Just like that, we are less than two weeks from the end of the first quarter. While it has been a very positive one for investors, the rise in interest rates has brought in much higher volatility and has really pressured technology stocks. The question for many is what direction will the market take as the second quarter unfolds. An even bigger question is can the first-quarter earnings results be as solid as those for the fourth quarter of 2020.
In a new research report, Savita Subramanian, the superb equity and quantitative strategist at BofA Securities, notes that data received from respondents in the firm’s fifth annual Global Wealth & Investment Management Survey, which was conducted from February 9 to February 23, was the most bullish on stocks in the firm’s survey history. However, many of the firm’s financial advisors were very cautious looking forward over the next 90 days.
With rising interest rates, financials and health care, which are two of the respondents’ favorite sectors, look like a great place to be for the next quarter. We screened the BofA Securities US 1 list of top stocks to buy for those that fall into those two sectors and found five that look like very solid ideas for growth stock investors.
It is still important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
Many on Wall Street love this firm’s near-term growth potential, but also for the long term, and it is a top financial in the US 1 list. BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) is the largest asset manager in the world, with more than $5 trillion in assets under management. Its acquisitions of Merrill Lynch Investment Management and iShares transformed it from a fixed income manager into a multiproduct and multichannel giant, with roughly 40% of its assets under management overseas. It has leading franchises in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), institutional fixed income, alternatives and cash. It also operates Solutions, a leader in risk analytics.
The company’s strong historical and prospective dividend growth is underpinned by the high-quality and diversified business model. Dividends have increased 18% annually over the past 10 years. Dividend growth likely will moderate but remains solid in the low teens, consistent with expectations for earnings growth in the years ahead.
Shareholders receive a 2.28% dividend. The BofA Securities price objective for the shares is a stunning $867, while the Wall Street consensus price target is $840.57 BlackRock stock closed Thursday at $723.73 a share.