Sunday, April 21, 2024

Can’t Miss? 20 Stocks Financial Experts Are Raving About (Even in This Market)

HomeStock-MarketCan't Miss? 20 Stocks Financial Experts Are Raving About (Even in This...

The investing landscape has been a rollercoaster ride lately, with scorching inflation forcing the Federal Reserve to jack up interest rates repeatedly. However, there are glimmers that pricing pressures may be cresting. If the economy stays resilient, the central bank could gain flexibility to ease its tight monetary grip later in 2024.

In this environment of cautious optimism, financial gurus and media mavens have been scouring the markets to identify the crème de la crème of stocks to buy. Drawing on research and recommendations from renowned sources like The Motley Fool, Forbes, Kiplinger, Investopedia and Barron’s, here are 20 companies being touted as wise investments to help portfolios flourish.

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) – Iconic Global Thirst-Quencher

You’d struggle to find a brand as ubiquitous and powerful worldwide as Coca-Cola. The beverage behemoth’s pricing prowess helps it swat away inflationary pressures like pesky gnats.

Wall Street analysts like Argus are gushing over KO, recently bumping their bullish price target to $70. It’s no surprise that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns a monster $23 billion stake in this capital returns juggernaut.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – Diversified Healthcare Titan

Johnson & Johnson is a pharmaceutical juggernaut developing, manufacturing and marketing a kaleidoscope of healthcare products spanning drugs, medical devices and consumer health items globally.

While some analysts have adopted a neutral stance on JNJ’s premium valuation, the company’s brand strength, innovation skills and bountiful cash flows keep it firmly on buy lists. Mega funds like Fisher Asset Management are placing nearly $1 billion bets.

Chevron Corporation (CVX) – Energized Profit-Gusher

Despite green policy headwinds whipping the sector, oil giants like Chevron remain fixtures on Wall Street buy lists. The energy mammoth is minting massive profits amid lofty crude and natural gas prices.

RBC Capital has reiterated its Outperform call on CVX, hiking its price target to $190 based on the company’s integrated model and rock-solid finances. Hedge funds held $21.6 billion worth at the end of 2023.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) – Global Finance Powerhouse

As a leading world bank, JPMorgan Chase provides a vast suite of financial services to consumers, companies, governments and institutions worldwide. Its diversified revenue streams and scale offer stability across economic cycles.

Morgan Stanley upgraded JPM in January, citing its robust fundamentals and fortress balance sheet. The positive vibes saw hedge funds boost their holdings in the colossus to $9 billion last quarter.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) – Networking for the Digital Era

As businesses modernize their IT backbones, demand is skyrocketing for cutting-edge networking gear from outfits like Cisco Systems. The Silicon Valley stalwart supplies a diverse arsenal of hardware, software and services globally.

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Barclays recently raised its CSCO price target to $48, lauding the company’s well-rounded offerings for enterprise cloud computing and 5G rollouts. Hedge funds are bullish, piling into the stock.

Mastercard (MA) – Cash(less) King Thriving

In today’s increasingly cashless world, payment networks like Mastercard are riding a lucrative wave fueled by the proliferation of secure digital transactions and climbing consumer spending across the planet.

Morgan Stanley gushes over Mastercard’s successful data-driven pivot to transaction processing and services, baking an Overweight rating and juicy $536 price target into its analysis.

Adobe (ADBE) – Digital Design & Marketing Maverick

When it comes to creativity software and digital marketing solutions, Adobe is the undisputed industry leader thanks to ubiquitous products like Photoshop, Illustrator and Experience Cloud. Relentless AI innovation helps it maintain its edge.

Piper Sandler hiked its ADBE price target to a lofty $705 to start 2024, impressed by the company’s subscriber growth and new digital offerings pipeline. Mega-funds like Fisher Asset Management are all-in.

Citigroup (C) – Rehabilitated Banking Powerhouse

Once a troubled child of the financial crisis, Citigroup has repaired its battered image and won back the full trust of regulators in recent years. The streamlined bank now focuses on multinational and ultra-wealthy retail clients.

Piper Sandler’s February upgrade of C to Overweight and tantalizing $63 price target underscores renewed conviction in its growth strategy. Hedge funds have taken notice, building stakes worth $10.2 billion.

Visa (V) – Planet’s Dominant Payments Platform

Alongside Mastercard, Visa has established itself as a global digital payments heavyweight. The company’s gargantuan network and ability to facilitate secure online transactions worldwide translate into a torrent of cash flow.

In a glowing report, Barclays raised its Visa target to $319, thrilled by the stock’s momentum and market leadership. Hedge funds are falling over themselves for a piece of the pie, stockpiling $26.5 billion worth.

Booking Holdings (BKNG) – Cashing In On Travel’s Resurgence

Online travel booking services have exploded in popularity, with Booking Holdings emerging as a leader in this booming space through its flagship platform and other aggregators. Rebounding travel demand stokes investor appetite.

