With the Dow off more than 50% from its October 2007 peak, there's rarely been a better time for long-term investors to pick up stocks on the cheap. Barron's puts together a list of ten great stocks to hold for five years or longer.
1) Coca-Cola Femsa (NYSE:KOF): The world's second-largest Coca-Cola bottler is down nearly 60% from its 52-week high, closing at $27.67 on Friday. But the company is well-run and continues to grow. It had a healthy $650M of cash as of late February, and bulls think double-digit growth could return by the end of 2010.
2) Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): At a recent $15.27, the company's P/E ratio is less than nine based on estimates for this year's earnings. Microsoft is 'a gigantic cash machine' and its dividend yield of 3% beats last week's quote for 10-year Treasury bonds.
3) ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE): One of the largest global players in the property-casualty field, ACE "is very strong financially, and they have weathered the current environment quite well with a strong balance sheet," says Institutional Capital's Jerry Senser. ACE stands to gain AIG marketshare and talent, and Senser sees high-single-digit growth next year.
4) Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN): Despite a heavy debt load, the company carries $1.1B in cash, providing it some breathing room. Under the assumption that the world will go on and people will still want entertainment, there's plenty of upside potential for Wynn's casinos and resorts.
5) EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC): The company is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing corporate need to store and protect data. Although the recession will hurt, EMC's profit outlook seems reasonable; analysts expect EPS of $0.91, up from $0.77 in 2008.
6) Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN): The firm builds and runs data systems, many used to store medical records - a field that could see tremendous growth. Jeff Coons, of Manning & Napier Advisors, thinks the stock is worth $50+ vs. its recent $36.72.
7) WellPoint (WLP): The managed-care company has roughly half its health-insurance business in administering plans for businesses, rather than taking underwriting risk. As a result, earnings are more predictable than some of its peers. Shares could produce annual returns in the mid-to-high teens for the next few years.
8) Google (NASDAQ:GOOG): Investors who worry about advertising during a recession should accept that to the extent companies are advertising, they're doing so online. Google stands to benefit from the long-term trend of ads moving to the internet. Another plus: Google has zero debt.
9) eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY): The firm has lots of cash and a strong brand name. The company is also doing everything it can to minimize counterfeit problems, and has strong competitive advantages.
10) CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS): The company expanded its retail pharmacy business with its acquisition of Longs Drug Stores for $2.9B. CVS's pharmacy-benefit management business should get a boost from companies' increased efforts to control health care costs.