There are a lot of changes coming when December becomes January: A new year, a new president … and a new edition of InvestorPlace’s annual Best Stocks contest.
The markets have a lot to digest at the start of the year, with December’s Federal Reserve interest rate increase, a lengthy bull market and, of course, whatever changes are in store once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
Trying to estimate what a stock will look like by the end of 2017 isn’t an easy proposition. But our 10 experts are up to the task in the 10 Best Stocks for 2017 contest, digging into a variety of sectors to offer what they think will be the best stocks of the new year.
The final count included stocks of all sizes across a variety of businesses, from online travel to lithium products.
We’ve kept you waiting long enough. Here are our 10 experts’ picks for the 10 best stocks to buy for 2017 … and an added bonus this year: a pick voted in by InvestorPlace readers.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Albemarle Corporation (ALB)
Investor: Matt McCall
Matthew McCall is an author, is founder and president of Penn Financial Group — an investment advisory firm — and does his fair share of TV appearances as well.
Despite all that, he also finds time to team up with fellow Best Stocks contestant Hilary Kramer, working together first on Breakout Stocks, where Matt serves as the co-editor, and more recently helping individual investors make money trading ETFs.
When looking for good stock picks, McCall says, “I like to start with a macro view of the market to determine which sectors can outperform the indices in the near-term.”
As one of the largest players in lithium, bromine, refining catalysts and applied surface treatments, ALB is poised to reap the benefits of a boom in demand.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Citigroup (C)
Investor: Ken Trester
Ken Trester may best be known for his options insight through the popular Maximum Options and Power Options Weekly services, but that doesn’t mean he’s afraid to put a somewhat longer-term pick on the line with the rest of our experts.
With interest rates rising, everyone expects financials broadly to have a good time. But Ken thinks that if one financial play is going to outperform not only its peers, but the market, it’s probably going to be Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C).
Not only will Trump’s administration likely be kinder to banking and other financial stocks, but Citigroup is undervalued to boot, with a price-to-book value of 0.8 — far below its peers.
Part of the problem is Mexican exposure — but as he says, “Trump is not going to do much to Mexico, period; eventually, Wall Street will realize that.”
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: CoreSite Realty (COR)
Investor: Brett Owens
As one might expect from the Chief Investment Strategist of the The Contrarian Income Report, Brett Owens has developed a contrarian approach to investing in the stock market. And it’s also no real surprise that his pick, real estate investment trust CoreSite Realty Corp (NYSE:COR), throws off a nice 4% dividend yield.
So why COR? Simple. It deals in data centers, and with the vast and growing appetite the world has for the internet and the cloud, the growth opportunities for CoreSite look strong.
As he points out:
“Business is booming. Margins are expanding too, thanks to a higher number of smaller clients who neither demand nor obtain the price breaks the big guys look for.”
In fact, as Brett puts it, the only real problem with COR is that the stock price isn’t caught up to the dividend growth … yet.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: General Motors (GM)
Investor: Charles Sizemore
Charles Sizemore is the principal of Sizemore Capital Management, an investment firm based in Dallas, Texas. And when it comes to 2017, he believes that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is going to really gun it.
Some people expect car sales to slow next year, but not everyone. According to Charles:
“I don’t expect sales to slow all that much in the coming years, even if we have a mild recession. Remember, auto sales went into deep freeze during the 2008 meltdown, and a lot of the strong sales of the past few years has been catch-up buying.”
And when you consider how old the average car on the road actually is, there’s quite the opportunity there for GM.
When you consider the low price-to-earnings ratio and the 4%-plus dividend, he believes GM stock is an undervalued gem that could outperform in 2017.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Nvidia (NVDA)
Investor: Louis Navellier
Louis Navellier knows how to pick stocks that will beat the markets, with his longest-running publication, Emerging Growth, having outstripped the S&P 500 by a 6-to-1 margin over the past 12 years. He also runs the flagship Blue Chip Growth newsletter and the Ultimate Growth letter as well.
And for 2017, he has his sights set on Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).
A big part of the growth for NVDA stock is going to come from its increasing presence in the expanding world of autonomous cars, as it adds more and more big names to its list of partners. However, you can’t sleep on its expanding GPU business either. And if you’re an income investor … well, as Louis says:
“I must also mention that for more than four years, Nvidia has paid a consistent quarterly dividend. In November 2012, the quarterly payout was 7.5 cents per share. This past quarter, it paid 14 cents per share, over an 86% increase.”
Sure, NVDA has grown astoundingly in the latter half of 2016, but there’s no reason that can’t continue into 2017 if Nvidia keeps executing.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Newell Brands (NWL)
Investor: Hilary Kramer
With more than 25 years of experience in portfolio management, equity research, trading, and risk management — not to mention editing GameChangers, Breakout Stocks and High Octane Trader, among other services, and making frequent TV appearances — Hilary has a good eye for great stocks.
