- As Wall Street gets ready for another earnings season, investors are increasingly chasing after defensive stocks to buy for a bear market.
- Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM): The multinational crop conglomerate is poised to benefit from tight agricultural commodity supplies and soaring food demand.
- Campbell Soup (CPB): The staple food giant exemplifies a recession-resistant stock with a stable share price.
- Coca-Cola (KO): The soft drink giant announced its 60th consecutive annual dividend hike, offering a robust 3% dividend yield at current prices.
- Consolidated Edison (ED): The utility powerhouse continues to generate passive income and consistent returns despite the selloff.
- Eli Lilly (LLY): The healthcare stock has significantly outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 index year-to-date, making it a viable defensive stock.
- Kimberly-Clark (KMB): Strong Q1 results secure this dividend aristocrat’s place as a safe haven to shield from inflationary headwinds.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT): Significant backlog and substantial streams of cash flow make this stock a defensive buy for long-term returns.
Today, we’ll introduce seven defensive stocks to buy for a bear market. As broader indices try to stabilize, investors are looking for robust shares that could hold up well in current volatility.
InvestorPlace readers are keeping a close eye on the S&P 500 index, which has declined roughly 18% in 2022. Earlier in June, markets plunged after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced an inflation rate of 8.6% over the past 12 months. It was above the 40-year high of 8.5% recorded in March.
In 2022, the severe macroeconomic climate increased market volatility and forced investors look toward defensive plays. These companies typically operate in sectors like healthcare, utilities, consumer staples, real estate and precious metals. Many of them also come with good dividend yields.
In early May, data released by Morningstar revealed that the net inflows into defensive exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have jumped to roughly $50 billion year-to-date (YTD). That amount is already up more than $8 billion from the net inflows into defensive ETFs seen in 2021.
With that information, here are seven defensive stocks to buy that could generate consistent returns throughout 2022 despite the market selloff.
Agricultural commodity giant Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM) produces raw grains and oils. It also boasts an extensive global network of processing plants and crop procurement facilities used in storage and transportation of crops.
Archer-Daniels-Midland reported Q1 numbers in late April. Revenue jumped 25% year-over-year (YOY) to $23.65 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.90 per diluted share, up from $1.39 a year ago. Cash and equivalents ended the period at $9.22 billion.
This multinational crop conglomerate is among the pure plays for the food-inflation trend. It should continue to benefit from tight agricultural commodity supplies and strong food demand. It also boasts 47 consecutive years of dividend hikes, currently offering a 2.1% dividend yield.
ADM stock is up over 12% YTD. Shares are trading at 14.6 times forward earnings and 0.5 times sales. Wall Street’s 12-month median price forecast for Archer-Daniels-Midland stock stands at $99.
Campbell Soup (CPB)
Food manufacturer Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) is known for numerous consumer brands, such as Campbell’s, Pace, Prego, Swanson and Pepperidge Farm. Its soup segment commands close to a third of global net sales. In May, Campbell announced a partnership of its Goldfish crackers and McCormick’s (NYSE:MKC) Old Bay for a limited edition production of a snack product for the summer.
Campbell put out Q3 results on June 8. Revenue increased to $2.13 billion, corresponding to 7% year-over-year (YOY) increase. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 37% YOY to 70 cents. Cash and equivalents ended the period at $196 million.
Like many manufacturers, CPB is fighting margin pressure under inflation. Management is, therefore, compensating for rising costs with inflation-driven pricing.
So far in 2022, CPB stock has returned 10%, and the dividend yield currently stands at a hefty 3.15%. Shares are trading at 15.7 times forward earnings and 1.6 times sales. Analysts’ 12-month median price forecast for Campbell Soup stock is at $46.50.
Management released Q1 financials in late April. Revenue grew 16% YOY to $10.5 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at 64 cents per diluted share, up 16% from 52 cents a year ago. Cash and equivalents ended the period at $7.68 billion.
Analysts concur Coca-Cola is one of the safest consumer staples stocks on Wall Street. With its global brand recognition, steady income stream and robust profitability, many long-term portfolios include KO stock as a holding.
