Stocks to buy

Although the topic of climate change generates intense debate, its growing reality dictates that investors consider modifying their portfolios to target certain stocks to buy. As NASA’s website states, “[t]here is unequivocal evidence that Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate. Further, human activity represents the principal catalyst. Fortunately, several public enterprises have stepped up to the plate, ready to deliver tangible solutions.

A major component of the underlying proposals centers on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. To be sure, mentioning ESG can spark political disagreements. However, because younger generations tend to be progressive about sustainability concerns, targeting stocks to buy based on climate change-related matters may be astute. After all, they represent the future. Finally, with overwhelming consensus among scientists that climate change represents a genuine phenomenon, the trend is clear. With that, these are the stocks to buy amid the environmental crisis.

K Kellogg $65.10
NKE Nike $120.17
LOW Lowe’s $201.57
JNJ Johnson & Johnson $155.56
CCJ Cameco $27.27
BEP Brookfield Renewable $27.31
GOOG GOOGL Alphabet $95.58

Kellogg (K)

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Breakfast favorite Kellogg (NYSE:K) might not seem like an intuitive example of stocks to buy for the climate change crisis. However, the food stalwart made significant investments into plant-based meat, specifically through its Incogmeato brand. Although millennials have gravitated toward plant-based alternatives, fake meat providers largely struggle in this space. Fundamentally, they lack the scale to succeed.

On the other hand, Incogmeato enjoys the support of parent Kellogg, which makes its foray into non-animal proteins possibly viable. For investors, K stock represents a slow-and-steady vehicle, with a return of over 1% in the trailing year. However, since the January opener, it slipped by 8%. Despite the challenges, it could make for a contrarian idea. Primarily, Kellogg benefits from decent profitability. For instance, its net margin pings at 6.27%, outpacing 68% of the competition.

Further, while Wall Street analysts peg K as a consensus hold, their average price target stands at $71.80. This implies over 9% upside potential, making Kellogg a respectable idea for stocks to buy.

Nike (NKE)

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On the surface, Nike (NYSE:NKE) not only doesn’t seem like one of the stocks to buy for climate change, but some critics might also blast the athletic apparel giant for contributing to it. While Nike produces clothing – an essential item – the center of its product is on discretionary behavior. In other words, it’s a bit superfluous.

Nevertheless, Nike enjoys serious cred about climate-change-addressing stocks to buy. For instance, LeafScore notes that Nike launched a “Move to Zero” initiative. Under this plan, management will aim to reduce carbon emissions by 30% across its entire supply chain by 2030. Further, the company implemented the Nike Grind recycling program, which involves converting used footwear into new shoes. This program also repurposes surplus manufacturing materials to make apparel and equipment.

Two attributes stand out for Nike: stability in the balance sheet and excellent profit margins. They undoubtedly contributed to Wall Street analysts pegging NKE as a consensus strong buy. Further, their average price target stands at $131.33, implying nearly 10% upside potential.

Lowe’s (LOW)

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In many ways, Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) may be one of the most cynical stocks to buy for the climate change crisis. Generally speaking, natural disasters tend to boost sales for home-improvement retailers. By that, I’m referring to more manageable storms and inclement weather events. As people prepare for an incoming incident, critical goods start flying out the door.

Now, should climate change worsen over time, it’s quite possible that the frequency of inclement weather events could likewise rise. Moreover, we don’t need to focus just on disasters. For instance, unusual heat waves can spark sales of portable air conditioner units and fans.

Intriguingly, Gurufocus.com’s analysis of Lowe’s discounted cash flow (DCF) reveals that its shares ping as considerably undervalued. As well, the company enjoys strong operational stats. Its three-year revenue growth rate pings at 16.2% while its operating margin hit nearly 11%. Both stats rate well into the underlying sector’s upper echelon. Finally, Wall Street analysts peg LOW as a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target stands at $228.73, implying over 17% upside potential.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

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Known the world over for its over-the-counter medicines and various household items, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also makes a strong case for stocks to buy amid the climate change crisis. Per LeafScore, the company pledges to do its part for the plant, committing to sustainable packaging. This means the material used will be recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

Further, the healthcare giant’s facilities currently run on 35% renewable energy. However, the company plans to bring this percentage to 100% by 2050. Beyond this, the company generated a positive reputation for its environmental activism. According to Gurufocus.com’s proprietary calculations for fair market value (FMV), JNJ rates as modestly undervalued. The company’s top financial attributes center on its operations. For instance, its three-year book growth rate pings at 9.2%, above 60% of rivals. And its net margin is 18.9%, above nearly 87% of the industry.

Turning to Wall Street, covering analysts peg JNJ as a consensus moderate buy. As well, their average price target stands at $183.10, implying 20% upside potential.

Cameco (CCJ)

Source: Shutterstock

At first glance, the mentioning of uranium specialist Cameco (NYSE:CCJ) may strike one as an odd inclusion for stocks to buy in the climate change category. However, the stereotypes of nuclear meltdowns and subsequent fallouts represent more Hollywood fiction than reality. True, these circumstances invariably represent risk factors tied to nuclear energy. However, on balance, nuclear disasters are thankfully rare.

More importantly, no one can ignore the relevancies associated with Cameco’s underlying industry. From an emissions standpoint, nuclear power produces zero carbon emissions. It also doesn’t produce other noxious greenhouse gases through its operations. Additionally, nuclear energy features astounding energy density. For instance, one uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as 149 gallons of crude oil. Not surprisingly, analysts peg CCJ as one of the stocks to buy – a strong buy view to be precise. Further, their average price target stands at $35.95, implying over 29% upside potential.

Brookfield Renewable (BEP)

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Structured as a publicly traded limited partnership, Brookfield Renewable (NYSE:BEP) owns and operates renewable power assets. As such, BEP represents one of the direct players among stocks to buy for the climate change issue. According to its public profile, Brookfield owned at the end of 2017 over 200 hydroelectric plants, 100 wind farms, over 550 solar facilities, and four storage facilities.

While BEP sounds incredibly relevant, investors will require patience as it’s on the riskier side. True, BEP did gain over 3% since the Jan. opener. However, in the trailing year, shares gave up nearly 27% of equity value. Still, it could be an interesting market idea for speculative contrarians. Financially, its greatest strengths lie in its top-line operations. Its three-year revenue growth rate stands at 14.6%, outpacing 72% of the field. As well, the market prices BEP at a sales multiple of 1.65. As a discount to revenue, the company ranks better than 62.3% of the underlying sector.

Lastly, Wall Street analysts peg BEP as a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target stands at $35.83, implying nearly 34% upside potential.

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

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As the dominant force behind the internet, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) has no equal. But as one of the stocks to buy amid the climate change crisis? You might be thinking that several other superior options exist. However, according to LeafScore, Alphabet ranks top for publicly traded companies fighting climate change in 2023.

Notably, the company became carbon neutral in 2007. A decade later, it became the first company of its size to match its total electricity consumption with renewable energy. Further, Alphabet ranks as the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. This includes more than 50 projects totaling 5.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects under contract worldwide.

Impressively, LeafScore notes that these renewable projects account for an annual deficit of approximately 5 million tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Finally, Wall Street analysts peg GOOG as a consensus strong buy. In addition, their average price target stands at $123.78, implying 34% upside potential.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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