The Weekend Rundown - 5 Diversified Stocks Headed Higher This Month

by: Ryan Perlowin

The second week of trading in May has come to a close and the bears have yet to show their tails in the markets. In a month that is traditionally viewed as a down month, it seems that the bulls will continue their run to new highs. While the weekend is time for resting, spend some time researching these next five stocks and how they fit into your portfolio. They're a diversified bunch (miner, retail, financial/insurance, hardware tech, business services tech). My investment thesis shows that all five are headed higher in the coming month.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)

The mining stocks have had a rough year, but there seems to be a rotation of money back into these cyclical type names. CLF is a leading candidate for investment in the industry - the company is engaged in the mining of iron ore and coal (though iron ore accounts for nearly all of its revenues). CLF has significant exposure to the East Asian markets (specifically China), which was the catalyst behind the drop in share price (at last month's trough, the company had lost nearly 75% of its value during the trailing twelve months), but now that China numbers are continuing to outperform expectations, the street is giving new hope to the miners. CLF has an adequate balance sheet so there are no lingering issues of insolvency, a moderately high dividend of 2.55%, and an incredible upward trending since reaching lows last month. The stock has risen 41% in less than three weeks and the trajectory seems pointed back towards $30.

The Gap (NYSE:GPS)

In an unusual retail play for my portfolio, I'm seriously considering going long GPS with a long-term horizon. Investors should be familiar with GPS, if not as a stock then certainly as a store - they're engaged in the retail apparel space with a diversified bundle of brands - Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic (all of which deliver strong e-commerce numbers). When the set guidance for May 23 Q1 earnings, investors took joy in increased revenue numbers across the board - each brand expects growth domestically and internationally (flat to +9%). Additionally, the company guided up on EPS estimates to $0.68, an increase of 17% on consensus street estimates. Finally, Standard & Poor's upgraded the company's credit rating after the market close on Friday to BBB- from BB+, an increase of one notch and a step back into investment-grade territory. The stock jumped on the news and more gains should be expected with a medium-term price target of $46.

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW)

GNW continues to impress on a business level and reward investors who believe in the company's resurgence. After shedding 75% of their value in two years (2010-2012), shares of GNW hovered under the $6 level for most of 2012 before the precipitous rise they've enjoyed back to the $10 level. The gain in generation of value comes as no surprise - the company is buoyed by strong new leadership (CEO McInerney), a strengthening balance sheet and deleveraging from underperforming assets, and a robustly rebounding housing sector. The company is beginning to click on all cylinders, as noted in their most recent earnings report. Margins are once again increasing and revenues and bottom-line profits were both stronger than anticipated. Finally, the stock is trading at a near 65% discount to its tangible asset book value, or liquidation value. With any semblance of a continued recovery in the housing market, GNW has perhaps chance for more upward mobility than any other stock on this list.

Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSYS)

There's an interesting dynamic behind the 3D printing stocks these days - while pundits are calling for a bubble burst, the two leading companies in the space are paving the way for terrific growth but have yet to reach any sort of astronomical valuation. In fact, SSYS is trading at just a 34.6x forward multiple, hardly a bubble for the leader in an industry that expects to see 500% growth in the next five years. While the target addressable market for 3D printing is expected to grow from less than $1 billion today to over $5 billion in 2018, a company that is operating with a quick ratio of 2.7x (no issues of insolvency) and has strong first-mover advantage is extremely attractive. The truth is that we don't really know where the 3D printing industry is going to go. It seems almost futuristic to us as investors and consumers. There is forecast for tremendous growth, though, and SSYS has enough financial strength behind it to sustain any longer-than-expected waits for industry maturation. Look for this stock to continue its bullish trend and hit $105 by summer's end.

Yahoo! (YHOO)

It seems that investors are quickly redeveloping confidence in YHOO as a company, and the confidence has been matched by a run-up in share price. After trading in a range between $12.50 and $17.50 for nearly five years, investors were seemingly losing patience in the one-time tech giant. It is my belief that the catalyst for confidence and share price appreciation was the hiring of new CEO Marissa Mayer. Since her arrival shares have broken significantly out of the range, gaining 80% in just six months. Pundits argue that the run is over, but they forget that investing in YHOO is essentially an investor's only chance at investing at the burgeoning behemoth Alibaba Group, which is a portal of online B2B marketplaces, retail and payment platforms, shopping search engines, and cloud services. The company is rapidly growing, which has been another catalyst for growth at YHOO. The stock has gone parabolic since November, and will continue to do so until $34. There are still significant profits to be made here, but keep a tight stop-loss for maximum protection.

Disclosure: I am long GNW, CLF. 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.

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