5 Jefferies Franchise Picks Stocks With Huge Total Return Potential

February 5, 2019 by 247lee

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
March 9 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the bottom of the S&P 500 during the massive mortgage/housing bubble catastrophe and the beginning of the current, but somewhat tired, long-running bull market. With interest rates still at generational lows, it makes sense to continue to have stock market exposure, but caution is needed given the inflated valuation metrics. One solid way for investors to proceed now is to shoot for stocks that can provide total return.

We like to remind our readers about the impact total return has on portfolios because it is one of the best ways to help improve the chances for overall investing success. Again, total return is the combined increase in a stock’s value plus dividends. For instance, if you buy a stock at $20 that pays a 3% dividend, and it goes up to $22 in a year, your total return is 13% — 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

We screened the Jefferies Franchise Picks list, which is the firm’s top stocks to buy, for companies that pay dividends and found five that offer investors the potential for solid total return.

Boeing

This stock had traded in a tight range but broke out big on earnings. 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.

Last year, 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.

The company also posted incredible fourth-quarter result backed by its bullish delivery forecast. Boeing sees full-year earnings of $19.90 to $20.10 per share on revenue of $109.5 billion to $111.5 billion, well above the Wall Street consensus forecast. Full-year operating cash flow is seen at $17.0 billion to $17.5 billion, up from $15.32 billion in 2018.

Shareholders receive a 2% dividend. The Jefferies price objective for the shares is $448, and the Wall Street consensus target is $415.09. The stock ended Wednesday’s trading at $411.11.

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.

With Permian production and asset disposals targets reset, the company can raise the dividend 20% and buy back 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.

Fourth-quarter profit topped expectations as lower expenses offset a drop in earnings in Chevron’s main businesses. Earnings jumped 20% to $3.73 billion, or $1.95 a share, but the company generated $42.35 billion in revenue, compared with the $46.13 billion forecast by Wall Street.

Chevron shareholders receive a 4.02% dividend. Jefferies has a $147 price target, and the consensus target is $138.54. Shares closed at $118.88 on Wednesday.

Hasbro

Toys and games rarely go out of favor, and this top company is among the best in the business. Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) engages in the provision of children and family leisure time products and services with a portfolio of brands and entertainment properties. The company’s brand names include Littlest Pet Shop; Magic: The Gathering; Monopoly; My Little Pony; Nerf; Play-Doh; and Transformers.

The Entertainment and Licensing segment conducts movie, television and digital gaming entertainment operations, including the operations of Hasbro Studios and Backflip, as well as engages in the out-licensing of trademarks, characters and other brand and intellectual property rights to third parties for digital gaming and consumer products.

We noted recently the company bonanza from huge exposure to Bumblebee, which is a fictional robot character from the Transformers franchise. In most versions, Bumblebee is a small, yellow with black stripes Autobot, with most of his alternative vehicle modes inspired by that. Hasbro renegotiated its long-standing filmmaking partnership with Paramount in 2017, with the first installment of the collaboration being Transformers’ “Bumblebee,” which premiered December 21.

Investors receive a 2.77% dividend. The $120 Jefferies price objective compares to the $102.31 consensus estimate and the most recent close of $91.00.

Texas Instruments

This old-school chip tech play offers solid value at current levels is the lone semiconductor stock on the Jefferies Franchise Picks list. Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) is a broad-based supplier of semiconductor components, ranging from digital signal processors to high-performance analog components, to digital light-processing technology and calculators.

Some 65% of the company’s sales are exposed to the well-diversified, business-to-business industrial, automotive, communications infrastructure and enterprise markets. While the stock was hit hard recently as it is a big Apple supplier, the long-term outlook for this venerable leader makes it a safer bet for accounts with less risk tolerance.

The company announced reported $1.27 in earnings per share for the most recent quarter last week, topping the consensus estimate by three cents. But the firm had revenue of $3.72 billion for the quarter, a bit short of the consensus estimate.

Shareholders are paid a 2.92% dividend. The Jefferies team is comfortable with a $137 price target. The consensus target is $108.07, and shares were last seen at $106.48, up over 4% on the day.

Williams Companies

This top energy stock was added to the Jefferies Franchise Pick last 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 5.0% dividend. Jefferies has set a $34 price target. The consensus estimate is $31.89, and the shares closed most recently at $27.24.

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These five solid growth stocks all pay reliable dividends and have backed up to much more reasonable entry points, offering investors good upside potential to the Jefferies price targets.