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Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now

U.S. stocks eked out gains on Friday, extending a weekly advance, as comments from Janet Yellen and other key Federal Reserve officials confirmed growing expectations of a March interest-rate increase.

At our meeting later this month, the Federal Open Market Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the Federal funds rate would likely be appropriate, Yellen said in a speech to The Executives Club of Chicago. The central banks policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee is set to convene at its two-day meeting starting March 14.

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.(TTWO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    For video-game maker Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO), the timely launch of new installments of franchise game series is critical. That’s why investors briefly panicked late Monday night, when Take-Two said that the much-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 would have its release delayed. That put even greater importance on the company’s earnings report to reassure investors of the game-maker’s future.

  • [By Elizabeth Balboa]

    Other best performers of 2017 demonstrating long-term stability include Square Inc (NYSE: SQ), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (NASDAQ: TTWO).

  • [By ]

    Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO) is one of the world’s largest video game publishers on consoles (Xbox and PlayStation), PCs, smartphones and tablets. The firm’s two most popular products are Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, but it also has other popular games such as Civilization, Borderlands and Bioshock.

  • [By Danny Vena]

    With that much revenue at stake, what are the best gaming stocks for investors in 2017? Several companies have exhibited impressive performance over the past several years, and that trend is likely to continue. Top choices in the space includeActivision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO).

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Virendra Singh Chauhan]

    Facebook stock hits freshall-time high! Well, that’s a phrase investors have been repeatedly hearing in recent times. Shares of the Menlo Park, California-basedsocial networking giant, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), have gained over 21% in the year to date. And, the bullish run is far from over. Apart from the rapidly growing Instagram and strong mobile ad revenue growth, whichwill help sustain Facebook’s near-term growth, the social networking giant has many more growth drivers waiting under its wings. If you thought the rally in FB stock was over, think again. Here are 3 reasons why Facebook stock will continue to move higher.

  • [By Daniel Sparks]

    The change sheds light on the growing cost of Silicon Valley-based talent for tech companies in the Bay Area. Stock-based compensation at companies such as Alphabet and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have grown consistently in recent years, so much so that the two companies have recently announced share repurchase programs seeming to simply aim at offsetting the dilutive impacts of expected stock-based compensation.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Investors have questioned the relevance of the company’s Snapchat app in a market dominated by messaging services such as Facebook’s (FB) WhatsApp and the business-focused Slack Technologies. Wall Street has also raised questions about its ability to monetize the billions of messages it handles each day.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    Shares of Menlo Park, California-basedFacebook Inc.(NASDAQ:FB)are on a roll in 2017, gaining more than 21% YTD after a lackluster 2016. FB stock is trading near its all-time high of $139.68. FB stock has been driven by multiple factors. At large, the strong bullish rally has been on account of strong revenue growth and higher profits which Facebook registered in 2016.Facebook Inc hadreported 54% growth in revenue for 2016. However, in its Q4 earnings call, the management warned investors that the social media giant could face strong headwinds on the growth front as “ad load” had saturated. But if you go by some latest research, the Menlo Park company is set to increase its grip on the digital ad market. With FB stock near its all-time highs, the question is whether it will continue to move higheror not? Here is another reason why FB stock is a buy, even near its all-time high.

  • [By Virendra Singh Chauhan]

    As we had noted in our post-Snap IPO coverage, Wall street isn’t too optimistic on the Snapstory. And, well, the negative Wall Street commentary hasn’t stopped, nor has the tone changed. The most optimistic commentary came from FBN securities analystShelby Seyrafi, who believes that a possible Snapchat acquisition by Facebook provides a floor for Snap stock price. However, we don’t align with that thinking, especially not when Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is going all guns blazing in its war against Snapchat. Yes, it looks like Facebook has a new purpose: to take down Snapchat. This is clear from Facebook’s recent moves, where the company has launched features across its suite of apps, which till a few months ago, were the talking points for Snapchat users.

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: US Foods Holding Corp. (USFD)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Guggenheim’sJohn Heinbockel and team argue that a “purging of space is necessary” in retail, and recommend hiding in “industry leaders who canprofitably gain share and are not especially expensive,” like Michaels (MIK), Tractor Supply (TSCO), Restoration Hardware (RH), Kroger (KR),and US Foods Holding (USFD). They explain:

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    But Amazon’s ultimate end-goal would likely be turning stores into “centralized distribution centers for groceries” but “we err on the futuristic side given Bezos thinks big.”

    Company Commentary
    Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) may be best positioned to counter Amazon’s threat given its own data analytics capabilities. SYSCO Corporation (NYSE: SYY) and US Foods Holding Corp (NYSE: USFD) are likely safe as Amazon won’t move into the foodservice distribution space which is very different from serving individual customers.

    Related Links:

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Safeway Inc.(SWY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of SUPERVALU underperforming the underperformance ofmid caps Whole Foods Market, Inc (NASDAQ: WFM) and Safeway Inc (NYSE: SWY). while large capKroger Co (NYSE: KR)had outperformed up until the last two years when performance has been more mixed:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of small cap SUPERVALU now underperforming large cap Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) while shares of large cap Whole Foods Market, Inc (NASDAQ: WFM) and mid cap Safeway Inc (NYSE: SWY) appear to be back to where they started at:

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Taylor & Martin Group Inc (TMG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Cramer]

    THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC’s earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.70 versus $3.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.39 versus $4.70).

     

  • [By Jim Cramer]

    The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry average. The net income increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $471.60 million to $476.10 million.

     

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    We rate THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. 

Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Banner Corporation(BANR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The twenty stocks in Worth’s basket are: Ameriprise Financial (AMP) Bank of America, Banner (BANR), Citigroup, Citizens Financial Group (CFG), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First NBC Bank Holding (FNBC), HFF (HF), KeyCorp(KEY), Legacy Texas Financial Group (LTXB), Lincoln National (LNC), Morgan Stanley, Old National Bancorp (ONB), PacWest Bancorp (PACW), PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Stifel Financial (SF), SVB Financial Group (SIVB), TCF Financial (TCB), and Wells Fargo.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at a record Monday, with shares of Apple hitting a new high, while the Dow industrials slipped lower as investors digested a raft of economic reports and looked ahead to the start of the Federal Reserves policy meeting on Tuesday.

The Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP, +0.73%
finished up 44 points, or 0.7%, to a record 6,091.60, after touching an all-time intraday high of 6,100.73, less than a week after first reaching the psychologically significant level of 6,000 on April 25.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: AU Optronics Corp(AUO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of Corning Incorporated in a steady uptrend since we recommended the stock while Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) has taken off even higher and LG Display Co Ltd (NYSE: LPL) and AU Optronics Corp (NYSE: AUO) have given a similar performance:

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION(SAIC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Wall Street expects Science Applications International Corp (NYSE: SAIC) to report its quarterly earnings at $0.74 per share on revenue of $1.15 billion. SAIC shares gained 0.96 percent to $57.87 in after-hours trading.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Gainers

    Pyxis Tankers Inc. (NYSE: PXS) rose 47.48 percent to $$5.56, after the company announced it has entered into a definitive securities purchase agreement with a group of investors, which will result in gross proceeds of $4.8 million.
    Sigma Designs Inc (NASDAQ: SIGM) rose 22.77 percent to $6.88. Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ: SLAB) announced plans to buy Sigma Designs for $7.05 per share in cash.
    Steadymed Ltd (NASDAQ: STDY) rose 19.35 percent to $3.70, after the company reported that no clinical trials were required for Trevyent and that the FDA had agreed to the pathway for the drug candidate's NDA resubmission.
    Iteris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITI) rose 15.73 percent to $7.06. Earlier in the week, Zacks Investment Research had upgraded the company from "Sell" to "Hold".
    Science Applications International Corp (NYSE: SAIC) rose 13.71 percent to $85.77 as the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.
    Technical Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: TCCO) rose 12.41 percent to $6.07, after having risen sharply in pre-marketing trading.
    Radius Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS) rose 12.41 percent to $30.81 after the company provided an update on data from the Phase 1 005 clinical study of elacestrant in patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer during the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
    ForeScout Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCT) rose 12.32 percent to $25.80 after the company reported its third quarter financial results.
    Prana Biotechnology Limited (NASDAQ: PRAN) rose 11.36 percent to $3.43, as the company announced a research collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to study the ability of movement disorders compound, PBT434 to slow or prevent neurodegeneration of the gastrointestinal system.
    Catalyst Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBIO) rose 10.49 percent to $7.90 as the company announced the appointment of Arwa Shurrab and Jamie Ellen Siegel in its clinical hemophilia

