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3 Large-Cap Stocks Worth Buying in 2023

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With the Fed signaling to continue raising interest rates throughout this year, the probability of the economy tipping into a recession is increasing. Amid the macroeconomic unrest, fundamentally sound large-cap stocks UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Walmart (WMT), and Eli Lilly (LLY) might be safe investments this year. Read on….


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Although the inflation showed signs of easing in October and November 2022, the Fed increased its benchmark interest rate to a range of 4.25% to 4.5% at its December meeting. Furthermore, policymakers anticipate that interest rates will stay high for longer and might reach 5.1% this year. However, the easing of inflation in December might make the Fed rethink its policy stance this year.

Investors are paying close attention to inflation since it impacts how far the central banks would go on their rate-hiking path. Rate increases have caused the economy to slow down, and how far the Fed chooses to go could determine whether or not there would be a recession.

Moreover, the World Bank reduced its forecast for global economic growth from 3% to 1.7% for 2023, citing worsening economic conditions. The adjustment resulted from a significant decline in the U.S. economy’s prospects, with the World Bank forecasting 0.5% growth, down from the earlier projection of 2.4%.

The World Bank stated, “Global growth has slowed to the extent that the global economy is perilously close to falling into recession.” It further contends that while global central banks’ measures to control inflation might have been important, they have significantly worsened the financial situation on a global scale.

Given the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties, investing in shares of large-cap companies could be safe for investors as they are well-established firms with the capacity to withstand challenging economic periods. Hence, fundamentally sound large-cap stocks UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH), Walmart Inc. (WMT), and Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) could be worthy buys this year.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH)

With a market capitalization of $461.01 billion, UNH is a diversified healthcare corporation in the United States. It operates through UnitedHealthcare; OptumHealth; OptumInsight; and OptumRx segments. The company offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans, software and information products, and pharmacy care services.

On January 10, 2023, Optum, a UNH subsidiary, and Owensboro Health established a partnership to improve patient care and experience. Beginning in April 2023, roughly 575 Owensboro Health members in revenue cycle and information technology services would join Optum as part of this new agreement.

The company should benefit from the reinvention of conventional healthcare models and systems, along with improved efficiency, as a result of this cooperation.

Also, on January 5, Optum and Northern Light Health announced their strategic partnership to improve the quality of medical care for patients and providers in Maine. Beginning in March 2023, about 1,400 Northern Light Health employees are expected to join Optum as employees, which could aid Optum in growing its business and enhancing its operational effectiveness.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2022, which ended September 30, 2022, UNH’s total revenues increased 11.8% year-over-year to $80.89 billion, and its earnings from operations grew 30.6% from the year-ago value to $7.46 billion. Adjusted net earnings attributable to UNH common shareholders rose 27.2% year-over-year to $5.49 billion, while its adjusted EPS came in at $5.79, up 28.1% year-over-year.

The company has increased its dividends for 13 consecutive years. It pays a $6.60 per share dividend annually, which translates to a 1.34% yield on the current price level. Moreover, UNH’s dividend payouts have grown at a 17.4% CAGR over the past five years.

For the fiscal year ended December 2022, analysts expect UNH’s revenue to increase 12.6% year-over-year to $323.93 billion. The company’s EPS for the same year is expected to grow 15.8% from the previous year to $22.03. Moreover, UNH surpassed its consensus EPS in all four trailing quarters, which is impressive.

Furthermore, analysts expect the company’s revenue and EPS for the current fiscal year (ending December 2023) to grow 10% and 13.3% year-over-year to $356.17 billion and $24.95, respectively.

Shares of UNH have gained 5.2% over the past year to close the last trading session at $493.40.

UNH’s POWR Ratings reflect its promising outlook. The stock has an overall rating of A, which equates to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 different factors, each weighted to an optimal degree.

The stock has a B grade for Growth, Stability, Quality, and Sentiment. Within the Medical – Health Insurance industry, it is ranked #2 of 11 stocks.

Beyond what we stated above, we also have UNH’s ratings for Value and Momentum. Get all UNH ratings here.

Walmart Inc. (WMT)

WMT runs retail, wholesale, and other units globally and has a market capitalization of $394.08 billion. It has roughly 10,500 stores and various e-commerce websites in 24 countries under 46 banners. It operates through Walmart U.S.; Walmart International; and Sam’s Club segments.

On December 15, 2022, WMT announced that it would boost customer experience by investing in supply chains, logistics, and infrastructure. WMT Canada revealed its intentions to establish a pioneering distribution facility in Quebec.

