Tech-giant Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report has been riding a post-earnings rally and secured bullish outlook from Wall Street. Prognosticators are saying that Apple looks stronger than ever.
However, we would recommend that investors think twice before buying Apple at these levels. With an average 12-month consensus target price less than five dollars away, the company's stock appears fully valued and without much upside.
On the other hand, Home Depot (HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Report is currently well positioned to benefit from general U.S. economic growth, lower taxes, and increased new-residential construction.
While there are no shortage of bullish arguments for Apple, the tone has become overly optimistic as the company's share price tests the $135 level.
Often, experts tend to paint industry giants as infallible entities: Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report Pixel phones are supposed to be the iPhone killer, Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report is the superstar of self-driving cars, Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report is the king of e-commerce and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report is the prince of streaming content. Ornate renditions aside, the reality is that investors must practice caution and judicious investigation, now more than ever.
While Apple's $250 billion in cash may be comforting, unless it uses it to offer a massive special dividend or invest in a truly innovative new product, the figure may not really bring any long-term benefit.
Truth be told, Apple's footprint is unquestionable, even as innovation begins to run dry. So it would be smart to book profits in Apple right now until the stock returns to more reasonable valuations.
Home improvement is our more dependable theme at this time. The $170 billion retailer Home Depot presents a solid opportunity for profits.
IHS Markit expects the company to hike its quarterly dividend by 14.5%, to $0.79 per share next week. Sales should also see a 4% upswing over the next year accompanied by a sharp 15% improvement in operating margins.
Investors must appreciate the fruit of Home Depot's strategy. The company has delivered year-over-year sales growth since 2010, plowing through the $90 billion mark in 2016 without launching a new big-box store in three years.
Investors could stand to earn an 8% to 10% return from Home Depot if the company's next quarterly earnings report (out Feb. 21) beats analysts' expectations.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.