As we move into the second half of earning season I am gratified to see that many of our “buy”-rated stocks are showing the type of excellent results we have come to expect from these best of the best stocks.
Companies rated “A” or “B” by Portfolio Grader are posting large positive earnings surprises, getting analyst upgrades and demonstrating superior sales and earnings growth. These stocks will be the ones that lead the market higher during the rest of 2014.
And some new names have joined the ranks of “buy”- or “strong buy”-rated stocks. Solid earnings performances have vaulted several stocks into rarefied air — buy them now before they get out of reach.
Elecsys (ESYS) makes machine-to-machine communication technologies, data acquisition systems, and custom electronic equipment for critical industrial applications for industrial applications — and it’s firing on all cylinders. Elecsys blew away analysts’ expectation in the second quarter by reporting earnings of $0.25 a share, well above the consensus expectation of just $0.16 and a healthy increase from the year-ago $0.18. For the full fiscal year earnings are up 47% on a year-over-year basis on a sales increase of 20%. Everything went right for Elecysys in the quarter, as margins expanded from 37% to 47%. This type of outstanding performance has been noticed by Portfolio Grader and last week the stock was upgraded to an “A” and is now a “strong buy.”
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, and business has been fantastic in its European territories. The company reported its fourth consecutive earnings surprise in the second quarter; profits climbed to $0.78 a share compared to just $0.66 a share in the year-ago quarter. Coca-Cola Enterprises is one of those companies I have talked about as getting a powerful tailwind form the weaker dollar — and Portfolio Grader has noticed which way the wind is blowing. The stock was upgraded last week and is a “buy” at the current price.
LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) has a tailwind of its own — the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” With more people being covered by insurance, the company was able to capture higher revenues and profits in the quarter. LifePoint owns 60 hospitals in 20 states and has made a conscious effort to sign up the previously uninsured with what CEO William Carpenter called “our successful efforts to capture the benefits of expanded coverage under healthcare reform.” LifePont also raised guidance above analyst expectation for the rest of the year. Portfolio Grader has noticed the substantial improvements in operating results, raising LPNT stock to a “B” last week — a “buy” at the current price.
Our best-of-the-best stocks are performing as expected so far, and more companies are finding their way onto the Portfolio Grader “buy” list on the back of fantastic results. These are the stocks you want to own — they should be the market leaders for the rest of the year.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.