There’s no doubt stocks have been pretty volatile recently. And that’s no surprise since this tends to be the most volatile time of year for the market.
We’ve reached the end of the third quarter, so as earnings roll out, we’ll hear guidance from companies for what they see not just in this quarter, but for 2020 as well. If you remember last year, this was when the bottom fell out. It didn’t happen immediately, but guidance was trimmed as more earnings were reported — and then it snowballed.
Another contributor to market volatility is the approaching holiday season, which is always a good indicator of consumer spending. At this point, the consumer is keeping the market rolling. But if they cut back on holiday shopping or walk away, there could be trouble.
Alternatively, consumers could spend more and the markets could take off. If you follow me at Growth Investor, you know that I’ve learned to have faith in the U.S. consumer, and also in the psychological power of warm holiday feelings to fuel a “Santa Claus Rally.”
If those other two factors weren’t enough to keep the markets bumpy, a Chinese delegation is in town for two days of trade talks. They have made it clear they only want a small trade deal, not the comprehensive one that President Donald Trump has demanded.
These seven “A”-rated stocks for the rest of 2019 should do well regardless of the trade talks. They are well positioned in sectors with long growth paths that can handle a bump or two without the wheels falling off.
Stocks to Buy: Crocs (CROX)
Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) is usually not the stock you think of when you’re looking for an “A”-rated stock that can ride out market storms.
The company’s shoes hit the scene in the early 2000s, and these spongy, nearly indestructible plastic shoes were a novelty hit. They were interesting looking, relatively cheap, comfortable and tough. Plus they were very light.
They were the kind of thing you feel guilty about having because they’re so odd, yet they feel great.
After the initial fad wore off, it was hard to see how the company was going to keep customers — the shoe business is very competitive and things roll in and out of fashion constantly. And shoes with such a low price point don’t usually find a dedicated audience.
But Crocs did. Kids that got them when they were little now wear them as adults. And the adults that wore them initially, well, they have kept on wearing them. The brand has stuck — and it’s gone global.
With new styles and accessories, CROX stock has found a way to stay relevant and Crocs are hip again, around the world. The stock is up 57% in the past year and has plenty of room to grow.
Casella Waste Systems (CWST)
Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) started in Vermont in 1975 with two brothers and a single truck. Now, it’s a publicly traded company with a $2.1 billion market cap and it has operations across New England and upstate New York.
Recently, China and other parts of Asia have stopped taking U.S. recycling because they’re generating so much of their own that they can’t process it all. This has led to many waste companies in the U.S. having to revamp recycling management. Many small companies have gone out of business because they can’t process the waste.
CWST is a vertically integrated firm, so it has its own facilities to manage some of it.
And well-run waste companies are always targets for national waste companies as merger possibilities, which is even more the case today as weaker firms have already lost market share or gone out of business.
CWST stock is up 49% in the past year because of the challenges in the waste management sector. And the problem is only going to get bigger. That’s a lot of opportunity for this regional player. I like to find niche opportunities like this wherever I can. A truly unbeatable business model will, sooner or later, show up in my list of Bulletproof Stocks.
Kinsale Capital Group (KNSL)
Kinsale Capital Group (NASDAQ:KNSL) is a niche insurer that specializes in excess and surplus lines of insurance. These are properties that can’t be insured through regular lines because they fall outside normal rating guidelines.
For example, mobile homes or mobile home parks. Or a refinery or oil tanker. It may be niche, but the possibilities are broad.
KNSL has been doing this for about 10 years now. And over those 10 years, the stock is up 470%, in a reasonably up-trended line. That’s an average gain of 47% annually.
The fact that it’s located in Richmond, Virginia — the headquarters for Dominion Energy (NYSE:D), one of the largest utilities on the East Coast — is likely no coincidence. Solar and wind farms, pipelines and power stations would all be E&S properties. That’s a good client to have.
CareTrust REIT (CTRE)
CareTrust REIT (NASDAQ:CTRE) is in an ideal spot on two counts.
First, it’s a real estate investment trust. This market is perfect for good REITs. Low interest rates mean it can refinance properties and get lower rates. It can also expand its portfolio at lower costs.
