UBS Top Quality Growth at Reasonable Price Stocks for 2014

Lee Jackson

The UBS quality growth at a reasonable price (Q-GARP) list is constructed using an initial quantitative screen of stocks based on: 1) quality metrics — high and stable profitability, 2) growth — high expected earnings growth, and 3) low valuation relative to peers. The final list is a compilation of quality growth stocks that the UBS team feels are trading at attractive valuations.

In a new research report, the UBS analysts add two top names to the list and update some of the other top names to buy for 2014. The metrics that are used for the Q-GARP list may be a good map to follow for 2014. Given the big run in the stock market, investors may want to be more selective in adding pricey momentum stocks and focus on the more stable, quality growth names on the UBS list.

Here are the new additions to the UBS list and an update on their other top names to buy.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) makes its debut on the UBS list. The stock is the quintessential high-quality company, particularly compared to its financial sector peers. With strong market shares in its core markets, growth is underpinned by an improving macro environment, new initiatives such as prepaid cards and expansion of its network business, and significant share buybacks. Investors are paid a 1.1% dividend. The UBS price target for this top financial name is $96. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $83. American Express closed Friday at $83.68.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is the other top stock to buy added to the UBS list. The company stands to benefit from continued robust levels of domestic drilling activity and a pickup in international markets. Management believes the company can deliver earnings per share of $6 by 2016, double the level from 2012. Investors receive a 1.1% dividend. The UBS price target is posted at $61, and the consensus is at $64. Halliburton closed Friday at $49.39.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is using the construction site of the 777x to negotiate better terms with union employees. The union members rejected the company’s final offer last week, and now Boeing may begin to entertain offers from states all around the country that are anxious for the jobs and are offering tremendous incentives. Investors are paid a 1.5% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $144, while the consensus is higher at $150. Boeing closed on Friday at $133.83.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is one of the world’s most recognized brands. By 2020, the company hopes to double the amount of Coca-Cola beverages consumed around the world and double system revenue in that time frame. With a large portfolio of products, the future is bright for the iconic American beverage maker. Investors are paid a 2.8% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock rests at $44. The consensus is at $44.50. Coke closed on Friday at $39.23.

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is the largest broadband and pay TV provider in the United States, and it also owns content company NBC/Universal, which is in the midst of a ratings turnaround. While rumors swirl in the cable industry about consolidation, Comcast may end up being the company that makes the largest acquisition. Shareholders are paid a 1.6% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $56, and the consensus is $54. Comcast closed Friday at $49.01.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) provides online platforms, tools and services to help individuals and merchants in online and mobile commerce and payments in the United States and internationally. The company’s PayPal business accounts for nearly half of total company revenues and is one of the largest online payments platforms in the world. The UBS price objective for the stock is $52, and the consensus is set higher at $63. eBay closed Friday at $51.55.

PetSmart Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer operating exclusively in North America (94% U.S. sales, 6% Canada). A better macro backdrop, rising U.S. household formation as the housing market heals and improving labor markets are boosting the stock. UBS sees this coupled with continued premium pet product innovation that should support robust earnings growth. Investors are paid a 1.1% dividend The UBS price target for the stock is $78, and the consensus is at $77. PetSmart closed Friday at $72.36.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) continues to grow its brand and its store count. Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Seattle, the company aggressively expanded from a single store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market to more than 18,000 stores across 60 countries, which are operated by licensees, franchisees or Starbucks itself. Investors receive a 1.3% dividend. The UBS target for this top consumer discretionary name is $86. The consensus target is higher at $90. Starbucks closed Friday at $76.35.

As stocks become pricier, it remains important for investors to look for stocks that are not stretched on valuation. When an inevitable correction comes at some point, the high-flying momentum stocks that trade at huge multiples will be the first to be taken out and shot by portfolio managers. Reasonably priced growth stocks should hold up much better.