Dividend Stocks

7 Stocks to Buy Before the Next ‘Great Reset’ Begins in 2024

With investors being fearful, it makes sense to look for stocks to buy before the next “Great Reset.” The Great Reset in 2020 was a project with the stated aim to facilitate rebuilding from the global COVID crisis in a way that prioritizes sustainable development. However, we have only seen the opposite happen so far, with even more crises in the past four years.

Of course, no one can deny many infrastructure, clean energy bills and subsidies that have helped prop up green energy and sustainability. But it is also true that the momentum has decreased due to inflation and war. In my opinion, the grand vision of the “Great Reset” seems to have lost its way amidst the chaos of recent times.

In fact, many people think that with interest rates at their peak and recent GDP data showing sluggish growth, we could enter into a new economic crisis soon. The debt level has been increasing rapidly as well, and we have historically seen recessions strike just as the Fed started to cut rates.

Personally, I do not expect a major recession soon, due to strong labor figures. However, if future reports come in much worse than expected, it might be a good idea to move some gains into the following stocks before the next “Great Reset” begins in 2024.

Here are the seven stocks to buy.

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ANCTF)

Source: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTCMKTS:ANCTF) is a Canadian retail company with a network of convenience stores. The stock has been one of the most stable ones in the past decade. However, ANCTF stock has declined 13% since February. That’s because the company reported underperformance in same-store sales and margins for merchandise and fuel.

Nonetheless, I think it is a good time to buy before it inevitably bounces back, as it has done in the past. Most retail companies have seen their stocks go down recently, and those are the same headwinds hitting this company as well.

However, this isn’t just a retail company. Alimentation Couche-Tard completed its acquisition of TotalEnergies this year. Moreover, it is also an EV charging company with a rollout of charging sites across North America. The company has a car wash network as well, and this aggressive expansion into multiple industries makes Alimentation Couche-Tard one of the safest plays in the stock market right now.

It is one of the boring “hold and compound” stocks to buy with a modest 0.92% dividend yield and boring is exactly what we want during a downturn.

Casey’s General Stores (CASY)

Image of Casey's General Store logo on side of a store

Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) is very similar to the business we just talked about before. It operates a chain of convenience stores in the Midwestern and Southern United States. The stock may look expensive right now, but it is simply the premium you pay for safety.

CASY has a long history, and has shrugged off recessions in the past. Take a look at its performance during and after the Great Recession, and you’ll see why the market is willing to buy the stock at these prices.

The company has been expanding its footprint and near-term performance has been excellent, with the stock up over 38% in the past year.

Casey’s plans to build around 150 new stores in fiscal 2024 and acquired over 125 stores year-to-date. Its fiscal 2024 Q3 revenue was $3.3 billion, down slightly 0.1% year-over-year (YoY). EPS of $2.33 beat estimates by $0.19. Moreover, inside same-store sales grew 4.1%, driven by strength in prepared foods and beverages. Its fuel gallons sold were also flat versus a 5% decline in its region. For all of fiscal year 2024, the consensus EPS estimate is $13 on revenue of $14.94 billion. It is definitely one of the safest retail stocks to buy!

O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY)

Source: Shutterstock

O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY) is a company in the automotive industry I am heavily bullish on. While most companies in this sector have struggled, ORLY stock has continued to compound.

As I have stated before, the civilian vehicle fleet in the U.S. has been aging rapidly, and the average car on the road was around 12.5 years old in 2023. The problem is that many people do not have the money to replace their car when it runs into problems. In my view, this is throwing good money after bad. New cars often require more insurance costs, so it makes sense for people to just repair and drive what they already have. This is solid news for O’Reilly Automotive.

The company also recently entered the Canadian market.

The average price target, based on analyst estimates, is $1,162.15, with a high forecast of $1,300.00 and a low forecast of $986.00. That doesn’t point to stellar upside potential, but safety is what we are looking for, and this company provides a lot of it due to the aging vehicle fleet, which will end up acting as a tailwind even during a downturn.