Her pick for this year’s Best Stocks contest is Newell Brands Inc (NYSE:NWL) — parent of brands such as Rubbermaid, Lenox, Oster and Sunbeam.
Her case focuses on NWL stock’s intelligent use of mergers and acquisitions to bring complementary items into the fold. This should continue to drive growth for the maker of such well-known brands as Paper Mate and Yankee Candle.
“It’s the kind of company that has benefited from spreading its reach as wide as it can go, curating a diverse palette of home-related staples under its umbrella,” she says.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: TripAdvisor (TRIP)
Investor: Jason Moser
Jason Moser is a senior analyst for The Motley Fool’s flagship real-money portfolio service, Million Dollar Portfolio. He’s also been known to fire off a tweet or 10 about almost anything at @TMFJMo. You also can catch him talking shop on The Fool’s daily podcast, Market Foolery, as well as their weekly radio show, Motley Fool Money.
For the 2017 Best Stocks contest, he’s backing TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), and his main point is simple — TRIP stock is just better than many of its peers at what it does. The company offers users a huge amount of trustworthy information to help them make their travel plans.
With a growing diversification of its revenue streams and a growing market in which to expand, there’s certainly a lot to like.
2016 was a slow year for TRIP investors as a consequence of taking its Instant Booking platform global. Jason’s response?
“Now that Instant Booking is fully rolled out, TRIP stock management has clearly stated that the focus for 2017 will center on re-accelerating that top-line growth … and I think that should re-accelerate investors’ interest in the stock.”
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Ulta Salon (ULTA)
Investor: Tracey Ryniec
After deciding a career in law wasn’t her true calling, Tracey Ryniec is now an Equity Strategist and Portfolio Manager at Zacks Investment Research who also manages the Insider Trader and Value Investor services.
For 2017, she has her eye on Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA).
You might question the pick of a retail stock, given how they haven’t exactly been lighting things up lately. But makeup has been an area of retail that has stayed strong, and with its rewards program and knowledgeable employees, Ulta Salon is not only the cream of the crop, but a company apart.
Tracey argues this is partly thanks to its leadership:
“ULTA stock has one of the best management teams in the retail industry and it has been consistently living up to expectations.”
That has shown up in strong year-over-year comps. “What other retailer is doing comparable-store growth of 16.7% like Ulta did in the third quarter of this year?” Tracey says.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Zions Bancorp (ZION)
Investors: John Jagerson and Wade Hansen
They believe the path to the Best Stocks for 2017 crown is through financials, so they’ve chosen Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION).
Changes — positive ones — are coming for banks. Be it a relaxing of Dodd-Frank, an increase in inflation, fewer corporate taxes or a better market for energy producers (which can make default on loans to those companies far less likely), a number of potential tailwinds could boost Zions Bancorp to first place in 2017.
And while it’s already surging, John and Wade believe there’s still a ways to go. Jagerson and Hansen posit:
“Even though the stock has already surged higher — breaking above resistance at $32 — in the aftermath of the Presidential election in the U.S., we anticipate ZION will continue climbing back up toward longer-term resistance at $55 during 2017.”
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE)
Investor: Adam Johnson
Interested investors can read Adam Johnson’s insights in Bullseye Brief, an investment newsletter that he founded and writes. He has also anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television over five years, interviewing CEOs, heads of state and prominent investors.
And now, he is joining us for the Best Stocks of 2017 contest with his pick, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ZYNE).
Zynerba is working on two medications that use the medicinal benefits of the plant without dealing with some of the side effects that some of their peers see.
As Adam says, “Pot has grown up.”
Financially, things aren’t too bad as ZYNE works toward commercialization of these products:
“I should also note the company has sufficient cash to see each Phase II trial to completion through 2017, given $32.1 million as of June 30 and a quarterly burn-rate of $4 million to $6 million,” Adam says.
10 Best Stocks to Buy for 2017: Amazon (AMZN)
Investor: Readers’ pick
It’s always interesting to see how the experts stack up, and sometimes exciting as well — 2016 saw a late run by Charles Sizemore and his pick Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE:ETE) storm past stalwart Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI) picked by Jason Moser, in the final month.
But have you ever looked at some of the choices in this and other competitions and thought “I could do better than that”?
For the Best Stocks for 2017 contest, we decided to try something a little different. We polled InvestorPlace readers to choose an unofficial 11th stock, and we’ll see how it stacks up.
The readers’ choice was Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
You probably don’t need anyone to tell you the many reasons Amazon is great, from smart leadership to stellar innovation to offerings like AWS and Amazon Prime. It might be a best stock for 2017 on the growth of these along, but AMZN probably has more up its sleeve as well.
Who do you think has the best chance of coming out victorious by the end of 2017? One of our expert picks, AMZN or something else entirely? Comment below, and check out the daily leaderboard here starting Jan. 2!
As of this writing, Jessica Loder did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.