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Science Applications International Corp (NYSE: SAIC) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.74 per share on revenue of $1.15 billion.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: MINDBODY, Inc.(MB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q3 2016 earnings report for small cap online wellness services stock MINDBODY Inc (NASDAQ: MB) is scheduled for after the market closes onWednesday (October 26th). MINDBODY Inc along withmid cap fitnessdevice stockFitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT) and small cap fitness center operator Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE: PLNT)allhad IPOsin the summer of 2015 raisingtalk of a fitness stock bubble brewing.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Fitbit Inc initially surging after its IPO before loosing most of its value while large capGarmin Ltd (NASDAQ: GRMN) (which hasa fitness segment)has moved back and forth from positive to negative territory and small cap online wellness services stockMINDBODY Inc (NASDAQ: MB) has taken off for the past year:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap online wellness services stock MINDBODY Inc (NASDAQ: MB) reportedQ2 2017 earnings after the market closed Wednesday with results beating expectations. Total revenue was up 31% to $44.1 million as subscription and services revenue rose 29% to $26.0 million and payments revenue rose 37% to $17.6 million. End of period subscribers increased 6% year over year to 59,345, end of period High Value Subscribers increased 13% year over year, average monthly revenue per subscriber (ARPS) grew 21% year over year to approximately $244 and payments volume increased 22% year over year to over $1.9 billion. The GAAP net losswas $4.4 million versus a GAAP net loss of $6.6 million. Rick Stollmeyer, Co-founder and CEO of MINDBODY, commented:

  • [By Joe Tenebruso]

    Mindbody (NASDAQ:MB) provides cloud-based software solutions to the health and wellness industry: Think spas, yoga studios, and fitness classes. It’s a massive market that’s gone largely underserved — and Mindbody is working to address that need.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Fitbit initially surging after its IPO before loosing most of its value while large capGarmin Ltd (NASDAQ: GRMN) (which hasa fitness segment)has been range bound for over a year and small cap online wellness services stockMINDBODY Inc (NASDAQ: MB) has taken off with performance starting to moderate:

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Exterran Corporation(EXTN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dustin Parrett]

    Company Name

    Share PriceYTDMarket CapClayton Williams Energy Inc. (NYSE: CWEI)$138.8216.4%2.4BDiamondback Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: FANG)$106.365.42%$9.38BWestern Gas Partners LP (NYSE: WES)$65.6411.71%$9.67BTesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP)$59.3416.79%$6.25BResolute Energy Corp. (NYSE: REN)$46.0811.87%$931.13MAntero Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: AM)$34.9813.28%$6.4BExterran Corp. (NYSE: EXTN)$33.9942.22%$1.19BDominion Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: DM)$32.9011.34%$2.6BNextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP)$31.1922.12%$1.68BArchrock Inc. (NYSE: AROC)$16.0021.21%$1.12B

    While some of these stocks have performed well, we arent recommending this list of natural gas stocks. Thats because we arent interested in stocks that have already peaked at Money Morning; were interested in the next big winner. And we have one that could surge in 2017

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: QuickLogic Corporation(QUIK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Thursday afternoon, the information technology sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ: QUIK) and Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO).

  • [By Lisa Levin] Related Mid-Afternoon Market Update: CytomX Therapeutics Climbs Following Bristol-Myers Squibb Partnership; Medgenics Shares Slide 15 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Monday Cerulean Pharma's (CERU) CEO Chris Guiffre on Cerulean and Dar茅 Proposed Transaction (Transcript) (Seeking Alpha)
    Related Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Cancer Genetics Gains After Q4 Results; Heat Biologics Shares Slide Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Rises Over 50 Points; Tandem Diabetes Care Shares Plunge Tandem Diabetes prices stock offering at $1.25; shares off 19% premarket (Seeking Alpha)
    Cerulean Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: CERU) shares dipped 27 percent to $0.817. Cerulean Pharma shares have dropped 60.28 percent over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 15.31 percent in the same period.
    Tandem Diabetes Care Inc (NASDAQ: TNDM) shares tumbled 24.2 percent to $1.17. Tandem Diabetes Care priced 18 million share offering at $1.25 per share.
    Alphatec Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: ATEC) shares fell 21.1 percent to $2.10 as the company reported a $18.9 million private placement.
    Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ: HTBX) shares dropped 15.5 percent to $0.870. Heat Biologics priced its 5 million share offering at $0.80 per share.
    Rave Restaurant Group Inc (NASDAQ: RAVE) shares fell 15 percent to $1.76.
    QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ: QUIK) shares declined 12.2 percent to $1.58. QuickLogic priced its 10 million share offering at $1.50 per share.
    Orion Engineered Carbons SA (NYSE: OEC) shares dropped 9.5 percent to $19.10. Orion Engineered Carbons reported a 5 million common stock secondary offering.
    Interpace Diagnostics Group Inc (NASDAQ: IDXG) shares fell 8.7 percent to $2.61 after the company reported debt restructuring and agreed to eliminate its royalty and mileston
  • [By Alex McGuire]

    These are the 10 best penny stocks that have seen the biggest returns over the last week (March 7 – March 14)…

    Penny StockCurrent PriceWeekly Gain (March 7 – March 14)Ocera Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: OCRX)$1.47+147.1%Internap Corp. (Nasdaq: INAP)$3.28+41.4%Soligenix Inc. (Nasdaq: SNGX)$2.94+40%Navios Maritime Partners LP (NYSE: NMM)$2.63+37%QuickLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QUIK)$2.14+30.5%Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Nasdaq: ADMP)$4.60+22.7EXCO Resources Inc. (NYSE: XCO)$0.65+20.5%Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CYCC)$4.38+20.3%Hebron Technology Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: HEBT)$3.99+19.1%Curis Inc. (Nasdaq: CRIS)$2.85+18.4%

    As a reminder, this is only a tracking metric of penny stocks trading on SEC-regulated exchanges like the Nasdaq and NYSE. Although these top penny stocks are safer than those trading on the pink sheets, we don’t recommend buying any of them without the proper amount of financial research.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Silicom Ltd(SILC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $45.45. Silicom reported a major new design win with $17 million in purchase orders.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Virtusa Corporation(VRTU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Technology shares gained around 0.85 percent in trading on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU), and Ceragon Networks Ltd (NASDAQ: CRNT).

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Telecom Italia S.P.A.(TI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Friday, telecommunications services shares fell by 0.29 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Telecom Italia SpA (ADR) (NYSE: TI), down 4 percent, and Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ: IIJI), down 3 percent.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Diane Alter]

    Before we get into our bullish outlook for Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) stock, here’s a closer look at why Facebook stock is down this month…

    Why Facebook Stock Is Down Despite Strong Numbers

    Since Donald Trump won the White House on Nov. 8, Facebook stock and the entire technology sector have experienced their worst performance in seven years. The major fear among investors is that Trump’s trade and immigration policies will mean lower earnings for these multinational tech firms.

  • [By Virendra Singh Chauhan]

    Shares of Menlo Park, California-based social networking giant, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), have been making solid gains. FB stock price is up over 21% in the year to date, beating the 8.2% rise in Nasdaq Composite (INDEX:COMPX) and 4.9% gains in S&P 500 (INDEX:SPAL). The stock has recently received a flood of upgrades and target price hikes, which means that FB stock, at its last close of $139.6, is still trading 15% below the analyst consensus price target of $160.2 per share. With Instagram growing rapidly, the photo sharing platform could soon become a major contributor to Facebook’s financials and offset any slowdown on the core Facebook platform. Instagram is just one of the many reasons to buy FB stock, but its becoming an increasingly important part of the bullish Facebook theory.

  • [By Spencer Israel]

    That backfired occasionally, with the team taking losses in stocks like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). But they also had winning trades in stocks like Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Philip Morris International Inc (NYSE: PM), thanks to their use of far out out-of-the-money calls. They made almost $1 million on the last day of the competition.

  • [By Kumar Abhishek]

    Social networking giant, Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB), recently came out with stellar earnings results, topping both top and bottomline estimates. Facebook Inc saw its revenues grow by 54% while earnings grew by a massive 270% in 2016. But in spite of Facebook trumping every possible metric by a wide margin, including user growth and earnings, shares of the MenloPark, California-basedcompany have remained more or less stagnant. Facebook stock declined by almost 2% after the strong earnings result before recovering. The less than warm reaction is most likely due to the company’s guidance of slowing growth and rising costs, not a winning combination for any stock, mush less for a high PE stock like Facebook.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    A Motley Fool post details out somesignificant risks which Twilio faces. The post highlights Twilio’s dependence on its biggest customers like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for revenues. In the earnings call, CFOLee Kirkpatrick mentioned that their largest customer account contributed 17% of the total revenue in Q4.WhatsApp alone contributed 6% of total revenue for the quarter. Twilio’s top 10 customers accounted for 29% of their total revenue in the fourth quarter. The lack of a long-term contract with one of its biggest customer Facebook and its customer concentration leaves Twilio Inc highly vulnerable to increasing competition. This trend makes TWLO stock very risky where things can quickly turn bad with one individual’s decision.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: JinkoSolar Holding Company Limited(JKS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Elizabeth Balboa]

    First Solar, Inc (NASDAQ: FSLR) was trading down 3.7 percent Monday, while JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: JASO) was down 0.8 percent, SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) 4.4 percent, Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) 5.2 percent and JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) 4.4 percent.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    But the real news is the near vertical trajectory in share prices for the two stocks. This could be another manifestation of the markets hunger for some momentum plays, as we noted earlier this morning the bump to share prices for both JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) and Shutterstock Inc. (NASDAQ: SSTK), both of which held secondary share sales this morning.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    It is not often that a secondary stock offering sends a companys shares higher, but we are seeing that very phenomenon Friday morning. Chinese solar PV maker JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) and stock image company Shutterstock Inc. (NASDAQ: SSTK) both priced secondary offerings this morning and shares in both companies have risen sharply.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Monday, energy shares fell by 0.59 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: JKS), down 8 percent, and Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE: TOO) down 7 percent.

