11 BofA Securities Top Pick Stocks to Buy for 2021

As they do each year, the major Wall Street firms we cover here at 24/7 Wall St. provide lists of stocks that they feel will be the top performers for the coming year. This year has been a veritable train wreck, with everything from a wild election, the COVID-19 pandemic that crippled the economy on and off and killed hundreds of thousands, and a roller-coaster stock market that dropped 35% in less than a month and has since rallied to all-time highs. Nonetheless, the analysts across Wall Street are doing their jobs, and the top picks are coming out fast.

A new BofA Securities research report features 11 stocks for 2021, one picked from the firm’s research coverage universe for each of 11 sectors. These picks are in line with the firm’s investment themes for the year, including value over growth, small caps over large, cyclical over defensive and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The list is intended for the full year and all the stocks are rated Buy. It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Communication Services

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is a top consumer media company with multiple streams of income to push revenue. It is the largest publicly traded media and entertainment company and a global leader in producing high-quality, branded, family entertainment.

Key assets include its theme parks (six locations globally, which are slowly reopening), the ABC TV Network, ESPN, FX, National Geographic and other cable networks, iconic film studios Disney, LucasFilms, Marvel, Pixar, 20th Century Fox), Star India, direct-to-consumer streaming platforms (Disney+, 66% Hulu stake and ESPN+) and consumer products.

This is a giant reopening play for the theme parks, and the company’s Disney+ streaming product has been a massive success.

The BofA Securities price target for the shares is $192, and the Wall Street consensus target is $173.46. Walt Disney stock was last seen trading at $170.45 a share.

Consumer Discretionary

This is an ideal contrarian play for investors looking for ideas that will benefit from the reopening of the economy and travel. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) is one of the largest hotel owners/operators in the world, with over 5,600 properties and over 912,000 rooms in 113 countries and territories across 16 major brands. Its diverse mix of globally recognized brands includes the Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn.

In June 2020, Hilton began a worldwide rollout of Hilton CleanStay, a new program to deliver an industry-leading standard of cleanliness and disinfection to Hilton properties. This is the ideal way to make travelers more comfortable with rooms many people use over the course of even a month. The pandemic rapidly changed guest behavior, priorities and concerns. Hilton responded with start-up style speed, grounded in more than a century of hospitality know-how to provide reassurance to travelers.

BofA Securities has a $120 price target on Hilton Worldwide stock, while the consensus target is $103.40. Tuesday’s final trade was reported at $102.95.

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