(Bloomberg) — It took Soraya Bagheri a day to learn that 450 shares of Moderna Inc. had been liquidated in her Robinhood account and that $10,000 in withdrawals were pending. But after alerting the online brokerage to what she believed was a theft in progress, she received a frustrating email.The firm wrote it would investigate and respond within “a few weeks.” Now her money is gone.Bagheri is among five Robinhood customers who recounted similar experiences to Bloomberg News, saying they’ve been left in limbo in recent weeks after someone sold their investments and withdrew funds. Because the wildly popular app has no emergency phone number, some said they tried in vain to intervene, only to watch helplessly as their money vanished.“A limited number of customers appear to have had their Robinhood account targeted by cyber criminals because of their personal email account (that which is associated with their Robinhood account) being compromised outside of Robinhood,” a spokesman for the company said in an email. “We’re actively working with those impacted to secure their accounts.”The issue didn’t stem from a breach of Robinhood’s systems, the spokesman said.SEC, FinraBagheri, a Washington attorney, and three other Robinhood users said they also contacted authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Two of those customers said they have heard back from an official at the SEC seeking more information.Finra and the SEC declined to comment.Robinhood, founded seven years ago and based in Menlo Park, California, has exploded in popularity this year as millions of Americans stuck at home — including throngs of millennials — look to make some money during a pandemic that has sent stock prices swinging. But the no-fee brokerage app has also attracted consumer complaints, with novice investors confused by the vagaries of stock options and margin loans.Now, even though the firm said this year that it has more than doubled its customer-service team, clients complain they’re struggling to get quick help when their funds are disappearing.“They don’t have a customer service line, which I’m quite shocked about,” Bagheri said.‘Mental Stress’Pruthvi Rao, a Chicago software engineer, said his account was hit on Oct. 6. His bet on Netflix Inc. was liquidated and $2,850 was soon withdrawn. He said he’s sent more than a dozen emails to Robinhood’s customer support address, and that he even tried messaging some of the brokerage’s executives on LinkedIn.“I’m in tremendous mental stress right now because this is all of my savings,” said Rao, 36, whose account was frozen by Robinhood in response to the fraudulent activity. He said Robinhood contacted him on Friday and unlocked the account after sending several emails late Thursday asking for help.Rao showed Bloomberg the same emailed response from Robinhood that Bagheri received. “We understand the sensitivity of your situation and will be escalating the matter to our fraud investigations team,” Robinhood customer service agents wrote them. “Please be aware that this process may take a few weeks, and the team working on your case won’t be able to provide constant updates.”Rao said he had previously set up two-factor authentication to access his account, and Bagheri said she’s certain her Robinhood password is unique from all others, including her email. Neither believed they had been duped by phishing scams or malware. Both said they use the same email for Robinhood and other accounts, and that only Robinhood has been affected.“Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence that online accounts of monetary value are bought, sold and traded by cyber-criminals,” said Mark Arena, CEO of Intel 471, which monitors activities of digital criminals. “This shows the importance of people practicing common information-security hygiene such as not re-using the same password across multiple accounts and enabling two-factor authentication, which Robinhood supports.”Stock, BitcoinThey also said Robinhood’s online portal showed their money went to a recipient at Revolut, another popular financial-technology startup. London-based Revolut, which offers a money transfer and exchange app, expanded to the U.S. this year.“Revolut has been made aware of the issue and is investigating urgently,” a company spokesman said Friday in an email.Bill Hurley, who owns a metal-fabrication shop in Windsor, Connecticut, said he received notifications that stock and Bitcoin had been sold from his account on Sept. 21, and that $5,000 was transferred to Revolut accounts in two transactions. He said he emailed Robinhood for assistance while the transactions were pending but received none.“They’ve had more than enough time to deal with this,” he said.Hurley, 56, said he reached out to the SEC and heard back from a lawyer for the regulator, who asked for additional information on what had happened.After more than two weeks of emails seeking help from Robinhood, a customer support representative called him on Thursday, he said.(Updates with cyber-security expert comment in 15th paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected Rao’s age.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
There are about 3,500 publicly traded companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. That is an overwhelming amount of choice for investors. Picking the right stocks to invest in and use to build a sound portfolio can be a daunting task. This is especially true for people who are new to investing. However, there are a few rules that can help identify stocks to buy for beginners, and help new investors make overall smart choices.
These rules include “buy what you know” — or pick stocks of companies you understand. Choosing stocks of companies that have “strong fundamentals,” or solid balance sheets, is another rule. And, of course, “diversifying your investments,” or making sure that you don’t put all your eggs in one stock, is also an axiom to live by.
7 Innovative Stocks Pushing Our World Ahead
Here we look at seven excellent stocks to buy for beginners;:InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
Stocks to Buy for Beginners: Amazon (AMZN)
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Online retail giant Amazon ticks all the boxes when it comes to investing rules. The company is a well-known brand that people understand and use in their daily lives — ordering everything from toilet paper to television sets online. The company has a solid balance sheet and is super profitable. And Amazon is an increasingly diverse company, branching out into everything from artificial intelligence to the streaming of movies and TV shows. Brands include Amazon Web Services, Whole Foods Market and Prime Video, to name a few.
