10 Triple-A Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2018

Here are some stocks that are primed to start the new year going strong

Who would have thought that in a year where the U.S. has taken on trade wars with its allies and competitors — including the second-largest economy in the world —  the markets would still be hanging tough.

While the tax cuts last year were a game-changer for the first two quarters of the year, we’re now seeing other opportunities that are gaining traction now. Before the markets took a tumble in October and into November, we were seeing the mid- and small-cap companies start to pick up some of the momentum that big-caps scored.

The thing is, the big-caps could take their tax break and buy back stock to boost earnings. Smaller firms didn’t have that ability as much — their growth was for real.

The 10 triple-A stocks to buy for the rest of 2018 below have real promise and are just starting their run. The latest pullback just gives us a better entry point.

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Sept. 28 but has since been updated and republished to reflect new developments.]

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND)

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:LGND) is a unique type of biotech company. Instead of looking to take a drug or a family of drugs through the entire “lab-to-fab” product development process, LGND focuses on drug discovery, early stage drug development and product reformulation.

It then partners with firms to take its work to the next level. This is the new age of biotech companies, and LGND is a prime example of how it should be done. Right now, it has partnered on two drugs focusing on multiple myeloma, one that’s a novel antibiotic and one that controls platelet deficiencies.

Up 11% year-to-date, LGND is just getting started.

CyberArk Software (CYBR)

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CyberArk Software Inc (NASDAQ:CYBR) is in one of the hottest and most important tech sectors for the next decade or more — cybersecurity.

CYBR is an Israel-based firm that has business all over the world. That’s pretty impressive given the fact that it has a $2.4 billion market cap.

It has a client list that top 4,000 companies, including 50% of the Fortune 100 and 30% of the Global 2000 firms. This also is evidence that its security systems work and play well with other systems, including legacy hardware and software.

And it keeps building on its strengths as is evidenced in the fact that CYBR stock is up 44% in the past 12 months.

Intricon Corporation (IIN)

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Intricon Corporation (NASDAQ:IIN) is a Minnesota-based firm that has been making hearing aids and miniature and micro-miniature body-worn devices since 1930.

While IIN is a big player in this healthcare equipment segment, it only sports a market cap of $493 million. The thing is, it is making all the right moves to sell its products to the broadest market it possibly can.

It sells both through healthcare services as well as direct to consumers. And given the graying of the U.S. population, this potential group of customers is growing by the millions every year.

IIN is also smart about consolidating the business by swallowing up competitors. IIN stock is up 106% in the past 12 months, and 67% year-to-date.

BioTelemetry Inc (BEAT)

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BioTelemetry (NASDAQ:BEAT) is riding a wave that continues to crest. It does what its name suggests — it makes wireless and mobile medical devices. Fundamentally, it builds real-time monitoring devices for monitoring blood-glucose levels for diabetics and cardio information for heart patients.

While the broad strokes of healthcare are still up in the air, the fact is companies that can allow medical professionals access to real-time patient data without having to have patients tying up office time is valuable to all concerned.

BEAT’s technologies are precisely the kinds of products that will be encouraged from the healthcare practitioners’ side as well as health insurers.

Up 103% YTD, this sector is set for long-term growth, and BEAT should rise along with it.

Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM)

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Viper Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:VNOM) is an upstream energy company that trades as a limited partnership.

To unpack that a bit more, upstream energy companies focus on exploration and production (E&P) work, finding properties and then getting the stuff out of the ground. VNOM operates properties in the heart of the Permian Basin, one of the most productive shale energy deposits in the U.S.

As for its partnership designation, that means shareholders are viewed as business owners and are “paid” the net profits in the form of a dividend. Right now, VNOM is delivering a 7%-plus dividend.

It is important to remember, however, that this is a highly cyclical sector — demand is rising, and prices are falling but the winter is approaching.

VNOM stock is up almost 60% in the past 12 months, and the upcycle in domestic energy could be just beginning.

MCBC Holdings Inc (MCFT)

MCBC Holdings (NASDAQ:MCFT) is a boat maker. That may seem like an odd company to buy into now that the summer is over and winter is setting in.

But the trend is, people are buying more boats. Part of that has to do with financing. As cars have gotten more expensive and loans have increased in duration, it’s almost like financing a boat. The average car loan is now nearly 70 months, which can run up to 15 years or longer.

Even as rates rise, boat loans still remain relatively low. Also, consumers have lowered their debt levels since the financial crisis, so paying a regular amount over time isn’t as much of a stretch as it used to be.

Up 16% in the past 12 months, MCBC should continue to thrive as long as the economy stays on its upswing.

iRadimed Corporation (IRMD)

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iRadimed Corporation (NASDAQ:IRMD) has been making equipment for magnetic resonating imaging (MRIs) machines almost since their inception.

MRIs use massive magnetic fields to display various structural parts of the human body. They can be used for total body scans or simply look at a hand or heart. Over the decades they have become invaluable tools and are a good alternative to some examinations that use radiation.

The challenge has always been that MRIs’ magnetic fields are so powerful, you can have any magnetic objects around them once they’re operating. That makes watching vulnerable patients in an MRI or delivering diagnostic fluids to patients challenging.

That’s where IRMD comes in. It’s the top supplier of MRI-friendly pumps and monitors.

This is another segment with plenty of growth potential as America’s population grays. IRMD stock is up 115% in the past 12 months.

NMI Holdings (NMIH)

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NMI Holdings (NASDAQ:NMIH) is a leading mortgage insurance company. That means if you’re looking to buy a house and you don’t have the 20% down payment for the house, you have to get mortgage insurance on the difference between what you put down and 20%.

So, say you plan to buy a $400,000 house and need $80,000 for the down payment. You have $20,000, or 5%. You have to buy mortgage insurance on the $60,000 difference, which is usually rolled into your mortgage payment.

When houses are selling, NMIH is in its element. Basically it’s getting lots of cash, plus interest, from qualified people. It can then reinvest or loan out that cash again, like other insurance companies.

NMIH stock is up 16% in the past 12 months and as the housing sector continues to grow, so will NMIH.

Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM)

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Rayonier Advanced Materials (NYSE:RYAM) is a specialty producer of cellulose products as well as paper and pulp.

It was spun off from its parent company Rayonier (NYSE:RYN) in 2014. Basically, RYN had the timberland and RYAM would take what it needed to build out the specialty cellulose business.

Its products are used for filters as well as LCD screen production. Other products that use cellulose include diapers, plastic films, textiles, food products, automotive filters, paint, pharmaceutical products and many more.

This is a cyclical business and we’re just seeing the upswing starting in earnest. It’s a solid company and may not go gangbusters but it has opportunity here to score solid gains of the expanding economy. It’s already up 37% in the past year.

Superior Drilling Products (SDPI)

energy stocks
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Superior Drilling Products (NYSE:SDPI) is the smallest company on the list, with a market cap of a mere $41 million.

But that cuts both ways. While the big integrated oil companies will pull in huge sums when prices rise, it will be offset by all their operations and while you can count on growth, it’s not going to be big, heart-pounding growth.

Granted, your risks will be lower, but this niche drilling rig pick is up 35% in the past 12 months. And because it has a solid contract fixing PCD drill bits for a major integrated energy firm, it has a stream of income as well as huge growth opportunities. PCD bits are the diamond bits that have transformed U.S. shale drilling as well as deep offshore oil deposits.

If oil is in demand, SDPI will be making the most of it.

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.


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