Tag Archives: MSFT

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019

Here at Zacks, we don’t generally classify stocks as “cheap” or “expensive”, and rather than looking at the stock’s face value, we have a system that puts an emphasis on earnings estimate revisions to find stocks that will hopefully be winners for investors.

That being said, low-priced stocks can be attractive to smaller investors that can’t necessarily afford large stakes in companies with higher priced stocks.

When looking at these low-priced stocks, we can look at the same trends in growth, value, and momentum and apply the Zacks Rank to properly analyze the potential that these companies have. We are also keenly aware of the latest sector trends and make sure to cover all of the hottest industries.

Today we’ve highlighted three stocks that fall into the broad “technology” sector. Each of these three stocks is currently trading for less than $10 per share and holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or better. Take a look at the strong estimate revision activity and other factors that make these tech companies stick out right now.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019: Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (VLKAY)

Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) manufactures and sells automobiles in Europe, North America, South America, and the Asia Pacific. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a 3-5 years EPS growth rate of 6.2% and a Value Score of A.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019: Exxon Mobil Corporation(XOM)

Oil giant ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) stumbled into 2018 after reporting lackluster results to end last year. Because of that, its stock endured its worst trading day since 2011 only to follow it up the very next one with a similar rout. While it’s started to recover, it’s still down 5% for the year even though oil has improved another 10%. As a matter of fact, Exxon is currently trading at a valuation not seen since the 1980s.

One result of this low valuation is that its dividend yield is now up near 4%, which we haven’t seen since the ’90s. These factors make this month an excellent one to consider buying this oil behemoth for the long haul.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019: Microsoft Corporation(MSFT)

Microsoft announced that its Windows 10 subscriptions have reached a milestone.

The tech giant said late Tuesday that it now has more than 200 million enterprise workers running Windows 10 as the company has been pushing companies to upgrade from Windows 7. Microsoft said that updates for the older operating system will no longer be supported in about 20 months.

Joe Belfiore, a company corporate vice president who’s at the helm of the Windows 10 team, made the announcement at Microsoft’s Build developers conference. “We’ve seen that [Windows 10] adoption rate increase now at 79% year-over-year growth.”

On Monday, the company added that roughly 700 million devices are now running Windows 10 across the world, with enterprises accounting for slightly less than 30% of all Windows 10 copies.

MSFT stock was also up a fraction of a percentage after Wednesday’s market close.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019: Baidu Inc.(BIDU)

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He is feeling so encouraged by the company’s outlook that he ramped up his already-bullish price target by $10 to $310. This suggests 22% upside potential. According to Sena, “Baidu’s share currently trades at 24x Adj. 2018E EPS of ¥67.20/$10.59, making it attractive among our Outperform-rated names, particularly when considering the industry leadership it is showing within AI, both as it applies to core (Search, Feed), video, and new initiatives (Apollo, DuerOS).”

Top Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein agrees. He believes Baidu is still undervalued compared to Google, especially when you consider that BIDU is in prime position for the rapid growth of China’s online ad market. “We think key drivers include increasing number of paid clicks, higher conversion rates and higher cost-per-click (CPC). The penetration of smartphones in China, especially in lower tier cities, provides another strong revenue stream for BIDU as it starts to monetize mobile search separately” comments the analyst.

He has a $295 price target on BIDU. Bear in mind that Helfstein’s strong track record on BIDU stock specifically (87% success rate and 21.1% average return per rating) further reinforces the credibility of his latest recommendation.

Top 5 Performing Stocks To Watch For 2019: Manhattan Associates, Inc.(MANH)

Manhattan Associates Inc (NASDAQ:MANH) is up nearly 150% in the past five years, which is a very respectable run.

However, in the past two years it’s off nearly 30% with about half of that happening in the past year. The trend in MANH’s case, at this point, is not your friend.

The problem is, MANH is an SaaS that specializes in supply chain, inventory and omnichannel management for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. There has been such a cross pollination in recent years regarding the challenges that can be addressed with software systems, that niche firms, or firms that could do one thing well have to pivot.

Some are making that pivot and others are losing ground. None of its sectors are doing well enough to justify its forward P/E of 30.

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.