For each of these samplers I have a theme. I have a title. And I surprised you. I had a little fun with it last year. I, in fact, listened to the podcast again as I drove into work this morning just to make sure that I was doing my homework, and as it turns out my five stocks last year didn’t have a theme that united them all together.
However, there was a little secret at play [that I let you know at the end of last year’s podcast] and that is that the these company names, which seemed appropriate.
My talented producer, Rick Engdahl, tends to name every single one of these podcasts and writes the little helpful intro that you can read and see what we’re doing from week to week. And Rick, I want to invite you on here for a cameo. Rick, you named this podcast a year ago. At the time I think you mentioned why it was The Giraffe. I have to admit a year later, now, these stocks are still fresh in my mind.
Hot Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Zynga Inc.(ZNGA)
Last but not least, put Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) on your list of penny stocks to mull for 2018. Yes, this is the same Zynga behind great online games like Words With Friends, FarmVille and several other titles you may not have realized were part of its library.
And yes, this is the same Zynga that Facebook dropped an exclusivity arrangement with back in 2012, undermining its well-received IPO from 2011 and sending the stock to a sub-$5 price where it’s been (almost) ever since. Though Zynga hasn’t done poorly, it’s certainly not done nearly as well as investors were expecting it too when it first IPO’d.
Change is brewing though. CEO and founder Mark Pincus has decided to give up his control of the company by scrapping the two classes of voting shares that granted him an inordinate degree of voting power.
That’s not to say he alone was the reason the company was unable to grow in a meaningful way, but it certainly didn’t help. In the meantime, that news comes at a time when revenue and income are starting to edge higher anyway.
Not too many investors have noticed yet, but when they do, ZNGA is apt to get over the $5 hump. A more equitable voting rights scheme will only bolster the bullish case.
Hot Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Catalent, Inc.(CTLT)
Our first pick from the medical-drug sector is Catalent Inc (NYSE:CTLT). This New Jersey-based company has an Earnings ESP of +1.70% and a Zacks Rank of 3.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings is pegged at 39 cents per share. The company flaunts a positive earnings surprise record, outshining expectations in all the last four quarters with an average beat of 16.44%.
Hot Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Bank of America Corporation(BAC)
Yes, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) was the same bank that seemed to struggle the most to shake off the impact of the subprime mortgage meltdown. It outright failed its so-called stress test in 2011, and though it passed it every year since then, 2014’s and 2015’s success were both conditional … and it’s not like BofA was asking regulators for any favors to begin with.
That struggle, however, may have been a blessing in disguise. Its tougher times appear to have made Bank of America a lean, mean banking machine, and one of the top retirement stocks for years to come.
Sure, the current dividend yield of 1.6% isn’t much to write home about, but what the company lacks in dividends it more than makes up for in growth potential. Between rising interest rates and the potential for a supercycle of economic growth, the next several years could be amazing ones for Bank of America.
Hot Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Macquarie Infrastructure Company(MIC)
The market usually does not like surprise dividend cuts, and Macquarie Infrastructure Corp’s(NYSE:MIC) decision to reduce its payout by 31% in February 2018 was no exception.
MIC’s stock tumbled as much as 40% on the news and remains in the dumps. Not only do dividend cuts reduce retirement income, but they can permanently lose an investor’s hard-earned capital.
The infrastructure company’s management has historically run the business with a relatively high debt load and elevated payout ratio, reflecting the fairly predictable results its assets generated but retaining little cash with which to plow back into growth projects.
A new CEO started in late 2017 and decided to monetize several major assets at the company for a hefty profit. As a result, cash flow will fall and the dividend needed to be adjusted down with it for the rest of 2018.
A lower dividend also allows the company to fund more of its growth projects with internally generated cash flow rather than depend more on capital markets to raise funds.
Simply Safe Dividends had slapped the company with a “Very Unsafe” score of 20 prior to its surprise announcement.
Conservative investors can consider cutting their losses and moving on to other investment opportunities with safer, faster-growing income.
Hot Bank Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Danaher Corporation(DHR)
Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) isn’t exactly a household name. But, maybe it should be — a lot of households could use an investment as consistent as DHR shares have been for the past several years. Within the confines of a narrow trading range that extend all the way back to 2010, DHR has averaged about a 12% gain each year for the past eight. Its worst year in this time 2011 when DHR broke even.
Danaher, by the way, is a collection of about twenty different businesses, ranging from dental technologies to environmental solutions to life sciences to diagnostics. Most companies would love to have Danaher’s diversity.
And though this diversity hasn’t meant bulletproof profit and sales growth, it’s certainly pushed the company relatively close to that feat.