Editor’s note: This article is part of InvestorPlace.com’s Best Stocks for 2021 contest.
What were you doing at the start of 2021? If you’re anything like me, the novel coronavirus pandemic put a real damper on the festivities; celebrating the Times Square countdown alone just doesn’t hit the same.
Of course, if you’re anything like me, the start of a new year doesn’t just mean a chance to leave behind last year’s stock losses and failed romantic prospects. It also brings a new round of InvestorPlace’s Best Stocks contest and with it, a new shot at outperforming the pros.
Matt McCall! Louis Navellier! Luke Lango! No need to name names, they’re all here. And now, three months into the year, we’re seeing how their top stock picks have fared. Who’s up, who’s down and what’s next.
That said, in order of increasing gains, here are the 10 best stocks for 2021:
- Nio (NYSE:NIO)
- Osisko Gold Royalties (NYSE:OR)
- Disney (NYSE:DIS)
- Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)
- Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR)
- Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD)
- Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)
- Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY)
- OncoCyte (NASDAQ:OCX)
- IZEA Worldwide (NASDAQ:IZEA)
Some of these stocks have skyrocketed over the past three months, while others have suffered losses through no fault of their own. Let’s take a look at how these companies have fared in the first quarter of 2021.
Best Stocks for 2021: Nio (NIO)
Investor: Reader’s Choice
Current Return: -23%
The semiconductor chip shortage and unrelenting trade tensions between the U.S. and China have been sources of consternation for Nio in the first quarter of this year. And those pressures don’t look likely to ease up any time soon, with the company saying the impact of the chip shortage will be especially felt in Q2.
However, don’t let the underperformance of NIO stock turn you off from investing in the electric vehicle (EV) firm. There are many analysts who would call this stock a “buy” on any dip, and the company’s record delivery numbers in March are just one reason why.
Additionally, expanding margins and potential U.S. government investment in the EV sector are further reasons for investors to remain bullish on NIO stock.
Osisko Gold Royalties (OR)
Investor: Eric Fry
Current Return: -7%
The price of gold has been falling in 2021, so it comes as little surprise precious metals play Osisko is underperforming. But there’s still a lot to like about OR stock.
First, this company operates Canada’s largest gold mine, and, as Eric Fry points out, that mine just got even bigger:
“A new underground discovery has added nearly 15 million ounces to the project’s total resources. This discovery is [so large and likely to grow as exploration continues] … that [mining companies plan to] spend $1.3 billion to develop this deposit. Osisko bears none of this expense but stands to reap significant cash flow from its royalty on this project.” [emphasis added]
Moreover, the company expects annual production for 2021 to be at least 78,000 gold-equivalent ounces, up from 64,000 GEOs the year before. But the company anticipates that production to double over the coming three years to 140,000 GEOs.
Wall Street consensus is that OR stock could double earnings per share to $0.55 over the coming two years, which would put the stock at a price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 25. But that doesn’t account for possible upside surprises from ongoing mine exploration or potential increases in precious metal prices.
Thus, there’s still plenty of reason to buy Osisko Gold Royalties — even if gains are realized over a longer time frame.
Best Stocks for 2021: Disney (DIS)
Investor: John Jagerson and Wade Hansen
Current Return: 4%
Up just slightly so far in 2021, Disney is a slow burn reopening play. While DIS stock hasn’t exploded higher quite yet, numerous catalysts are building that are hard to ignore.
That said, the magic number is 100 million. The company’s Disney Plus service recently notched 100 million subscribers, a key milestone for any streaming platform. Disney Plus has been an important source of consistent revenue as the company builds itself into a subscription model behemoth.
Additionally, 100 million vaccine shots have been administered so far in the U.S. That’s critical to any and all reopening plays, including this company’s namesake theme parks. On that front, the company’s California parks — closed since the onset of the pandemic — are due to open their gates again on April 30.
In turn, that could be the jumpstart that kicks off the next bullish price movement in DIS stock.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Investor: Bob Ciura
Current Return: 7%
Blue chip dividend stock Lockheed Martin isn’t breaking hearts with jealousy over gains of 7%. But a number of acquisitions and lucrative deals in the first quarter help explain why LMT stock is still a great buy for 2021.