Union Pacific (UNP)

United Pacific (UNP) switch on tracks near Kansas City.

Source: Michael Rosebrock / Shutterstock.com

United Pacific (NYSE:UNP) is the biggest major railroad company you can invest in. You can invest in BNSF Railway by investing in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B), but that won’t give you nearly as much exposure to the railway industry.

The U.S. actually has the world’s largest network but doesn’t get the credit for it. That’s because most of its railway is used for industrial purposes instead of passenger rail. However, this industrial rail network is a good place to invest in during rainy days. Onshoring trends along with massive infrastructure spending should reignite more growth here, and we have been seeing exactly that.

The company showed remarkable efficiency in lowering operating expenses in an inflationary environment, with the operating ratio dropping to less than 61%. Moreover, analysts expect stellar EPS expansion over the coming years, with EPS expected to rise from $11 to $21 over the next five years.

The stock also has a solid dividend yield of 2.17%, along with aggressive buybacks. If you’re looking for railway stocks to buy, you won’t find many better than UNP.

Murphy USA (MUSA)

Murphy USA gas station and convenience store located on an out parcel of a Walmart Supercenter

Source: Lawrence Glass / Shutterstock.com

Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) is one of the largest independent gas stations’ merchandise. The stock has been delivering stellar gains in the post-COVID era, and I think it still has lots of room to expand in the coming years and provide safety at the same time.

Murphy USA has delivered 374% in gains over the past five years. It is down 2.2% over the past week due to missing earnings estimates like most retail companies recently. However, it has been rebounding fast.

We are not looking at stellar growth in either its top or bottom lines going forward, but I still think it can compound fast since you’re paying 15 times forward earnings for a safe and proven business.

As I have said before, safe stocks also command a premium. The premium you are paying here is much lower than most stocks currently considered “safe.” Its Altman-Z score of almost 8 lands it solidly in the safe category. The stock also has a 0.42% dividend yield and a 3-year average share buyback ratio of 8.6%, which is better than almost 99% of retail companies.

AstraZeneca (AZN)

The AstraZeneca plc (AZN) logo is displayed on three waving red flags.

Source: Shutterstock

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) has been an outlier compared to many vaccine makers. While other COVID vaccine makers have been struggling post-COVID due to politics, vaccine sales cratering and companies no longer being able to sell huge amounts of vaccines to governments at triple-digit margins, AstraZeneca has gone the opposite way.

AZN stock has been on track. The stock did not see a massive increase in its price even when COVID-19 vaccines were given out en-masse and has not seen the share price decline either. Thus, AstraZeneca’s stock keeping stable through COVID is solid proof that it can weather storms and not wobble.

Analysts expect more of the same going forward, with EPS expected to increase from $4 to $5.3 over the next two years. In Q1, total revenue climbed 16.6% YoY to $12.7 billion. That beat estimates by 7.3%. Moreover, it has a 1.91% dividend yield to sweeten the deal.

The China Fund (CHN)

iq stock

Source: Shutterstock

If you look at The China Fund’s (NYSE:CHN) performance over the past five years, this stock would look far from stable or safe. However, I think it offers a once-in-a-decade buying opportunity right now.

China has seen a lot of weakness in the past few years due to COVID and the CCP’s crackdown on many tech companies. That does not mean China is a bad investment right now. In my view, the mistakes seem to have been realized. The Chinese government is now loosening its monetary policy and “pumping” money into stocks.

We have seen several Chinese stocks stage a comeback, along with the Hang Seng Index recovering meaningfully.

Many Chinese stocks are at bargain-basement valuations right now and are unlikely to go down further. CHN is now at levels we haven’t seen in over 23 years, and I think it is a great long-term buying opportunity before China loosens more.

On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan did not hold (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.

Omor Ibne Ehsan is a writer at InvestorPlace. He is a self-taught investor with a focus on growth and cyclical stocks that have strong fundamentals, value, and long-term potential. He also has an interest in high-risk, high-reward investments such as cryptocurrencies and penny stocks. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

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