As we approach the end of what has been another outstanding year for stock investors, many of the top firms on Wall Street that we cover are fine-tuning the stock picks presented to clients for the next 12 months. While some feel that the market is pricey and will slowdown in 2015, most agree it will be another up year.
We combed through the new December Select List from Stifel, looking for the firm’s top ideas for 2015. We screened for the companies with the biggest upside to the Stifel target price, and also those with the best dividends.
Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD) has had some trouble with earnings as it is losing some market share to other imports and the craft beers. That aside, the iconic beer company produces, markets and distributes a ton of beer. It offers a portfolio of approximately 200 beer brands. The company’s international brands include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s. Multi-country brands include of Leffe and Hoegaarden, and local brands include Bud Light, Brahma, Antarctica, Victoria, Modelo Especial, Michelob Ultra and many others.
Anheuser-Busch shareholders are paid a 2.1% dividend. The Stifel price target for the stock is $142. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is at $127.68. Shares closed on Wednesday at $114.45.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) combines a very strong presence in Las Vegas and growing clout in Macau. It is poised to perhaps break out after years of so-so trading. While still burdened with high debt, at least some of that debt has been refinanced at lower levels. Wall Street analysts find MGM to have among the most favorable risk-rewards, given the combination of exposure to improving trends on the Las Vegas Strip and the continuing growth in the mass market segment in Macau in the near-term, as well as steady balance sheet improvements and its development pipeline in the medium term.
Stifel has a $32 price target on the stock, and the consensus target is at $29.75. Shares closed Wednesday at $22.13.
Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) is another top consumer discretionary name to buy at Stifel. The company is increasing its convenience-store penetration through innovations. Monster had recent success launching Muscle Monster protein and energy drinks, a zero-calorie energy-drink line, and other new products that have enabled it to grow market share. With high margins and a growing market share, the stock is a solid add. Investors may want to monitor some current negative headlines that have dogged the company since last summer.
The Stifel price target is $115, and the consensus is posted at $111.53. Monster closed trading Wednesday at $106.96.
Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) makes the Select List in the consumer staples sector. While tobacco use has declined in the West, it has surged in emerging markets, and the company is exploiting that growth. With the growth of oral tobacco products and the new e-cigarettes, Philip Morris continues to find ways to grow earnings. While the company is susceptible to currency swings, it should prove to be a good long-term hold for growth investors.
Philip Morris investors are paid an outstanding 4.6% dividend. The Stifel price target is $93, and the consensus target is $86.45. The stock closed trading Wednesday at $87.65.
Triumph Group Inc. (NYSE: TGI) bounced off 52-week lows back in October, and the stock has seen some solid insider buying this year. The company designs, engineers, manufactures, repairs and overhauls a broad portfolio of aerostructures, aircraft components, accessories, subassemblies and systems. It announced a shareholder friendly 5 million share repurchase program back in February.
Triumph investors receive a tiny 0.2% dividend. The Stifel price target is a large $90, and the consensus number is much lower at $79.63. Triumph closed Wednesday at $68.93.
Stifel has avoided most of the momentum and tech names that are very pricey and focused on core growth names with upside. These all make good sense in risk-tolerant long-term growth portfolios.