Analysts recommend these blue-chip stocks in 2022.
Investors who hold stocks of businesses that are reliable, consistent, profitable and defensible can sleep well at night no matter what’s going on in the macroeconomic environment. Blue-chip stocks are large companies with strong brands, financially sound businesses and consistent earnings and cash flows. They also often pay sizable dividends. Blue-chip companies are typically leaders within their given market sectors and have successfully navigated economic downturns in the past. Here are 10 blue-chip stocks to buy that CFRA analysts recommend and which have S&P Global Market Intelligence quality ratings of A or A+.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Apple produces the iPhone and other high-end consumer electronics devices. It is also one of the most financially sound blue-chip companies in the world, generating $94.6 billion in net income in 2021. Analyst Angelo Zino says Apple has a massive, loyal customer base and an expanding addressable market. Apple is also transitioning to higher-margin services revenue. In addition, Apple is the largest stock holding of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B), and Buffett has a reputation for hunting down high-quality blue-chip value stocks. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $200 price target for AAPL stock, which closed at $135.87 on June 21.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)
UnitedHealth is the largest U.S. managed care company, providing health plans and health care services to millions of customers. Analyst Paige Meyer says UnitedHealth’s plan to expand its Affordable Care Act offerings to new U.S. states and its $8 billion acquisition of Chance Healthcare should be bullish catalysts for the stock. Assuming antitrust regulators allow the Chance buyout, Meyer says there are significant opportunities to integrate Chance’s technology into UnitedHealth’s Optum health care services subsidiary. Meyer projects 11% revenue growth in 2022. CFRA has a “strong buy” rating and $665 price target for UNH stock, which closed at $480.32 on June 21.
Visa Inc. (V)
Visa is a global credit card leader and owns the world’s largest electronic payment network. Analyst David Holt says Visa is an attractive defensive play in a volatile market given the company is largely insulated from inflation and supply chain disruptions. In addition, Holt says Visa’s business is extremely diversified across different consumer categories. Holt says Visa’s leadership position in digital payments and its massive scale will help the company generate additional operating leverage over time. He says Visa also has opportunities to expand into different payment verticals. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $270 price target for Visa stock, which closed at $194.39 on June 21.
Mastercard Inc. (MA)
Like Visa, Mastercard is a leading credit card provider and technology-focused payment network. Holt says Mastercard is also insulated from supply chain disruptions and inflation, and its diversified business makes the company somewhat indifferent to the cyclical ups and downs in different market sectors. Holt says the company’s asset-light business model, market positioning and impressive scale will help improve operating leverage in the long term. He says the ongoing global transition to digital payments will generate high-teens annual net revenue growth for Mastercard through at least 2024. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $440 price target for MA stock, which closed at $317.40 on June 21.
Home Depot Inc. (HD)
Home Depot is the leading North American home improvement retailer. The home improvement business boomed during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 thanks to historically low mortgage rates and a rise in home improvement projects driven by social distancing. While mortgage rates have risen significantly in 2022, analyst Kenneth Leon says home improvement spending is on track to continue to rise through at least 2023. Leon says Home Depot has a history of performing well in difficult economic environments, including navigating the current issues with retail supply chain disruptions. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $375 price target for HD stock, which closed at $269.20 on June 21.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO)
Thermo Fisher Scientific provides analytical instrumentation and services for life sciences, pharmaceutical and industrial customers. Analyst Stewart Glickman says Thermo Fisher has benefited from multiple COVID-19 tail winds in the past two years, including testing, vaccines and therapies. He says the company’s diversified portfolio of health care technology is a major competitive advantage, and its investment in innovation fuels organic growth. While COVID-related growth may start to drop in 2022 and beyond, Glickman says Thermo’s recent acquisition of clinical research provider PPD Inc. will provide the company with its next significant revenue growth driver. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $614 price target for TMO stock, which closed at $513.54 on June 21.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)
Comcast is a diversified media and entertainment company and the owner of TV, film and theme park assets. Analyst Keith Snyder says Comcast’s cable, NBCUniversal and Sky Group businesses provide investors with business and geographical diversification. Snyder says Comcasts’ advertising, TV and film production, and theme park businesses are all pandemic recovery catalysts benefiting from pent-up demand. While the company’s cable broadband business is facing headwinds, Snyder says Comcast’s financial flexibility and modest revenue growth make the stock an attractive option for defensive investors. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $55 price target for CMCSA stock, which closed at $38.48 on June 21.
Accenture PLC (ACN)
Accenture is a global information technology services provider that offers consulting and outsourcing services for global clients. Holt says Accenture is a market leader with a solid balance sheet. It also has a proven track record of above-average earnings growth and has demonstrated an effective balance of profitability and reinvestment. In addition, Holt says investors may be underestimating the company’s potential for future earnings upside and its exposure to secular growth trends. He says Accenture also has valuable relationships with software vendors and an attractive valuation. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $411 price target for ACN stock, which closed at $282.73 on June 21.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)
McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast-food company. Analyst Catherine Seifert says McDonald’s shares are attractively valued, and the company reported impressive 12% same-store sales growth in the first quarter amid multiple macroeconomic headwinds. She says the company’s recent investments in mobile ordering, delivery and other technology will help boost the company’s digital revenues. McDonald’s positioning at the low end of the restaurant pricing spectrum makes sales resistant to economic downturns. Seifert projects 6.3% revenue growth and at least 11% global same-store sales growth in 2022. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $285 price target for MCD stock, which closed at $239.59 on June 21.
Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
Walt Disney is one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates and is the parent of ABC, ESPN, Disney World, Disney+, Hulu and many other assets. Leon says Disney is a best-in-class investment and does an exceptional job in creating and monetizing content through all of its various business segments. Leon says streaming subscriber growth will likely slow in 2022. However, Disney’s parks should benefit from pent-up pandemic demand, and prolonged park closures in Hong Kong and Shanghai will extend that pandemic recovery further into the future. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $120 price target for DIS stock, which closed at $93.29 on June 21.
10 of the best blue-chip stocks to buy for 2022:
— Apple Inc. (AAPL)
— UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)
— Visa Inc. (V)
— Mastercard Inc. (MA)
— Home Depot Inc. (HD)
— Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO)
— Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)
— Accenture PLC (ACN)
— McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)
— Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
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Update 06/22/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.