The stock is not cheap by any means. At more than $3,000 a share, it is the most expensive security on this list. Nevertheless, AMZN is a solid growth stock for beginner investors.
Recently, Amazon has been expanding into cloud computing and focusing on developing its own content to compete in the streaming wars against the likes of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Hulu. But its bread-and-butter e-commerce business continues to go gangbusters and has gotten a boost during the pandemic as more people order goods online.
AMZN stock has essentially doubled from its March lows to $3,220 a share today. Again, not cheap, but definitely worth the price to add powerful growth to a portfolio.
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There is no bigger name in consumer technology than Apple. The company co-founded by Steve Jobs out of a garage in the 1970s has been responsible for many of the biggest consumer tech products developed over the past 45 years — from the Apple II and Macintosh computers to the iPod and iPhone. All investors are familiar with Apple and its highly visible products.
The company has a strong balance sheet and rock-solid business model. It also has a competitive advantage in most of the markets in which it has a presence, having effectively developed its own technological ecosystem with iPads and Apple Watches.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Apple is always pushing into new frontiers. Most recently, the company has focused on offering new services through products such as Apple Pay and Apple TV. These new products and services are increasing its cash flow and broadening the Apple brand. Streaming content through the subscription Apple TV+ service is another way that the company is diversifying its business.
AAPL stock has doubled from its March low and the company recently undertook a 4-for-1 stock split that now has its shares priced at $115 each. This makes them more affordable and attractive to individual retail investors. This is a stock that people can buy, hold and retire on.
Stocks to Buy for Beginners: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)
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Investors are in trusted hands with Berkshire Hathaway. In fact, you’re in the hands of the most successful investor in history — Warren Buffett. And his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns a lot of different businesses and investments, from being the largest shareholder of Apple to owning the GEICO insurance company. Berkshire Hathaway has an impeccable track record of making smart acquisitions and investments.
Buffett’s buy-and-hold investment strategy has also proven to be unmatched in terms of its success. From 2008 to 2018, the company saw cumulative growth of 119.7%, compared to 73.2% growth for the S&P 500. Additionally, Berkshire Hathaway has what is often called a “fortress balance sheet” that includes more than $120 billion in cash. The huge pile of cash allows the company to provide financing to other distressed companies at extremely favorable terms. While the company’s class A stock trades at $323,000 a share, new investors can purchase the company’s class B shares for $215 per share.
For new investors who may be uncertain of which stocks to buy, they can rest easy putting money into Berkshire Hathaway.
Procter & Gamble (PG)
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In addition to profits, investors can also earn dividend payments from the stocks they hold in their portfolio. And one of the most stable and best paying dividend stocks is consumer goods company Procter & Gamble. Commonly known by the acronym P&G, the company has a strong track record of delivering exceptional dividends to shareholders.
In 2020, for example, Procter & Gamble raised its dividend for the 64th consecutive year, and this year marked the 130th consecutive year P&G has paid a dividend since incorporating way back in 1890. As of October 2020, P&G’s annual dividend payment is $3.16 a share for a dividend yield of 2.29%.
Another good reasons to buy PG stock is its many well-known consumer products ranging from Pampers diapers and Tide laundry detergent to Gillette razors and Crest toothpaste. Sales have gotten a boost during the pandemic as people have stocked up on essentials while sheltering in place at home. PG stock has risen 43% since the market crash in March and now trades at $140 a share.
Stocks to Buy for Beginners: Costco (COST)
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Grocery retailer Costco is a simple but powerful business that is familiar to most Americans. The company’s warehouse setting and wholesale pricing have revolutionized the retail sector and changed the way people shop and consume food.
While its approach has been replicated, Costco retains a competitive edge and commands huge brand loyalty among consumers. These facts make the company a worthwhile investment, especially beginners who want a stock they know and understand.
Like other companies on this list, Costco has seen a bump in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic as people spend more to stock up on food and other essentials. In addition, Costco has been growing its online sales. E-commerce sales nearly doubled, rising 90% in the quarter ended Aug. 30. Online sales represent a huge and growing source of revenue for the retailer. That said, Costco continues to open brick-and-mortar stores, planning to open nine new locations by the end of 2020 — six in the U.S. and three in Canada.
Costco stock has increased 500% since 2010 and is up roughly 40% from its March low to $367.
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The Golden Arches is a good investment in good times and bad. Despite intense competition, McDonald’s remains the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain with nearly 40,000 locations in 100 countries. And while the company’s dine-in restaurants closed during the pandemic, its drive-thru windows remained open, helping to keep revenue buoyant.
The company also continues to experiment with its menu and change things up with the food and beverage offerings. McDonald’s café that serves a variety of coffees, cookies and muffins has proven to be a hit with the public.
