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While the debate will certainly rage over which ideas legitimately rank as the greatest blue-chip stocks to buy of all time, for right now, certain enterprises stand out for a combination of their relevance and resilience. As well, a select few large-capitalization companies may be too undervalued and beaten down for their own good. Therefore, speculators may enjoy significant upside.
To generate this list, I turned to the investment resource Gurufocus, specifically its screener function. Here, I filtered out the best blue-chip stocks to buy for quality and predictability. As well, I’ve incorporated analyst ratings provided by TipRanks so you know what the experts think. So, without any more delay, let’s take a deeper look at the “greatest” blue-chip stocks list.
While exotic car manufacturer Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) might seem an odd idea for the best blue-chip stocks to buy, in my view, it makes perfect sense. First, it’s a world-recognized brand with a market cap north of $51 billion. Second, it’s performed very well this year, gaining over 29% of equity value. In contrast, the benchmark S&P 500 index moved up just under 9% during the same period.
Fundamentally, what makes RACE so special within this rarefied blue-chip stocks list focuses on economic insulation. Brewing headwinds against the consumer economy means that people are cutting back on their purchases, impacting once-resilient sectors like electric vehicles. However, Ferrari remains a powerful brand that constantly generates positive traction because it caters to a completely different wealth class.
In other words, there’s rich and then there’s Ferrari rich. And Ferrari rich doesn’t worry about little things like interest rate hikes. They’re truly above it all. Not surprisingly, Wall Street analysts peg RACE as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes out to $287.58, implying a bit over 3% upside potential.
With consumer technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), I shouldn’t encounter any pushback signaling it as one of the top blue-chip stocks to buy. Thanks to its market cap of $2.65 trillion, Apple basically represents its own powerhouse country. Plus, it continues to perform well, gaining 34% of equity value since the beginning of this year. Furthermore, it’s erased its trailing one-year loss, now staring at a slightly positive return.
Fundamentally, Apple’s brand power impresses like nothing else. With mass layoffs and other pressures working against the consumer economy, you’d expect a discretionary player like Apple to suffer. However, the products are too compelling and perhaps too addictive to ignore.
Financially, the company features strengths across the board. From a solid balance sheet to double-digit revenue growth to excellent profit margins, you can’t go wrong with AAPL on your blue-chip stocks list. Presently, analysts peg AAPL as a consensus strong buy. Their average price target comes out to $174.28, implying 4% upside potential.
A paint and coating manufacturing firm, Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) doesn’t exactly rank as one of the most exciting large-scale enterprises. However, a case can be made that it stands among the best blue-chip stocks to buy right now. Featuring everyday relevance, SHW can easily be an investment to build for the long run. Plus, its red ink this year may offer a discounted entry point.
Financially, it doesn’t offer truly remarkable attributes. However, the company gets the job done. For example, it posts a competent three-year revenue growth rate of 9.8%. Again, not remarkable but it betas out 57.05% of companies listed in the chemicals sector.
More importantly, Sherwin-Williams benefits from a consistently profitable enterprise. Its trailing-year operating margin pings at 13.55% while its net margin comes out to 9.12%. Both stats rank in the underlying sector’s upper half. Finally, analysts peg SHW as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $253.71, implying nearly 9% upside potential.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)
One of the companies that generated tremendous relevance during the worst of the Covid-19 crisis, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) no longer commands the spotlight like it once did when it contributed to restoring former President Donald Trump back to full health. Still, REGN deserves consideration on your blue-chip stocks list.
While it no longer generates front-page news, it continues to research and develop new therapeutics. Even better, investors like what they’re seeing. Since the Jan. opener, REGN gained over 12% of its market value. Financially too, Regeneron attracts investors thanks to its rock-solid balance sheet, strong three-year sales trend, and an excellent profit margin of 35.64%.
Notably, the market prices shares at a forward multiple of 19.23. As a discount to projected earnings, Regeneron ranks better than 71.43% of the competition. Therefore, it’s not only one of the top blue-chip stocks to buy, but it’s also one of the most undervalued. Lastly, analysts peg REGN as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes out to $885, implying over 9% upside potential.
One of the trickier blue-chip stocks to buy, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) carries significant clout as an entertainment stalwart. Obviously, during the worst of the pandemic, Netflix shot up the charts because it offered entertainment to quarantined consumers. However, as fears of the SARS-CoV-2 virus along with governmental restrictions faded away, the phenomenon of revenge travel took over. That left little room for Netflix to sustain its stratospheric growth.
At the same time, NFLX stock has been mounting a credible comeback effort. In the trailing one-year period, it gained nearly 43% of its equity value. It still has some ways to go to reach its post-pandemic record highs. Nevertheless, with the consumer economy again struggling, the content streamer could get interesting as a cheap entertainment source.
Financially, Netflix benefits from a solid balance sheet and strong operational stats. Notably, it’s a consistently profitable enterprise, featuring a trailing-year net margin of 14.21%. Turning to Wall Street, analysts peg NFLX as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target stands at $362.37, implying over 12% upside potential.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
Another tricky name to put on your blue-chip stocks list, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) on the surface seems like a reasonable enterprise to choose. Sure, it might be a bit choppy. Since the Jan. opener, UNH lost over 6% of its equity value. In the past 365 days, it fell 11%. Nevertheless, as a managed healthcare and insurance giant, UnitedHealth appears resilient.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that as layoffs accelerate, UnitedHealth may suffer a reduction in its total addressable market. With the alpha dogs in the business world announcing steep headcount reductions, you want to be careful with UNH.
Still, at the end of the day, we’re talking about one of the best blue-chip stocks to buy. Financially, UnitedHealth posts solid strengths in the balance sheet. Operationally, it features a three-year book growth rate of 11.1%, outpacing 73.33% of its peers. Also, it features robust profitability with a net margin of 6.21%, above 79% of the competition.
Looking to the Street, analysts peg UNH as a consensus strong buy. Their average price target stands at $602.38, implying nearly 24% upside potential.
Easily the riskiest idea on this list of top blue-chip stocks to buy, PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) is a powerhouse in the digital payments ecosystem. Fundamentally, it aligns with the burgeoning gig economy. Thanks to its intuitive business management ecosystem, it’s easy for gig workers (i.e. independent contractors) to get up and running. Also, the PayPal system keeps records of everything, making it convenient for tax-reporting purposes.
However, it’s a tough sell for risk-averse investors. Since the beginning of this year, PYPL gained only 1%. In the trailing one-year period, it fell nearly 21%. Further, trading hands at a little over $75, we’re way off from the time that PYPL commanded a $300 price tag.
But then, speculators wonder – could PYPL make another run to $300? If so, the underlying enterprise would easily rank as one of the best blue-chip stocks to buy. Financially, it has the right stuff, featuring decent stability in the balance sheet, solid revenue growth, and consistent profitability. Also, PayPal’s a quality enterprise, as evidenced by its return on equity of 11.78%.
For the final word, analysts peg PYPL as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $116.52, implying nearly 55% upside potential.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
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