7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for 2017’s Second Half

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It’s been a decent first half for stocks to buy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 8% in the first six months. The S&P 500 Index is up only slightly more, at 8.5%. And the Nasdaq Composite has been the big performer, thanks to the FANG stocks — Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) — up 14.5%.

Some of the power of the Trump rally faded when the Republican Congress and White House couldn’t pass any of the sweeping legislation that they promised and the “new” Washington started to look a lot like the old one.

This hurt healthcare and industrials the most, since new healthcare legislation is stalled and an infrastructure stimulus is become a distant dream.

Beyond U.S. shores, Europe and Asia look like they’re getting back on track, which could be very encouraging for global trade and help U.S. financial, agriculture and industrial sectors.

Add all that up and you get these seven A-rated stocks to buy for 2017’s second half.

Stocks to Buy: Melco Resorts (MLCO)

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Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd(ADR)(NASDAQ:MLCO) is a Hong Kong-based gaming and resort company with casinos in the Philippines and Macau.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that gaming is back on it Macau. Macau is an autonomous region in southern China that has become known around the world as the “Las Vegas of Asia.”

In May, business was up 24% compared to the same month last year. And in June the expectations are that revenue growth will be closer to 30%. MLCO is already up 40% year-to-date, likely with some investors getting in ahead of the trend. But there will be a stampede of money rolling in now that a significant trend is starting to take shape.

And it’s likely all the gaming companies will benefit, which will help boost MLCO as well.

Stocks to Buy: Tal Education (TAL)

Stocks to Buy: Tal Education (TAL)
Source: Shutterstock

Tal Education Group (ADR) (NYSE:TAL) is a Beijing-based education and technology-based business focused on primary and secondary education.

Its goal is to integrate learning a technology to help build students that are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. TAL is also involved in projects to help retrain workers to be able to develop the skills to be productive in the new tech-centric workforce.

Given the sheer density of the Chinese population, online education is very helpful, whether it’s working with children in big cities or in the far flung countryside.

Year-to-date, TAL stock is up 72%. But its growth is starting from a trickle that is now turning into a stream. And given the fact that the Chinese economy is improving again, that means there’s more money to spend on programs like those that TAL provides.

Stocks to Buy: MKS Instruments (MKSI)

Stocks to Buy: MKS Instruments (MKSI)
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MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI) is in the right place at the right time, but the stock sold off in June, just ahead of an incredibly bullish earnings report. MKS makes equipment for the semiconductor industry. And tech, especially Big Tech, has been driving the Nasdaq for the first half of this year, with that growth likely to continue.

New hardware demands for growing sectors like cloud computing, Big Data, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality and self-driving cars have meant a sea change in the demands for chips and processors.

In the second quarter, which was just reported this week, MKS reported profits were up 270%, with revenue up 138%. And its Q1 numbers were similarly impressive.

MKSI stock is oversold and will come charging back in coming quarters.

Stocks to Buy: Dana Inc (DANA)

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Dana Inc (NYSE:DAN) is an interesting stock right now. It makes driveline, sealing and thermal management products for all manners of vehicles.

It generally gets lumped in with auto parts manufacturing stocks. And in recent years, that has been a good thing. But now, new car sales are on the decline and investors have been punishing all the stocks related to the industry, including DAN.

But the ace in the hole that DAN has is, it’s diversified across commercial vehicles, agricultural equipment, construction equipment and military vehicles. That means it can boost revenue in another division, as long as the economy is expanding. DAN also offers extensive aftermarket products for those who would rather fix their current equipment rather than buy new.

DAN is up 18% year-to-date and by the look of its price chart, people are catching on to its potential.

Stocks to Buy: iRobot (IRBT)

Stocks to Buy: iRobot (IRBT)
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iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) has been on quite a run, up 46% year-to-date and 143% in the past 12 months. But recently is has begun to sell off sharply. This when all the news out of the company has been encouraging. What gives?

Well, Spruce Point Capital Management issued a scathing report on IRBT earlier this week. It is no coincidence that the firm has been short IRBT for years now and has reiterated its dire warnings that it first reported about three years ago.

IRBT’s strength has always been its programming, more than its devices, which vacuum and mop homes, clean pools and clean gutters. They’re arguably the “smartest” cleaning robots on the market. And IRBT is finally suing competitors over some patent infringement issues, which many have said was a long time coming. Some are concerned with more companies moving into this market.

But that sword cuts both ways. The more competition may actually help grow this market faster than it has grown previously, expanding the base and helping customers learn and differentiate brands. An expanding customer base would certainly be a boost for IRBT since it controls nearly 90% of the market.

Stocks to Buy: NutriSystem (NTRI)

Stocks to Buy: NutriSystem (NTRI)
Source: Nutrisystem

NutriSystem Inc (NASDAQ:NTRI) is one of the leading weight management companies in the U.S.

Its unique model is to forgo the meetings, the weigh-ins and calorie counting. It focuses on providing prepared meals to its customers that provide the calories and nutrition that they need. All they have to do is pop them in a microwave.

One of the biggest boosts NTRI has received is the fact that technology has been able to allow its customers to customize their menus and still stay on a health path.

You can see the tech as soon as you go to the site. The first screen that pops up asks you your height and weight and then it will calculate a target weight and deliver a plan to you. Tech is now being used to its best service at NTRI. And it’s showing up on the bottom line.

Q1 beat expectations, with revenue up 31% for the quarter.

This is all part of the new trend to buy prepared foods that are delivered when you need them at the price point you want them. No more buying groceries that don’t get used or spoil before you can incorporate them into a dish.

Stocks to Buy: Fox Factory (FOXF)

Stocks to Buy: Fox Factory (FOXF)
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Fox Factory Holding Corp (NASDAQ:FOXF) specializes in ride dynamics products, basically, shocks and suspension for off-road sport and endurance vehicles. It’s various brands are leaders in sectors from moto, snow machines, trucks, all-terrain vehicles and racing.

With the boom in modifying vehicles of all sorts with aftermarket parts and the growth in performance sports and off-road activities, this has become an enduring growth market.

Plus, as people hold onto their vehicles longer, it means that DIY upgrades and replacements will grow. FOXF is up 27% year-to-date and it’s just now starting to pop.

Margins are growing and so are revenues. This is the ground floor of a growing trend.

Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate GrowthFamily Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.