MCD stock has been on an uptrend recently following an analyst upgrade by Bank of America, which raised its 12-month price target on the stock to $250 a share. McDonald’s stock currently trades at $225 a share and has increased 64% since its March bottom.
Going forward, McDonald’s has a new CEO and is testing out delivery services and plant-based burgers. This is a company and stock that is both familiar and innovative, giving it plenty of growth potential for investors.
Stocks to Buy for Beginners: FedEx (FDX)
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You can count on Federal Express, and not just to deliver packages to your house or business. The company also delivers for shareholders. FDX stock has been a major outperformer in recent months, more than doubling since March when shares were trading at $90. Today, the stock is changing hands for $271 per share.
The reality is that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a massive accelerator for the private delivery company as people and businesses order and ship a growing number of products. The company’s most recent quarterly results handily beat analysts’ expectations.
Moving through the final quarter of the year, FedEx expects to see a further boost to its business during the busy holiday shopping season as people avoid malls in favor of ordering gifts online. Indeed, demand shows no signs of slowing down and FedEx is successfully fending off competition from rivals such as Amazon. For beginner investors, FDX is a solid blue-chip stock with enormous growth potential. The company is also a trusted and established brand that does one thing and does it extremely well — deliveries.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in AAPL, BRK.B, BAC, MCD and FDX.
Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.
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I’m 63, my husband is 70, we’ll have $90,000 a year in retirement — how can we claim our Social Security benefits?
It will certainly be something to celebrate, and that you’ve already figured out what your retirement income will be is a great start. Americans qualify for survivor benefits in a few scenarios, including if they are a widow or widower age 60 or older; a divorced spouse from a marriage that lasted 10 years and who did not remarry before age 60; or a widow or widower at any age caring for the deceased’s child under age 16. Spousal benefits can be very confusing, said Kate Gregory, a financial planner and president of Gregory Advisors Inc. As a spouse, you’re entitled to 50% of your husband’s primary insurance benefit that he’d receive at his Full Retirement Age (FRA, which in his case is 66 years old), but he has to have filed for his benefits before you can do so.
Value investing, which has been maligned for years, is about to come back in style. Because elections have a long track record of doing wonders for value stocks, whose prices are deemed low compared with business prospects. Value stocks outperformed growth for half a year after every presidential election since 1980, according to research by Larry McDonald and his team at the Bear Traps Report.
The U.S. stock market has roared back from the lows of the year, but the economy is by no means out of the woods. The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to keep a lid on the potential recovery of the economy, while unemployment remains at an elevated level. In an uncertain environment, risk-averse investors looking for safe income should focus on quality dividend stocks.
Specifically, we recommend investors take a closer look at the dividend kings, a group of just 30 stocks that have each increased their dividends for at least 50 consecutive years. The dividend kings have stood the test of time, with the unique ability to continue raising their dividends each year, even during recessions.
7 Innovative Stocks Pushing Our World Ahead
The following three dividend kings have solid dividend yields, growth potential and most importantly, safe dividend payouts backed by strong revenue and earnings:InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips
Altria Group (NYSE:MO)
National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG)
Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW)
Dividend Stocks: Altria Group (MO)
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Altria is the top tobacco company in the U.S., with its flagship Marlboro cigarette brand that captures more than 40% retail market share. The company has a diversified business which includes various tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars, along with smokeless tobacco, wine, and a 10% investment in beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD).
Altria is a top dividend king for many reasons. Not only has it raised its dividend for more than 50 years in a row, the stock also provides a very high dividend yield of about 8.7%. This makes it the highest-yielding dividend king.
The company should be able to continue increasing its dividend for many years, as it enjoys tremendous competitive advantages. The tobacco industry is not a capital-intensive business, which gives Altria huge free cash flow that is used in large part to pay shareholders a hefty dividend. Altria also enjoys brand loyalty, a natural benefit of selling an addictive product. Finally, tobacco is a very recession-resistant business, as demand holds up even when the economy enters a downturn.
Altria has continued to generate stable profits throughout 2020. In the second quarter, revenue of $5.06 billion fell 2.5% year-over-year. Adjusted earnings-per-share came to $1.09, up 1% year-over-year. Net revenue and adjusted EPS rose 3.9% and 8.5%, respectively, over the first half of 2020. For the full year, Altria expects its 2020 full-year adjusted diluted EPS to be in a range of $4.21 to $4.38, representing a growth rate of 0% to 4% from an adjusted diluted EPS base of $4.21 in 2019.
Management has a target dividend payout ratio of 80% of annual adjusted EPS. Therefore, the current annual dividend payout of $3.44 represents a 2020 dividend payout ratio of approximately 80% using the midpoint of earnings guidance. This shows the current dividend is in-line with management’s target payout ratio.
