4 Jefferies Franchise List Stocks to Buy for End-of-2018 Run

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Well, as expected, when you come up with a midterm election that delivers the house back to the Democrats, you can bet there were high fives on Wall Street. There is nothing loved more there than gridlock, and despite some of the recent calls for bipartisanship, it will still be a tug-of-war. The good news for investors is that many stocks are still deeply oversold and offer great value.

We screened the Jefferies Franchise List stock picks, which are the firm’s top selections for institutional and high net worth retail clients, looking for companies that got hammered in October, and we found four that look like stellar buys now.

Boeing

This stock traded in a tight range all year and was hammered in October. Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined.

The different segments in the company are: Commercial Airplanes; Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Capital, which provides financial solutions facilitating sale and delivery of Boeing commercial and military aircraft, satellites, and launch vehicles.

Boeing and Embraer signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to create a new strategic partnership for commercial aviation. The new joint venture is valued at $4.75 billion, which values Boeing’s 80% share at $3.8 billion.

Shareholders receive a 1.91% dividend. The Jefferies price objective for the shares is $410, and the Wall Street consensus target is $415.09. The stock closed Wednesday at $372.02.

Chevron

This integrated giant is a safer way for investors looking to stay or get long the energy sector, and it has big Permian Basin exposure. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is a U.S.-based integrated oil and gas company, with worldwide operations in exploration and production, refining and marketing, transportation and petrochemicals.

The company sports a sizable dividend and has a solid place in the sector when it comes to natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Some on Wall Street estimate that the company will have a compound annual growth rate of over 5% for the next five years.

Many on Wall Street feel that, with Permian production and asset disposals targets reset, the company can raise the dividend 20% and buyback 15% of shares. Many analysts view the strategy update as appropriately conservative for one of the more oil-levered majors. The Chevron strategy through 2020 is focused on discipline, enabled by step change in capital efficiency driven by doubling Permian production.

Jefferies feels that the company presents to investors the most advantaged portfolio in the sector. A strong growth profile is driven by high-margin projects tied to oil prices. Australian LNG and Tengiz are essentially no-decline assets and underpin financial performance. An industry-leading Permian Basin position provides short cycle investment opportunities to 2030 and beyond.

Chevron shareholders receive a 3.90% dividend. Jefferies has a $157 price target, and the consensus target is $146.14. Shares closed Wednesday at $120.87.

KeyCorp

This top midcap bank makes good sense for the fourth quarter and 2019. KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) operates as the bank holding company for KeyBank National Association, which provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses.

The company also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets banner.

The top managers are attracted to the larger regional banks, as valuations look very reasonable and cost-saving plans are helping to make forward estimates look very achievable. With overall credit remaining solid, earnings and loan deposit and fee growth all are positive metrics for the bank.

Investors receive a 2.71% dividend. The $23 Jefferies price target compares with the $22.36 consensus target and the most recent close at $18.70.

Williams Companies

This top energy stock was added to the Jefferies Franchise Pick list back in the summer. Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB) is now largely a pure-play domestic natural gas infrastructure company that recently completed the merger with its underlying master limited partnership, Williams Partners.

The company has a lower risk, fee-based business model with some volume sensitivity. Natural gas demand continues to be driven by LNG exports, power generation and industrial needs. In addition to steady demand growth, Marcellus production and associated gas in the Permian are expected to continue to be primary supply drivers.

Shareholders receive a 5.32% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $34. The consensus target is $33.45, and shares closed Wednesday at $26.48.

These four large-cap growth stocks all pay reliable dividends. In the recent volatility and selling, all have backed up to much more reasonable entry points and offer investors good upside potential to the Jefferies price targets, as well as a degree of safety.