It is hard to believe, but the first quarter will end in a week and many investors will be reviewing their portfolios and making changes for the second quarter and the rest of 2022. One thing is looking more and more likely. At some point, if the highest inflation in 40 years does not start to taper, the Federal Reserve will get more aggressive on rate hikes. In fact, Goldman Sachs said this week that it thinks the hikes scheduled for May and June will both be by 50 basis points instead of 25 basis points.
It makes sense now to move from momentum stocks and those vulnerable to inflation and rising interest rates to sectors and companies that should continue to be the bellwether plays for the rest of 2022. We screened Jefferies Franchise List of top stock picks and found five such plays, and all five come with dependable dividends.
While these stocks are rated Buy at Jefferies, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This top stock has remained strong despite this year’s market weakness. CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) is one of the largest health care companies in the United States, providing retail, mail and specialty pharmacy dispensing services and pharmacy benefits. CVS has become one of the most vertically integrated publicly traded health care companies.
CVS serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, health plans, prescription drug plans, Medicaid managed care plans, plans offered on public health insurance and private health insurance exchanges, other sponsors of health benefit plans and individuals. This segment operates retail specialty pharmacy stores and specialty mail order, mail order dispensing, and compounding pharmacies, as well as branches for infusion and enteral nutrition services.
CVS completed a $69 billion purchase of health care provider Aetna in November of 2018 and remains one of the top picks for 2022 and beyond, as CVS has become one of the most vertically integrated publicly traded health care companies, and health care has lagged the S&P 500 significantly this year.
CVS Health stock investors receive a 2.20% dividend. The Jefferies price target on the shares is $120. The consensus target is $117.24, and the closing share price on Wednesday was $106.20.
This top stock to buy offers intriguing potential for value expansion. The Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) portfolio of businesses represents a diversified set of chemical products touching an even broader set of end markets.
The company has four business segments (Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, Performance Products and Textile Effects) representing the revenues and profits from the company’s exposure to five primary chemical chains. Across many of these platforms, Huntsman operates a vertically integrated footprint from upstream commodities to downstream derivatives.