Stocks to buy

The 7 Best Stocks to Buy to Tap Into a Hidden Bull Market

These are seven of the best stocks to buy that can see substantial returns in the months ahead. Despite the ongoing worries on Wall Street, seasoned investors realize that there may be a bull market in some segments of the market even during these gloomy weeks.

Fears of sticky inflation and recession led to many investors reevaluating their investments or pulling their money out of the stock markets altogether. As a result, the S&P 500 index has dropped 23% year to date, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 has lost close to a third of its value.

However, for investors who research further, there is always a chance to find the best stocks to buy in a hidden bull market. Including several of those shares could help boost the performance of investment portfolios despite the overall market chaos.

Even in 2022, with interest rates hitting a 14-year high in the U.S. and stocks getting hammered, we are experiencing localized bull markets in the energy and utility sectors. For instance, the energy sector, overall, has returned around 18% since January.

That said, here are seven of the best stocks to buy. These hidden gems could well be poised for a rally in the coming months and offer great upside potential to tap into a hidden bull market.

MO Altria  $41.47
ASRT Assertio $2.15
IBB iShares Biotechnology ETF $113.42
MMP Magellan Midstream Partners  $45.69
RIO Rio Tinto  $51.22
TSN Tyson Foods  $68.95
VTV Vanguard Value ETF $124.96

Altria (MO)

an array of various styles of vaping devices, KAVL brands makes vapes

Source: Shutterstock

52-week range: $40.84 – $57.05

Altria (NYSE:MO) is the leading producer of combustible and smoke-free products. Its portfolio includes Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, Helix Innovations, and the e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs.

In the U.S., its retail market share of cigarette sales is close to 50%. Meanwhile, Altria also holds equity investments in Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) and the cannabinoid company Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON), making one of the best stocks to buy for the long haul.

The tobacco play released Q2 financials on July 28. Although net revenue dropped 5.7% year-over-year (YOY), adjusted earnings increased to $1.26 per diluted share. Altria also reaffirmed its full-year 2022 guidance.

Meanwhile, investors have welcomed the Juul Labs settlement with 34 U.S. states and territories regarding its marketing practices for vaping products. As question marks around the operations of Juul Labs decline, Altria shares could see a new upside momentum.

So far this year, Altria stock has dropped 13% to hit a 52-week low in recent dates. Yet it generates a very lucrative dividend yield of 9%. In late August, management raised Altria’s quarterly dividend by 4.4%.

The company’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) and price-to-sales (P/S) ratios are 8.33x and 3.66x, respectively. Analysts’ 12-month median price forecast for MO stock stands at $46.50. Potential investors could consider buying in at the current levels, especially below $40.

Assertio (ASRT)

rows of pills on a table representing pharmaceutical stocks. EVAX stock

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52-week range: $0.85 – $4.44

Specialty pharmaceutical company Assertio (NYSE:ASRT) offers therapies mainly in the areas of neurology, pain, and diseases of the central nervous system.

The company has seven FDA-approved medications for various conditions. With a market capitalization of just over $100 million, it can be regarded as a high-risk high-return stock.

On Aug. 8, ASRT released better-than-expected Q2 results. Net product sales increased 40% compared to the prior-year quarter. Its gout treatments, which do not face generic competition, provide the bulk of its revenues.

Driven by sales growth and increased profitability, the company raised its full-year revenue guidance for 2022. The drug maker is also evaluating multiple asset acquisitions to grow and diversify its current pipeline.

Recently, management issued $70 million of convertible senior notes due 2027. As a result, Assertio is redeeming earlier higher-interest notes. As the conversion is leading to stock dilution, ASRT shares have sold off, providing a better entry point for long-term investors.

ASRT stock has lost about 20% since the beginning of the year. Shares are trading at 5.61 times forward earnings and 0.75 times sales. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s 12-month median price forecast for the stock is $6.

Given increasing revenues and expanding margins, Assertio could also become a takeover target in the months ahead.   

iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB)

Modern Medical Research Laboratory: Two Scientists Wearing Face Masks use Microscope, Analyse Sample in Petri Dish, Talk. Advanced Scientific Lab for Medicine, Biotechnology. Blue Color. KZR stock.

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52-week range: $104.29 – $174.45

Dividend yield: 0.27%

Expense ratio: 0.44% per year

Next up on our list of best stocks to buy is an exchange-traded fund (ETF), the iShares Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB), which provides access to U.S. biotech companies. The fund was listed in February 2001.

IBB follows the ICE Biotechnology Index and has 369 holdings. The top ten holdings comprise half of its net assets of $7.4 billion. In terms of sectoral allocations, biotechnology dominates (79.5%), followed by life sciences tools & services (17.2%) and pharmaceuticals (1.9%).

Leading names on the roster are Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA).

So far in 2022, IBB has dropped more than 24%. Trailing P/E and P/B ratios stand at 12.93x and 4.16x, respectively.