Additionally, the company’s logistics and supply chain networks throughout the Southeast area are being strengthened in Mexico by the soon-to-open Villahermosa Perishables Distribution Center.

On October 27, WMT announced the expansion of its popular digital storefront, The Netflix Hub, across 2,400+ WMT stores, along with a new Netflix Streaming Gift Card available only at WMT. The company aims to strategically benefit from increased customer satisfaction and experience by offering exclusive experiences and fan-favorite products.

The company has raised its dividends for 49 consecutive years. It pays a $2.24 per share dividend annually, which translates to a 1.53% yield on prevailing prices. WMT’s dividend payouts have grown at a 1.9% CAGR over the past five years, and its four-year average dividend yield is 1.69%.

For the fiscal 2023 third quarter ended October 31, 2022, WMT’s total revenues grew 8.7% year-over-year to $152.81 billion. The company’s adjusted operating income rose 3.9% from the prior year’s quarter to $6.02 billion. As of October 31, 2022, WMT’s total current assets stood at $87.68 billion compared to $81.07 billion as of January 31, 2022.

The consensus revenue estimate of $619.77 billion for the fiscal year ending January 2024 indicates a 3% year-over-year improvement. The consensus revenue estimate of $6.58 for the next year reflects a rise of 8.4% from the prior year. Furthermore, WMT surpassed its consensus EPS in three of four trailing quarters.

The stock has gained 16.5% over the past six months to close the last trading session at $146.13.

WMT’s strong prospects are apparent in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall rating of A, equating to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system.

WMT has a Sentiment grade of A and a Stability grade of B. In the 39-stock A-rated Grocery/Big Box Retailers industry, it is ranked #10.

In addition to the POWR Ratings I’ve just highlighted, you can see WMT ratings for Growth, Value, Momentum, and Quality here.

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY)

LLY is a drug manufacturer. It discovers, develops, and sells products for the human pharmaceutical products market in 120 countries. It has a market capitalization of $342.45 billion. It serves wholesalers, managed care organizations, government and long-term care institutions, hospitals, and certain retail pharmacies.

On December 22, 2022, LLY and ProQR Therapeutics N.V. (PRQR) announced the expansion of their licensing and collaboration arrangement, focusing on the research, development, and commercialization of new genetic medicines.

With the use of ProQR’s Axiomer platform, LLY is expected to have access to more targets in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system under the conditions of the expanded partnership. Moreover, the company would be able to exercise a $50 million payment to further the partnership’s growth.

Also, on December 1, LLY acquired Akouos, Inc. (AKUS). Through this acquisition, LLY intends to expand its efforts in genetic medicines to encompass the company’s portfolio of adeno-associated viral gene therapies to treat inner ear diseases such as sensorineural hearing loss.

On December 12, LLY announced a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.13 per share on outstanding common stock for the first quarter of 2023, payable on March 10, 2023. LLY pays a $4.52 per share dividend annually, which translates to a 1.25% yield on the current price level.

LLY’s dividend payments have grown at a 15% CAGR over the past three years. Moreover, the company has raised its dividends for eight consecutive years.

For the third quarter that ended September 30, 2022, LLY’s revenue increased 2.5% year-over-year to $6.94 billion, and its income before income taxes rose 25.7% from the prior year’s quarter to $1.57 billion. The company’s non-GAAP net income was $1.79 billion, up 10.8% year-over-year, while its non-GAAP EPS stood at $1.98, registering an 11.9% year-over-year increase.

Analysts expect LLY’s revenue to increase 6.6% year-over-year to $30.56 billion for the current fiscal year ending December 2023. Furthermore, the company’s EPS for the same year is expected to grow 6.4% from the previous year to $8.29. Shares of LLY have gained 8.9% over the past six months and 37.4% over the past year to close the last trading session at $360.41.

LLY’s solid fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall rating of B, equating to Buy in our proprietary rating system.

The stock has a B grade for Stability and Quality. Within the Medical – Pharmaceuticals industry, it is ranked #28 of 164 stocks.

To see additional POWR Ratings for Growth, Value, Sentiment, and Momentum for LLY, click here.


UNH shares were trading at $489.64 per share on Thursday morning, down $3.76 (-0.76%). Year-to-date, UNH has declined -7.65%, versus a 3.53% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Aanchal Sugandh

Aanchal’s passion for financial markets drives her work as an investment analyst and journalist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and is pursuing the CFA program.She is proficient at assessing the long-term prospects of stocks with her fundamental analysis skills. Her goal is to help investors build portfolios with sustainable returns.

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Entrepreneurship

10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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