Since the Fourth of July makes this a holiday-shortened week, I thought it might be fun to look at some of the great American companies and see how they stack up in today’s market. After identifying some U.S. icons you should be selling, let’s find some great stocks to buy.
The U.S. has seen some of the most revolutionary and important companies from inside its borders, and we have a reputation for the type of innovation and hard work that builds great companies. But in spite of their greatness, they are all subject to the cycles and whims of the economy. The fundamentals of these great companies will be in the sweet spot for investors at times and at others they simply will not be positioned for profits.
Home Depot (HD) is one of the truly great American success stories. The company started in 1978 with two stores in Atlanta and has been the fastest-growing retailer in U.S. history. Today the company has 2,257 stores in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It’s the world’s largest home improvement retailer — and with the real estate markets starting to improve, Home Depot is in the sweet spot for future growth.
As consumers’ situation continues to improve, they will feel more comfortable spending money to fix up their houses and improve their yards. And Home Depot’s dominance of the marketplace means the company will see a lot of this spending. Portfolio Grader has ranked the stock a “Buy” all year — this week the stock has been upgraded to an “A” and is a “Strong Buy.
Kellogg (K) was founded in 1906 by W.K. Kellogg and his brother Dr. John Kellogg. The company used aggressive advertising, giveaways and premiums to rapidly gain market share in the domestic market. Eventually the company expanded internationally; today it is one the largest food companies in the world with a large portfolio of cereals, snacks and other food items.
In 2012 Kellogg purchased the Pringles lineup of snacks from Procter & Gamble (PG), making it the world’s second-largest snack food company. Kellogg’s already strong fundamentals have been improving with the economy and the shares were upgraded back in April — this stock is also currently a “Strong Buy.”
There is no company more a part of the American story than Wells Fargo (WFC). The company was started as a bank and express company back in 1852 and has grown into one of the world’s largest banks. The company’s iconic stagecoach is symbolic of its history as part of the American West and Pony Express mail delivery service. Today, the bank has a huge presence in the U.S. mortgage market — a very juicy space indeed. Fundamentals have been improving along with the housing sector. Last week Portfolio Grader upgraded the stock a “B” and Wells Fargo is now a “Buy.”
Buying great American companies has been a winning strategy over the years. The key is to buy the right ones at the right time — Portfolio Grader can help you pick those timely great stocks.
Louis Navellier is the editor of Blue Chip Growth.