10 Stocks to Buy for Surefire Gains in 2018 and Beyond

With everyone looking ahead now to 2018, investors are getting bombarded with ideas regarding the best stocks to buy.

Everyone has their own suggestion about which stocks are going to hit the big time in the coming months, but fear not! Here we have a list of 10 sure-fire winners that tick all the boxes. These stocks to buy are not purely subjective. Instead, they have big support from the Street’s top analysts and the upside potential to match based on the average analyst price target.

I found these stocks using a nifty Top Analyst Stocks tool on TipRanks. This pulls up stocks with bullish recent ratings from multiple top analysts. Scanning through this list, I was able to identify 10 top stocks that make compelling investing opportunities right now. Just to note, I purposefully eliminated stocks that only have big upside potential because share prices are plummeting.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and see which stocks make the cut for 2018:

Stocks to Buy: Micron (MU) Stocks to Buy: Micron (MU)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mumsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Over the last three months, semiconductor stock Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) has received a whopping 19 buy ratings and just 3 hold ratings. As a result, the stock has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus rating. These analysts believe (on average) that Micron has big upside potential of over 30% from the current share price. This would take MU from $44.12 all the way to $57.65. Bear in mind, MU has already doubled year-to-date!

Five-star Rajvindra Gill assigned a buy rating to MU with a very confident $76 price target on Dec. 20 (72% upside). He says the market is undervaluing MU and he sees serious potential in: 1) 3D NAND transition, which generates a significant cost advantage (30%-35%); and 2) technology limitations in DRAM supply growth.

“We believe investors are focusing too heavily on a NAND pricing decline to see the big picture. With another record quarter and guide (beat revenue and EPS consensus by 5.6% and 11.4%, respectively) in the bag, Micron is on track to generate quarterly EPS of nearly $2.50 or roughly $10 per share of annualized earnings” said Gill on Dec. 20.

Note that this is a top analyst worth following. He is ranked No. 43 out of over 4,700 analysts tracked by TipRanks.

Stocks to Buy: Spark Therapeutics (ONCE)

Stocks to Buy: Spark Therapeutics (ONCE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/oncemsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />

Spark Therapeutic Inc’s (NASDAQ:ONCE) innovative gene therapy has just received a critical approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Excitingly, this is the first gene therapy to restore sight to individuals with a rare inherited eye disease that can cause blindness. The treatment, known as Luxturna, can treat both children and adults. Following the news, three analysts quickly reiterated their Spark buy ratings.

“Today’s approval marks another first in the field of gene therapy — both in how the therapy works and in expanding the use of gene therapy beyond the treatment of cancer,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “This milestone reinforces the potential of this breakthrough approach in treating a wide range of challenging diseases.”

Overall this ‘Strong Buy’ stock has a bullish average analyst price target of $73 (38% upside potential). We don’t know the drug’s price just yet, but Phil Nadeau, a top Cowen & Co analyst, says: “$500,000 per procedure is reasonable for a once-per-lifetime therapy that has the potential to be curative.”

Meanwhile, Raymond James’ Reni Benjamin notes that: “1) with no negative surprises, the label is slightly better than expected, only excluding the use of this gene therapy in infants under 12 months of age; 2) Spark also received a Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher, which we estimate is worth approximately $125 million based on recent transactions.”

Stocks to Buy: Alcoa (AA) Stocks to Buy: Alcoa (AA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/aamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Josh Hallett via Flickr (Modified)

Pennsylvania-based Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA) is the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum with locations all over the world. The stock is catching the attention of investors following a bullish upgrade from Credit Suisse. On Dec. 20, five-star Credit Suisse analyst Curt Woodworth ramped up his price target from $42 to $61. This now suggests 22% upside potential from the current price. Woodworth is anticipating that tighter aluminum supply will push up prices due to alumina and bauxite closures.

“We note three smelters curtailed production last week, and the government is set to sharply increase inspections in January. We expect the aluminum market to tighten into late 1Q-18 as downstream demand sharply recovers.” Plus, China’s increased commitment to environmental policy will further curtail supply according to Woodworth.

Overall, AA has a ‘Strong Buy’ rating, with only buy ratings from top analysts in the last three months. At the same time, the average analyst price target of $60 stands at 20% upside from the current share price.

Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ) Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/mtzmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Keep a close eye on Florida-based specialty contractor engineer MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ) in 2018. The company’s work spans electric power infrastructure, oil and natural gas pipelines, renewable energy facilities and wireless networks. Strength across the board has resulted in 100% Street support with seven analysts publishing recent buy ratings. Indeed, MTZ has received no hold or sell ratings from the Street for over 8 months.

“We reiterate a BUY on MTZ ahead of what we expect to be increasing 2018 estimates and an expanding multiple. With all segments poised for growth in 2018, a more diversified positive top line performance is likely to be enhanced on the bottom line by better Oil and Gas margins and a generally improving pricing and mix environment from large projects” writes top Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Burleson. His buy rating comes with a $58 price tag (15% upside). We can also see that he has an incredible track record on his MTZ ratings with a 100% success rate and 51.6% average return.

Stocks to Buy: TherapeuticsMD (TXMD) Stocks to Buy: TherapeuticsMD (TXMD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/txmdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

I have already banged on about TherapeuticsMD Inc (NASDAQ:TXMD) in my recent piece on top healthcare stocks. But this is an intriguing stock pick that I felt was worth including again. TXMD is a unique biotech making waves in the world of female healthcare. The company develops and commercializes products exclusively for women. Its lead product candidate is the TX-004 soft gel capsule for post-menopausal pain. This approach clearly has the backing of the Street, as TXMD has a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating.

In fact, in the last three months, TherapeuticsMD has received seven back-to-back buy ratings. Plus the $15.30 average analyst price target represents a huge 161% upside from the $6 current share price. Crucially, even the lowest price target of $9 from Noble Financial and Deutsche Bank still suggests 55% upside potential.

The most bullish analyst of the pack is top Cantor Fitzgerald analyst William Tanner. He reiterated his TXMD buy rating on Dec. 19 with a $28 price target. Tanner notes that the FDA has opted to conduct a longer Class 2 review of TX-004. But ultimately, he calls the drug ‘an important new therapy’ for atrophy. He says: “We believe the likelihood of approval is high, 85% probability, the highest we use to account for some revenue forecasting uncertainty.”

Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN) Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amznmsn2-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Seyfang via Flickr

Year-to-date Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has already soared by 56%. But even with shares at $1,176, we can see that the Street still sees AMZN spiking over 11% to $1,311. In fact, in the last three months this stock has received an eyebrow-raising 33 buy ratings vs. just one hold rating.

The most recent rating comes from top RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney. He has just carried out a survey on Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa. And he likes what he sees. “Following our third annual Alexa survey, we are more impressed with the traction of these devices and more convinced of their potential long-term impact. With tens of millions of users and 20K+ skills, we see Alexa’s value prop as becoming increasingly powerful as awareness and ownership ramp. We think AMZN could see $10-$11B in Alexa-related Rev by 2020.”

In fact, recent reports suggest Alexa made a popular holiday gift. On Christmas Day, Amazon’s Alexa app took the No. 1 spots on both the U.S. Google Play and iPhone App Stores’ free app charts.

Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA) Stocks to Buy: Comcast (CMCSA)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cmcsamsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px)100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

The cable sector has been down in the dumps, but it is now looking for a comeback in 2018. And there is one company that stands out in particular: mass media king Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). In the last three months, Comcast scores 10 out of 10, with 10 consecutive buy ratings from the Street. These analysts have an average price target of $45- 10% upside from the current share price.

Top Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak is confident that the stock is setup for a solid 2018. On Dec. 19, he told investors: “Recall, our belief that the cable malaise would be winding down by year-end ’17 and we continue to believe that this is the case. Comcast management’s data guidance raise in 4Q, implied material acceleration in capital returns and ’18 cable EBITDA margin expansion helped alleviate these investor fears.”

Plus, he believes that “the elimination of net neutrality laws, which effectively gave regulatory cover for video/phone competitors to freely use the cable plant, should also help with monetization.” His $50 price target translates into 22% upside potential.

Stocks to Buy: Smart Global Holdings (SGH) Stocks to Buy: Smart Global Holdings (SGH)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SGHmsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

SGH is a global leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions for the electronics industry for over 25 years. On the back of a strong beat and raise quarter, three analysts reiterated their Smart Global Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SGH) buy ratings on Dec. 22. Shares popped 10% on the news. And now these analysts say shares can move another 25% from the current share price to hit $43.

