AMGN

Sector Superstars: 3 Stocks Generating the Most Buzz on Wall Street

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During this earnings season, Wall Street investors have been paying attention to stocks generating buzz in different sectors. Diversifying investments across the 11 sectors within the S&P 500 index could help weather short-term market volatility.

Over the past 12 months, the best performing sector has been information technology, returning well over 30%. Consumer discretionary sector with nearly 20% follows it, and the health care sector holds over 6%. By comparison, the S&P 500 index, which represents the broader market, has advanced around 24%.

Therefore, investors can explore three companies that have demonstrated resilience and adaptability in different sectors despite the economic and geopolitical uncertainties. These companies have the ability to thrive in the face of market challenges and capitalize on industry trends. Moreover, these stocks currently offer attractive entry points for long-term investors with their moderate valuations.

Let’s now delve into these three stocks generating buzz to understand the reasons they could be compelling investment opportunities.

Amgen (AMGN)

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Biotech giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) offers a diverse product portfolio and promising clinical pipeline. The company specializes in treatment of inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular disease and rare diseases.

On May 1, AMGN shares rallied over 10% in after-hours trading after the company announced first quarter fiscal 2024 earnings results. This included an update on its weight-loss drug candidates. Revenue jumped 22% year-over-year (YOY) to $7.45 billion. Yet, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) fell by 1% YOY to $3.96 per share, due to costs related to its Horizon Therapeutics acquisition.

Strong first quarter results suggest that the company can maintain revenue growth despite looming patent expiries through 2030. Ten products delivered at least double-digit volume growth in the first quarter. For 2024, management is guiding for robust revenue growth of more than 20% as well.

Also, investors should note that the biotech company offers a potential way to gain exposure to the booming weight-loss drug market. With Phase 2 results expected in late 2024, Amgen’s injectable GLP-1 weight-loss drug candidate MariTide represents a key potential upside catalyst. Furthermore, MariTide is forecast to have annual sales as high as $4 billion.

Year-to-date (YTD), AMGN stock is up 8%. Shares are changing hands at 16 times adjusted forward earnings and 5.6 times trailing sales. In addition, they generate a respectable 2.9% annualized yield. In addition, analysts’ 12-month average price target suggests an upside potential of 3% from current levels.

First Solar (FSLR)

First Solar logo on smartphone in front of computer screen with graphs. FSLR stock

Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Next up is First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), which provides photovoltaic solar energy solutions worldwide. With the transition to renewable energy gaining momentum, the company has become a preferred choice within clean energy.

Recently, First Solar delivered robust first quarter fiscal 2024 results. Revenue soared 45% YOY to $794 million, surpassing expectations by 13%. Additionally, EPS skyrocketed to $2.20, up from 40 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. Investors were pleased to see that management maintained its full-year guidance and underscored ongoing investments in technology and capacity expansion. Also, FSLR highlighted the potential for adding new factories and underscored its strong sales backlog of 78.3 GW through 2030.

Analysts point out that First Solar is poised for further growth as the demand for renewable energy solutions grow worldwide. Its advanced thin-film module technology continues to gain market share. Specifically, increasing electricity consumption from data centers act as a key growth driver for the manufacturer.

As a result of these developments, FSLR stock is up 11% YTD. Shares support a valuation of 14 times forward earnings and 5.7 times trailing sales. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s 12-month price targets imply an upside potential of 20% from current levels.

General Motors (GM)

Image of General Motors (GM) logo on corporate building with clear sky in the background.

Source: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

Automotive giant General Motors (NYSE:GM) is pursuing an all-electric future. Its diversification efforts include strategic investments in electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving technology. This serves to highlight GM’s commitment to leading the automotive transformation worldwide.

Also, the automaker reported strong first quarter fiscal 2024 metrics and raised its full-year guidance. Revenue increased 8% YOY to $43 billion. GM’s sales and pricing contributed to robust profit margins despite higher interest rates. U.S. retail sales grew 6% without resorting to significant price cuts and incentives. And, adjusted EPS jumped 19% YOY to $2.62.

Recently, GM’s focus on EVs and autonomous vehicles has become a key growth driver, suggesting upside potential for long term profits. The automaker reported significant progress regarding its Ultium EV platform. Production increased and battery costs declined, leading to improved profitability. GM increased battery module production by 300% over the past six months and expects to double its overall EV production by late summer. Meanwhile, the company emphasizes connected vehicle software and subscription services. This underscores its aim to unlock recurring revenue opportunities beyond traditional vehicle sales.

Since January, GM stock is up 25%. The company’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio stands at an attractive 4.9. And, its trailing price-to-sales ratio is just 0.3, offering a bargain valuation for long term investors. Finally, analysts’ 12-month price targets suggest an upside potential of around 15% from current levels.

On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil 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, PhD, began contributing to InvestorPlace in 2018. She brings over 20 years of experience in the U.S. and U.K. and has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Publicly, she has contributed to investing.com and the U.K. website of The Motley Fool.

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The post Sector Superstars: 3 Stocks Generating the Most Buzz on Wall Street appeared first on InvestorPlace.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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