Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Dividend growth investing can be a great way to boost your passive income over time. To do it right, though, you have to find stocks that can both grow their dividends faster than inflation and have sustainable free cash flows for the long haul.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), a blue chip biotech stock, meets both of these critical criteria. Even so, this top biotech is rarely considered purely for its prospects as a dividend growth stock. The reason? Gilead only started doling out a dividend approximately three years ago this month. As a result, the company has yet to shed its well-earned image as a top growth stock within the broader investing community.

Image Source: Getty Images.

However, I think this underappreciated dividend growth play is worth adding to your portfolio right now. Here’s why.

Gilead’s risks are overstated

There are two big knocks against Gilead as a dividend growth stock. First off, the company’s hepatitis C franchise has literally imploded since hitting a high watermark in late 2015. Gilead has thus had to rely on its core HIV franchise to pick up the slack, and that strategy has so far failed to keep the company’s top line moving in the right direction. Despite several new product launches in HIV, the biotech’s top line remains on track to drop by a disastrous 20.3% this year.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: New York & Company Inc.(NWY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Cache (OTCMKTS: CACH) and New York & Company, Inc. (NYSE:NWY) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    New York & Company (NYSE:NWY) will announce its earnings results after the market closes on Thursday, May 24th.

    New York & Company (NYSE:NWY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 22nd. The specialty retailer reported $0.08 EPS for the quarter. New York & Company had a return on equity of 7.97% and a net margin of 0.61%. The company had revenue of $278.71 million for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.06) earnings per share.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on New York & Company (NWY)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: CNB Financial Corporation(CCNE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    BidaskClub upgraded shares of CNB Financial (NASDAQ:CCNE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

    A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on CCNE. ValuEngine cut shares of CNB Financial from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of CNB Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 14th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of CNB Financial in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods assumed coverage on shares of CNB Financial in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. They issued a market perform rating and a $35.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $31.50.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    BidaskClub upgraded shares of CNB Financial (NASDAQ:CCNE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

    Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on CCNE. Boenning Scattergood reissued a buy rating and set a $29.50 price target on shares of CNB Financial in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered CNB Financial from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 20th. ValuEngine raised CNB Financial from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods initiated coverage on CNB Financial in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. They set a market perform rating and a $35.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $31.50.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “CNB Financial (CCNE) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research” was posted by Ticker Report and is the sole property of of Ticker Report. If you are accessing this report on another website, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of US & international copyright and trademark laws. The legal version of this report can be accessed at www.tickerreport.com/banking-finance/3370450/cnb-financial-ccne-rating-lowered-to-sell-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Merit Medical Systems Inc.(MMSI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MMSI) by 5.2% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 412,344 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after buying an additional 20,334 shares during the quarter. Merit Medical Systems comprises approximately 1.9% of Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 4th largest position. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. owned 0.82% of Merit Medical Systems worth $18,699,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Merit Medical Systems (MMSI)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MMSI) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the fourteen brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $52.00.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: LivePerson Inc.(LPSN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) updated its FY18 earnings guidance on Thursday. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $0.11-0.15 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.09. The company issued revenue guidance of $239-243 million, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $239.45 million.LivePerson also updated its Q2 guidance to $0.00-0.01 EPS.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPSN) SVP Daryl Carlough sold 425 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.80, for a total value of $10,115.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 14,647 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $348,598.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday. The technology company reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, Bloomberg Earnings reports. LivePerson had a negative return on equity of 2.93% and a negative net margin of 6.95%. The company had revenue of $58.24 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $57.22 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.01 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 14.4% compared to the same quarter last year. LivePerson updated its Q2 guidance to $0.00-0.01 EPS and its FY18 guidance to $0.11-0.15 EPS.

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    Double-digit growth is back at LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN). The provider of high-tech customer support reported fresh financials after Thursday’s market close, delivering its best period of year-over-year revenue growth in nearly three years.

  • [By Timothy Green]

    Shares of LivePerson Inc. (NASDAQ:LPSN) jumped on Friday following the cloud-based chat software company’s first-quarter report. LivePerson beat out analyst estimates across the board, registering its best revenue growth in years. The stock was up about 9.6% at 3:45 p.m. EDT Friday.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Liquidity Services Inc.(LQDT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:LQDT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 3rd. The business services provider reported ($0.12) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.02. Liquidity Services had a negative net margin of 12.72% and a negative return on equity of 19.31%. The company had revenue of $43.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.16 million. equities analysts forecast that Liquidity Services, Inc. will post -0.71 earnings per share for the current year.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

     

    Losers
    Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX) shares tumbled 48.59 percent to close at $1.275 on Thursday after the company priced its $18,000,000 public offering.
    InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NVIV) fell 38.77 percent to close at $8.26 on Thursday.
    Check-Cap Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHEK) shares tumbled 27.43 percent to close at $8.81.
    Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAO) dropped 24.76 percent to close at $11.06 in reaction to a disappointing update from an FDA AdCom panel. The FDA panel voted favorably for the company's Plazcomicin for treatment of adults with complicated urinary tract infections, but also voted against the therapy to be used as a treatment for bloodstream infections.
    Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIK) shares declined 24.68 percent to close at $34.80 after the company posted downbeat quarterly results.
    LSC Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LKSD) shares fell 24.22 percent to close at $12.64 following wider-than-expected Q1 loss.
    Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) fell 21.42 percent to close at $50.80 following downbeat quarterly profit.
    Horizon Global Corporation (NYSE: HZN) dropped 20.42 percent to close at $6.00 following downbeat quarterly earnings.
    Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. (NYSE: HOS) slipped 20.11 percent to close at $2.90 following wider-than-expected Q1 loss.
    Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESPR) fell 19.28 percent to close at $36.93. Esperion Therapeutics stock lost roughly a third of its value Wednesday after the company reported mixed Phase III results for its leading drug candidate, bempedoic acid. JP Morgan downgraded Esperion Therapeutics from Neutral to Underweight.
    Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: LPI) declined 17.77 percent to close at $8.98 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q1 earnings.
    The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: HABT) dipped 16.1 percent to close at $8.60 after the company reported downbeat quarterly results.
    Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (N

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Liquidity Services (LQDT)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Press coverage about Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:LQDT) has been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern. The research group rates the sentiment of news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Liquidity Services earned a daily sentiment score of 0.14 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news coverage about the business services provider an impact score of 46.5172522637305 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near term.

Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In Right Now: CNA Financial Corporation(CNA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in CNA Financial (NYSE:CNA) by 70.8% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 331,811 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after buying an additional 137,500 shares during the quarter. Prudential Financial Inc.’s holdings in CNA Financial were worth $16,375,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Cna Financial (NYSE: CNA) and Atlas Financial (NASDAQ:AFH) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership and valuation.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    JPMorgan Chase restated their neutral rating on shares of Centrica (LON:CNA) in a research report released on Tuesday.

    Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on CNA. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Centrica in a research report on Friday, May 4th. Kepler Capital Markets decreased their price objective on shares of Centrica from GBX 190 ($2.58) to GBX 160 ($2.17) and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. Royal Bank of Canada raised shares of Centrica to an outperform rating and increased their target price for the stock from GBX 150 ($2.03) to GBX 175 ($2.37) in a research note on Monday, February 26th. HSBC lowered shares of Centrica to a reduce rating and cut their target price for the stock from GBX 150 ($2.03) to GBX 120 ($1.63) in a research note on Wednesday, April 11th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reissued a sell rating and set a GBX 125 ($1.70) target price on shares of Centrica in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of GBX 174.63 ($2.37).

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