SGH CEO Iain MacKenzie commented that the company enjoyed “strength across the board.” Revenue, gross margin and earnings-per-share all exceeded the high ends of previous guidance. He now has even higher hopes for the coming quarters, due to Brazil and the improving global memory market. Indeed, current strength in Brazil is expected to continue throughout the year as the economy recovers.

Stocks to Buy: Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) Stocks to Buy: Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/biotechmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock

Eye disease pharma Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) received an early holiday gift from the FDA. The US regulatory body has just approved Aerie’s lead product Rhopressa two months ahead of schedule. Aerie is now set to hire a 100-person strong sales force in preparation for launch in 2Q18.

“The FDA has approved Aerie’s Rhopressa drug for the treatment of patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. We see this announcement as a positive for the company and also a positive read-through for the potential upcoming approval of Roclatan in 2019,” writes five-star Mizuho analyst Difei Yang.

Intriguingly, she also adds: The approval of Rhopressa reinforces our view that Aerie Pharmaceuticals is a strong takeout candidate.” Yang has an $87 price target on the stock and a very strong AERI track record (86% success rate and 73% average return).

Overall, AERI boasts 100% Street support with 7 buy ratings in the last three months. These analysts believe (on average) that AERI can leap a further 32% in the coming months.

Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB) Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fbmsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” />Source: Shutterstock

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has a big catalyst heading its way for 2018. The company has already premiered its ‘Watch’ tab, but 2018 could be the year where it really takes off. (Of course, this is on top of all the stock’s other catalysts like Instagram, WhatsApp and a new Direct messaging app.)

One of TipRanks’ top 100 analysts, Brent Thrill, believes the ‘Watch’ tab is about to make a sizeable impact on user video consumption. He says the tab will drive video engagement alongside improved network effects and sharing. Plus, Facebook’s data-driven approach to content and partner revenue share agreements is the smart way to go. He is now looking for revenue purely from the Watch tab to hit $12 billion in 2022. Thrill’s $225 price target suggests considerable upside of 27% from the current share price.

Strong Buy stock FB has scored 30 buy ratings and just 1 sell rating in the last three months. Meanwhile, the average analyst price target of $210 indicates 19% upside potential.

TipRanks offers investors the latest insight into eight different sectors by tracking the activity of 4,700 analysts, 5,000 financial bloggers and even 37,000 corporate insiders. As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018

Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ: AAOI) reported during the last earnings call an inventory increase, however the increase was lower than expected. The company invests heavily in customer diversification, which will help to stabilize revenues and reduces the dependency on a single client. The guidance for the next quarter is considered weak, but we believe that from the first quarter of 2018 the revenues will begin to rise. The next important dates to watch is the possible pre-announcement date and the next earnings call. We still believe that the stock is undervalued and that a target valuation of 80$-100$ can be achieved during the next fiscal year.

Inventory and Pricing

As we expected, the inventory level increased; however, if we compare it with Q2, the inventory level in finished goods increased with just 15m (21m-6m). This inventory is estimated to be consumed until the first half of next year, so assuming a linear sales of inventory, this would mean 5m of excess inventory sales/ quarter.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    At the end of third quarter, Twilio had a total active customers count of 34,449, an increase of 45% year-over-year from 23,822. However, the bad news here is that16% of all revenues in the third quarter was from one single customer account, that is Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). On top of it, as reported by a Motley Fool post, “the company’s next three largest customers accounted for 10% of revenues, and another six more combined to account for another 5%”. It is also to be noted that Facebook is still a “Variable Customer Account” for Twilio, it has no long-term contracts with most of its biggest customers. This is a huge downside risk for TWLO stock, things can become worse for the company if any of its big clients decide to break the partnership.

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    However, it is not only the NAFTA that Trump wants to leave. On Monday, the president-elect said on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) that he would withdraw the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in the White House.

  • [By Kumar Abhishek]

    We at Amigobulls Inc have been bullish onFacebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock for a while now. Facebook stock has been part oftop stocks to buyportfolio which has outperformed the Nasdaq Composite by over 160%. Our faith in Facebook stock has paid off. FB stock has returned over 50% in the year-to-day period. Strong performance on the revenue and earnings front and general bullish sentiment in the market have been the main driver behind this bullish rally. In the third quarter, Facebook revenue came in at$10.33B,representing a YoY growth of 47.4% and conveniently beating analysts estimates by $490 million. EPS grew by 77% YoY to $1.58.

  • [By Keith Fitz-Gerald]

    The markets are charging higher as I write and, not surprisingly, that’s got many investors wondering if the “fabulous five” tech stocks – Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) – that we talk about frequently are too expensive to buy.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: HealthEquity, Inc.(HQY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    These companies also reported insider buying last week: Cidara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDTX), Ducommun Inc. (NYSE: DCO), HealthEquity Inc. (NASDAQ: HQY), Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc. (NYSE: PHX) and PolarityTE Inc. (NASDAQ: COOL).

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: Wayfair Inc.(W)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Wayfair Inc (NYSE: W) shares were also up, gaining 25 percent to $63.71 after first-quarter earnings boasted a 2.7-percent sales beat and 46-percent year-over-year increase in active customers.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Mid cap online home furnishings and d茅cor stockWayfair Inc (NYSE: W) reported Q1 earnings before the market opened with the Company being thetenth most shorted stock on the NYSE with short interest of 39.22% according to Highshortinterest.com. In the summer of 2008,the shorts and shareholder rights law firms went after Wayfair Inc after short seller Citron Research issued a report (entitled: Wayfair is the Most Mispriced Stock Citron Research has Seen in Years: Fair Value Under $10) calling the company Overstock.com, Inc (NASDAQ: OSTK):

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q4 2016 earnings report formid cap online home furnishings and d茅cor stockWayfair Inc (NYSE: W) is scheduled for before the market opens onThursday (February 23rd) as shares still have elevated short interest of 34.99% according to Highshortinterest.com. Last time around, shares dropped as much as 13%after the Company reported third quarter revenues and net losses that largely met expectations while projecting aslight decrease in revenue growth for the coming quarter.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: WD-40 Company(WDFC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.86 per share on revenue of $99.10 million.

    Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ: HOFT) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.40 per share on revenue of $62.20 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC) reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter, but the company missed analysts’ sales estimates. WD-40 shares fell 0.97 percent to $106.00 in the after-hours trading session.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: Gulfport Energy Corporation(GPOR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) dropped about 6.5% on Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $20.24 after closing at $21.64 on Friday. The stock’s 52-week high is $34.67. Volume was about 50% higher than the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) dropped about 2.3% on Thursday to record a new 52-week low of $18.24. The stock closed at $18.66 on Wednesday. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) dropped about 2.6% on Monday to record a new 52-week low of $17.65 against a high of $34.67. The stock closed at $18.12 on Friday. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company had no specific news Monday.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) dropped about 32% on Tuesday to record a new 52-week low of $4.22. The stock closed at $6.22 on Friday. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Monday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.67 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE: WLL), down 5 percent, and Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) down 6 percent.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) dropped about 1.2% Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $12.47 after closing at $12.62 on Monday. The stock’s 52-week high is $30.47. Volume of about 4.5 million was about 15% above the daily average. The company issued a downbeat second-quarter production and pricing report yesterday.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: UTStarcom Holdings Corp(UTSI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Yesterday, small cap Chinese broadband stockUTStarcom Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: UTSI) rose 29.02% and is still rising in after hours / premarket trading 5.32%, but now the stock is starting to look overbought on the technical charts:

  • [By William Romov]

    Before we show you our pick, here are the top 10 penny stocks to watch this week

    Penny Stock Current Share Price Nov. 27-Dec. 1 Gain (as of Dec. 1)
    Pyxis Tankers Inc. (Nasdaq: PXS) $4.10 122.83%
    Ohr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: OHRP) $1.28 68.42%
    Cerecor Inc. (Nasdaq: CERC) $1.74 47.46%
    Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: PTI) $2.52 37.71%
    UT Starcom Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: UTSI) $5.20 37.20%
    WMIH Corp. (Nasdaq: WMIH) $0.96 33.46%
    PhaseRx Inc. (Nasdaq: PZRX) $0.90 30.29%
    Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: BLPH) $2.04 29.94%
    EV Energy Partners LP (Nasdaq: EVEP) $0.86 27.76%
    Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CPRX) $4.40 25.71%

    FREE PROFIT ALERTS: Get real-time recommendations on the best penny stock opportunities the moment we release them. Just sign up here, its completely free

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of UTStarcom Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: UTSI) got a boost, shooting up 10 percent to $3.61. UTStarcom Holdings reported Q3 adjusted earnings of $0.07 per share on revenue of $26 million.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: EPR Properties(EPR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    We rate EPR PROPERTIES as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. 

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    EPR PROPERTIES has improved earnings per share by 11.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EPR PROPERTIES reported lower earnings of $2.78 versus $3.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.91 versus $2.78).

     

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    EPR’s investment pipeline should drive about 6-7% earnings growth in 2016, and historically the company’s dividend growth has roughly equated to earnings growth. Starting with an above-average 6.5% yield, we find this compelling for income-oriented investors. 