Full-year earnings for 2020 set new company records for revenue and earnings per share. A backlog of approximately $147.13 billion bodes well for future product and service demand. Management expects revenue and earnings-per-share to increase 3.7% and 7.6%, respectively.
Given the low P/E ratio of LMT stock, it seems clear Lockheed Martin is set to soar higher.
Best Stocks for 2021: Fiverr (FVRR)
Investor: Louis Navellier
Current Return: 12%
Gig economy play Fiverr is up by a respectable 12%, but that number becomes more impressive when you realize FVRR stock plunged nearly 20% in the month of March. However, the stock surged 30% in February — meaning this isn’t a pick for investors who can’t roll with the punches of volatility.
Moreover, Fiverr released a Super Bow ad this year just two weeks before reporting full year 2020 earnings. The company had 89% revenue growth year-over-year and predicted revenue growth in the coming year of roughly 50%. Therefore, this means there’s plenty of room for this stock to continue growing.
Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)
Investor: Charles Sizemore
Current Return: 15%
Charles Sizemore sees the best stocks contest as a story of the tortoise and the hare. The pandemic has been tough on value plays and energy stocks, and EPD stock suffered as a result. EPD stock plunged to its 2001 valuation, erasing nearly two decades of gains before recovering to current valuations around 25% below pre-Covid highs.
Sizemore says he could see this stock retaking its all-time highs above $40 per share. That represents an additional 80% upside from current prices. That might feel farfetched now, but as more of the world returns to normal, we should see energy demand pick up as well.
Best Stocks for 2021: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Investor: Ben Reynolds
Current Return: 39%
Deeply undervalued at the start of the year, Walgreens Boots Alliance has climbed significantly in 2021 and still looks like a bargain. That makes WBA stock a great choice for any portfolio.
Walgreens stock trades for a relatively low P/E ratio and boasts high dividend yield, but a low payout ratio. Coupled with a long history of dividend increases, WBA has an appealing risk to reward profile.
Also, WBA stock should especially appeal to investors looking for safe dividends and above average yields.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)
Investor: Bret Kenwell
Current Return: 59%
In the midst of a major turnaround and pivot to e-commerce, Bed Bath & Beyond was briefly caught up in the Reddit-driven meme stocks saga this year. But unlike some other companies caught up in that kerfuffle, BBBY stock has real fundamentals underpinning the gains.
Now cash flow positive and turning a profit, the company has initiated an accelerated buyback plan and recently hired some new executives away from big competitors. In turn, InvestorPlace’s Bret Kenwell says if BBBY stock breaks above $33 it could push higher from there.
Best Stocks for 2021: OncoCyte (OCX)
Investor: Matt McCall
Current Return: 118%
The future of healthcare isn’t just personal, its one-of-a-kind. But it all starts with what’s in your genes and that’s where OncoCyte comes in. This molecular diagnostics company uses genetic testing to help doctors and patients alike make better healthcare decisions.
Moreover, OCX stock released Q4 2020 results in March and the pandemic led to a revenue miss. The top line fell 9.4% quarter-over-quarter while earnings increased slightly, from a loss of 13 cents per share to a loss of 11 cents.
Matt McCall was also positive about the company’s “recently announced partnership with MultiPlan.” That deal provides the company’s DetermaRx service to MultiPlan’s network “at a predetermined price per test… [making] OncoCyte’s treatments significantly more accessible.”
IZEA Worldwide (IZEA)
Investor: Luke Lango
Current Return: 151%
What’s the biggest key for a growth stock? Simple as it sounds, you have to be growing.
IZEA Worldwide certainly has been, making major contract gains. Per Luke Lango:
“In the fourth quarter of 2020, IZEA reported a 47% increase year-over-year in Managed Services bookings. In the first quarter of 2021, that growth rate surged to over 100%.”
Lango is particularly excited about the company’s Shake platform, which aims to connect the right influencer marketers with the right brands. This company is also a reopening play of sorts, as a return to normal should drive higher ad spend, including with companies like IZEA.
On the date of publication, Vivian Medithi did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.