Big Tech stocks just reported earnings recently, and they were huge. Every one of them beat expectations handily and took off, proving why companies like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are the very best stocks to buy now.
That will likely mean a broad move into tech stocks, since a rising tide for the big players will likely raise the boats of small and mid cap firms as well.
But this isn’t a “just throw a dart” market. You have to be choosy about which stocks to buy — in tech as well as everywhere else.
And there are some stocks that are trading in other sectors that are primed for as much growth as tech, but they’ve been under reported by the major press outlets. That give us a great advantage.
Here are seven of my favorite straight-A stocks to put in your portfolio now. There’s certainly some tech stocks in here, but there are also some great ‘sleepers’ you can get for a deal and ride up in coming quarters.
Stocks to Buy – Arista
Arista Networks Inc (NYSE: ANET) stock is up nearly 100% year to date. This cloud networking services company is in the right place at the right time, and is one of my favorite stocks to buy now.
Because it focuses more on switches than servers, it doesn’t directly compete with the big legacy server companies in that market. But its technology helps server farms that run cloud computing, internet of things and big data much more efficiently and faster.
What’s more, because it isn’t trying to upgrade legacy systems it has in place, it is more nimble than its larger legacy competitors.
ANET stock has certainly had a great run, but as long as tech continues to demand faster and smarter mobile solutions, ANET will continue to grow.
Stocks to Buy – Alibaba
The thing is, where AMZN is up about 30% year to date, BABA is up 3x that.
And while many call BABA the “Amazon of China,” it’s much more than that.
Many of the big Chinese online firms are more diversified than their U.S. counterparts.
For example, BABA runs Ant Financial, the world’s largest online payments service, along with the world’s largest money market fund. It just bought a gaming company. It has tendrils in social media firms as well as its core e-commerce business.
And now that the Chinese economy, as well as Asia in general, is reviving, BABA will continue to thrive.
Stocks to Buy – Sanderson Farms
Sanderson Farms Inc (NASDAQ: SAFM) is about as far away from tech as you can possibly get. It is one of nation’s largest chicken processors.
As a matter of fact, it processes more than 11.8 million birds a week.
This year, SAFM celebrates its 70th anniversary in business. And in that time it has gone from a local feed and supply store to one of the major players in the poultry business, with major operations across the South and into Texas.
If you’re thinking poultry isn’t exactly a booming industry, think again. SAFM stock is up 55% year to date, outpacing many stocks in far hipper sectors.
And this trend is likely to continue as Americans are becoming more health conscious and poultry producers are starting to grow their products in more sustainable and friendly ways.
As a protein source chicken has a lot of advantages to larger animals, and SAFM is the No. 3 producer. That makes this one of the very best stocks to buy now with a both stability and growth ahead.
Stocks to Buy – Universal Display
Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) stock is on a tear, up 137% so far this year.
The firm is essentially an R&D outfit for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). It focuses on the commercialization of this technology and licenses its developments to firms looking to switch from light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Since this is fairly esoteric tech, the basic differences between OLEDs and LEDs is about picture quality and energy use.
In OLEDs each pixel provides its own illumination. In LEDs, the pixels require a backlight to fire each pixel. For the end user, that means OLEDs have better picture quality and use less power than traditional LED lit screens.
This power to clarity ratio is crucial on mobile devices, which is why you see Google, Apple and Samsung all launching their top line phones with OLED displays.
The challenge is, OLED is still expensive. But as it transitions to the standard, OLED will keep on growing with demand.
Stocks to Buy – AdvanSix
AdvanSix Inc (NASDAQ: ASIX) is a specialty chemical manufacturer. Its key product is caprolactam, and ASIX is one of the world’s top producers. Caprolactam is the primary feedstock for making nylon for rugs, clothing, plastics and films.
Because chemical companies tend to have “left over” chemicals as they distill down to a specific chemical combination, the leftovers can be sold off or combined into other products.
In ASIX’s case, one of the other key products it makes is ammonium sulfate fertilizer.
All these products are in growing demand as the global economy pulls itself out of the long doldrums it has been in. And as economies grow, spending increases along with consumption.
Honeywell International Inc (NYSE: HON) spun off ASIX last year and since then the stock has taken off – up 132% on its own.
Stocks to Buy – Lazard
Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) stock isn’t setting the world on fire, yet. It’s up about 11% for the year and offers the only significant dividend – 3.6% – among these featured stocks.
LAZ has been around since the 1840s, which is a pretty unique pedigree for a financial services company, given all the booms and busts that have wiped out plenty of legendary firms over the decades.
The fact that LAZ is still around is a statement of its ability to thrive in all conditions and find opportunity where other don’t. These days, LAZ is more focused on global investment banking, financial advisory and asset management services.
It has been at the center of some of the biggest deals in the past few years. Two that are some of the highest profile are the $1.1 billion Google – HTC deal and the $11 billion Gilead Sciences – Kite Pharmaceutical deal.
As the global economy starts to gear up, LAZ is well connected across the globe to help companies start putting some of that cash they’ve been sitting on to good use buying assets.
Stocks to Buy – TriNet
TriNet Group Inc (NYSE: TNET) stock has had a respectable run this year to date, up 36% so far.
TNET is one of the leaders in a new sector that has begun to flourish in the wake of the great 2008 financial crisis. It provides human resources solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
This new sector has been growing as connectivity has become almost universal and SMBs look for ways to keep their focus on their core business without adding more support staff than they absolutely need.
For example, if they only need someone to help with onboarding employees occasionally and managing benefits rarely and payroll regularly, with TNET, you just pay for the services you need.
With over 14,000 clients and 25 years in the business, TNET has the kind of reach and experience that sets it apart from some of the newcomers to this sector. Also, it’s in perfect position to be an attractive takeover target, or consolidate with smaller players to expand its growth.
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.