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2 ‘Perfect 10’ Stocks to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

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This year has been tough for investors. The inflation numbers may have been down in October, but it was still 7.7% compounded on last October’s 6.2%, and that’s too high. Interest rates are rising fast in response, making capital more expensive, and the available cash is chasing goods constrained by tight supply chains and continued COVID lockdowns in China. Food and energy prices are high, and likely to rise, as Russia’s war in Ukraine puts a major clamp on global supplies of natural gas, wheat, and cooking oils. It’s no wonder that stock markets have been highly volatile, making it ever more difficult for investors to predict what’s coming next.

But even with all of those headwinds, there are stocks we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday season. These are the market’s proven performers, the stocks that have brought sound returns to investors despite all the challenges that 2022 has through at the markets.

The positive attributes of these winning stocks are reflected in their Smart Scores. The TipRanks Smart Score takes the collected data on every stock and collates it by 8 separate categories, each of which is known to correlate with positive stock performance going forward. The Smart Score gives each stock a single-digit score, on a scale of 1 to 10, making it easy to tell at a glance the shares’ main chance in the coming months.

Generally, stocks that get a ‘Perfect 10’ on the Smart Score will show solid results in each of the 8 factors, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Pulling up the Smart Score data on two stocks that have hit that goalpost, we find that they offer investors a solid foundation and a good combination of strengths. Let’s take a closer look.

ConocoPhillips (COP)

We’ll start in the energy industry, where ConocoPhillips is one of the sector’s largest legacy names. ConocoPhillips boasts a market cap of $158 billion, along with operations in 13 countries and production on the order of 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent daily. Annual revenues hit $46 billion last year, and has already beaten that total this year; the top line for the first 9 months of the year hit $60.5 billion.

In the last reported quarter, 3Q22, revenue came in at $21.14 billion, up 79% year-over-year. Net income was $4.53 billion, for a 90% y/y; on a per-share basis, the adjusted EPS of $3.60 represented a 103% gain from the year-ago quarter.

In addition to solid financial results, ConocoPhillips finished the quarter with $10.7 billion in cash and liquid assets on hand – after distributing $4.3 billion to shareholders through a combination of $1.5 billion in dividends and $2.8 billion in share repurchases. During the quarter, the company increased its repurchase authorization going forward by $20 billion and announced an 11% increase in the quarterly dividend payment.

With that in the background, it’s no wonder that shares in COP are up 83% so far this year, far outpacing the 16% year-to-date loss on the S&P 500.

Truist’s 5-star analyst Neal Dingmann couldn’t help but sing the praises of ConocoPhillips, noting that the company has is resting on a truly solid foundation.

“Conoco finds itself in the enviable financial and operational positions with nearly no debt, record production, and sizeable, quality inventory. While we have received some investor pushback that has focused on the company’s stock hitting a recent all-time high, we point out that the valuation still looks very reasonable with the shares trading at a ~15% FCF yield and ~4.4x earnings basis; both 20%+ discounts to its closest peers,” Dingmann opined.

“Further,” the analyst added, “we believe the company’s three tier returns on its capital program is one of the better in the industry as it returns more capital to investors than the majors, yet retains more financial optionality than a number of the large independent operators. We believe this combination gives investors what they currently want…”

Against this backdrop, it’s no wonder that Dingmann rates COP as a Buy, and his price target of $167 implies it has a one-year upside potential of ~32%. (To watch Dingmann’s track record, click here)

Dingmann represents the bullish view on COP, which is held by 15 of the 18 analysts who have recently filed reviews on the shares. Overall, the stock gets a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus. (See COP stock analysis on TipRanks)

CECO Environmental (CECO)

Next up, CECO Environmental, is ‘green’ firm, working on the development and installation of new technologies in environmental air pollution control technologies, energy technologies, and fluid handling and filtration. The company has found customers in sectors and industries as varied as aerospace, automotive, brick making, cement, chemicals, fuel refining, and even glass manufacturing.

CECO’s revenues have been growing fairly steadily – with 5 sequential increases since the beginning of 2001. In 3Q22, the last quarter reported, the company showed a top line of $108.4 million, up 36% year-over-year. Revenues were supported by a 10% increase in business orders, to $101.7 million, and the company’s backlog, an important metric indicating future business and income, rose by 27% to $277.7 million. In an important turnaround, the net income came in at $1.9 million, a gain of $3.1 million from the $1.2 million net loss in the year-ago quarter.

Reflecting these sound metrics, CECO published full-year 2022 revenue guidance of $410 million or better, forecasting a y/y top-line gain of 25%.

Overall, investors have been pleased with CECO over the course of this year, and this is another stock that has far outperformed the broader markets, posting solid share gains even during the bearish turns we’ve seen throughout the year. CECO shares are up 83% year-to-date.

Looking at CECO from Craig-Hallum, analyst Aaron Spychalla is impressed by what he sees, noting: “CECO is seeing the benefits of a strategic transformation from a business primarily focused on longer-cycle, cyclical, and project-based Energy markets to one more diversified by product and vertical, with a shorter cycle profile, and end-markets that are benefiting from ESG tailwinds for clean air and clean water. With solid fundamentals and growing visibility, a combination of company-specific and secular growth drivers, and modest valuation, we reiterate our Buy rating.”