National Fuel Gas (NFG)
National Fuel Gas is a diversified energy company. It is a high-ranking dividend king because it has a high yield of 4.3%, but it is also unique as it is the only energy stock on the list of dividend kings. This is not entirely surprising, as the energy sector is a notoriously cyclical industry. Oil and gas is a “boom-and-bust” industry, due to its reliance on underlying commodity prices, which can be volatile.
Indeed, oil prices fell from over $100 per barrel to less than $30 from 2014 to 2016. After a modest recovery, oil prices have swung below $40 again on renewed concerns over a global supply glut and weak demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This reality makes it even more impressive that National Fuel Gas has increased its dividend for more than five decades.
And yet, National Fuel Gas achieved dividend-king status. This is partly due to the company’s diversification. National Fuel Gas operates five business segments: exploration and production, pipeline and storage, gathering, utility, and energy marketing. It is a diversified business across upstream, midstream, and downstream. The company’s upstream assets located in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations have production capacity of 800 million cubic feet of gas per day. Midstream operations include pipeline infrastructure, while its downstream segment provides utility services.
This mix provides a balance between regulated, stable businesses such as pipelines and utilities with cyclical areas such as exploration and production that rely on commodity prices. Not being fully exposed to the swings of oil and gas prices has served National Fuel Gas well over the years, including 2020.
7 Innovative Stocks Pushing Our World Ahead
In the most recently reported quarter, National Fuel Gas’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) declined 6% year-over-year. While so many energy stocks are reporting steep losses due to low oil and gas prices, National Fuel Gas generated adjusted operating earnings-per-share of $0.57 for the quarter. The company’s consistent profitability, even during recessions, secures the current dividend payout while leaving flexibility for future dividend increases to continue.
Lowe’s Companies (LOW)
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Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retail in the U.S., behind Home Depot (NYSE:HD). Both retailers benefit from structural tailwinds, specifically the strong housing market as well as the fact that they operate in a duopoly. The highly concentrated nature of the home improvement retail industry mean Lowe’s and Home Depot have the entire market to themselves, which provides lots of customers as well as strong margins.
Lowe’s is a growth-oriented dividend king. Many of the dividend stocks on this list operate in highly mature industries that lack growth catalysts. But Lowe’s continues to generate impressive growth, even during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in the most recent quarter, Lowe’s adjusted earnings per share increased 74% to $3.75.
This huge level of earnings growth was due largely to 34% comparable sales growth (which measures sales growth at stores open at least one year). Comparable sales growth included 135% year-over-year growth for Lowes.com as the company benefits from explosive e-commerce growth.
From 2010 to 2019, Lowe’s grew its earnings-per-share by 18% per year, on average. This growth came as a result of the economic recovery in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and more precisely the strong performance of the U.S. housing market. This has led to high dividend growth as well. The company recently increased its dividend by 9%.
A high level of dividend growth helps make up for a somewhat disappointing current yield of 1.5%. The dividend yield is slightly below the S&P 500 average yield of 1.8%, making Lowe’s relatively unappealing for investors solely focused on high yields. But Lowe’s makes up for this with high dividend growth. For example, a dividend growth rate of 9% per year means an investor will see their dividends double every eight years. Therefore, investors with time in the market could generate higher income over time with Lowe’s than with some high-yielding stocks that cannot grow their dividend payouts.
On the date of publication, Bob Ciura held a long position in MO.
Bob Ciura has worked at Sure Dividend since 2016. He oversees all content for Sure Dividend and its partner sites. Prior to joining Sure Dividend, Bob was an independent equity analyst. His articles have been published on major financial websites such as The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Business Insider and more. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from DePaul University and an MBA with a concentration in investments from the University of Notre Dame.
