The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (InvestorPlace) -- Even with the political strife erupting around the globe, stocks logged their third straight month of gains this February. I expect this strong performance to continue and for the top stock picks to do even better in March as a fresh wave of buying pressure enters the market.
Whether you're one of those investors who has been riding the bench or you've been in the game all along, you want to have quality blue-chips in your portfolio. So I have put together a list of the top blue-chip stocks to buy to take advantage of this coming strength.
AutoZone Inc. (AZO) remains my favorite blue-chip. The company will release earnings for its fiscal second quarter today, and I think we'll really see the stock take off. Analysts are currently forecasting that the company will post earnings of $3.06 per share and sales totaling $1.6 billion. AutoZone has a history of beating analysts' estimates, and I'm confident that the company will pull out another good surprise this time around.The company has a history of buying back stock, which helps increase earnings per share and, thus, drives the share price higher. I expect it to post strong quarterly earnings, and when that happens, much of the investor hesitation that has surrounded the stock of late will fall away. Buy AZO when it's trading for less than $274.
Novo Nordisk (NVO)Novo Nordisk (NVO) is up more than 9% in the past month. In the latest quarter, the company announced that sales increased 23% and profits surged 70% thanks to strong sales, reaching $724 million. In addition to a fantastic earnings report, the company announced that it would be implementing a share repurchase program, which began on Feb. 2, and will be in effect until April 26. Novo is a leader in diabetes management and recent regulatory failures of competitors have given it the green light to increase market share. The company just expanded its leading pharmaceutical services to include mobile technology. Novo Nordisk has developed the first mobile application to help doctors diagnose bleeding disorders. The application, Coags Uncomplicated, allows doctors to input test results and provides a list of possible diagnoses and descriptions that helps speed up the diagnosis process. Continue purchasing shares of NVO at less than $135.
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