In FY’22, the beverage giant is expecting organic revenue growth between 7% and 8%. In addition, this Dividend King currently generates a 2.9% dividend yield.
KO stock is up 6% YTD. Shares are trading at 24.1 times forward earnings and 6.5 times sales. Wall Street’s 12-month median price forecast for Coca-Cola stock stands at $70.
Consolidated Edison (ED)
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) is one of the largest investor-owned utility companies stateside. It provides regulated electric, gas and steam services primarily in New York state. The utility giant is also involved in clean energy and transmission businesses.
The utility company issued Q1 metrics on May 5. Adjusted earnings came in at $522 million, or $1.47 per share, compared with $491 million, or $1.44 per share, for the prior-year period.
In January, Consolidated Edison filed a proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission for investments in energy efficiency, renewables, electric vehicles and clean heat. This plan also seeks funding for investments in battery storage and new transmission lines.
ED stock is up almost 10% YTD and 27% over the past year. Meanwhile, the price supports a robust dividend yield of 3.6%. Shares are priced at 19.6 times forward earnings and 2.2 times sales. Analysts’ 12-month median price forecast for Consolidated Edison stock is at $90.
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Its therapies mainly address diabetes, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Management released Q1 results at the end of April. Revenue grew 15% YOY to $7.81 billion, primarily driven by a 20% increase in volume. EPS of $2.62 was an impressive 63% increase over the first quarter of 2021.
Global revenue derived from Covid-19 antibodies grew more than 80% YOY to $1.47 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lilly and Incyte’s (NASDAQ:INCY) Olumiant as systemic medicine for adults with severe alopecia areata (AA).
With this new approval and other developments in the pipeline, the pharma giant secures a confident path for further growth. Full-year guidance calls for adjusted EPS to increases by 10% to 12%.
LLY stock is up more than 20% YTD and 44% over a 52-week period. Shares are trading at 35 times forward earnings and 9.1 times sales. The 12-month median share price forecast for Eli Lilly stock is at $333.
Consumer staples heavyweight Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) has just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Its portfolio includes well-known tissue and personal hygiene brands, including Kleenex and Huggies.
Kimberly-Clark reported Q1 financials on Apr. 22. Revenue increased 7% YOY to $5.1 billion, which included 10% of organic sales growth. However, adjusted earnings-per-share stood at $1.35, down 25% from $1.80 in the prior-year quarter. Cash and equivalents ended the period at $493 million.
With solid sales growth despite the inflationary headwinds, management increased revenue growth expectations in 2022 by an additional 2%. Kimberly-Clark also sees organic sales rising by 4% to 6% during the year.
So far in 2022, KMB stock is down 6%. Shares are changing hands at 21.2 times forward earnings and 2.1 times sales. They also generate a robust dividend yield of 3.8% at the current price level. Wall Street’s 12-month median price forecast for Kimberly-Clark stock stands at $131.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Aerospace and defense (A&D) giant Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is well-known for its F-35 fighter jets, Sikorsky helicopters, missile defense and communications tech. Management announced Q1 results on Apr. 19.
Revenue declined 8% YOY to $15.0 billion. Diluted EPS came in at $6.44, down from $6.56 in the prior-year quarter. Free cash flow during the quarter stood at $1.1 billion. Cash and equivalents ended the quarter at $1.9 billion.
The defense leader generates significant free cash flow regardless of the state of the global economy. Most of its revenue comes from long-term government contracts.
For instance, in June, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to build the first megawatt-scale, long-duration energy storage system for the U.S. Department of Defense. This should contribute to its already immense backlog of $134 billion at the end of the quarter.
Despite the market selloff, LMT stock is up almost 18% YTD. It currently generates a 2.8% dividend yield. Shares are trading at 16.3 times forward earnings and 1.7 times sales. Finally, the 12-month median price forecast for Lockheed Martin stock stands at $500.
On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil,Ph.D., did not have (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.