Is MSCI (MSCI) Outperforming Other Computer and Technology Stocks This Year?
Sometimes, the experts will tell us what we already know. Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, has built a legendary reputation in financial circles, for taking his firm from a home business in his two-bedroom apartment to the international hedge fund giant, employing over 1,500 people and managing more than $138 billion in total assets. But when questioned on how he did it, or how today’s investors can survive the ongoing pandemic crisis, his advice can sound downright ordinary.Dalio’s advice for investing during the pandemic can be summed up easily enough. First, he says to diversify the portfolio. Diversification means spreading out the risk, which in turn will reduce your losses should one – or even several – investments turn south. Second, Dalio tells us not to bother trying to ‘time the market.’ Even the pros don’t usually get this right, and Dalio says that simply buying into a stock you like, and holding it long term, is a better strategy then trying to buy in at the right time. The stock market is a risky place to put your money, and Dalio understands that. His tactics for mitigating that risk are age-old – and have arguably brought him great success. Bearing this in mind, we decided to look at Bridgewater’s recent activity for inspiration. Running three stocks Dalio’s fund picked up during Q3 through TipRanks’ database, we found out that the analyst community is also on board, as each sports a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.Baxter International (BAX)We will start with Baxter International, a healthcare company based outside of Chicago. Baxter produces medical devices and other products for the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, particularly blood, immune, and kidney diseases. The company markets mainly to healthcare professionals and institutions, rather than the open market, and boasts over $11 billion in annual revenue.The company’s revenues through 2020 have been stable, and in-line with historical values. Baxter ended 2019 with a $3 billion quarter; that slipped to $2.72 billion 1Q20, but had risen steadily to $2.97 billion by 3Q20. The company pays out a modest dividend for investors, which at 24.5 cents per common share gives a yield of 1.3%.Dalio’s position in Baxter is a new one for him. His firm bought up 124,701 shares of the stock, a holding that is worth $9.73 million at current prices.5-star analyst Danielle Antalffy, of SVB Leerink, writes of Baxter, “[We] see BAX’s underlying fundamentals — accelerating sales growth, meaningful margin expansion — as unchanged. One of the most meaningful datapoints in this quarter was 6% peritoneal dialysis patient growth… well ahead of the mid-single-digit long-term growth outlook for the Renal business that the Street is modeling. As the COVID pressures begin to lift, visibility into the long-term growth drivers should improve, and we would expect the shares to move meaningfully higher.”In line with her bullish comments, Antalffy rates BAX shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and her $105 price target implies a 34% one-year upside potential. (To watch Antalffy’s track record, click here)Overall, the analyst consensus rating on Baxter is a Strong Buy, based on 12 reviews that include 11 Buys against just a single Hold. The stock is selling for $78, and its $95 average price target suggest it has room for ~22% upside growth in 2021. (See BAX stock analysis on TipRanks)CVS Health Corporation (CVS)The next stock is another healthcare company, but where Baxter, above, markets to the professional side of that sector, CVS aims squarely at the consumer healthcare market. This company is best known as the CVS pharmacy chain, and is a staple of the retail scene. CVS stores offer a range of home healthcare and hygiene products, along with basic groceries, pharmacy services, and some more specialized prescription medical equipment. The company has brought in more than $130 billion in annual revenues for the past three years.CVS’ revenues showed a slight dip this year, during Q2, when economic conditions deteriorated, but quickly rebounded. The sequence of quarterly earnings in 2020, $66.7 billion, $65.3 billion, and $67.1 billion, show a steady sales base, to be expected from a retailer dealing in products mainly deemed essential during the shutdown policies. Q3 EPS came in at $1.66, well ahead of consensus expectations of $1.33.The dividend here is 50 cents per share, and has been held steady at that level for over three years now. The payment annualizes to $2, and gives a yield of 2.7%.Dalio’s Bridgewater bought 320,039 shares of CVS stock last quarter, expanding a test position that the firm already held. The buy boosted the total holding dramatically, to 333,804 shares, which are now worth $24.87 million.Deutsche Bank analyst George Hill notes that CVS looks set for a ‘peaceful transition of power’ when the current CEO, Larry Merlo, steps down next year. “While we believe Ms. Lynch will likely consider executing upon CVS’ vertically integrated care delivery strategy, we do expect her to take a fresh look at the business and have little fear of exploring new directions. We believe Mr. Merlo’s legacy will be having the courage to try to reshape and better utilize the struggling retail pharmacy with the Aetna deal,” Hill noted.”CVS is in the early innings on delivering against its vision of a vertically integrated healthcare services company with outsized consumer engagement,” the analyst concluded.To this end, Hill rates CVS shares as a Buy, and gives them a $101 price target, indicating his confidence in 35% growth potential over the next months. (To watch Hill’s track record, click here)Overall, CVS has 7 recent Buy reviews and 2 Holds, giving the stock a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus. The average price target is $83.29, suggesting an 11% upside from the current share price of $74.50. (See CVS stock analysis on TipRanks)Darling Ingredients (DAR)With the last stock, we move from healthcare to the food industry. Darling Ingredients recycles the waste products of the restaurant industry and the animal-processing industry – namely, oils, fats, and grease – and manufactures usable meat and bone meals, yellow grease, and tallow. The company’s products are used in pet foods, animal feeds, bioenergy, and fertilizers. Darling has delivered strong performance through 2020. The company’s quarterly earnings have held between $848 million and $852 million during the corona crisis, while earnings have been shown year-over-year gains in each quarter. The Q3 results included 61 cents EPS on $850 million in top line revenues. DAR stock has been rising steadily since last winter’s market crash, and is up ~77% year-to-date.This is another new holding for Dalio and Bridgewater. During Q3, the fund pulled the trigger on 69,392 shares, which are now worth $3.46 million. Covering the stock for Wolfe Research, 5-star analyst Sam Margolin is impressed by Darling’s combination of cutting-edge renewable fuels and mature feed segments. “We rate DAR Outperform because of its rapid growth in the Renewable Diesel segment (Diamond Green Diesel JV), supported by its feedstock/manufacturing advantage sourced largely from the base business… DAR’s other segments are Food and Feed ingredients, which are relatively mature compared to Fuels. While we do not expect material growth in Food and Feed, we note that margins in the segments have been remarkably steady over recent years…”These comments support Margolin’s Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, and his $67 price target implies 34% upside growth next year. (To watch Margolin’s track record, click here)Other analysts are on the same page. With 5 Buys and 1 Hold received in the last three months, the word on the Street is that DAR is a Strong Buy. Shares are currently priced at $49.87, and the $58.83 average price target suggests double-digit growth of 18%. (See DAR stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.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.