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    Net operating cash flow has increased to $64.42 million or 19.61% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.39%.

    The gross profit margin for EPR PROPERTIES is currently very high, coming in at 73.12%. Regardless of EPR’s high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EPR’s net profit margin of 46.18% significantly outperformed against the industry.

     

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    EPR’s revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company’s bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

     

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: Tata Motors Ltd(TTM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    I’ve been watching Tata Motors Ltd. (TTM) over the past few years with increasing interest. As India’s largest carmaker, it stands to benefit from the tenfold projected growth in the middle class in both India and China over the next decade.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: BioLineRx Ltd.(BLRX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    On Friday, our Under the Radar Moversnewsletter suggested small cap clinical-stage biopharmaceutical stockBioline RX Ltd (NASDAQ: BLRX) as a speculative buy:

  • [By William Romov]

    Currently trading at $1.09 per share, BioLine Rx Ltd. (Nasdaq: BLRX) develops a broad range of drug candidates to treat cancer, liver fibrosis, and even dry eye syndrome.

Top 10 Undervalued Stocks To Own For 2018: BYD Company Limited (BYDDY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

    Some already had their autonomous car bets made with positions in both Tesla and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) surmising those will be the big winners. They have good company. Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research summed up his thesis for autonomous transportation and transportation in general going forward as Winners: Tesla, Nvidia; and Losers: Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY) and all traditional automakers. All traditional automakers? That’s basically every automaker on the planet besides Tesla and maybe Fisker and BYD (OTCPK:BYDDY), that’s a lot of losers. Trip is a talented analyst. I’ve followed him for many years (see his ranking on TipRanks here). Even for him, that’s a pretty bold statement. It got me thinking, is Tesla’s lead in the race for autonomous cars so great that the race is effectively over? I wanted to find out if I was using traditional methodologies too much, overthinking my picks and missing out on the bigger winner, Tesla.

  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

    In this video I analyze BYD ltd. (OTCPK:BYDDY) (OTCPK:BYDDF) to see whether it is a great long-term investment opportunity given it is probable that China switches completely to electric vehicles by 2030. I discuss the fundamentals, the margins and where those stand in comparison to Daimler (OTCPK: DDAIF).

  • [By SEEKINGALPHA.COM]

    BYD Co. (OTCPK:BYDDY) (OTCPK:BYDDF) (HK:1211)

    On December 4, BYD’s CEO Wang presented “The company’s SkyRail electric monorail at the Mayors Summit in Mexico City before 500 guests. This included government officials from over 93 cities, more than 40 mayors, NGO representatives, business leaders, and the media.”

Your 2018 Resolution: Huge Gains Riding These Strong Trends

After overindulging during the holidays, most folks strive to get their lives back on track in January…

This year will be different! No more sweets. No booze. Instead of snacking on the couch and binge-watching my favorite shows, Ill hit the gym three days a week

Of course, there are plenty of companies ready to cash in on your dubious resolutions. Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW) is hyping the season with a new publicity stunt featuring DJ Khaled. Hes a new spokesperson for Weight Watchers new freestyle program, the company announced yesterday…

Ill just have the salad.

The stock rallied more than 8% on the news, presumably because investors believe another celebrity endorsement will do wonders for WTW shares. After all, Oprah has made about $300 million from Weight Watchers stock after she hopped onboard with her endorsement in 2015, Business Insider notes. A famous hip-hop star like Khaled might just be what WTW needs to juice shares this year.

dailyreckoning.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/NewYearsResolution-DR-300×206.png 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 540px) 100vw, 540px” />

Of course, Khaled could fail at his public bid to slim down (whether that hurts WTW remains to be seen). In fact, most of us scrap our New Years resolutions before they become a part of our routine. Its all too easy to cheat on a diet if you have a stressful day at work or skip going to the gym because you overslept and its only 5 degrees outside.

You know how most of these resolutions turn out. No one can find an open treadmill at the gym in January. But by February, the place is a ghost town.

With that in mind, nows not the best time to trade nutrition or gym stocks in hopes of a first-quarter pop. Yet the herd tried to play these names every year without fail. Theyre betting on the average, lazy American making permanent improvements instead of falling back into the same routine.

But heres the rub:

Strong trends usually persist.

Everyone expects major changes in the markets as we begin 2018. Stocks were up big in 2017. Therefore, some investors reason the market will drop this year. Using that logic, the strongest stocks on the market will be the ones that will endure the biggest drawdowns, right?

Not exactly.

The stock market doesnt care that our calendar has flipped to 2018. We dont have to look very far to find proof, either. As we begin the new trading week, the stocks that were the strongest performers of 2017 are already blasting higher.

Just look at semiconductors a group that spanked the major averages with 2017 returns nearing 40%. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSE:SMH) busted out of its December funk to trade higher by more than 2.6% yesterday.

Big tech names are also catching a bid. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) each made significant one-day pushes toward their all-time highs. These high-fliers are all heading back to the buffet for seconds in 2018.

While seasonal stocks like Planet Fitness and Weight Watchers are getting all the media attention, the markets strongest stocks are stalking new all-time highs. Which would you rather own?

Sincerely,

Greg Guenthner
forThe Daily Reckoning

Alphabet Inc Stock Will Continue to Rise… After a Brief Pause

Did you know that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) went skidding into the end of 2017? Some investors may not have noticed the underperformance in Google stock, as it stumbled up to and through the holiday trading periods. On Dec. 18, Alphabet stock leaped to new all-time highs, before declining for eight straight days to end the year.

That’s a pretty notable losing streak, although it flew mostly under the radar. It also shouldn’t take away from the stellar 2017 GOOGL enjoyed, climbing 33%. Jump over to 2018 and Google stock has spent its time rallying. Through Thursday, GOOGL shares were up 5.5% in the new year.

In fact, most of the FANG stocks have been hot, with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) all starting the year off with a rally too.

So, what do we make of Google stock?

Like FB, and unlike NFLX and AMZN, GOOGL stock trades with a reasonable valuation given its earnings and revenue growth.

A Closer Look at GOOGL Stock

At first glance, Google stock appears expensive, trading at about 36 times its trailing earnings. However, its forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is considerably lower, at 26. Analysts expect $41.56 in earnings per share for 2018, up ~29% year-over-year (YoY).

I don’t really like to look too far into the future. Because of Alphabet’s consistency, though, I couldn’t help but peak at 2019 estimates. Analysts forecast earnings per share of $48.64, up 17% YoY. In other words, Alphabet stock trades at just 22.5 times 2019 earnings estimates. Even though there’s a risk that these estimates are too high, I think it’s a real possibility that they’re too low.

In either case, we have a stock that’s growing earnings in the high-teens to low-20% range for the foreseeable future. Add in the fact that revenue will grow about 22% this year and 20% in 2018 and it’s hard to be bearish on GOOGL stock.

I also couldn’t help but take a look at the search giant’s cash flow. Operating cash flow (OCF) over the trailing 12 months sits at just over $36 billion. That’s more than one-third higher than where it sat at calendar-year-end 2015. It’s roughly double where it stood four years ago.

Likewise, the company’s trailing free-cash flow hit $27.50 billion, up more than 60% over the past 18 months. The impact of Ruth Porat, who joined Alphabet as CFO in 2015, should not be overlooked.

Google Stock Valuation

One thing I’ve never understood is the blue-chip mantra. Some investors tell me that buying Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) or Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is a sound choice, but they argue that buying a company like Alphabet or Facebook is foolish, as these stocks are too expensive.

They contend that PG, JNJ and others are blue-chip stocks with long histories of dividend payouts and an elite brand name. I don’t argue with any of that. However, is Google not considered to have one of the most powerful brands in the entire world? Further, is its forward P/E ratio of 26 and earnings growth of 20% not reasonable — even desirable — when compared to PG’s forward P/E ratio of 20 and earnings growth of 7%?

I don’t mean this a put-down of blue-chip stocks. Rather, it’s to point out other companies — absent a long history of dividends — deserve some premium for their brands too. Google fits that bill in my opinion, helping to justify its valuation.

Trading Alphabet Stock

As for the stock, we’ve got a relatively clean breakout. It’s important how it reacts now. In early December, Google stock had the perfect decline down to support, which held steady. After a big move over $1,090 to hit new all-time highs, Google stock is pulling back. While it’s still over this level, it’s unclear whether it will hold now or retreat.

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Click to Enlarge

Based on how it looks — because of that upper trend-line resistance — a pullback is looking more and more likely. Make no mistake, though, that’s actually healthy price action. While bullish traders can try to eek out a bit more on the upside, a longer-term swing looks more appropriate.

Aggressive buyers can step in now and add on a decline. More conservative investors can hope for a pullback and begin accumulating Google stock cheaper.

This is a great company and a stock that’s clearly looking to push higher. Don’t try to get too cute regarding when to buy.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018

D.R. Barton, Jr.

