5 Utility Stocks to Save From the Wreckage


Dip-buyers wary of volatility should consider more stable utility stocks



Utility stocks could become more popular soon. Amid the trading volatility of recent days, many of the stock market’s usual best performers made a hard turn downward. Such moves cause many investors to rethink their investing strategies. Instead of going for the stocks they believe will go up the furthest, they turn to more stable equities.

Utility stocks have become a common choice in such an instance. While they may see less stock price growth, they also tend to produce both profits and steady amounts of cash flow. Moreover, whether the economy booms or busts, people tend to keep paying their utility bills. This reinforces the stability of utility stocks.

Investors should also note that the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLU), which tracks the utility sector, has risen by almost 3% so far in October. Not only have these stocks to buy not seen the effects of the October swoon, but they have also grown in value as other stocks retreated. Additionally, with their steady stream of cash flow, these companies will likely provide a stable source of dividend income.




Investors should find especially promising returns in the following companies:






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Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of October 8, 2018



Upgrades:


Barclays upgraded shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report released on Monday morning, Marketbeat reports. Barclays currently has $16.00 target price on the conglomerate’s stock. A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on GE. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a neutral rating and set a $14.00 target price on shares of General Electric in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $15.00 target price on shares of General Electric and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Deutsche Bank set a $15.00 target price on shares of General Electric and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, July 12th. MED raised shares of General Electric from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 12th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a sell rating and set a $11.00 target price on shares of General Electric in a research report on Monday, July 16th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. General Electric presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $16.31. Read more …

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by research analysts at Deutsche Bank from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Marketbeat reports. The firm presently has a $113.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their prior price target of $89.00. Deutsche Bank’s price target indicates a potential upside of 18.00% from the company’s current price. Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $98.00 target price on shares of Walmart in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Walmart in a report on Friday, August 17th. Morningstar set a $90.00 target price on shares of Walmart and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Telsey Advisory Group lifted their target price on shares of Walmart from $105.00 to $107.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $110.00 target price on shares of Walmart and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, September 23rd. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $102.25. Read more …

Guggenheim upgraded shares of Mcdonald’s (NYSE:MCD) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $200.00 price objective on the fast-food giant’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call. Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on MCD. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a buy rating and set a $185.00 price target on shares of Mcdonald’s in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Telsey Advisory Group dropped their price target on shares of Mcdonald’s from $190.00 to $175.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a neutral rating and set a $168.00 price target on shares of Mcdonald’s in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Mcdonald’s from $176.00 to $178.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, June 14th. Finally, Imperial Capital dropped their price target on shares of Mcdonald’s from $190.00 to $175.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $183.29. Read more …




Bank of America upgraded shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report published on Wednesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have $46.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a sell rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 21st. ValuEngine cut shares of Southern from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Credit Suisse Group cut shares of Southern from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and dropped their price target for the company from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, Evercore ISI cut shares of Southern from an in-line rating to an underperform rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southern has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.04. Read more …

Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of October 1, 2018


Disposals:


Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) SVP Sharon J. Bracken sold 1,732 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.35, for a total value of $127,042.20. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,229 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,877,447.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Read more …

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) insider Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 5,000 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.39, for a total value of $366,950.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 93,321 shares in the company, valued at $6,848,828.19. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Shares of NYSE:ABT opened at $71.82 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $128.70 billion, a PE ratio of 28.73, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.58. Abbott Laboratories has a 1 year low of $53.61 and a 1 year high of $74.15. Read more …

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) insider Jean-Marc Ollagnier sold 1,340 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $173.37, for a total transaction of $232,315.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Read more …

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) COO Johan Deblaere sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $173.43, for a total transaction of $867,150.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Read more ...

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 30,117 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $173.45, for a total transaction of $5,223,793.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Shares of ACN opened at $173.15 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $114.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.98. Accenture Plc has a twelve month low of $133.66 and a twelve month high of $175.64. Read more …

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $235.81, for a total transaction of $707,430.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,654 shares in the company, valued at $2,040,699.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Costco Wholesale stock opened at $236.35 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $103.00 billion, a PE ratio of 40.61, a P/E/G ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.95. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 1 year low of $154.11 and a 1 year high of $245.16. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. Read more …




NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE) Director Rudy E. Schupp sold 1,600 shares of NextEra Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.00, for a total transaction of $267,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 21,300 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,557,100. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Shares of NEE stock opened at $169.25 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $79.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.26, a PEG ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 0.20. NextEra Energy Inc has a fifty-two week low of $145.10 and a fifty-two week high of $175.65. Read more …

Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) CFO Corie S. Barry sold 2,982 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.35, for a total transaction of $233,639.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 72,838 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,706,857.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Best Buy stock traded down $0.19 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $75.01. The company had a trading volume of 3,264,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,430,214. The stock has a market cap of $21.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.98, a P/E/G ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a quick ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25. Best Buy Co Inc has a one year low of $52.92 and a one year high of $84.37. Read more …

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) SVP Angela J. Ahrendts sold 25,000 shares of Apple stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.66, for a total value of $5,816,500.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 105,538 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,554,471.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Read more …

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 61,998 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.33, for a total transaction of $14,403,995.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 124,695 shares in the company, valued at $28,970,389.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Read more …

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) insider Luca Maestri sold 100,245 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $228.56, for a total value of $22,911,997.20. Following the sale, the insider now owns 91,665 shares in the company, valued at $20,950,952.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.  
Shares of AAPL traded down $3.70 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $224.29. 33,526,300 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 31,253,883. The stock has a market cap of $1,109.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.05, a P/E/G ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 1.36. Apple Inc. has a 12 month low of $150.24 and a 12 month high of $233.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a current ratio of 1.31. Read more …

PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) CEO Laxman Narasimhan sold 5,500 shares of PepsiCo stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.79, for a total value of $587,345.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 130,135 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,897,116.65. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. NASDAQ PEP traded down $0.12 on Friday, hitting $106.49. 3,438,200 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,018,508. The company has a market capitalization of $158.12 billion, a PE ratio of 20.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.00, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a current ratio of 1.24. PepsiCo, Inc. has a 52-week low of $95.94 and a 52-week high of $122.51. Read more …


Acquisitions:


Nothing to mention.



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Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of October 1, 2018



Upgrades:


United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) was upgraded by research analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued on Monday, The Fly reports. The brokerage presently has a $128.00 price target on the transportation company’s stock. BMO Capital Markets’ target price would suggest a potential upside of 9.41% from the stock’s previous close. Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. KeyCorp began coverage on United Parcel Service in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Berenberg Bank began coverage on United Parcel Service in a research note on Friday, September 21st. They set a “hold” rating and a $125.00 target price for the company. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Loop Capital increased their target price on United Parcel Service to $145.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $150.00 target price on United Parcel Service and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 10th. Finally, Raymond James upgraded United Parcel Service from a “market perform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $125.41. Read more …

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday, The Fly reports. CVX has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Chevron from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $137.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada set a $150.00 price objective on Chevron and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. HSBC raised Chevron from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Berenberg Bank began coverage on Chevron in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $135.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Bank of America lowered Chevron from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $150.00 to $135.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 6th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Chevron has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $137.92. Read more …

Wolfe Research upgraded shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $16.00 price objective on the conglomerate’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $15.00. Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $11.00 price target on General Electric and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Gabelli restated a buy rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of General Electric in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Morningstar set a $15.70 price target on General Electric and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded General Electric from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Finally, Bank of America set a $16.00 price target on General Electric and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $16.50. Read more …




Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat reports. They currently have $82.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on PAYX. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Paychex from $66.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. ValuEngine raised Paychex from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. BidaskClub cut Paychex from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Paychex from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price target on Paychex from $64.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $69.69. Read more …

Occidental Petroleum Could Return 10% Per Year From Today’s Starting Point



Peter Lynch is one of the best professional portfolio managers of all time. During his tenure as portfolio manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund between 1977 and 1990, his fund generated annual returns of 29.2%. To put this into perspective, a 29.2% annual return over 13 years would have turned a $10,000 investment into nearly $280,000. One of Lynch’s core investing principles is to do your research, meaning investors should always conduct thorough due diligence before buying individual stocks. This includes valuation analysis as an important part of the research process.

The price-to-earnings growth ratio, or PEG ratio for short, can be a helpful valuation tool for investors to find undervalued stocks. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) currently has a PEG ratio of just 0.24, based on its expected earnings growth over the next five years. This low of a PEG ratio means the stock could be significantly undervalued. In addition, the stock has a high dividend yield of 4%. As a result, Occidental Petroleum could be an attractive stock for value and income investors..






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The Hershey Company: A Dividend Stock to Hold for the Next Century

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