[Editor’s note: This story was previously published in January 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]
Even though things have gotten back to normal since the beginning of the year, concerns about volatility still weigh on many people’s minds. While there’s often more reward when you take risk, there’s also nothing wrong with safe, reliable bets to get you through the tough times as well.
Below are 10 A-rated stocks that the smart money is piling into. That means all score A ratings for Momentum in my Portfolio Grader, and there is significant activity in buying by institutional investors.
ServiceNow Inc (NYSE:NOW) is the next iteration of CRM-focused systems, but it is all cloud-based. Also, it has a deeper amount of architecture and design ability that many customer resource management systems don’t have.
It has a solid $34 billion market cap, which means that it has a sizable enterprise-level client base and it is no longer and spry up-and-comer. It is a respectable provider of cloud computing solutions.
The stock is up 63% in the past 12 months, and up 52% this year.
If the economy stays strong and the various trade wars get worked out, NOW has plenty of potential in and beyond 2019.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp ADR (SNP)
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp ADR (NYSE:SNP) is better known in the West as Sinopec. It’s the largest oil and petrochemical products supplier in the world. It’s the second-largest oil and gas producer in China, the largest refining company and the second-largest chemical company in the world. And its total number of gas stations put it at No. 2 in the world.
Suffice it to say, it’s a major integrated energy company. And the crazy thing is, it only started in 1998. Most massive energy companies hark back to exploration and production in the 1800s.
Sinopec has grown massively since its founding and it has now come to experience a downturn in the energy patch for the first time since its ascent. And the volatility is still present.
So far this year, SNP is up more than 7% and delivering a solid 8.14% dividend.
Veeva Systems (VEEV)
Veeva Systems Inc (NYSE:VEEV) has a unique niche that will pay off handsomely over the coming years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s doing well now — the stock is up more than 100% in the past 12 months and 62% in 2019 — but it is becoming the major player in a niche that will only grow.
It specializes in creating cloud-based software solutions for the life sciences industry.
That may not sound very sexy, but when you consider the graying of the populations in developed nations, the demand for better healthcare in China, India and beyond, you have a lot of potential. And VEEV is the top player.
Ecopetrol SA ADR (EC)
Ecopetrol SA ADR (NYSE:EC) is the largest energy company in Colombia. While that may not sound incredibly impressive, Colombia has a lot of major exploration and production (E&P) companies there.
What’s more, given the implosion of major South American producer Venezuela and the political turmoil in Brazil, Colombia is a steady, reliable energy partner.
In the past, E&P was tough because there was a low-intensity civil war going on and a significant drug trade that was all happening in the same parts of the country.
But now that’s past, and the rebels are negotiating with the government. The government is more stable and predictable and energy prices are on the rise. All good news for EC.
Up 12.5% since 2019 began, it also offers a respectable 7.8% dividend.
Abiomed Inc (ABMD)
Abiomed Inc (NASDAQ:ABMD) is a stock that I have been singing the praises of for a while now. It is a specialized company that is the leader in a technology that is going to increase in demand globally for many years to come.
What’s more, its $15 billion market cap means it can grow organically or, it is the perfect size for a major healthcare firm to snap it up at a significant premium and just plug it into its broader scope of products.
Either way, investors will be well rewarded.
ABMD make the smallest heart pump in the world. And given the fact that developed nations are seeing baby boomers gray, this type of device is only going to grow in demand. Be warned, it gave back every gain from last year and 10% more, but coming into earnings this stock is ready to pop.
Tableau Software (DATA)
Tableau Software Inc (NASDAQ:DATA) as you may have guessed by its ticker symbol specializes in business intelligence and data analytics software. Basically, that means you can take your company’s data and create data visualizations and explore data in a number of ways that previously would have taken experts to build and deliver.
It’s a niche company that offers a powerful tool for enterprise and smaller businesses looking to get more from their data and allow their people to understand more about the numbers.
Up more than 40% in the past 12 months, it’s off to a slow start so far this year, but has big prospects.
Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) is a cloud-based communications platform built for developers.
One of the new forms of delivering services to consumers is with application program interfaces (APIs). Here’s a metaphor to help you understand the power of APIs in our new app-driven world. Say you’re a customer in a restaurant.
The API is the server and the company you are communicating with is the chef. The server asks for your order. You tell them, and they deliver it to the chef. When your request is ready, it comes to you.
This is how all apps work and TWLO is one of the biggest players in this space.
Up a whopping 223% in the past 12 months, it has plenty of room to grow.
Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT)
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in rare neuromuscular diseases (like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or DMD) using gene therapy and other therapeutics.
The stock was up more than 60% in the past 12 months and is up 14% already in 2019. Much of that is about its strong earnings and the progress it’s making on its new drugs. It’s expecting to bring three RNA-based drugs to market in 2020 and capture about 30% of the DMD market.
There’s a growing demand for effective drugs that can treat chronic diseases, SRPT is well positioned for growth or a buyout at a significant premium.
Zendesk Inc (NYSE:ZEN) is part of the new boom in omnichannel customer service support. Essentially, that means ZEN provides an online platform to integrate a company’s customer service so that it is available for all departments to see and follow up on.
Nowadays there are numerous channels for customers and potential customers to use for feedback, follow-ups, queries, etc. ZEN provides companies with an efficient way for a customer’s email query to get linked to their interaction with a chatbot and the phone call they made the other week.
Customer resource management is a big deal and numerous companies are now carving up that market and disrupting it. ZEN is succeeding in doing just that.
Up 81% in the past 12 months, it’s off to a strong start in 2019 as well, up 58%.
Match Group (MTCH)
Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) is the parent company of some of the most well-known sites on the web. It owns dating sites Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, Meetic, Pairs, Twoo, OurTime, BlackPeopleMeet and LoveScout24.
It also has a division that is focused on education services like test preparation, academic tutoring and college counseling services.
Its products are in 42 languages and available in 190 countries.
The power of this focused social media business is the fact that it has hundreds of millions of people that use or have used its services and that means it has huge amounts of data to cross-promote its own services as well as rent that data to others.
Up 30% in the past 12 months and 45% this year, this social matchmaking company is much closer to its beginnings than its end.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of four investing newsletters: Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks, Accelerated Profits and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Growth Investor, 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.