Editor’s Note: Sitting on the sidelines during record highs only means you’re missing opportunities. Playing markets proactively with D.R.’s loss-limiting strategy – just as relevant today as when he first introduced it in 2015 – can help insure your portfolio against any sudden drops. Here’s D.R…

One phenomenon I find holds true in trading and investing is that some things that diehards think should not go together just work.

It’s a lesson I learned early. It came from my love of eating, which led to my love of cooking. Specifically, it was a batch of hot, gooey brownies followed by a swig of beer – and, believe it or not, howdeliciousthat odd combination turned out to be – that taught me to explore what the unexpected could do…

In this case, the unexpected combination that makes this strategy work so well pairs value investing with technical trading. This open-minded approach made my investing immensely more profitable because it turned me on to a “trick” that got me 70% fewer losing trades…

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Money Morning Staff Reports]

    Others believe he sold his coins because Litecoin is partnering with Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB).

    This theory suggests Litecoin could become the digital payment platform for the social network, and Lee was required to sell his coins by Facebook as part of the deal.

  • [By Adam Levy]

    Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is a global phenomenon. Even with 1.86 billion monthly active users as of the end of 2016, the company is still growing its user base at a fairly steady clip in the high teens.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Investors have questioned the relevance of the company’s Snapchat app in a market dominated by messaging services such as Facebook’s (FB) WhatsApp and the business-focused Slack Technologies. Wall Street has also raised questions about its ability to monetize the billions of messages it handles each day.

  • [By Vikram Nagarkar] We all know about Instagram now, but Facebook Inc. stock (NASDAQ:FB) could have 3 new catalysts.

    Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)has had a good run so far in 2017, rising by over 22% Year To Date (YTD). However, the rally might not be over. While analysts are still increasingly bullish on Facebook’s prospects based on its current set of catalysts, the company is putting in place growth drivers that could keep growth at elevated levels over the coming years. Even as concerns over peaking ad-loads on the core Facebook platform seemed to be coming to the fore, Facebook has managed to leverage its photo sharing app, Instagram, to drive top line numbers. And while Instagram still has huge potential, Facebook is exploring what it can do with its other online properties, like Messenger and WhatsApp, both of which could propel Facebook’s next phase of growth.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Treating diseases that have a genetic component by altering the expression of the responsible genes is a promising new field of medicine, but it has been much less straightforward than biopharmaceutical companies had expected. Two contenders in this area, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS), saw a mix of setbacks and success in 2016.

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) jumped as much as 14.5% today after announcing earnings after the bell yesterday. As a development-stage biotech, it wasn’t the revenue or the earnings that caused the spike, but the progression of Allnylam’s pipeline.

  • [By Chris Dier-Scalise]

    On Thursday, the Vetr crowd downgraded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) from 4.5 stars (Strong Buy), which was issued two days ago, to 3.5 stars (Hold). Crowd sentiment for Alnylam at the time of the downgrade was edging positive, with 66 percent of Vetr user rating bullish.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Avago Technologies Limited(AVGO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    In Jack Hough’s follow-up article, “Broadcom Stock’s Big Run Isn’t Over,” see how this chip maker is gaining share in Apple’s new iPhone and cashing in on Arista Networks’ success. Friday’s sell-off after Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ: AVGO) posted earnings that failed to impress investors is no reason for shareholders to give up, says Barron’s, but there are two reasons it is worth noting.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    The recent takeover bid by Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) has simply changed smartphone chip giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares’ fortunes after struggling for the majority of the year since the January sell-off. ThoughQualcomm board has rejected the $70 per share acquisition offer, this news has lead to a strong rally in QCOM stock since October end gaining more than 30%. Now,there has been some positive news coming in over the weekend which could further boost thespirit of Qualcomm investors. Is there more upside left in QCOM stock in the near-term? Let’s take a closer look.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) short interest fell to 3.97 million shares in the period, from the previous of 4.43 million. Shares closed most recently at $176.75, in a 52-week range of $114.25 to $179.42.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) also had a huge seller on the trading desk last week. Silver Lake Partners sold a total of 385,797 shares of the supplier of semiconductor connectivity solutionsat a share price of $180.36. The total for the sale was a whopping $69,582,178. The consensus price target for the red-hot technology company is set at $211.68. The shares were trading at $181.94 as the week came to a close.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    Smartphone chip giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock is having its best run this year since the sell-off due to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other lawsuits at the beginning of the year. Qualcomm stock is almost 30% up in November. The take overbid by another semiconductor company Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) has been the main driving force behind the reversal of fortunes for QCOM stock rather than a change in the fundamental story of the San Diego, California based company. Qualcomm board has rejected the $70 per share acquisition offer saying the bid is too low setting up for a proxy fight. The higher than usual volumes have been also vital for the stock’sustained uptrend. However, the upward surge in QCOM stock is beginning to cool off with the share price being almost flat over the past few days. The question now is, Can Qualcomm stock still climb higher from here? The answer to this could be partly found in the QCOM stock technical chart.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Technology sector was the top gainer in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN), Vicor Corp (NASDAQ: VICR), and Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ: AVGO).

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: HubSpot, Inc.(HUBS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Cramer was bearish on Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) , Realty Income (O) , Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) , Avis Budget Group (CAR) and HubSpot (HUBS) .

  • [By Elizabeth Balboa]

    Semiconductors are selling off, and HubSpot Inc (NYSE: HUBS) even earned a Citron short report on its sudden fade.

    “This is rotation station we are in right now and tech is out of favor and value is back in favor,” Dick said.

  • [By Elizabeth Balboa]

    HubSpot Inc (NYSE: HUBS) plummeted nearly 3 percent Tuesday on a new short report by Citron Research, which forecasted a 34-percent near-term decline and a 67-percent long-term fade from $75 to $25.

  • [By Danny Vena]

    There’s another area being driven by AI that may surprise you. The next time you text your bank, cellphone service provider, or retailer, the agent you’re dealing with might be a chatbot. This form of conversational AI is being more widely adopted to perform simple customer service tasks. According to research conducted by marketing technology vendor HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE:HUBS), of 1,426 respondents worldwide, 74% had used voice search in the prior month, and 63% of people using services based on AI technology didn’t even know it.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Cray Inc(CRAY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Cray Inc. (CRAY) has been one of those feast or famine small caps that have either made traders and investors a lot of money in recent years – or simply frustrated those who’ve held it for quite some time. However, at this point we think CRAY offers an attractive risk/reward opportunity on a long-term basis for investors interested in exposure to big data analytics and specifically super-computing – a growing need for large enterprise and institutions all over the world

  • [By Giulio Prisco]

    Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT), supercomputer maker Cray (NSDQ:CRAY), and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), a world-class scientific computing center, announced the results of a deep learning collaboration that expands the horizons of running Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and in particular Deep Learning (an especially promising branch of ML) applications, using Microsoft software and Cray supercomputers.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Tuesday afternoon, the technology sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) and Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX).

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q4 2016 earnings report for small capsupercomputer stock Cray Inc (NASDAQ: CRAY) is scheduled forafter the market closes onWednesday (February 8th). Back in 2012, Cray Inc was inour SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolioasa potentially goodlow risk longer-term play as shares were trading at the $12 level and eventually hit $40+ per share before coming back down to earth last year.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Mitek Systems, Inc.(MITK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By U.S. News]

    In at least one Texas bank and one Ohio credit union, 3D video banking is currently undergoing testing, according to TheFinancialBrand.com, a website for bank and credit union marketing executives. Three-dimensional video banking is similar to a consumer video conference with a bank representative –- only in this case, the executive looks like a living, breathing person sitting across from you. Thanks to theater surround sound, the representative also sounds as if they’re in the same room. And since the consumer is interacting with a real person and not an automated hologram, the experience apparently isn’t much different than the real thing.
    Banking and managing money isn’t what it used to be. The 1970s and 1980s brought us the rise of the ATM. Consumers became acquainted with online banking during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. The 2010s are shaping up as the era of mobile banking.
    That was underscored Sept. 10-11 in New York City when Mitek Systems Inc. (MITK), a San Diego-based technology company, debuted its Mobile Photo Account Opening product at Finovate, a trade show where banking tech products are often unveiled. The product allows consumers to open a bank account within 60 seconds. If you have your bank’s app, you can use your smartphone’s camera to take a photo of the front and back of your driver’s license, and presto, your new checking, savings or credit card account is open.
    Here’s a look at other financial products and services personal financial experts think we’ll be using in the future.
    Within 10 years. “The economic payments system will begin to ‘know us,’ either through biometrics, optical sensor or facial recognition,” says Joshua Siegel, managing principal of StoneCastle Partners, a New York-based asset management firm that invests in banks.
    That’s already happening to some extent with smartphones –- the new Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5S, for example, uses fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone. Meanwhile, some fi

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Monday, technology shares fell 0.65 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Ultra Clean Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UCTT), down 4 percent, and Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITK), down 7 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Thursday, technology shares fell by 0.32 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITK), down 13 percent, and Formula Systems (1985) Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: FORTY), down 8 percent.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Rick’s Cabaret International Inc.(RICK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Dave & Busters Entertainment doubling in valuewhile potential peer, small cap upscale gentlemen’s clubs and restaurant ownerRCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: RICK), began to takeoff last yearand small capBuffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) has basically been range bound for the last four days:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Dave & Busters Entertainment being a pretty steady performer up until June while potential peer, upscale gentlemen’s clubs and restaurant ownerRCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: RICK), took off last yearand Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) has started to fall off:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    After the market closed yesterday, small cap restaurant and entertainment stockDave & Busters Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ: PLAY) reported Q4 2016 earnings with shares falling by mid single digit percentagesin after hours trading. The Company apparently beat expectations on earnings, but fell short of expectations for comps. Likewise, the stock has already had a very good run meaning expectations were super high.Take a look at the following long term chart which shows Dave & Busters Entertainmentsshare performanceascompared to potential peers such as Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) and upscale gentlemen’s clubs and restaurant ownerRCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: RICK):

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc.(CNSL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares fell by 0.96 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CNSL), down 7 percent, and Internet Gold Golden Lines Ltd (NASDAQ: IGLD), down 6 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Wednesday afternoon, the telecommunications services sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CNSL) and Telecom Argentina SA (ADR) (NYSE: TEO).

