Editor's Note: This article was corrected to show analysts' estimates for Nike are for the current fiscal quarter, not the quarter just ended.
BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Many investors are in a quandary about where to put their money, given the continuing jitters over Europe's economy and the paltry bond yields here at home.
What's more, earnings season, which began Monday, is expected to disappoint as the majority of companies are seen struggling to beat the 2% year-over-year average increase analysts projected at the end of the first quarter. That adds to the pessimism for equities.
Yet there remain many high-quality stocks that are expected to continue to grow their earnings at a much faster pace than their peers, are relatively cheap, and given their predictable histories and healthy balance sheets, should see investors through the turbulence projected for the balance of the year in fine shape, helped by dividend yields that range from 1.25% to 2.8%. S&P Capital IQ, which creates various types of model stock portfolios, highlights many of them in its "high-quality capital appreciation" portfolio. Eight stocks from that portfolio, summarized below, have an "A" rating from the firm as they have an above-average 10-year history of earnings and dividend growth and a history of stability in all types of economies. They also have earned among the firm's top total return notations of four stars, which means they are expected to outperform the S&P 500 over the next 12 months, or five stars, connoting outperformance of the index by a wide margin. As a group so far this year, their share performances are disappointing, as they are underperforming the S&P 500's 9% gain, with an average total return of 6.5%. But given the slowing earnings growth expected for most members of the S&P 500, these firms' outlooks for the year -- ranging from transportation and logistics firm's C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) 6%, to the 19% of media conglomerate Walt Disney (DIS) and building industry supplier Fastenal (FAST) -- make these companies look undervalued. Here are eight stocks of companies that are rated "A" or "A+" by S&P, with strong earnings growth prospects and healthy dividends, presented in inverse order of analysts' earnings per share growth projections for this year:
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