LMT’s market value…

Analysts are projecting that LMT will jump to $457 a share. With a current market price of $352, that’s almost a 30% gain in just 12 months.

Best Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2019: American Water Works(AWK)

For the same reason consumers can’t turn off their electricity, they can’t turn off their water no matter how unaffordable it feels. That’s good news for American Water Works Company Inc(NYSE:AWK), which operates water utility services in sixteen different states.

Calling a spade a spade, water utilities are a legalized monopoly … even more so than electric utilities or natural gas utilities are. Although all markets are theoretically open to competition, in reality the barriers to entry in the water delivery market are enormously high. That’s how water prices for consumers have steadily risen for the past ten years even though consumption has fallen.

These companies generally get whatever price increase they want, as local regulators are generally terrified to put up a fight that could prove disruptive. (Try going without clean, potable water for just one day.)

American Water Works Company shareholders aren’t complaining, of course. The stock has more than doubled over the course of the past five years, and that’s not counting the dividends it has paid along the way.

Best Small Cap Stocks To Invest In 2019: Mastercard Incorporated(MA)

Mastercard Stock

Source: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr (Modified)

 

 

Last, but by no means least, we have online payments giant MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA). Can this company do no wrong?! Our data shows that MasterCard has 100% support from the Street right now. In the last three months, this breaks down into 11 back-to-back buy ratings. These analysts have an average MasterCard price target of $204 (8% upside potential). Mastercard is the “most innovative and competitively advantaged payments ecosystem participant” with an “impressive” core business trend, writes SunTrust’s Andrew Jeffrey.

Right now analysts are digesting the latest set of positive earnings results. “We like Mastercard’s ability to grow faster than peers and its potential to expand margins. Results for 1Q18 were above expectations, with solid growth across all segments,” cheers Cantor Fitzgerald’s Joseph Foresi. MA reported solid growth across all segments with gross dollar volume growth of 19% year-over-year. For comparison, rival Visa reported 15% y-o-y dollar growth. On the back of these results, MA increased its 2018 revenue guidance range to high-teens from the mid-teens.

This isn’t some kind flash-in-the-pan success either. Foresi states that: “We remain attracted to Mastercard’s card network and strong products and solutions, which should continue to drive solid performance.” Accordingly he boosts his price target from $198 to $213 (13% upside potential).