The 2022 midterm elections are all over except for the counting. Several key states are still tabulating their votes, but it does seem likely that the Republican Party will win back control of, at least, the House of Representatives.
That means the country will have a divided government, which is historically good news for stocks. The reasons for that are best left for others to debate, but history is undefeated. In the 19 mid-term elections since World War II, stocks have gained in the following 12 months after every single one, and usually by a healthy amount.
Of course, it’s always possible that 2023 could be different, but I wouldn’t be so sure. The wheels of government move slowly at all times, particularly when you have two parties that can’t be much more divided than they are at the moment. Government spending is likely to slow down, and that may be music to the Federal Reserve’s ears.
That still doesn’t mean you can just throw a dart at any stock and make a profit. You still need a game plan. Here are seven stocks that should allow you to cash in on the 2022 midterm elections.
|Palo Alto Networks
|Enterprise Product Partners
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has not been immune to the tech wreck. MSFT stock is down more than 32% in 2022. For many investors, rising interest rates and expectations for lower consumer and business spending make the tech sector a no-go right now.
That being said, Microsoft is hovering just above its 52-week low at the time of this writing. The company continues to grow its quarterly earnings on a year-over-year basis. Revenue for FY 2022 came in at just under $200 billion. And the company’s first-quarter results for fiscal year 2023 put it on pace to eclipse that mark. All of which suggests that investors are selling MSFT stock based more on expectations than reality.
Plus, MSFT stock still receives a consensus buy from analysts, pays a safe and growing dividend, and has strong fundamentals including healthy free cash flow based on healthy profit margins. All of this suggests that coming out of the 2022 midterm elections, Microsoft will be a bellwether stock when the market turns around.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is a leading provider of internet security solutions with an international roster of enterprise customers, including 85 out of the Fortune 100. Cybersecurity will remain an essential part of every business, particularly at the enterprise level.
In the last several years, Palo Alto has enhanced its lineup of next-generation security offerings. And in the last five years, Palo Alto has grown average revenue by approximately 25% per year and average earnings by approximately 5% per year.
That average earnings growth is projected to double in the next five years. This may be due, in part, because the company believes it only has about 6% of its total addressable market.
Palo Alto Networks closed out its fiscal year in August and proved why it’s one of the leading names in the space. The company reports that subscription and support revenue now is more than 80% of its billings.
That’s the kind of metric that analysts and investors love because it means that the company has predictable revenue. As evidence of that, PANW stock currently has a consensus price target of $231.85 which is more than 50% above its price.
Enterprise Product Partners (EPD)
Regardless of the outcome of the election, the energy sector will remain a key sector to watch in 2023, and one of the key areas to watch will be natural gas. If that’s the case, Enterprise Product Partners (NYSE:EPD) is one to watch.
As a midstream operator Enterprise Product Partners is responsible for transporting natural gas across the country via its expansive pipeline network that covers over 50,000 miles. Investors like the company’s consistent revenue that it generates via contracts. This means slow, steady growth that can be a source of comfort in times of volatility.
But where Enterprise Product Partners shines is in its structure as a master limited partnership (MLP). This requires it to pay out a substantial amount of profit as a dividend, reflected in its more-than 7.6% yield. It also has increased its dividend for 24 consecutive years which puts it one year away from becoming a dividend aristocrat.
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
No matter what the final outcome of the 2022 midterm elections, fossil fuels will remain in the spotlight. Whether that will be good for traditional oil and gas stocks is anybody’s guess. The point I’d like to make is that it really doesn’t matter.
Traditional oil and gas stocks such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) deserve a spot in your portfolio for two reasons. First, the world is going to need fossil fuels in order to build the infrastructure that the world needs for new energy.
Just as important, the company is also actively investing in renewable energy. One of its specific investments is renewable diesel, which is becoming increasingly important as diesel fuel supplies are at historic lows.
Exxon Mobil just delivered a strong quarter with net earnings coming in at a record $18.7 billion. That comes out to $4.45 per share on revenue of $112 billion.
XOM stock is up 44% in the last 12 months and is near its all-time high. With oil prices likely to go higher, the stock is likely to stay at record levels for some time. Even if it doesn’t, the company pays a safe and growing dividend that it has increased for 39 consecutive years.
Republic Services (RSG)
Along with death and taxes, investors could add trash removal to their list of things that are inevitable. Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) generated over $11 billion in revenue last year, and it’s on pace to continue growing revenue and earnings in the next five years. That will keep the company’s dividend safe and growing, which is something it’s done for the last 18 consecutive years.
Coming out of the 2022 midterm elections, there’s more to like about Republic Services than the notion of predictable revenue and earnings. According to the Upright Project, the company has a net impact ratio of 43.7%. This is a measure of sustainability impact that is popular with ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investors.
RSG stock is trading in the middle of its 52-week range with some analysts projecting a 13% upside. Still, the combination of growing earnings and a healthy dividend makes RSG a solid choice for investors looking for stocks that are likely to outperform after the 2022 midterm elections.
Early in 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought stark warnings of possible food shortages in 2023. The high cost of fuel can’t be ignored. The high cost of fuel is affecting fertilizer costs which have skyrocketed in 2022.
Nutrien (NYSE:NTR) is the world’s largest producer of potash which a type of potassium salt that is commonly used as fertilizer. The company is also one of the world’s leading producers of nitrogen fertilizer. This will be in demand by farmers who are looking to increase production.
Although revenue and earnings growth are expected to slow in the next five years, they will still be higher than pre-pandemic levels.
NTR stock was up 20% in the last year as recently as a month ago. However, it’s given back most of those gains and is essentially flat in 2022. Still, the stock has an attractive P/E ratio of around 5.3x earnings.
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) was a shining star in the most recent earnings season. The company continues to outperform expectations no matter what the economy throws at it.
One reason is the company’s focus on digital. Consumers are increasingly ordering via the company’s app and driving to the restaurant near them to pick up their orders via the drive-through lane. Or they can go into the store and enter their order via a kiosk. It’s an efficient way the company is lowering its costs, and it shows consumers are likely to prioritize predictable value and convenience over other factors that when the economy tightens, .
MCD stock is bumping up against its 52-week high so with the economy being the way it is there may be limited upside at the moment. But investors can still bite into a tasty dividend that currently yields nearly 2% and pays out $5.52 per share on an annual basis.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch had a LONG position in MCD stock. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.