After hitting a multi-year low in June, the biotech sector has later had a strong rally driven by new drug approvals and M&A news. Thus, IBB is well poised for a rally driven by the ongoing momentum for the remainder of the year. Potential investors could regard a decline toward $110 as a better entry point.

Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP)

Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) logo on the website homepage.

Source: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com

 52-week range: $43.58 – $53.75

Master limited partnership Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE:MMP) transports, stores, and distributes refined petroleum products and crude oil in central and eastern U.S.

According to Q2 metrics reported in late July, diluted net income per common unit was $1.94, up 40.5% from the year-ago period. Despite the decline in commodity prices, management kept its guidance for FY22.

Recently, the company announced plans to expand its refined petroleum products pipeline system from the Houston area to El Paso, Texas. The increased capacity is expected to be available in early 2024.

MMP stock is currently trading flat for the year. The company has been raising dividends for the past 19 consecutive years and pays a hefty dividend of 8.9%.

Shares are changing hands at 9.98x times forward earnings and 3.42 times sales. Meanwhile, analysts’ 12-month median price forecast stands at $54. Interested readers should keep MMP stock on their watchlist to benefit from the next commodity bull market in the winter months.

Rio Tinto (RIO)

the rio tinto (RIO) logo on a building during daylight

Source: Rob Bayer / Shutterstock.com

52-week range: $51.47 – $84.01

The U.K.-headquartered Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) has global operations covering a range of commodities, such as iron ore, copper, aluminum and uranium. It is also among the leading diamond producers worldwide making it one of the best stocks to buy in the commodities sector.

Rio Tinto’s HY1 earnings fell short of analyst expectations. Consolidated sales revenue declined 10% YOY due to softer iron ore prices, which recently saw a multi-month low.

Meanwhile, the miner highlighted its focus on the long-term global strategy. These operations include Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia and the Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Australia as well as the early works funding at the Rincon lithium project.

Rio Tinto is also building a new aluminum recycling facility at its Arvida Plant in Quebec to expand its supply of low-carbon aluminum solutions for the automotive, construction, and packaging markets. Thus, RIO shareholders will be paying attention to how diversifying its operations could contribute to the top line.

Shares of the mining giant have lost 23% YTD and hit a 52-week low in recent days. RIO stock generates a dividend yield of 13.2% at current prices.

Forward P/E and P/S ratios stand at 6.42x and 1.41x. Finally, Wall Street’s 12-month median price forecast for Rio Tinto is $74.31. RIO stock can provide a good bet for value investors looking for potential upside along with passive income.

Tyson Foods (TSN)

Tyson (TSN Stock) chicken in a package.

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52-week range: $68.99 – $100.72

Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) is of the world’s largest protein-focused food companies. Its segments include beef, pork, chicken, and prepared foods. Tyson’s global sales are well over $47 billion, making it one of the best stocks to buy right now.

The food giant posted mixed Q3 results on Aug. 8 due to inflationary headwinds. Despite double-digit sales and earnings growth in the first six months, operating income narrowed 27% YOY in Q3. Adjusted EPS of $1.94 also missed analysts’ expectations.

Management aims for over $1 billion in savings by fiscal 2024. Steps in its its productivity program include capacity expansion, supply-chain digitalization, and increased automation. Furthermore, two new plants are expected to begin operation in 2022 and six more in the fiscal year 2023. Therefore, Wall Street expects to see both revenue and margin expansion from Tyson Foods in the quarters ahead.

So far in 2022, TSN stock has dropped 20% and hit a 52-week low on Sept. 23. It yields a dividend of 2.63%. Shares are trading at 9.13 times forward earnings and 0.49 times sales.

Analysts’ 12-month median price forecast stands at $90. Potential investors could regard a further decline toward the $67 level as an opportune entry point.

Vanguard Value ETF (VTV)

Large-cap written on a stock ticker. Large-cap stocks.

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52-week range: $125.19 – $151.89
Dividend yield: 3.31%
Expense ratio: 0.04% per year

Our final discussion focuses on the Vanguard Value ETF (NYSEARCA:VTV). It provides exposure to large-cap U.S. companies that exhibit value characteristics. It is one of the largest value-focused ETFs with net assets of $143.4 billion.

This passively-managed fund started trading in January 2004. It tracks the returns of the CRSP US Large Cap Value Index and has 344 holdings.

With regards to sub-sectors, we see health care (20.1%), financials (19%), industrials (13.4%), consumer staples (11.5%), and energy (8.2%), among others. The leading 10 holdings account for around 20% of the fund’s portfolio.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) are among the most prominent names on the roster.

VTV has lost 14% YTD and just hit a 52-week low. The fund is trading at 15.3 times trailing earnings and 2.5 times book values.

Many value names in a fund like VTV will likely be among the first to bounce back when the market recovers. Potential investors could regard the current dip in the Vanguard Value ETF as a good entry point. Current investors would also get a yield of about 2.7%.

On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil, Ph.D., did not have (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.

Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation.

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