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You need quality stocks during times of -2-

Sell-side analysts (that is, those who work for brokerage firms) tend to avoid placing negative ratings on stocks. One reason is that bad news or a long decline for a company may already be "baked into" its share price.

But it can still be worthwhile to look at consensus ratings and price targets. They are based on 12-month outlooks for companies' financial results and for stock-price movements. Here's a summary for the group:

Company                              Ticker  Share "buy" ratings  Share neutral ratings  Share "sell" ratings  Closing price -- Aug. 31  Consensus price target  Implied 12-month upside potential 
VeriSign Inc.                         VRSN                   33%                    67%                    0%                  $182.22                 $205.00                                13% 
HP Inc.                               HPQ                    11%                    67%                   22%                   $28.71                  $31.60                                10% 
Domino's Pizza Inc.                   DPZ                    29%                    68%                    3%                  $371.86                 $428.63                                15% 
Philip Morris International Inc.       PM                    56%                    44%                    0%                   $95.49                 $109.57                                15% 
Accenture PLC Class A                 ACN                    65%                    35%                    0%                  $288.46                 $350.71                                22% 
Mastercard Inc. Class A                MA                    92%                     8%                    0%                  $324.37                 $425.48                                31% 
Idexx Laboratories Inc.               IDXX                   58%                    34%                    8%                  $347.62                 $495.88                                43% 
AutoZone Inc.                         AZO                    67%                    25%                    8%                $2,119.21               $2,233.79                                 5% 
S&P Global Inc.                       SPGI                   90%                    10%                    0%                  $352.18                 $406.50                                15% 
Paychex Inc.                          PAYX                   15%                    80%                    5%                  $123.34                 $127.78                                 4% 
Cboe Global Markets Inc.              CBOE                   50%                    36%                   14%                  $117.97                 $136.27                                16% 
Yum Brands Inc.                       YUM                    38%                    62%                    0%                  $111.24                 $134.50                                21% 
Marriott International Inc. Class A   MAR                    47%                    53%                    0%                  $153.74                 $170.56                                11% 
Intuit Inc.                           INTU                   87%                    13%                    0%                  $431.78                 $550.28                                27% 
Colgate-Palmolive Co.                  CL                    30%                    70%                    0%                   $78.21                  $82.67                                 6% 
Ross Stores Inc.                      ROST                   54%                    46%                    0%                   $86.27                  $95.57                                11% 
Apple Inc.                            AAPL                   78%                    17%                    5%                  $157.22                 $182.87                                16% 
Robert Half International Inc.        RHI                    29%                    28%                   43%                   $76.97                  $80.50                                 5% 
Lockheed Martin Corp.                 LMT                    25%                    75%                    0%                  $420.11                 $460.39                                10% 
FactSet Research Systems Inc.         FDS                    22%                    56%                   22%                  $433.34                 $435.91                                 1% 
                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: FactSet 

Mastercard Inc. (MA) is the analysts' favorite, with 92% "buy" or equivalent ratings, followed by S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) at 90%, Intuit Inc. (INTU) at 80% and Apple at 78%.

The company with the highest number of "sell" or equivalent ratings is Robert Half International Inc. (RHI), possibly reflecting a difficult environment for a staffing company at a time of such low unemployment.

In the end, you will need to do some deep thinking to form your own opinion about how well a company may continue to compete, or even if it might face an existential threat to its business over the years.

Don't miss:20 dividend stocks with high yields that are expected to raise payouts the most through 2024

Hear from Ray Dalio at MarketWatch's Best New Ideas in Money Festival on Sept. 21 and 22 in New York. The hedge-fund pioneer has strong views on where the economy is headed.

-Philip van Doorn

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-09-22 0650ET

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