Jefferies Franchise Stock Picks Crush S&P 500: 4 to Buy Now


This newly minted Franchise stock is being reinstated as the top global pharmaceutical stock to buy at Jefferies. AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.

The company reported outstanding first-quarter earnings, as Humira sales continued on a torrid pace. Larry Robbins from Glenview Capital said recently that he believes that the stock is trading relatively “cheap” and that AbbVie’s pipeline is underappreciated, as it will be difficult for competitors to make a generic version of its Humira, a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn disease.

The Jefferies team points to numerous clinical read-outs for the stock over the rest of 2015. With a stunning pipeline to match outstanding products, this may be the best positioned large pharmaceutical stock to buy now.

AbbVie investors are paid a very solid 3.05% dividend. The Jefferies price target is a stunning $90. The consensus target is lower at $73.77. Shares closed Friday at $67.05.

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The technology giant is striving to expand customer offerings and increase the brand reach. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) recently introduced Android Pay, a revamped photos and a lightweight Android derivative operating system it calls Brillo, which is designed to power the Internet of Things. The company also recently announced a new mobile version for the Android OS, which is expected to be released this fall.

While Google has competition in search, data indicates that the company’s search advertising is still rising year-over-year at a stellar 20% from big direct response advertisers and a solid but lower 15% from more traditional retailers. As many have expected, search traffic on desktop is growing modestly on a year-over-year basis, but aggregate traffic growth is being driven by mobile.

Google remains the undisputed leader in Internet search, and when you add in a diverse portfolio that includes everything from the Android platform to YouTube, from the Google Wallet for automatic pay to the Google Flights tool, continued growth is not out of the question.

Some prominent Wall Street analysts also think that Google can be a big winner in augmented reality (AR) in both the hardware and services categories. With Google Glass and the company’s big investment in Magic Leap for hardware, and virtual reality and AR apps powering the computing of the future, Google’s massive trove of data will be key to enabling both.

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Google stock has dramatically underperformed over the last year and with a gigantic stash of cash, and new directions in countless technology silos, the future is extremely bright for the company.

The Jefferies price target is set at $693, but the consensus target is lower at $638.30. The stock closed trading on Friday at $547.47.

Micron Technology

Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) is a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies, including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash, is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. The company’s memory chip solutions enable the world’s most innovative computing, consumer, enterprise storage, networking, mobile, embedded and automotive applications.

Micron and Intel announced recently the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world’s highest-density flash memory. Flash is the storage technology used inside the lightest laptops, fastest data centers and nearly every cell phone, tablet and mobile device.

The Jefferies team feels that while DRAM pricing was weaker than expected in the first quarter, the company has taken solid supply-side actions that should help firm pricing.

The Jefferies price target is $40, and the consensus target is $39.02. Shares closed Friday at $25.13.

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High-quality tech and health care stocks at good prices are hard to come by after a multiyear market rally. The Jefferies picks are designed for the long-term growth investors with the time and the capital to be patient.