After many, if not most, growth stocks tumbled over the last two and a half years, I can certainly understand why investors would want to include many safe stocks in their portfolios. Further, a majority of the Magnificent Seven stocks are quite high at this point, so buying and holding them entails significant amounts of risk. Meanwhile, as always, investors nearing retirement and those already retired should not take on too much risk and should generally stick with safe stocks. So, for the many investors who want or need conservative, low-risk stocks, here are three top-notch names to consider.
Generally, over the last decade, companies’ spending money on cloud computing has continued to grow even during uncertain and challenging economic times.
In July, for example, Kuba Stolarski, research vice president for IDC’s Infrastructure Systems, Platforms, and Technologies Group, said, “Cloud infrastructure spending remains resilient in the face of macroeconomic challenges.”
That resilience is very good news for IBM (NYSE:IBM) which generates a great deal of revenue from helping other companies adopt hybrid cloud strategies. Those hybrids are becoming increasingly popular.
With the company launching an artificial intelligence (AI) consulting business, which appears to be generating tremendous demand and growing rapidly, the firm’s short-term and medium-term outlooks are quite strong.
Further, since companies will likely spend large amounts of money on AI in both good times and bad times to avoid losing ground to their competition in this important category, IBM is definitely one of the better safe stocks to buy.
Also making IBM stock relatively safe is the fact that its forward price-earnings ratio is a very low 15.6. Finally, the shares have a high dividend yield of 4.3%.
Dollar Tree (DLTR)
The very low cost of most of Dollar Tree’s (NASDAQ:DLTR) offerings should make it more appealing to many consumers when the economy eventually turns south.
And even if the economy stays resilient for many years to come, the high inflation the U.S. has endured over the last few years will make DLTR appealing to many working-class and poor American consumers.
Last quarter, the comparable sales of the company’s flagship Dollar Tree stores jumped by a healthy 7% year-over-year (YOY), while its overall top line climbed 5.4% YOY.
Analysts, on average, expect the company’s earnings per share to climb to $7.04 next year from $5.97 currently. DLTR stock has an attractive forward price-earnings ratio of 16.7.
Every human being needs to eat to survive, and that makes supermarkets very resilient to economic slumps. That’s good news for Kroger (NYSE:KR), one of America’s largest supermarket chains.
Moreover, Kroger’s profits appear set to grow steadily, as analysts, on average, expect its EPS to rise to $4.52 this year from $4.23 in 2022. And in 2024, their mean estimate calls for its EPS to advance to $4.45.
Also noteworthy is that supermarkets tend to perform better when inflation is elevated. KR expects to generate hefty free cash flow, excluding some items, of $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion this year.
KR stock has a very low forward price-earnings ratio of 9.8 and a significant dividend yield of 2.6%.
On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.