Facebook, Ulta lead 8 stocks on fast track
For now, it’s hard to argue with a speeding locomotive
Stocks have steamed higher this year. But some winners are running away with a head of steam that just dares doubters to stand in the way.
There are eight stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 that are up big this year and aren’t showing any signs of losing their momentum, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. All of these stocks are up 20% or more this year, expected by analysts to rise 10% or more over the next 18 months and are seen posting higher profits and revenues this year and next.
“In this environment, investors are looking for continuous growth and are willing to pay for that,” says Ron Josey, an analyst at JMP Securities, addressing Facebook specifically.
These stocks highlight the tireless power the market has despite some serious risks. Presidential debates loom, as does the possibility the Federal Reserve Bank might hike short-term interest rates this year. The S&P 500 is up 6% this year, despite pockets of weakness.
That’s why the winners in this leg of the bull are all that more important. ULTA Salon continues to be a looker. The stock is up 28% this year to $237.57, and analysts think it could be worth 23% more in 18 months.
Facebook, too, is a source of strength that investors are gravitating to. Shares of the No. 1 social networking firm are up 23% this year to $128.
But unlike many other big tech stocks that are up so much that analysts don’t see much upside left, analysts think Facebook could be worth 21% more in 18 months.
Clearly the market faces hurdles. Analysts’ earnings estimates have proved overly optimistic for the market, as S&P 500 profits are seen falling 0.7% in the third quarter. At the start of the year, earnings were expected to grow 9% in the quarter.