Argus bumped its BKNG price target to a staggering $4,100 in late February, betting on potent tailwinds from accelerating travel activity. The stock’s global reach has hedge funds jockeying for $10.2 billion stakes.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) – Chipped For Greatness

If the cutting edge of semiconductor innovation had a name, it would be Advanced Micro Devices. The chipmaking ace powers a constellation of applications across data centers, gaming systems, mobile devices and more.

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Riding AMD’s innovation tidal wave in new computing workloads and AI, Mizuho raised its bullish price target to $235, spotting ample growth runway ahead. Top funds have hoarded $4.1 billion positions to capitalize.

Pfizer (PFE) – Pharmaceutical Innovation Powerhouse

Pfizer vaulted to global prominence for its COVID-19 vaccine, but the pharma titan’s vast portfolio spans oncology, immunology, cardiovascular therapies and scores of other treatment areas driving long-term growth.

While some COVID product sales have fluctuated, stellar analysts like Cantor Fitzgerald remain staunchly bullish on Pfizer given its blockbuster pipeline and laser-focus on cost containment. The stock’s defensive profile has hedge funds holding $334 million stakes.

Meta Platforms (META) – Ubiquitous Social Network & AI Disruptor

Social media juggernaut Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent, has weathered its share of controversies yet remains one of the world’s most powerful tech platforms serving billions of users worldwide.

But the company is aggressively future-proofing with massive AI investments to counter threats like ChatGPT. This strategic shift has won plaudits from savvy funds like SaltLight Capital, helping amass a staggering $44 billion hedge fund wager on META.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) – Lab Equipment Royalty

When it comes to analytical instruments, specialty diagnostics, lab gear and services for pharma, biotech, hospitals, research facilities and more, Thermo Fisher Scientific reigns as the global king.

The company’s innovative products and gold-standard integrated solutions have Wall Street analysts like RBC extremely impressed, raising TMO’s Outperform-rated price target to $642. Top funds are all over it with $10.3 billion bets.

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) – Next-Gen Robotic Surgery Savant

Few companies have been as instrumental in the medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery revolution as Intuitive Surgical. Its pioneering da Vinci systems have become the worldwide standard for next-generation procedures.

While the stock carries a premium valuation, Barclays hiked its price target to $430 based on entrenched “razor-razorblade” economics driving lucrative recurring service revenues. Hedge funds clearly dig ISRG’s growth runway, owning $6 billion stakes.

Alphabet (GOOG) – Internet and Tech Vanguard

As Google’s parent and captain of a far-flung innovation armada spanning YouTube and many moonshot ventures, Alphabet has its hand in virtually every technology reshaping how we live, work and communicate.

The company’s internet hegemony, data supremacy and vanguard AI capabilities like Bard have Raymond James stamping GOOG shares with an Outperform rating and $160 target price. Fisher Asset Management is enthralled, hoarding a $6.3 billion position.

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The Home Depot (HD) – Home Improvement Retail King

When it comes to satisfying America’s insatiable appetite for home improvement products and services, few retailers can match the scale or brand cachet of The Home Depot. Its Brobdingnagian store footprint and e-commerce prowess secure commanding market dominance.

With the housing market still firing on all cylinders, TD Cowen boosted its HD price target to $440, forecasting sustained sales momentum from renovations and construction. That rosy prognosis has blue-chip Citadel stockpiling a $447 million stake.

NVIDIA (NVDA) – AI Computing Revolutionaries

NVIDIA has cemented its position at the bleeding edge of transformative computing breakthroughs like artificial intelligence and elite data center processors. Visionary CEO Jensen Huang has unequivocally bet the company’s future on providing the essential hardware backbone for AI’s proliferation.

That bold strategy seems to be paying off, driving a recent blowout earnings beat that prompted Mizuho to slap NVDA with an astronomical $1,000 price target. Hedge fund titan Citadel has doubled down with a $7.6 billion stake on NVIDIA’s AI leadership quest.

Microsoft (MSFT) – Software Colossus Powering Digital Ubiquity

When it comes to providing the mission-critical software platforms, cloud infrastructure and digital tools powering global business and technology, Microsoft stands alone atop the summit.

The company’s stranglehold across operating systems, workplace productivity suites and enterprise cloud solutions position it to mint fortunes as AI and digitization become all-pervasive. Jefferies has reiterated its premium $500 price target as funds like Fisher Asset Management gorge on $9.5 billion stakes.

Apple (AAPL) – World’s Most Valuable Innovator

Apple’s supernatural ability to meld innovative hardware, software and services with ubiquitous brand pixie dust created the world’s first $3 trillion public megacap juggernaut in 2024.

Though facing mounting competitive threats from Chinese tech titans like Huawei’s new Mate 60 Pro, the iconic iPhone maker’s vertically-integrated model and fervent customer loyalty provide towering advantages. Wedbush has stuck with its Outperform recommendation and $250 price target as funds pour another cool $26 billion into the AAPL blitzkrieg.

In a roiling market maelstrom brimming with uncertainty, these 20 stocks represent what the savviest financial minds view as some of the most fundamentally rock-solid investment opportunities today. From dominant tech platforms and pharmaceutical innovators to attractive dividend payers and iconic brands, this eclectic basket strives to offer quality, growth and stability when volatility reigns supreme.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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