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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) has managed to outperform the broader markets consistently over the last few decades.Let’s take a look at three such technology companies backed by the Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger-led investment company that have managed to outperform the S&P 500 index in 2020.Apple, A $2T Giant: Tech heavyweight Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is a company valued at approximately $2 trillion.According to Berkshire’s latest 13F filing, it holds a little over 1 billion Apple shares worth $115.4 billion, indicating a 5.9% stake in the company.Apple accounts for 48.9% of Berkshire’s total portfolio and it has been one of the top-performing stocks in the last two decades. The iPhone manufacturer continues to benefit from customer loyalty and an expanding product portfolio that has grown over the years to include wearables like the Apple Watch and AirPods.The iPhone remains Apple’s key revenue driver, but its Services business is the company’s fastest-growing segment. Apple’s Services business includes the highly lucrative App Store and several subscription products like the Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Care, and Apple Arcade.Apple has successfully created a robust ecosystem with a strong focus on customer engagement. At the start of 2020, it claimed to have over 1.5 billion active devices, while the number of total paid subscriptions at the end of July rose 31% to year-over-year to 550 million.Apple had aimed to double its 2016 Services revenue of $24.3 billion by fiscal 2020. In the first nine months of fiscal 2020, Apple’s Services business totaled $39.2 billion.Amazon, The E-Commerce Heavyweight: Berkshire Hathaway holds 533,300 shares in Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) worth $1.7 billion, indicating a 0.1% stake. Amazon has been one of the top stocks in the last decade and has returned a staggering 1,900% since October 2010.In 2020, Amazon stock is up 73% and it is one of the few companies to have weathered the pandemic unscathed. As the world went into lockdown, people were compelled to stay at home — with no option but to shop online for essentials as well as luxury products.The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a tailwind for e-commerce companies. In the second quarter this year, Amazon sales were up a stellar 40.2% year-over-year.Amazon is not only the world’s largest online retailer, but it also leads the public cloud infrastructure market and is the third-largest digital advertising platform after Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).The online retail segment is expected to account for 16% of total retail sales in 2020 and this number is expected to rise to 22% by 2023, according to Statista, suggesting Amazon’s growth story remains intact.Snowflake, A Recent Tech IPO: While Buffett is not a fan of investing in initial public offerings or early-stage companies, Berkshire Hathaway acquired 6.12 million shares of Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW) worth $1.4 billion. Snowflake is valued at a market cap of $66.4 billion, which means Berkshire holds about a 2.2% stake in the firm.A cloud computing company, Snowflake recently went public and gathered significant attention, as it upsized the IPO pricing twice.The company increased its listing price from $75 to $120 and still managed to open at $245 per share on the first day.Snowflake is an enterprise-facing, cloud-based data warehousing company and is expected to be volatile in the near-term as investors try to make sense of its lofty valuation.Analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance expect Snowflake sales to touch $571.02 million in fiscal 2021, indicating a forward price to sales multiple of 116.7.Photo courtesy: Fortune Live Media via FlickrSee more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Every week, Benzinga conducts a sentiment survey to find out what traders are most excited about, interested in or thinking about as they manage and build their personal portfolios.Electric vehicle manufacturers and EV service companies have been in the spotlight for 2020. We recently asked over 800 Benzinga investors and traders which EV stock they believe has the most room to grow between now and 2025.Best EV Stocks Over the next five years, which EV stock will have the largest percentage gain? * Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) * Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) * Nio (NYSE: NIO) * Hyliion (NYSE: HYLN) * ElectraMeccanica (NASDAQ: SOLO) * Arcimoto (NASDAQ: FUV) * Blink Charging (NASDAQ: BLNK) * Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) * Spartan Energy (NYSE: SPAQ)About 44.5% of respondents told us Elon Musk’s Tesla would experience the largest percentage price per share gain by 2025. Our Benzinga EV insights team reported Tesla produced 82,727 vehicles in the second quarter — a decrease of 20% sequentially and 5% year-over-year — and delivered 90,891.Even considering production halts during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Tesla told investors it has the capacity to top 500,000 vehicle deliveries in 2020.Meanwhile, Nio received the second most votes of confidence from readers: 17.2% said they’d back the Shanghai-based EV maker to grow the most by 2025. With second-quarter revenue of $526,381,000, higher by 139.54% from the same period last year, Nio continues to garner investor’s attention in the EV space.Where investors and traders told us they are most skeptical: only 2.2% of readers believe ElectraMeccanica will have the largest percentage price per share increase by 2025. Arcimoto drew the least confidence from investors and traders with 1.9% of support.Looking forward, more news from the EV space remains in store for 2020. Notably, Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp and Fisker are set for an Oct. 28 special meeting to approve a merger, potentially creating a new competitor in the EV market. At the time of publication, the EV stock from our study trading at the highest price per share is Tesla at $425 per share. The stock trading at the lowest price per share is Spartan Energy at $14 per share.This study was conducted by Benzinga in August 2020 and included the responses of a diverse population of adults 18 or older. Opting into the survey was completely voluntary, with no incentives offered to potential respondents. The order of survey answers were randomized for each respondent. The study reflects results from over 800 adults.See more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas * Which Social Media Stock Will Grow The Most By 2025? * Which Video Game Console Maker’s Stock Will Grow The Most By 2025?(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
* Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. * The FAANG stocks were represented in both the bullish and bearish calls seen this past week. * Other bullish calls were for some stocks found in struggling industries and sectors. The big three U.S. equity indexes ended last week solidly higher, led by the more than 4% gain in the Nasdaq. This came despite continuing volatility, due in part to presidential tweets in the wake of his treatment for COVID-19. The week also saw the vice presidential debate, as well as news that an alleged domestic terrorism plot apparently was foiled.Furthermore, an old-school conglomerate, a top bank and a video streaming leader all faced some bad news in the past week. Also, the iPhone maker confirmed the date of its next big event, and one equity index is rumored to be looking for a new home.Through it all, Benzinga continued to examine the prospects for many of the stocks that are most popular with investors. Here are a few of this past week’s most bullish and bearish posts that may be worth another look. Bulls The tech rally may have hit a recent speed bump, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and other big tech stocks are poised for another move higher, according to Shanthi Rexaline’s “Why This Wedbush Analyst Expects A Year-End Tech Rally.”In “Tesla Remains ‘Misvalued,’ Says SPAC King Palihapitiya,” Neer Varshney is focused on how the Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) company may be misunderstood and underestimated by analysts and investors. See why the increasingly crowded electric vehicle space is not a concern.”Why Barclays Is Turning Bullish On 4 Retailers” by Jayson Derrick discusses one top analyst upgraded American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) and some other mall retailers after a decade of bearishness. Is the positivity warranted?”BofA Upgrades US Bancorp On Headwinds Giving Way To Tailwinds” by Priya Nigam reveals why recent activity could be signaling a strong rebound for US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) stock for the rest of the year.In Wayne Duggan’s “Goldman Sachs Calls General Electric The ‘Ultimate Self-Help, Vaccine Leverage Story’,” see why General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) could emerge even an stronger company in a post-pandemic economy.For additional bullish calls seen in the past week, also have a look at these posts: * 3 Tech Stocks In Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio * Which EV Stock Will Grow The Most By 2025? * Square Invests M In Bitcoin; Dorsey Sees A Currency For The Internet Bears “Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google Stamping Out Rivals, Stifling Innovation, House Antitrust Investigation Concludes” by Shivdeep Dhaliwal shows what a congressional panel has concluded about Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other tech giants.After stellar performances in the first half of the year, expectations for Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) are muted for the third quarter. So says “7 Worrisome Metrics That Underscore Risks To Netflix’s Q3 Results” by Shanthi Rexaline.In Priya Nigam’s “KeyBanc Turns Bearish On AT&T, Says Consumers Facing Macro Pressure,” see how AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) may be “secularly and competitively challenged” despite high expectations.Wayne Duggan’s “Analyst: Cruise Industry On Life Support Heading Into Q4” shows why there appears to be little hope for improvement anytime soon for Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) and its peers in the industry.Todd Shriber’s “Big Financial ETF Tagged With ‘Speculative’ Rating” discusses how historically low interest rates and rising loan loss reserves have dragged on the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA: XLF).Be sure to check out Lloyd Blankfein Blames SPACs, Free Money For Bubble Territory and Fed Chair Powell On Economic Recovery: ‘Still A Long Way To Go’ for additional bearish calls from the past week.At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.Keep up with all the latest breaking news and trading ideas by following Benzinga on Twitter.See more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas * Notable Insider Buys Last Week: Blackstone, CarMax And More * Barron’s Picks And Pans: Albemarle, Camping World, Terex And More(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
If the stock market’s ups and downs this year have taught us any enduring lesson, it’s a repeat of an old stand-by: the importance of setting up a steady income stream, to keep the portfolio profitable no matter how the individual shares move. Dividends are a key part of any investment income strategy, giving investors a reliable income when it’s needed most.All dividends are not created equal, however. Investors should seek out companies with one of two advantage – or preferably both: a commitment to maintaining the dividend, and a high yield. The second is not hard to find, considering the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates near zero, while the first attribute may take some research.With all of that in mind, we’ve opened up the Stock Screener tool from TipRanks, a company that tracks and measures the performance of analysts, to find stocks with high dividend yields. Setting the screener filters to show stocks with “strong buy” consensus rating and a high dividend yields exceeding 9% gave us a manageable list of stocks. We’ve picked three to focus on.New Mountain Finance Corporation (NMFC)The first stock on the list is New Mountain Finance, in the business development niche. New Mountain invests in debt securities, including first and second lien notes and mezzanine securities. The Company’s portfolio includes public and private equity and credit funds with a total worth well north of $28 billion.The company reported 30 cents per share in net investment income for the second quarter, down 4 cents sequentially. At the top line, revenues came in at $76 million, a healthy turnaround from the first quarter revenue loss of $174 million. As far as the data can show, New Mountain has turned around from the coronavirus losses incurred early in the year.New Mountain kept its dividend payment stable in the second quarter, at 30 cents per common share. At the current level, the $1.20 annualized payout gives a high yield of 11.5%.Wells Fargo analyst Finian O’Shea is comfortable with NMFC’s dividend policy, writing, “Having reduced its $0.34 dividend to $0.30 last quarter, coverage appears solid after the BDC has sustained its impact from nonaccruals, de-leveraging and LIBOR…”O’Shea believes NMFC shares have room to rise, noting: “NMFC trades at 