Legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant famously said, "Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships." The same can apply to investing and picking stocks.
With that in mind and the Super Bowl LIII matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, we went in search of some defense.
Rams Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald is widely considered the best defensive player in the NFL today.
So, which stock is the most like Donald? We asked four of our top columnists to weigh in on a solid and reliable defensive play.
Marks: The visibility in in this aerospace and aircraft manufacturer's massive backlog makes it a defensive play.
Jeff Marks, senior portfolio analyst of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio and club for investors:
Aaron Donald is a perennial defense player of the year. The value he brings to the Rams is double sided. Not only does he keep the opposing team out of endzone, but his disruptive play also makes him an asset to his team's offense.
His league-leading sacks help flip the field.
What is Donald's stock counterpart? Boeing (BA) . Although this aerospace and aircraft manufacturer is not typically thought of as a "defensive" play, the visibility in its massive backlog makes it so.
At the end of 2018, Boeing had a backlog worth seven years of production. So not only is the backlog a tremendous defensive attribute, but it also means there will be plenty of business in the future.
Guilfoyle: Strong. Reliable. Defensive. I like BP.
Twenty and a half sacks from the Tackle position. If you're my age, you may have to think of Deacon Jones for a comparison.
Strong. Reliable. Defensive. In a hopefully weaker dollar environment, it would be easy to go with a commodity such as Gold or Oil. On that note, I like British Petroleum (BP) for comparison to Aaron Donald.
The ongoing Macondo blowout continues to suppress the share price. That costly error is winding down. While investors wait, the company pays out a dividend that yields 6%. All the while, BP's break-even point for crude production continues to decline.
Fima: When I think defense, I think dividend and valuation support and a revenue stream less susceptible to macroeconomic deterioration.
Zev Fima, research analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio and club for investors:
A defensive, Aaron Donald-like stock has to be CVS Health (CVS) . It's got a valuation that's way too low in an already defensive sector. Add to that a 3% dividend yield and a massive transformation that, if executed on correctly, should see the valuation multiple expand and the stock soar.
Also, CVS -- a holding in the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio -- generates 100% of its revenue in the U.S., something that is immensely important if you're looking to avoid any U.S./China trade issues.
So, when I think defense, I think dividend and valuation support and a revenue stream less susceptible to macroeconomic deterioration. That's CVS.
Curran: Like Donald's proclivity to abate the opposing quarterback's ability to gash defenses, LMT has the ability to curb losses for investors.
Kevin Curran, reporter at Real Money, our premium site for active traders:
No, this isn't simply a defense name for a defensive player.
Lockheed Martin (LMT) has been a strong player in defense, and has been able to seriously surge in recent years right alongside chief peer Boeing.
The company, like Donald's proclivity to abate the opposing quarterback's ability to gash defenses, has the ability to curb losses for investors. The aerospace-and-defense leader currently pays a dividend of $2.20 per share, yielding 3.0%, which is much higher than many of its peers aside from the aforementioned Boeing. That made the company's 2018 troubles a lot less harmful to its shareholders.
Speaking to this ability, since Aaron Donald's draft day, LMT stock has appreciated about 75%. However, with dividends are reinvested, that jumps to over an 100% return.
If you want your portfolio to be protected from getting gashed, a stock like Lockheed Martin is a stock to lock down.
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