Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015

The major U.S. indices had another record-breaking week last week, driven to new highs by stronger-than-expected earnings by many blue chip names. While the U.S. unemployment rate reached a four-year low at 7.4% and factory activity rose to a 2-year high of 55.4, the lackluster labor force participation rate of 63.4% has caused concern among investors. These metrics prompted the Federal Reserve to issue a statement making it clear the U.S. still has a long way to go.

International indices moved largely higher on the positive U.S. data and improvements in eurozone economic figures. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.34%, Germany’s DAX 30 rose 1.92%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.38% on the week. In the eurozone, ECB President Mario Draghi stated that recent economic indicators signaled that the region was now through the worst of the economic crisis, although officials plan to keep rates low for the foreseeable future.

SEE: Economic Indicators That Affect The U.S. Stock Market

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)

Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) will release its quarterly report on Friday, and investors have watched the stock hit new all-time record highs in November before falling back in the past two months. Despite the optimism, Procter & Gamble earnings face pressure from international giant Unilever (NYSE: UL  ) as well as domestic rivals Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB  ) . The question facing investors is whether P&G can sustain its longtime competitive advantages against its rivals and bolster its growth.

  • [By James Well]

    Analysts’ Consensus Position on Pfizer

    Thirteen analysts including those at TheStreet, Thomson Reuters/Verus, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley and Argus Research are optimistic about the performance of Pfizer going forward and, hence, reiterated a consensus buy recommendation at an average target price of $31.78 per share. Last Wednesday, analysts at Goldman Sachs removed Pfizer from Goldman’s conviction buy list (CL) where Pfizer has been since Aug. 9, 2011, and placed it on the buy list but raised its price target from $34 to $35 per share. Jami Rubin, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, claimed that Pfizer has gone up by 82.5% since being added to the CL as against 53.9% for the S&P 500 during the period and, therefore, there was the need to replace Pfizer with AbbVie at a price target of $60 because they claimed AbbVie has greater upside at this time.

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    Rival Colgate-Palmolive (CL) has different concerns, namely sluggishness in emerging markets where it enjoys commanding market share and derives more than half its revenue.

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoffrey Seiler]

    The system, developed by Apple (AAPL), will work with iPhone 5 models and above, and allow users to access iPhone services such as Siri search, maps, hands-free calling and messaging, via voice, touch screen, or knob control.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is building a sapphire screen factory in Arizona. The move could be bad news for Corning (NYSE: GLW  ) , which currently supplies Gorilla Glass for Apple’s gadget lineup. If Apple moves wholesale to sapphire screens instead, it’ll take the wind out of Gorilla Glass’ sails very quickly.

  • [By Mike Deane]

    According to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone 6 is likely to come out late this summer. The analyst went on to say that he believes that phone will have an updated camera module processor and possibly a new co-processor.

    Misek said: ”Our checks indicate Apple is trying to improve yields and cost down the On-Cell screens for the iPhone 6. Additionally, we believe Apple is working on significant modifications to the camera module processor and potentially a new co-processor alongside the M7 for biometrics and sensors related to health. We believe these modifications require more time and as a result a late summer launch is now more likely.”

    The analyst said that he doesn’t believe that an integrated modem/WLAN key will be available in the iPhone 6, but will probably be included in the iPhone 6s.

    Misek also commented on Apple’s upcoming iWatch: ”We believe iWatch production yields remain extremely challenged based on our supply chain work, but continue to see iWatch as a 2014 event, especially in light of the wearables focus at MWC 2014. While we continue to see the smartwatch addressable market as limited, we were unimpressed with competitor products at MWC and believe Apple can quickly gain share. We believe CarPlay, iWatch, and other wearables/IoT opportunities can strengthen Apple’s ecosystem and create a halo effect for iPhone/iPad/Mac sales.”

    Apple shares were down $1.31, or 0.25%, in pre-market trading. YTD, the company’s stock is down 3.96%.

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), with its driverless cars, is also committed to being the leader in new technology for automakers. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are other contenders for platform dominance.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Again, Buffett talks up intrinsic value as the real yardstick. After all, he is not going to give short sellers and critics a reason to bash him. Berkshire Hathaway purchased additional shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) to a 9.2% stake versus 8.7% a year earlier, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to a 6.3% stake versus 6.0%. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is far from being one the “Big Four” holdings, but that may change in time.

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Lorillard have jumped 4.6% to $51.29 at 1:32 p.m. today, while Reynolds American has gained 2.5% to $52.12 and British American Tobacco has dropped 1.1% to $107.62. Altria Group (MO), meanwhile, has risen 0.4% to $36.43 and Philip Morris International (PM) has declined 0.9% to $80.21.

  • [By Kelley Wright]

    Tobacco is a controversial business; but for Philip Morris International (PM), it’s a market basically unaffected by economic slowdowns or rising commodity prices, which means it is stable and defensive; a combination we can live with. We also like the $3.76 dividend, outstanding growth, and a five-year average return on equity of over 160.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Thursday

    Earnings Expected From: Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS), Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) Economic Releases Expected: French trade balance, British trade balance, eurozone consumer confidence, German industrial production, Bank of England interest rate decision, European Central Bank interest rate decision, US initial and continuing jobless claims, Chinese trade balance

    Friday

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    Some of the traditionally defensive stocks like Phillip Morris International (PM) and Merck (MRK) also fail our test for operating conditions and financial changes. Yield chasers have also pushed the value of their shares to unsustainable levels, and are unlikely to see much more than mid- to low-single-digit profit growth for several years.

