On Friday, Oct. 18, the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes declined 0.4% and 0.8%, respectively.
However, as is nearly always the case, there were some stocks that bucked the downtrend and set annual highs during the trading day. Of finviz.com's universe of 3,474 small-cap and larger stocks, 142 stocks -- or 4% -- fell into this group.
Moreover, some of these stocks also hit all-time highs, including athletic shoe and apparel behemoth Nike (NYSE:NKE), real-estate investment trust Realty Income (NYSE:O), and water utility American States Water (NYSE:AWR).
Projected Average Annual EPS Growth Over Next 5 Years*
YTD 2019 Stock Return
10-Year Stock Return
|Realty Income||$25.3 billion||3.5%||5.5%||29.7%||446%|
|American States Water||$3.5 billion||1.3%||6%||42.1%||571%|
Nike is the world's largest manufacturer of athletic shoes and a major producer of athletic apparel, equipment, and accessories. Along with its flagship Nike brand, it also owns the Converse, Hurley, and Jordan brands.
Nike stock has been notching all-time highs since the company released fiscal first-quarter 2020 results late last month that pleased investors. Since the Sept. 24 release, shares have popped more than 10%. In the quarter, revenue rose 7% year over year to $10.7 billion, driven by growth across all geographic markets. Excluding the impact of foreign currency changes, revenue increased 10%. Bottom-line results were the big champs, with earnings per share (EPS) soaring 28% year over year to $0.86. That result easily beat the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.70 per share.
Realty Income is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in free-standing, single-tenant retailing occupancies. It owns more than 5,900 properties across 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.K. The company focuses on financially sound retailers whose operations make them less vulnerable to competition from online retailers, such as service businesses (movies, restaurants).
Realty Income has a great track record of increasing its dividend. Since going public in 1994, it's raised its monthly dividend 103 times.
We can attribute the stock's recent outperformance to the company continuing to turn in solid results and declining interest rates.
Mark your calendar: Realty Income is slated to report its third-quarter results after the market closes on Monday, Nov. 4.
American States Water
American States operates primarily as a regulated water and wastewater utility in California. It also provides electric service to the Big Bear Lake area and has a market-based business that operates and maintains water systems on military bases throughout the country.
Like Realty Income, shares of American States -- and utilities in general -- got a tailwind from the Fed lowering interest rates twice recently. Moreover, shares have surely benefited from investors' concerns about a recession, as utility stocks are considered safe havens in times of economic uncertainty.
The company is scheduled to report its third-quarter results after the market closes on Monday, Nov. 4.
Are any of these stocks a buy?
All three stocks look attractive as long-term investments, with Realty Income a good fit for income-oriented investors and American States Water a solid holding for more conservative investors. That said, American Water Works is my favorite in the water utility space, largely because its industry-leading size and geographic diversity give it an advantage in acquisitions.
Nike stock should prove a good choice for many investors, as the company's products are unlikely to ever go out of style. Wall Street analysts project that the company will grow EPS at a brisk average annual pace of 16.4% over the next five years.