These 5 Defensive Stocks Have 100% Street Support

If you thought you were in for a calm November, you’d be wrong. We have now entered the second correction of 2018, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index down over 5% on a one-month basis. On a three-month basis, this loss extends to almost 12%. In fact, even the relatively stable Alphabet is now posting a loss on a year-to-date basis.

With tech stocks looking like an increasingly risky bet, analysts have been getting more bullish on some key defensive names. These are stocks from sectors like utilities, healthcare, and consumer goods.

Here we use TipRanks’ Trending Stocks tool to pinpoint the best-rated defensive stocks right now. All five stocks covered below have received only buy ratings from top analysts in the last three months. As you will see below, here we highlight only the best-performing analyst consensus and price target.

This is because TipRanks tracks and ranks analysts based on their average return and success rate. As a result, we can zone in on ratings from analysts who consistently outperform the market. And with trading so choppy right now, it’s reassuring that these analysts tend to get it right.

Let’s take a closer look now at these five ‘Strong Buy’ defensive stock picks from top analysts now:

1) Merck

Merck & Co (MRK – Research Report) is one of the world’s largest pharma companies, delivering revenue in 2017 of over $40 billion. The pharmaceutical giant is seeing big and steady sales of its cancer drug Keytruda.

Keytruda works by aiding the body’s own immune system to fight and kill cancer cells. “Merck has distinguished itself with excellent IO [immunotherapy] execution” cheered top BMO Capital analyst Alex Arfaei (Track Record & Ratings) on November 16.

The analyst adds: “If Merck maintains ~40% long-term share of the U.S. IO market, this would imply sales potential of $9.4Bn by 2030. That is plausible given Merck’s strong execution in IO so far.” He is currently forecasting US Keytruda sales of $7.4Bn by 2030 but says this seems conservative given recent trends, especially given the recent FDA approval for Keytruda + chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


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