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Visa Inc.(V)

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    First, this information tells us that consumers are using their credit cards at increasing rates. Consequently, the no-brainer stocks to buy are credit card stocks. I personally prefer Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), because they both have the largest market shares.

  • [By Bloomberg]

    Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images American Express (AXP) is seeking to broaden its customer base by offering its first no-fee credit product that grants holders access to all of the lender’s rewards programs. The “EveryDay” card is AmEx’s biggest debut in terms of the amount of money spent on development and marketing since AmEx launched its “Blue” brand in 2000, according to Ed Gilligan, president of AmEx. The card issuer, already the biggest by purchases, is seeking new kinds of customers including U.S. mothers by offering incentives such as extra points for shopping at supermarkets, Gilligan said. “This segment didn’t think AmEx had a product that fit their needs,” Gilligan said in an interview at the firm’s New York headquarters. AmEx, whose business was built on charge cards that didn’t allow consumers to carry a balance, is seeking ways to increase loans and net interest income, which Gilligan has said comprise a smaller part of revenue than for competitors. Loans are increasing at AmEx slightly faster than the rest of the industry and they’re regarded as an important source of future revenue growth, he told analysts last month. Unlike with AmEx’s charge cards, EveryDay customers will have a spending limit and won’t be required to pay their balance in full each month, according to AmEx. They also won’t get extra perks such as earning triple rewards for travel and dining or access to entertainment events that are available to some customers who pay an annual fee on other types of cards. Terms call for the new card to carry a zero-percent interest rate for the first 15 months and 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent afterward, according to the company. Customers will have access to the full rewards program, which includes perks like transferring travel points that aren’t available on other AmEx products that don’t have an annual fee such as Blue, the firm said. The new card comes with EMV anti-fraud technology — named for founders EuroPay Interna

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    After last week’s record high, the S&P 500 looked poised for a breakout. Then reality took over, as Russian troops landed in Ukraine, world markets shuddered, and U.S. stocks followed suit thanks to drops in 3M (MMM), Visa (V) and Walt Disney (DIS).

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: Chevron Corporation(CVX)

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    It is a safe bet that consumers are unlikely to see a drop in the price they pay at the pump. The CEO of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) told a gathering of energy industry executives in Houston that labor and capital costs have doubled in the past 10 years and that “the new reality for our industry is that costs have caught up to revenues for many classes of products.” Here’s the money quote:

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    Adams’ partial list of potential losers:

    BP (BP) : the highest profile potential loser. It owns 19.75% of Russian energy giant Rosneft, which accounted a third of BP’s production in the fourth quarter. Sanctions that inhibit oil and gas flows to Europe, or banking/capital flows, would “hit Rosneft and BP early and hard.” An offset: there could be an uptick in demand for a pipeline 30% owned and operated by BP because it transports Azerbaijan oil through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean — a southern route avoiding Georgia and Ukraine. Chevron (CVX) pipeline investments could be stymied. It also signed a 50-year agreement to explore for and develop oil and gas in western Ukraine, involving up to $10 billion of investment. “A Russian takeover spikes that deal,” Adams says. Oilfield services companies Halliburton (HAL), Baker Hughes (BHI), and Weatherford International (WFT) all do business in Russia that could be prohibited if it is labeled a rogue nation.

    The crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s tactics make U.S. assets look more secure and more valuable: some U.S. refiners that could export fuel, utility holding companies that could export liquefied natural gas, and related pipeline companies could see even more benefits, longer-term,  from the North American fracking and horizontal drilling boom. But approval of the TransCanada (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline is a necessary piece of that equation, Adams writes.

  • [By Arjun Sreekumar]

    Refining weakness common among oil majors
    Shell is not the only oil major suffering from an underperforming downstream segment. In fact, all of its peers, including Total (NYSE: TOT  ) , ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , and BP (NYSE: BP  ) , blamed weak refining margins for disappointing financial performances last year. Exxon’s fourth-quarter downstream earnings plunged by $852 million to $916 million, while Chevron’s international downstream earnings plunged by nearly 80% to $125 million.

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    Also, T is teaming up with IBM (IBM) on the “Internet of Things” — combining their security, cloud capabilities and analytics platforms to jump-start Smart City initiatives. These new market opportunities have the potential to actually boost the performance of T stock over the next couple of years, too.

    Chevron (CVX)

    Chevron (CVX) is down 9% since Dec. 27. CVX stock has a current dividend yield of 3.5% and is trading at a fairly cheap 10 times forward earnings. CVX stock has gained ground this week despite an explosion at a fracking well in Pennsylvania on Tuesday — and the questionable PR tactic of offering free pizza to residents living near the site.

Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2015: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Damian Illia]

    The first on the list is McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), in which Renaissance disclosed a $734.6 million stake with over 7.57 million shares. McDonald’s is the largest fast-food restaurant company in the world, with nearly 35,000 restaurants in 119 countries. In the last quarter of 2013, the firm reported an improvement in earnings per share in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. McDonald´s increased its bottom line by 0.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, from $1,396.1 million to $1,397 million. It has a proven commitment to returning cash to investors, with a current dividend yield of 3.25% which is considered good to protect investor´s purchasing power.

  • [By Damian Illia]

    The restaurant industry has not been easy these days, as many setbacks seem to have interfered with companies’ performance. Holiday seasons, bad weather and other challenges lead to under top-line results for many. Firms such as Chili’s of Brinker International (EAT) or McDonald’s (MCD) have complained about the hostile weather conditions striking their business.