6 Top Stock Picks For Conservative And Speculative Investors

Each year, MoneyShow asks the leading financial newsletters for their best stock ideas for the coming year. The growth experts at Eagle Financial Publications are often among the best performers. In our 2020 Top Picks report their new favorites cover such diverse opportunities as gold, energy, pet food, media and cancer diagnostics.

Mark Skousen, Forecasts & Strategies

I’m bullish on gold, due to easy money policies by the Fed, and volatility & instability in an election year, as well as potential geo-political trouble. As such, my two top picks for the new year are in the gold sector.

For conservative investors, my 2020 recommendation is Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV); the Toronto-based mining/energy finance company, is now ahead 48% this year, handling beating the market.

It has a lot of upside potential since earnings and revenue growth have accelerated for three straight quarters, especially the last one. It is the only stock in the mining sector that has a long-term upward trend. It has a rising though modest dividend plan (1%).  

Get access to MoneyShow’s 100+ page Top Picks Report featuring the nation’s most respected and well-known newsletter advisors favorite investment ideas for 2020.

For speculators, my 2020 recommendation is B2Gold (BTG), a Vancouver-based low-priced (below $4) gold mining stock with great promise, and could even be a buy out candidate. In 2006, the company was founded by executives from Bema Gold. 

B2Gold has built a diversified portfolio of mines in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Mali, Colombia, and Namibia with relatively low debt. It’s already making money. 

Third-quarter results released in November were spectacular, with $311 million in revenues, and earnings coming in at 9 cents per share in the quarter, up an impressive 125% from the prior-year quarter. 

It produced a record 258,200 ounces, 7% above the company’s budget. The Fekola Mine in Mali is expected to produce 450,000 ounces this year, and 600,000 ounces in 2020. It also announced its first dividend, a modest 1 cent per share.

Hilary Kramer, IPO Edge

Chewy (CHWY) — my top pick for aggressive investing — is a pet food phenomenon. My channel checks in many U.S. cities reveal box after box delivered in affluent neighborhoods, sometimes on every doorstep.

I’ve been a fan of the company since its June IPO but at the time chose not to chased the stock. Instead, wee kept our powder dry and waited for the stock to print a clear bottom. I think it’s here now.

For one thing, the lock-up period keeping insiders from selling has now expired as of today. They’re not dumping their company stock at this level. They’re evidently holding on for better days ahead.

I agree. After all, quarterly performance remains solid. The company is automatically shipping $865 million a quarter in pet food and other subscription-based products, and that end of the business is growing 49 percent a year.

Automated billing is great. When consumers get locked into a habit, it’s hard to get them to change. And as long as the account is open, Chewy has an open window to upsell each household to put a little more in those blue-labeled boxes.

Pet medicine is becoming a big deal here. Those prescriptions are relatively expensive and they need to be administered regularly, sometimes over long periods. This side of the product universe is already profitable for the company and could ultimately boost margins about 5 percentage points.

That’s a big deal, theoretically enough to take the company to breakeven faster than I hoped. And in that scenario, this is no dot-com flash in the pan, but a sustainable business that can go head to head with Amazon and Walmart in online retail.

After all, it’s still expanding fast. Customer growth is tracking above 30 percent a year. All it takes to accelerate that growth rate is a little relief on the margins freeing up cash to pour back into advertising.

Another factor that turned this stock into a buy for us has a lot of room to go from here. People who mocked the company bet big against it. A staggering 30 percent of the CHWY float is tied up in short-selling obligations. There’s a lot of room left for cautious investors to make money on the upswing.

Jim Woods, Successful Investing

Oil stocks saw relative underperformance in 2019. Factors such as the U.S.-China trade war, a strong U.S. dollar vs. rival foreign currencies, and the depressed trend in crude oil prices throughout most of the year made for a tough slog in the space. One of my favorite dividend stalwarts is perhaps the quintessential stock in the oil sector, and it’s Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), my top pick for conservative investors.

The stock did finish the year in positive territory, albeit only slightly. Yet in 2020, the tables are set for a very big turnaround for investors who embrace the oil giant’s shares. Bolstering my opinion of this stock are analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). In a note to clients in December, the bank said XOM shares could surge to $100 in 2020, which is about a 43% gain from where the stock closed on Dec. 30 ($68.48).

As the bank wrote, 2020 could “finally be Exxon Mobil’s year.” The analysts at BAML cited successful project execution and accelerating growth. They also described a “step change” in cash flow that could also see the stock price climb. “The inflection in Permian production is well under way while the first oil from Guyana confirmed for December kick starts what we expect to be 7-8 years of growth…” BAML analysts said.

Finally, in a big sign of support for Exxon Mobil, BAML named the stock its top U.S. oil major pick for 2020. I agree with the firm’s assessment here, and I think Exxon Mobil is the perfect stock for contrarian investors looking for a conservative, large-cap dividend stock that’s selling at a discount.

Bryan Perry, Cash Machine

Of the major media stocks taking center stage this year, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) stands to march higher following the acquisition of Fox and the recently announced launch of its subscription streaming service.

Back on June 20, 2018, Fox accepted Disney’s massive $71.3 billion offer in cash and stock to buy the company. In the whopping deal, Disney outbid Comcast’s $65 billion all-cash offer. Disney’s acquisition includes the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox’s American cable channels and U.K.-based Sky News.

The deal arguably makes Disney the new “king of content” and the synergies with its own studios Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Touchstone.

Plus, 2019 box office hits like Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Aladdin, Toy Story 4 and The Lion King will most certainly pad third and fourth-quarter earnings.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the release of Star Wars “The Rise of Skywalker” was set to do well per reviews and the movie has generated box office receipts of over $500 million as of the last week in December. It was also the second-highest grossing Christmas Day earnings of all time.

Disney+ now boasts over 20 million subscribers and though the launch didn’t go as smoothly as planned, drawing some to scoff at its execution, nobody is laughing now. Of the 25 analysts the cover the stock, the highest forecasted price target on the Street is $175, but I believe the stock can hit $200 by New Years Eve 2020.

For investors looking for a stock that has a real shot of doubling in value during 2020, they should consider purchase of Guardant Health Inc. (GH). The company is a leader in the high-growth non-invasive cancer technology space.

Liquid biopsy in the form of precision blood testing and advanced analytics is quickly replacing tissue biopsy procedures and is proving transformational in cancer diagnostics.

The company’s flagship products, Guardant360 liquid biopsy and GuardantOMNI tests are seeing rapidly expanding application for use across a vast majority of advanced solid tumors. It is estimated that as many as 30% of advanced cancer patients are not biopsiable for tissue testing, and therefore key biomarkers for advanced treatment decisions can take two to three times as long to determine using conventional methods.

The FDA recently granted Guardant expanded coverage of Guardant360 to address multiple cancers such as breast, colorectal, gastric, uterine, lung, thyroid and melanoma. Medicare quickly followed suit, granting expanded policy coverage by several big private insurers including Cigna and multiple Blue-Cross Blue-Shield plans.

Click here for access to MoneyShow’s 100+ page Top Picks Report featuring the nation’s most respected and well-known newsletter advisors favorite investment ideas for 2020.

2019 proved to be a phenomenal year for Guardant Health. In its most current third quarter set of results, the company reported an 89% increase in tests to clinical customers and an 111% increase in tests to biapharma customers.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund was an early and big investor in Guardant Health and though it sold 4.9 million shares to shore up its finances after the WeWork debacle, it remains the largest holder with more than 20 million shares. I think the stock can trade to $160 in the year ahead. It’s that good of a story — a true game changer.