That Buy rating comes with a $17 price target, which suggests room for 48% growth by the end of next year. (To watch Spychalla’s track record, click here)

Overall, there are 5 recent analyst reviews on this stock – and they are unanimous, it’s one to buy. This gives CECO shares their Strong Buy rating. (See CECO stock analysis on TipRanks)

Stay abreast of the best that TipRanks’ Smart Score has to offer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Gas Prices Are Expected to Fall Even Further

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The average cost of fuel in the U.S. has fallen more than 30% from a record, with seven states below $3 a gallon.

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Larry Summers Says Fed Will Need to Boost Rates More Than Markets Expect

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(Bloomberg) — Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned that the Federal Reserve will probably need to raise interest rates more than markets are currently expecting, thanks to stubbornly high inflationary pressures.

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“We have a long way to go to get inflation down” to the Fed’s target, Summers told Bloomberg Television’s “Wall Street Week” with David Westin. As for Fed policymakers, “I suspect they’re going to need more increases in interest rates than the market is now judging or than they’re now saying.”

Interest-rate futures suggest traders expect the Fed to raise rates to about 5% by May 2023, compared with the current target range of 3.75% to 4%. Economists expect a 50-basis point increase at the Dec. 13-14 policy meeting, when Fed officials are also scheduled to release fresh projections for the key rate.

“Six is certainly a scenario we can write,” Summers said with regard to the peak percentage rate for the Fed’s benchmark. “And that tells me that five is not a good best-guess.”

Summers was speaking hours after the latest US monthly jobs report showed an unexpected jump in average hourly earnings gains. He said those figures showcased continuing strong price pressures in the economy.

“For my money, the best single measure of core underlying inflation is to look at wages,” said Summers, a Harvard University professor and paid contributor to Bloomberg Television. “My sense is that inflation is going to be a little more sustained than what people are looking for.”

Read More: Job Market Is Too Tight for Fed Comfort as Labor Pool Shrinks

Average hourly earnings rose 0.6% in November in a broad-based gain that was the biggest since January, and were up 5.1% from a year earlier. Wages for production and nonsupervisory workers climbed 0.7% from the prior month, the most in almost a year.

While a number of US indicators have suggested limited impact so far from the Fed’s tightening campaign, Summers cautioned that change tends to occur suddenly.

“There are all these mechanisms that kick in,” he said. “At a certain point, consumers run out of their savings and then you have a Wile E. Coyote kind of moment,” he said in reference to the cartoon character that falls off a cliff.

In the housing market, there tends to be a sudden rush of sellers putting their properties on the market when prices start to drop, he said. And “at a certain point, you see credit drying up,” forcing repayment problems, he added.

“Once you get into a negative situation, there’s an avalanche aspect — and I think we have a real risk that that’s going to happen at some point” for the US economy, Summers said. “I don’t know when it’s going to come,” he said of a downturn. “But when it kicks in, I suspect it’ll be fairly forceful.”

Inflation Target

The former Treasury chief also warned that “this is going to be a relatively high-interest-rate recession, not like the low-interest-rate recessions we’ve seen in the past.”

Summers reiterated that he didn’t think the Fed ought to change its inflation target to, say, 3%, from the current 2% — in part because of potential credibility issues after having allowed inflation to surge so high the past two years.

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Prince William meets President Biden, awards climate prizes By Reuters

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© Reuters. Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales arrives at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., December 2, 2022. Charles Krupa/Pool via REUTERS

By Jeff Mason and Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) -Prince William greeted U.S. President Joe Biden at Boston’s waterfront on Friday, the final day of a visit by British royals trying to focus attention on tackling environmental issues.

William and his wife, Kate, attempted to keep the spotlight on climate and other causes they champion on their first overseas trip since taking on the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales after the death of Queen Elizabeth in September.

In the middle of their U.S. visit, however, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:) released a trailer for an upcoming documentary series about William’s younger brother, Harry, and his American wife, Meghan, reviving talk about rifts in the royal family. Buckingham Palace also was dealing with a new racism controversy.

On Friday afternoon, William smiled as he met Biden outdoors in cold weather along Boston’s waterfront. The two men took a brief stroll before a private meeting at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The pair were expected to discuss “shared climate goals” and “prioritization of mental health issues,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters before the meeting.

Later on Friday, William and Kate honored winners of the Earthshot Prize, an award William established to recognize people working on solutions to problems caused by climate change.

“By supporting and scaling them, we can change our future,” William said on stage at the black-tie ceremony, which was attended by English soccer star David Beckham, James Bond actor Rami Malek and other celebrities.

Kate and William last visited the United States in 2014, when they were guests of then-President Barack Obama at the White House.

Their current trip came just days before Harry and Meghan looked set to steal the limelight at an awards ceremony in New York.

For many in the British media, Harry and Meghan have become the royal villains, turning their back on duty while using their royal status to forge out lucrative careers and earn millions, including from Netflix.

In contrast, William and Kate are usually portrayed in the British media as dutiful and earnest, reflecting the style of the late queen.

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