Stocks for Uncertain Times: 3 ‘Sure Thing’ Picks to Weather Any Storm

Stocks to buy

At the moment, everything seems perfectly normal so targeting stocks for uncertain times seems a bit extreme. You know, it’s like those “unconventional” YouTube advertisements about survival gear, bugout plans, end-of-the-world kind of stuff – they’re interesting but are they really relevant?

In this case, stocks for uncertain times have a legitimate reason for existence. Basically, it comes down to the real possibility that certain sectors of the market are overcooked. For example, in my write-up about the Reddit listing, I mentioned that Bank of America witnessed a $4.4 billion outflow from tech stocks. That’s the biggest ever on record.

Also, the fundamentals on Main Street don’t seem to connect with Wall Street’s fantastic print. With layoffs still occurring and people racking up ridiculous amounts of credit card debt, not everything is A-OK. On that note, below are stocks for uncertain times to at least think about.

Duke Energy (DUK)

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An electric power and natural gas holding company, Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) makes in my view an excellent case for stocks for uncertain times. First, it’s a utility giant. These bad boys enjoy natural monopolies over their particular regions. Stated differently, other companies could attempt to compete with Duke. However, entering the utility space involves steep barriers to entry along with regulatory obstacles.

Another big catalyst for DUK stock is the demographic angle. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company is situated in states where millennials (and likely Generation Z) are migrating to. Further, if work from home becomes a permanent fixture, it might not make sense for people to remain in high-cost-of-living areas.

Analysts also anticipate solid growth over the next two years. In 2024, they see total revenue of $30.14 billion, up 3.7% from last year’s tally of $29.06 billion. And in 2025, they believe $31.22 billion is in order. If so, that would represent 3.6% year-over-year growth.

Add in a forward dividend yield of 4.32% and a consensus view of moderate buy – with a $103 average price target – and you have a great case for stocks for uncertain times.

Republic Services (RSG)

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It’s not exactly a sexy idea. However, when thinking about stocks for uncertain times, Republic Services (NYSE:RSG). One of the top waste disposal companies in North America, Republic offers various services, including non-hazardous solid waste collection, waste transfer and disposal and recycling, among others. Basically, RSG stock is permanently relevant – bold words, yes, but arguably very appropriate.

No matter how advanced we become as a society, we will generate waste. It’s just the physical laws of the universe – we can’t do anything about it. Further, because of economic and population growth, our waste generation has accelerated. Republic represents one of the few enterprises qualified to address the rubbish problem.

For 2024, analysts believe revenue will reach $16.18 billion, which is up 8.1% from last year’s tally of just under $15 billion. In 2025, they anticipate sales of $17.15 billion, up almost 6% YOY. Unsurprisingly, experts are also calling for growth in earnings per share, up to $6 in 2024 and $6.71 in 2025.

Lastly, RSG is a consensus moderate buy with a $201.36 average price target, implying almost 9% growth potential.

Kraft Heinz (KHC)

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Without a doubt, I can go with plenty of food-related enterprises for stocks for uncertain times. However, I’m going to go with the wisdom of Warren Buffett and discuss Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC). According to its corporate profile, Kraft Heinz is the third-largest food and beverage company in North American. It’s also the fifth largest in the world.

In fairness, the enterprise blamed food cost inflation for a rare revenue decline in the fourth quarter. Sure enough, KHC stock hasn’t performed that well this year, down more than 9%. Nevertheless, the red ink could be a discounted opportunity. In particular, if consumer behaviors pivot from discretionary purchases to the essentials, Kraft Heinz should be a beneficiary.

You don’t always have to get the latest gizmo and gadget. However, you have to eat. Looking ahead, 2024 sales could land at $26.85 billion, per analysts’ estimates. That’s less than 1% growth from 2023’s print of $26.64 billion. However, in 2025, the top line could rise to $27.36 billion, a 1.9% YOY increase.

Covering experts rate KHC a consensus moderate buy with a $38.21 average price target. Combined with its forward dividend yield of 4.62%, Kraft Heinz makes for an intriguing idea for stocks for uncertain times.

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. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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