5 Rocket Stocks You Should Buy as Stocks Drop
BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Brace for impact. With the S&P 500 as little as two measly points away from new all-time highs last week, drama in Cyprus is sending broad indices down considerably this morning.
While U.S. markets are only just roaring to life as I write, overseas markets are already showing pretty significant corrections. The Nikkei 225 was the worse of the developed country declines, down more than 2.7%. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 and FTSE 100 are off 1.6% and 0.7%, respectively, on the news that Cyprus was delaying the vote needed to secure rescue loans for a second day.
The tiny nation may make up a tiny fraction of the eurozone's GDP, but the anxiety it's causing -- through lines at ATMs, for instance -- is spreading to other countries as well.
To combat the selling, we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stocks this week.
For the uninitiated, "Rocket Stocks" are our list of companies with short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential. To find them, I run a weekly quantitative screen that seeks out stocks with a combination of analyst upgrades and positive earnings surprises to identify rising analyst expectations, a bullish signal for stocks in any market. After all, where analysts' expectations are increasing, institutional cash often follows. In the last 191 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 75.65%.
Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks . Cisco Systems
Up first is Cisco Systems (CSCO) , the $116 billion IP networking stock. Cisco is the world's biggest supplier of the equipment used to connect computer systems; the firm's products include routers, switches, virtual collaboration tools and network management software.
Cisco owns an attractive market position in an attractive market. As data needs propel demand for Cisco's customers, the firm's ability to capture bigger IT infrastructure spending should continue to grow. Cisco's inter-operable gear makes switching costs high for the firm's existing customer base; since integration costs can often come close to initial hardware costs for many customers, ease of integration matters a lot. And that means that customers are more likely to buy complementary Cisco hardware, even if it costs a little more. With the firm's eschewing of the consumer market (save for its Linksys line of networking hardware), it'll have more time to focus on its core business this year.
Cisco has cash, and lots of it. The firm's balance sheet currently works out to a nearly $31 billion net cash position, or around $5.80 per share. That huge cash balance dramatically reduces the risks of owning this stock, particularly given management's commitment to keep its shareholder payout ratio at approximately half of free cash flow. As long as management can avoid the temptation of overpaying for an acquisition opportunity, this stock offers an impressive risk/reward tradeoff. Boeing