Just over two months ago, stock investors were in despair. Some took massive losses as the markets plunged a stunning 35% in less than 30 trading days. Huge thousand-point drops with no end in sight caused many to capitulate. Then suddenly, on March 23, it ended. Since that low, the S&P 500 has seen a rebound of over 35%, with the S&P 500 finally closing above the 3,000 level on Wednesday.
It’s important always to remember the stock market is a forward-looking vehicle. Clearly this rally isn’t because second-quarter results and numbers will be awesome. In fact, many are predicting the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression and downright dreadful economic statistics for the quarter.
Given the chances for a retracement of the big gains off the lows, we looked for companies in the venerable Dow Jones industrial average that have not rallied back huge. We found four members of the venerable index that are down or flat for the year but are rated Buy at BofA Securities. They look like solid ideas now and with an eye toward the second half of 2020.
This integrated leader is a safer way for investors looking to be positioned in the energy sector. 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.
Chevron, which is among the companies with the largest corporate debt, recently became the latest major oil company to slash spending after halting its $5 billion-a-year share buyback and halving spending in the Permian Basin, which means a large decrease in projected output from America’s biggest shale region.
The California-based oil giant has said that it would lower projected 2020 capital spending by 20%, or $4 billion. The Permian will account for the largest single element of that reduction, translating into 125,000 fewer barrels of oil equivalent per day than previously forecast, a quantity equal to about 2.5% of the basin’s total current production.
The analysts are positive and noted this after earnings:
Chevron earnings beat reflects operational momentum, but we see stress tested guidance as the key takeaway from the quarter. With uncertainty ahead, Chevron top in class balance sheet and capital flexibility stand out, w/ $30 billion in liquidity to navigate a downturn. New guidance on sustaining capital – below our prior estimate, raises our price objective. Retain Buy as a top defensive name.
Shareholders receive a 5.50% dividend, which the analysts feel comfortable will remain at current levels. BofA Securities raised its price target is to $97, above the $90.71 consensus target across Wall Street. Chevron stock closed Wednesday at $93.90 a share.
This top consumer media company has multiple streams of income to push revenue. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is the largest publicly traded media and entertainment company and a global leader in producing high-quality branded family entertainment.
Key assets for Disney include its theme parks (six locations globally), which are slowly reopening. Others are the ABC TV network, ESPN, FX, National Geographic and other cable networks; iconic film studios (i.e., Disney, LucasFilms, Marvel, Pixar, 20th Century Fox); Star India; direct-to-consumer streaming platforms (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+); and consumer products.
The company has had numerous management changes during the COVID-19 turmoil. While some investors are worried, BofA Securities stays confident:
Although unforeseen leadership changes often elevate uncertainty, with portions of the world economy attempting to re-open (including Disney Springs on May 20th in FL and Shanghai Disneyland on May 11th), downside in Disney’s shares appears limited in our view, with the current COVID-19 pressures leading to a historically low valuation, presenting a particularly attractive buying opportunity, in our view, for best-in-class Media & Entertainment assets. We continue to see several key drivers for Disney equity appreciation over the medium term, including: (1) Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ momentum, (2) solid IP/storytelling, (3) theme parks/movies/live sports re-openings, (4) steady Media Networks performance, and (5) further Fox synergy realization.
Shareholders receive a 1.46% dividend. The BofA Securities price target is $123, while the consensus target is $126.52. Walt Disney stock was last seen trading at $121.53.