0.82x, about in-line with the WFBDC Index despite its history of top-quartile returns, improved leverage profile and portfolio level performance so far through today’s recessionary environment.”To this end, O’Shea rates NMFC an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his $11.25 price target suggests it has a nearly 14% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch O’Shea’s track record, click here)Overall, the Wall Street consensus on NMFC is a Strong Buy, based on 4 reviews including 3 Buys and 1 Hold. The shares are selling for $9.88, and the average price target of $10.92 implies a one-year upside of 11% for the stock. (See NMFC stock analysis on TipRanks)Plains GP Holdings (PAGP)Next on our list, Plains GP, is a holding company in the oil and gas midstream sector. Plains’ assets move oil and gas products from the well heads to the storage facilities, refineries, and transport hubs. The company’s operations move more than 6 million barrels of oil equivalent daily, in a network extending to the Texas oil patch and the Gulf Coast. Plains also has assets in California and the Appalachian natural gas fields.The crisis in the first half of this year put heavy pressure on Plains’ revenue and earnings. By Q2, revenue was down by two-thirds, to $3.2 billion, and EPS had fallen to just 9 cents. As part of its response, Plains slashed its dividend by half – from 36 cents per common share to 18 cents. The cut was made to keep the dividend within the distributable cash flow, affordable for the company – and kept up for shareholders. Looking at numbers, PAGP’s dividend payment offers investors a yield of 11.7%, almost 6x higher than the average yield among S&P 500-listed companies.Tristan Richardson, covering the stock for Truist, sees Plains in a good spot at present. Noting the difficulties faced earlier in the year, he writes, “Despite cautious notes on recovery and general industry commentary that reflects the tepid growth environment, Plains remains among best positioned, in our view, amongst volumetrically sensitive business as a dominant Permian operator… We believe the units/shares should find some support over the near term on … the inflection to positive free cash flow and gradual de-levering.”Richardson gives this stock a Buy rating and $12 price target, indicating an impressive potential upside of 80% for the next 12 months. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on PAGP is unanimous, based on 5 recent reviews, all Buys. The stock has an average price target of $11, implying an upside of 65% from the current share price of $6.82. (See PAGP stock analysis on TipRanks)Sixth Street Specialty Lending (TSLX)The last company on our list recently underwent a name change; in June, it dropped its old name TPG in favor of Sixth Street. The ticker and stock history remain the same, however, so the difference for investors is in the letterhead. Sixth Street continues the core business of providing credit and capital for mid-market companies, helping to fund America’s small and medium enterprise niche.The economic difficulties of the corona crisis were easily visible in this company’s top line. Revenue was negative in Q1, due to a curtailment in loan collections and reduction in interest income, although earnings remained positive. In Q2, EPS rose to 59 cents per share, meeting the forecast, and revenues returned to positive numbers, at $103 million.Sixth Street adjusted its dividend during the crisis, but that move did not raise any eyebrows. The company has a long history of dividend payment adjustments, regularly making changes to the common stock dividend in order to keep it in line with earnings, and giving supplemental dividends when possible. The current regular payment is set at 41 cents, annualizing to $1.64, and giving a strong yield of 9.45%.JMP analyst Christopher York believes that Sixth Street has as solid position in its niche, noting, “…we think the company has historically proven, and subsequently earned investor trust and credibility to underwrite and structure complex and special situation investments to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns.”Regarding the dividend, York is optimistic about the future, writing, “[The] supplemental dividend is likely to return following two quarters of no distributions as a result of the mechanics of the supplemental dividend framework…”In line with his positive outlook for the company, York rates the stock as Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $20 price target indicates confidence in a 15% upside potential. (To watch York’s track record, click here)This stock has another unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating, with 5 recent Buy reviews. The stock’s current share price is $17.33 and the average price target of $19.30 suggests it has room for 11% share price growth ahead of it. (See TSLX stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
On CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report,” traders discussed Goldman Sachs’ bullish call on General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). Goldman’s analyst reinstated the stock with a Buy rating and a price target of $10, because the company is making progress to be a leaner and structurally more productive company with better capital discipline.Jenny Harrington is not a buyer because the stock is too complex to analyze. She thinks JPMorgan’s Steven Tusa is the best analyst for the stock and he sees no quick turn for the stock.See Also: Goldman Sachs Calls General Electric The ‘Ultimate Self-Help, Vaccine Leverage Story’Michael Farr wants to buy General Electric, but he hasn’t bought it yet. He likes it because of its CEO, Lawrence Culp, who knows how to manage a big conglomerate. Farr is dying to buy the stock, but he just can’t make himself to do it.Jim Lebenthal thinks Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is the best stock in the industrial space. He would rather buy Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) instead of General Electric.Stephen Weiss prefers the chip names. He sees General Electric as the stock where you go when you can’t find anything else. He wouldn’t touch it.Courtesy imageSee more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas * Cramer Shares His Thoughts On Boeing, General Electric And More * Cramer Weighs In On General Electric, Chevron And More(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Fortunately, this “knowledge” never greatly influenced my investment strategy. Meanwhile, Wall Street wants to convince you that you know something about the future, so you actively manage your portfolio and thereby fatten the Street’s coffers. In the financial markets, action almost always triggers investment costs and perhaps big tax bills.