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: NQ Mobile Inc.(NQ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Belinda Cao]

    Oberweis China Opportunities Fund (OBCHX), the best-performing U.S.-based fund investing in Chinese stocks, said Internet companies from NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ) to Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU) will extend a rally after jumping more than three-fold this year.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: NQ) shares dropped 16 percent to $3.88 after the company issued an update on the FL Mobile divestment. NQ Mobile is expected to report Q4 financial results on March 21, 2016.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Thursday, telecommunications services shares gained by 0.42 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included 8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), up 4 percent, and NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: NQ), up 2 percent.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Buy For 2018: Illinois Tool Works Inc.(ITW)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    There are lots of stories like that out there these days. People were perplexed about the Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and Cummins Engine (CMI) and Caterpillar (CAT) quarters, but they turned out to be classic buying opportunities after years of being sell opportunities if the stocks had run. I can’t explain to you how amazing that is. Here are three stocks that have spent months and months in purgatory when they have missed or guided down or slashed forecasts. Now they are up gigantically.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now

The Q4 2016earnings report for small cap prepaid payment network and card stock Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: HAWK) is scheduled forafter the marketcloses on Wednesday (February 15th). In the past, Blackhawk Network Holdingshas citedtheregulatory-mandated introduction of EMV chips for card issuers and store processors as a hazard for its current business model.

A technical chart for Blackhawk Network Holdings shows shares back up above a key support level again:

Small cap Blackhawk Network Holdingshas largely moved sidewaysafter its IPO spinoff from Safeway (NYSE: SWY) whilepotential peer of Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT) has underperformed and Euronet Worldwide, Inc (NASDAQ: EEFT) has outperformed:

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Baldwin]

    Markets are also talking about the first two public Bitcoin billionaires. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, best known for their $65 million lawsuit against Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), have amassed one of the largest Bitcoin portfolios in the world.

  • [By Zacks]

    Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
     
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  • [By Jack Delaney]

    Another company that has rewarded forward-thinking investors is Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB).

    Much like online shopping, social media networks were just viewed as something trendy that didn’t have growth potential. Analysts based that on MySpace, a popular social media network site in the early 2000s.

  • [By Vikram Nagarkar]

    Los Angeles, California-based Snap Inc which owns the popular ephemeral messaging service, Snapchat, filed for an IPO last Thursday. The company’s shares are scheduled to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol SNAP. The Snap IPO is probably one of the most talked about tech IPOs in recent times. With its eye-popping valuations, Snapchat, like several of its Silicon Valley-based start-up brethren, has attracted a lot of curiosity and interest. Tech IPO’s often tend to generate a lot of excitement given their scalability, high growth potential and sky high valuations. But as we’ve learnt over the years, most such companies end up with starkly contrasting fortunes, like in the case of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) for instance. Is the SNAP IPO worth your money? Let’s find out.

  • [By Spencer Israel]

    That backfired occasionally, with the team taking losses in stocks like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). But they also had winning trades in stocks like Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Philip Morris International Inc (NYSE: PM), thanks to their use of far out out-of-the-money calls. They made almost $1 million on the last day of the competition.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Liquidity Services Inc.(LQDT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Liquidity Services Inc. (NASDAQ: LQDT) was raised to Buy from Underperform, and the price target was raised up to $45 from $28.50, at Merrill Lynch.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Liquidity Service (LQDT) is an online auction marketplace for surplus and salvage assets. This stock closed up 14.9% at $34.44 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 1.60 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 402,622

    Volume % Change: 336%

    From a technical perspective, LQDT skyrocketed higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $30.94 with strong upside volume. This move briefly saw shares of LQDT trend back above its 200-day moving average at $34.60, before it closed just below that level at $34.44. Shares of LQDT are now quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if LQDT manages to take out Monday’s intraday high of $35.21 and then once it clears some more near-term overhead resistance at $35.71 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LQDT as long as it’s trending above $32.67 or above $31.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 402,622 shares. If we get that breakout soon, then LQDT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38 to $40.90.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Diodes Incorporated(DIOD)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Small capsemiconductor stock Diodes Incorporated (NASDAQ: DIOD) has produced a double top on its technical chart with shares just below breakout levels:

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Avago Technologies Limited(AVGO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    The same case is made for Action Alerts PLUS holding Alphabet (GOOGL) and for Lam Research (LRCX) and Broadcom (AVGO) and Growth Seeker holding Amazon (AMZN) –and a host of other high-growth companies.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) also had a huge seller on the trading desk last week. Silver Lake Partners sold a total of 385,797 shares of the supplier of semiconductor connectivity solutionsat a share price of $180.36. The total for the sale was a whopping $69,582,178. The consensus price target for the red-hot technology company is set at $211.68. The shares were trading at $181.94 as the week came to a close.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Broadcom Limited (NASDAQ: AVGO) reported fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after markets closed on Thursday. The company said that it had a net loss of $1.59 per share and $4.14 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters did not have estimates readily available at this time. The same period from last year had $1.49 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.84 billion in revenue.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Nvidia may be No. 1 in gaming, but investors are missing out on the run in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) , the No. 2 player in the space. And let’s not forget about Broadcom (AVGO) , which makes the next generation of communications chips that all of our next devices and gadget will be using.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    Shares of Steven Mollenkopf led telecommunications technology giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) have had a bull run gaining more than 30% in the last one month keeping aside its woes from the earlier part of the year. All thanks to $70 a share takeover bid from Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) which has been rejected by the company board. With the recent run-up in QCOM share price coupled with the latest developments,one can reckon that the situation dynamics around Qualcomm stock have changed considerably now. Qualcomm stock has been plagued by its legal issues and its ongoing standoff with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the major part of this year. These latest gains and the news which is trickling in now makes one think whether to continue holding your position in QCOM stock or take some profits off the table? Should you consider taking the second option of booking some profits?

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    In Jack Hough’s follow-up article, “Broadcom Stock’s Big Run Isn’t Over,” see how this chip maker is gaining share in Apple’s new iPhone and cashing in on Arista Networks’ success. Friday’s sell-off after Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ: AVGO) posted earnings that failed to impress investors is no reason for shareholders to give up, says Barron’s, but there are two reasons it is worth noting.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.(MDRX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) has at least one billion reasons to hope President Trump’s paring back of Dodd-Frank will include the Volcker Rule: Link

    ECONOMIC DATA
    10:30 a.m. Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index
    11:30 a.m. 6-Month Bill Auction
    11:30 a.m. 3-Month Bill Auction
    1 p.m. 2-Year Note Auction
    1:15 p.m. Chicago Fed President Evans Speaks
    6:30 p.m. FOMC Member Kaplan Speaks
    ANALYST RATINGS
    Piper Jaffray upgraded Best Buy Co (NYSE: BBY) from Neutral to Overweight
    Wells Fargo upgraded Allscripts Healthcare (NASDAQ: MDRX) from Market Perform to Outperform
    Mizuho upgraded Universal Health Service (NYSE: UHS) from Neutral to Buy
    Piper Jaffray downgraded The Michaels Companies (NASDAQ: MIK) from Overweight to Neutral
    JMP Securities downgraded KB Home (NYSE: KBH) from Market Outperform to Market Perform
    Raymond James downgraded Sierra Wireless Inc. (NASDAQ: SWIR) from Outperform to Market Perform

    This is a tool used by the Benzinga News Desk each trading day — it's a look at everything happening in the market, in five minutes. To get the full version of this note every morning, click here or email minutes@benzinga.com.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Friday's regular session.

    Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN) Fri 7/1 62.0 Puts (Wkly) Sweep: 1426 @ ASK $1.24: 1426 traded vs 0 OI: Earnings 7/27 $61.86 Ref
    Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: MDRX) Jul16 13.0 Puts Sweep: 500 @ ASK $0.45: 500 traded vs 0 OI: Earnings 8/2 $13.07 Ref
    Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) Jul16 30.0 Puts: 7500 @ ASK $0.26: 7658 traded vs 47k OI: Earnings 7/20 $32.07 Ref
    Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: ARCC) Dec16 16.0 Puts Sweep: 963 @ ASK $2.75: 974 traded vs 18 OI: Earnings 8/2 $14.45 Ref
    LinkedIn Corp (NYSE: LNKD) Aug16 115 Puts: 600 @ ASK $4.05: 615 traded vs 386 OI: $132.12 Ref

    Posted-In: Unusual Put OptionsNews Options Markets

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: AVG Technologies N.V.(AVG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Igor Novgorodtsev]

    InterActiveCorp (IACI) bought Ask.com for $1.85 billion in 2005. The new Perion will be worth only about 40% of that. After the merger, Perion will leapfrog its much larger rivals: Babylon and AVG (AVG). Finally, Perion should be able to increase its operating margins as it can spread its SG&A costs over a much larger base (Conduit EBITDA margin is 32% vs. Perion’s 23%). Perion will keep its senior management team intact: Josef Mandelbaum will remain its CEO and Yacov Kaufman its CFO. Perion has successfully orchestrated a roll-up acquisitions of privately-held Sweetpacks and Smilebox, so I have high confidence that they know how to integrate a new business.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Medidata Solutions, Inc.(MDSO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of Veeva Systems outperformingunderperforming small cap peerModel N Inc (NYSE: MODN) while mid cap Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO) has been a huge outperformer that has just moved past its 2014 peak:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Wednesday, technology shares climbed by 0.94 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) and Medidata Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: MDSO).

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Semtech Corporation(SMTC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Semtech Corporation (NASDAQ: SMTC) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $128.38 million.

    Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: OLLI) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $0.17 per share on revenue of $190.44 million.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.(MPWR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MPWR) has a diverse market that includes communications, gaming and computing to continue to drive its growth, all markets that will pay a premium for its technology. The list of tech companies that use its chips is impressive. Deutsche Bank has a $30 target, the same as the consensus target.

Top 10 Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: EPAM Systems, Inc.(EPAM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anders Bylund, Chuck Saletta, and Brian Feroldi]

    Read on to see why they pickedAllstate(NYSE:ALL),EPAM Systems(NYSE:EPAM), andUniversal Display(NASDAQ:OLED).

    Image source: Getty Images.

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Inside this laundromat there’s a coding school It took less than three months for an online coding game to transform James Johnston’s life.

Johnston, 31, was designing software for orthodontists and living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he landed a better-paid software engineering job in Silicon Valley at a major tech startup.

The key to this career upgrade and cross-country move? CodeFights, an online game that offers programmers the chance to improve their skills and get noticed by Silicon Valley titans like Uber and Dropbox.

Johnston told CNNMoney he discovered the game through a Facebook ad in June.

“I was kind of intrigued and thought it was a fun little activity,” he said.

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Synacor, Inc.(SYNC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Synacor Inc (NASDAQ: SYNC) shares dropped 18 percent to $3.42. Synacor priced 5.715 million shares at $3.50 per share.

    Shares of Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ: RECN) were down around 15 percent to $13.65 after the company posted downbeat quarterly results.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Synacor Inc (NASDAQ: SYNC) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.03 per share on revenue of $30.00 million.

    VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: EGY) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.11 per share on revenue of $18.59 million.

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Itron Inc.(ITRI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Silver Spring Networks Inc (NYSE: SSNI) got a boost, shooting up 24 percent to $16.11. Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced plans to acquire Silver Spring Networks for $16.25 per share.

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Diodes Incorporated(DIOD)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Small capsemiconductor stock Diodes Incorporated (NASDAQ: DIOD) has produced a double top on its technical chart with shares just below breakout levels:

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: RadiSys Corporation(RSYS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    RadiSys Corporation (NASDAQ: RSYS) was down, falling around 18 percent to $2.95 after the company lowered its sales forecast for the second quarter. The company now expects Q2 sales of $35 million, versus earlier outlook of $41 million to $47 million.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    RadiSys Corporation (NASDAQ: RSYS) was down, falling around 18 percent to $2.97 after the company lowered its sales forecast for the second quarter. The company now expects Q2 sales of $35 million, versus earlier outlook of $41 million to $47 million.

Best Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Facebook, Inc.(FB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Levy]

    Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) IPO was five years ago this month. Some investors may remember the stock didn’t fare too well right from the get go. In fact, shares traded below the IPO price for their first 14 months on the Nasdaq.

  • [By Keith Noonan]

    Consumer-level virtual reality (VR) received its first big push in 2016 with major headset launches from Facebook(NASDAQ:FB), HTC (NASDAQOTH:HTCCY), and Sony (NYSE:SNE), but uptake for the technology fell short of many analysts’ expectations, and there are a range of challenges that threaten to limit future adoption.Sales for Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive headsets dried up after their respective launches, and SuperData cut its 2016 sales estimate for Sony’s PlayStation VR from 2.6 million units to 745,000 units — potentially worrying signs for the future of head-mounted displays.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will report its most recent quarterly results on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $1.28 in EPS and $9.84 billion in revenue. Shares closed trading at $177.88 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $113.55 to $178.20. The consensus price target is $196.18.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are joining with investment firm Allotrope Partners to build a microgrid investment fund that will help bring electricity to developing regions around the world. Between 2018 and 2020, the fund expects to deploy around $50 million in India, Indonesia, and East Africa.

Yum! Brands, Inc. Is Transforming Into a High-Growth Company Again

It is an exciting time at Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM).

That may seem weird to say. The fast-food giant behind KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is often written off as less exciting than the likes of hyper-growth tech companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).

But here’s a fun fact: YUM’s projected earnings growth over the next several years (14.6%) isn’t that much lower than Facebook’s (17.4%).

How is that possible? YUM is innovating, adapting and transforming like never before. More specifically, the company is fully embracing a revolutionary transformation of its business model, which could handsomely reward long-term shareholders.

So whats the takeaway?

Buy and hold YUM stock. This one is going up in the long term.

Re-Franchising Efforts Are Paying Off

Late last year, YUM announced a massive business transformation plan which management believes will dramatically improve profitability.

In short, YUM is turning into a “pure-play” franchisor. The company is re-franchising essentially all of its locations (98%, to be exact, up from 77% franchise ownership in 2015). Yes, that kills revenues, but this revenue slicing is like getting rid of all the unwanted fat. Through re-franchising, YUM plans to create a business with low costs, few capital investments needs, small lease obligations, big margins, lots of free cash flow and huge earnings.

This transformation is already paying off.

YUM is currently at 95% franchise ownership. The huge re-franchising over the past 12 months has allowed for tremendous cost savings. Company restaurant expenses are down 10% year to date. General and administrative expenses are down 9% year to date. Operating margins are up 410 basis points at KFC, 600 basis points at Pizza Hut and 340 basis points at Taco Bell.

Consequently, even though YUM revenues year to date are down 4%, operating profits are up 33%.

Meanwhile, capital expenditures are at only $228 million year to date, versus $292 million through the first nine months of 2016. Capex is expected to be just $325 million this year, a near-25% reduction year over year.

The most exciting part of this transformation plan is that the best is yet to come. The G&A expense rate is expected to drop to 1.7% by 2019, versus 2.5% in 2015. Capex is expected to fall to $100 million by 2019.

With all those costs coming out of the system, the net result will be lots of profits and lots of cash flow. Most that cash flow will be returned to shareholders via dividends and buybacks, which will, in turn, fuel earnings growth and increase shareholder value (management expects to return between $6.5 and $7 billion to shareholders from 2017 to 2019).

Meanwhile, YUM’s brands are actually performing quite well, likely due to management’s ability to focus on same-store sales growth (as opposed to volatile China numbers). For the first time in multiple quarters, same-store sales growth was positive last quarter at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Moreover, system sales growth hit 6% for the second consecutive quarter, showing that the company has the ability to accelerate system sales growth to 7% in the near future.

Put it all together, and you have a company with an accelerating top-line growth narrative and a really big margin growth narrative. Why sell a stock with such strong growth drivers?

Valuation Is Still Reasonable

You don’t, unless valuation is a concern.

But it isn’t here. YUM is looking at greater than $3.75 in earnings per share by fiscal 2019. Historically, YUM stock has traded around 28 times trailing earnings. Given that YUM, in 2019, will have higher profit margins and more predictable cash flows than the YUM of the past 5 years, its almost a guarantee that 2019 YUM will warrant at least a 28 trailing-earnings multiple.

Throw a 28 mulitple on $3.75 earnings, and you get a 2-year forward price target of $105. Discount that by 10% per year and you arrive at a current fair value of about $87.

And that is without tax reform.

Bottom Line on YUM Stock

This is a big-moat company successfully undergoing a massive transformation, which will dramatically boost profitability and cash flows.

You don’t sell that story unless the stock is overvalued.

But YUM stock remains reasonably valued. Consequently, I think this is a name you buy and hold for the long term.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long YUM, FB, AMZN, NFLX, and GOOG.

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