Second, it’s in the healthcare sector. This is a huge long-term trend as the U.S. population begins to age. It specializes in assisted living, memory care and assisted and skilled nursing care facilities.
What’s more, since it’s a REIT, its tax structure mandates that it pay out net profits to shareholders, which it does in the form of a dividend.
CTRE stock is up 35% in the past year and it still delivers a nearly 3.8% dividend. This is a great total return play for investors that want a long-term growth stock that will pay them regularly as it grows. If you’d like to hear more about how I identify the best investments in this particularly attractive group of stocks, click here for my full briefing.
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH) has had quite the tumultuous time. It’s in the solar power market and it makes microinverters.
The power that is generated off a solar panel is direct current, or DC power. A house or business is wired for alternating current (AC), which is delivered by the local utility.
That means the solar power needs to be converted — or inverted — into AC from DC. And that is the device that ENPH makes. It takes the energy generated off a home solar network and converts it for use. And the excess, if the utility cooperates, can then be uploaded onto the grid, further lowering the homeowners’ electricity costs and allowing the utility to sell power generated outside its power stations.
Consistent renewable energy policy in the U.S. has been a rare thing over the past couple decades, and that means ENPH has suffered from inconsistency. But the technology has improved and solar is now cheaper and more efficient than it used to be. That has allowed the company to gain increasing popularity as utility infrastructure ages and becomes less consistent.
ENPH stock is now in a boom cycle, up more than 440% in the past year. It may not do this every year, but it has a long growth path ahead.
American State Water Company (AWR)
American State Water Company (NYSE:AWR) has been around since the Great Depression. And as a California-based water utility, it has seen its share of ups and downs over the years.
When you manage water for a state that’s the fifth-largest economy in the world (ahead of the United Kingdom) and much of that wealth comes from water-dependent agriculture, you have to be pretty good at what you do.
Water is blue gold. At Growth Investor, we always have a healthy weighting in water and other high-quality utilities. AWR has more than 260,000 customers across the state and also operates a small electric utility operation in and around San Bernardino County.
But one of the best aspects of its business is it has 50-year contracts with the U.S. military to manage water supplies on military bases around the U.S. That means AWR has a great customer that is locked in for decades.
AWR stock is up 48% in the past 12 months and delivers a 1.3% dividend. That growth may slow a bit, but this is a rock-solid company with proven staying power.
MFA Financial (MFA)
MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) is in a unique subset of the REIT sector. It doesn’t own any properties — it buys and trades mortgage-backed securities, home loans and non-mortgage backed securities.
And this is the ideal market to be in this business.
When rates are this low — and are likely headed lower — and with no inflation in sight, it’s a great time for businesses and individuals to refinance their higher interest rate debts. And MFA is part of that action.
What’s more, since it’s structured as a REIT, it means investors get a dividend from its operations. In this case, the dividend is a whopping 10.6%.
Granted, the stock price isn’t setting any records, up about 4% for the past year. But if you’re looking for some solid income, MFA is certainly worth considering. Plus, if the real estate market turns, MFA isn’t sitting on any properties. It can pivot because it’s nimble.
A Common Thread Among These Top-Rated Stocks
You’ll notice that many of these stocks paid great dividends. There’s a reason for that.
These days, the global bond market is just going haywire: We’ve got falling and even negative yields overseas. But as investors retreat to U.S. Treasurys it’s causing bizarre effects here, too. Just look at what happened this summer, when the two-year Treasury actually began to yield MORE than the 10-year Treasury.
And even the 30-year Treasury can’t be relied upon for good yield anymore. In August, its yield dropped below 2% for the first time ever.
So — whether you’re managing big institutional cash, or your own portfolio — you’ll also want to look at the group I sometimes call the Money Magnets.
Not only did these stocks earn an “A” in my Portfolio Grader tool, thanks to strong buying pressure and great fundamentals …
The stocks also earn an “A” in my Dividend Grader tool. These stocks are able to pay great yields — and have the strong business model to back it up.
All in all, I’ve got 27 strong dividend growth stocks for you now, and one more coming, in Growth Investor … almost all of which yield more than the S&P 500. These stocks are poised to do well as we continue to see international capital flow to the U.S. markets. Click here to see how I found these stocks, and how you can get great performance out of YOUR portfolio — come what may.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.