Investing is all about profits and returns – no one puts their money into a stock without an expectation that the investment will make money. The trick, if there is one, is finding the stocks that deliver the best returns.There’s a tendency to want to jump on the bandwagons, to buy into the big names that have grabbed the headlines. And that can bring in profits – there is no doubt that Amazon and Tesla have shown astounding growth in recent months.But there is also profit and potential to be found under the radar, in smaller stocks with lower price. The risk is higher, but the possible upsides can be astounding. For less than $5 per share, investors can find Buy-rated stocks with triple-digit upside potential. That combination of factors: low cost of entry, high return potential, and the thumbs up from Wall Street’s analysts, should bring these stocks to investors’ attention.Using TipRanks’ database, we pinpointed three compelling stocks trading for less than $5 per share. Each has earned a Moderate or Strong Buy consensus rating from the analyst community and brings massive growth prospects to the table.AutoWeb, Inc. (AUTO)First on the list is AutoWeb, the online media and marketing company serving the automotive industry since the 1990s. The company provides branding and marketing support to both manufacturers and dealers, connecting the customers and working with them on email and live calling campaigns. AutoWeb works with dealers in both the new and used car markets.Since the end of July, the company’s shares have shown a sudden spike in growth, coinciding with economic reopening in a number of states. In the second quarter, AutoWeb beat the earnings consensus, showing a loss of 10 cents, while forecast had been for a 23 cents loss. Looking forward, losses are expected to moderate as the automotive sector, and the economy in general, start revving again.Based on recent growth as well as the company’s $3.5 share price, Barrington analyst Gary Prestopino thinks that now is the right time to pull the trigger.“We believe that AUTO’s turnaround has been completed and the foundation has been set for transforming the business to exhibit consistently improved financial metrics. We believe that over a three- to five-year basis the company should be able to attain an adjusted EBITDA margin of close to 10%, which is a level last attained in 2016,” Prestopino opined.Along with those comments, Prestopino rates AUTO an Outperform (i.e. Buy). His $10 price target suggests a robust one-year upside potential of 186% from the current share price of . (To watch Prestopino’s track record, click here)Overall, AutoWeb stands as a ‘Strong Buy’ name among Wall Street analysts. In the last three months, the stock has won 3 bullish recommendations. With a return potential of 81%, the stock’s consensus price target lands at $6.33. (See AUTO stock analysis on TipRanks)Euroseas, Ltd. (ESEA)Our next stock, Athens-based Euroseas, is a shipping company, moving dry cargoes and containers worldwide on a fleet of 15 vessels. Vessels like these – especially the container ships – form the backbone of the shipping industry, and are a vital link in the global trading network.Euroseas operates most of its fleet on time charters, prioritizing predictable cash flows over profit margins. That proved beneficial in 1H20, as the company has reliable income despite the general economic slowdown. In Q1, revenues rose sequentially from $13.3 million to $15.4 million. Q2 saw a sequential decline – but still had revenues come in at $13.5 million, and EPS in the second quarter rose 47% to 25 cents per share. With this in mind, Noble Financial, Poe Fratt sees this stock as a buying opportunity.“While the past few months have been challenging and the container market has been weak, there are some signs that the market is firming and the recent stock price weakness creates a favorable risk/reward profile,” Fratt commented.Fratt sets a $6.25 price target to back up his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, implying room for 122% upside potential. (To watch Fratt’s track record, click here)Overall, there are two recent reviews on ESEA, and both are Buys, making the consensus view here a Moderate Buy. The stock is selling for $2.85 and has an average price target of $5.55, giving it an upside potential of 94% for the year ahead. (See ESEA stock analysis on TipRanks)Exterran Corporation (EXTN)Last on the list is an energy company, Exterran. This company solutions for midstream infrastructure in the oil and gas industry, with operations worldwide. The company’s products include oil and gas production equipment, natural gas processing and compression expertise, and transportation and power generation. Exterran offers oil and gas companies engineering expertise to move the product from the wellhead through the pipelines.Like most of the energy industry, the corona economic slowdown hurt Exterran. In Q1 and Q2, revenues fell 22% and 18%, respectively, and both quarters saw EPS loses. In Q2, the loss hit 62 cents per share. Stock price has been depressed, as well, with shares having shown high volatility for the past year, but no distinct trend.Looking ahead, the slow reopening of economies is beginning to take hold, and EXTN sees Q3 projections rising from current lows as new opportunities and contracts open up.James West, analyst Evercore ISI, locks onto that last point as key for Exterran. “As a systems and process business tied to the global infrastructure buildout for oil, gas, water and power, Exterran has the enviable position of providing primarily production-oriented products and services… We believe the company is on the cusp of a new order cycle driven by global infrastructure buildout, which has only been temporarily paused by COVID-19. EXTN booked a record integrated gas processing facility order for the Middle East at the start of the year, and a couple of large project awards are imminent including the company’s first water contract,” West noted.West gives EXTN shares a $10 price target, indicating his confidence in a 110% upside and backing his Outperform rating. (To watch West’s track record, click here)Overall, EXTN has a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating based on 2 recent Buy reviews. This stock’s shares are selling for $4.65, and its $11 average price target suggests a 131% one-year upside potential. (See EXTN stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
27 October 2020