Investing

Credit Suisse's Top 'Out on a Limb' Contrarian Stocks to Buy

When the going gets tough in the equity markets, one of the best strategies for investors is to look at contrarian, or out-of-favor stock ideas. The Wall Street herd mentality partially drives this, and the tendency of traders to crowd momentum ideas can also contribute. The Credit Suisse team has come up with a superb list of contrarian stocks to buy they call their “out on a limb” ideas. One caveat that is important to remember, often out-of-favor ideas can take longer to come back around.

Eight of the Credit Suisse ideas were more of a short suggestion, so we focused on the balance that are long ideas. We screened those for market cap and dividends. Here are the five that may make the most sense now. All five are rated Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. Despite strong underlying results, the market has reacted with a good dose of skepticism to Deere’s results. The company confirmed its cautious outlook for 2014 earlier this year and reiterated that it expects worldwide net sales in its Agriculture & Turf unit to decline by 6% in 2014 while net sales in Construction & Forestry should increase by 10%. With those declining numbers, the stock has been hit hard. Any pickup in global growth and a firming economy at home could drive the stock higher, especially if the company maintains the higher margins the Credit Suisse team thinks it can.

Deere investors are paid a 2.8% dividend. The Credit Suisse price target for the stock is $95, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is much lower $83.90. Deere closed Tuesday at $84.36 a share.

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Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV) is a somewhat neglected mutual fund and closed-end fund company money manager. Credit Suisse has said in the past that underperformance provides a buying opportunity for long-term investors as they see net asset flows improving in the third quarter and positive capital management will downward pressure on the share count, which translates to stock buybacks. The Credit Suisse team also highlights the company’s strong distribution system, that can lead to more product sales going forward.

Eaton Vance shareholders are paid 2.5% dividend. Credit Suisse has a $41 price target, and the consensus figure is at $39.17. Eaton Vance closed Tuesday at $34.89.

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is trading at just 15 times 2015 earnings, and the Credit Suisse analysts think the earnings and growth potential make it a stellar buy at these levels. They also sense that the current forward guidance for earnings may be conservative. The company is a leading provider of payment services for merchants, value added resellers, financial institutions, government agencies, multinational corporations and independent sales organizations located throughout North America, Brazil, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Global Payments investors are paid a small 0.1% dividend. The Credit Suisse price target is $83, and the consensus target is $78.94. Shares closed trading on Tuesday at $72.

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NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS) is a stock flirting with 52-week highs and defying sellers. NuStar and other companies are building docks, storage tanks and other facilities in Corpus Christi to take advantage of the oil boom in the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is about 100 miles away. The port shipped out 350,000 barrels of crude a day last year, up from under 10,000 at the start of 2012, according to port data. For companies looking to add on this silo, it may be a perfect fit. The Credit Suisse team love the positive dividend coverage and the ability for the company to show strong organic growth.

NuStar Investors are paid a huge 7.6% distribution. The Credit Suisse price target is $71, and the consensus is at $66.78. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $55.10.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has become a Wall Street whipping boy, and it is still down year-to-date. While the company recently acknowledged that food stamps were a contributor to earnings, it is also an expanding discount leader that will benefit from an improving economy. Plus, its increasing presence in the grocery world with its small store format is adding to an already large retail footprint. A push to sell organic products is also starting to gain market share from some of the traditional leaders of that space. The Credit Suisse team also thinks a change at the top with the new CEO is a positive for the iconic retailing giant.

Walmart shareholders are paid a 2.45% dividend. The Credit Suisse price target is posted at $87, and the consensus target is lower at $79.95. Walmart shares closed Tuesday at $77.98.

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While the Credit Suisse contrarian stocks to buy are somewhat out-of-favor, they are hardly value trap victims that may get investors pinned down. Plus, they are all potential winners in their sectors and could surprise even the biggest Wall Street doubters.