What Should Be On Your Buying List?

by: Dana Blankenhorn

A down day like today should send you to your buy list.

Given that this is not 2009, I think you are looking for companies that have business momentum, that know what they're doing, and that basically got blindsided by a general onslaught. They're going to be relatively near their 52-week highs, but far enough off them that you have room to wait if the sell-off continues.

I'm going to start this list with First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR). They've been beaten down all year, but the trade war with China is firming up prices, their costs are coming in close to the 50 cent/watt mark for them to be self-sustaining, they have a road map for getting there, and they are able to create demand. At about $24, they've still been cut in half since their high, but they've also doubled from their low. There is some "there" there. And, no Virginia, Cadmium-telluride panels don't require rare earths, just the waste from other forms of mining.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Yes, them again. At its current price you're talking about a PE of 12.6 and a yield of 1.9%, better than you can get on a government bond. They have more ready cash than the government right now, too. I suspect that their boffins are hard at work, finally, on a real Apple TV that challenges the cable operators, that can absorb a host of business models and deliver content to other Apple devices. That retina screen would look sweet 27 inches across.

Rackspace (NYSE:RAX). Their third quarter numbers were impressive, with both revenues and earnings up. Yes they're a Web host, but they finally have their OpenStack cloud working, they have more engineers on that software than anyone else, and I strongly suspect they're in good position to make that the standard for private clouds over the next year, because so many other ISPs, phone carriers and computer makers are backing them.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is actually doing better than Ford, which is plenty good for me. Yes, I know the government still owns a big slice, but they're letting it ride so why shouldn't you? We'll both make money. The balance sheet has an absurdly low amount of debt for this kind of company, their markets are growing, the replacement cycle still has a ways to go, they're gaining in China. If their future looked any brighter you'd have to wear shades.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) is 10% off its yearly high but doing a lot of things right. They're a processor as well as a card brand, their tie-up with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is going to boost their ATM volumes and bring in a host of new customers over time, and the rest of the company is excecuting. The company brings nearly one dollar in four down to the bottom line. They're no longer isolated on the high end of the market - Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Wal-Mart broaden things out considerably.

US Bank (NYSE:USB) was hit by the election, but they're not a trading company, they're a banking company. They're a huge credit card operation, they make a profit on their loans, their portfolio is growing, and their base is in the upper Midwest, which between the North Dakota oil fields and the growing manufacturing sector is a good place to be. They have a highly respected management that isn't going to the casino with the depositors' money.

You can talk "fiscal cliff" all you want - the argument is over how much austerity will be taken off the table in the near term, and both sides say that's necessary. Europe is reaching the end of the austerity road, China is coming back, renewable energy starting with efficiency is growing and we're still in the third inning of recovery. It was Draghi, not Obama, who crashed today's market.

It's a good time to be a buyer. The stocks listed above are just a few quick ideas. Add your own in the comments, and let's make some money.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, COST. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.