The major benchmark indexes have been correcting since the beginning of the year. The multi-decade high inflation, the Fed’s looming interest rate hikes this year, and the crisis in Ukraine have led to significant stock market volatility.
The sanctions imposed on Russia have magnified the supply chain disruption and caused crude oil prices to spiral out of control. Amid market uncertainty, it could be wise to hedge one’s portfolio by investing in companies having solid business models as they tend to hold up strongly during an economic slowdown. These stocks are considered safe owing to their strong fundamentals, thereby helping them outperform during market downturns.
That’s why today we’re highlighting 4 exciting stocks from our Top 10 Safest screen, which is just 1 of the 10 screens in our POWR Screens 10 service (more on that below). Ingles Markets, Incorporated (IMKTA), Forrester Research, Inc. (FORR), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NGVC), and Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. (NATR) could be great additions to shore up your portfolio.
Ingles Markets, Incorporated (IMKTA)
IMKTA is a supermarket chain in the southeast United States. The company’s supermarkets offer customers a range of nationally advertised food products, including grocery, meat, and others. Non-food products include fuel centers, pharmacies, health/beauty/cosmetic products, general merchandise, and private label items.
IMKTA’s net sales increased 16.9% year-over-year to $1.39 billion for the first quarter ended December 25, 2021. The company’s net income increased 23% year-over-year to $66.18 million. Also, its EPS came in at $3.48, representing an increase of 30.8% year-over-year.
Analysts expect IMKTA’s EPS to grow 14.5% over the next five years. Over the past year, the stock has gained 59.8% to close the last trading session at $92.98.
IMKTA’s POWR Ratings reflect solid prospects. The company has an overall rating of A, which translates to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 different factors, each with its own weighting.
It has an A grade for Value and a B grade for Growth, Stability, and Quality. It is ranked first out of 39 stocks in the A-rated Grocery/Big Box Retailers. Click here to see the other ratings of IMKTA for Momentum and Sentiment.
Forrester Research, Inc. (FORR)
FORR is an independent research and advisory firm. The company operates through the Research, Consulting, and Events segments. Its primary subscription research product is Research, which offers clients access to its research designed to inform their strategic decision-making.
For the fiscal fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021, FORR’s total revenues increased 10.9% year-over-year to $133.72 million. The company’s adjusted net income increased 71.2% year-over-year to $11.33 million. In addition, FORR’s adjusted EPS came in at $0.59, representing an increase of 68.5% year-over-year.
For fiscal 2023, analysts expect FORR’s EPS to increase 14.3% year-over-year to $2.63. Its revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, increased 18% year-over-year to $144.03 million. It surpassed consensus EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Over the past nine months, the stock has gained 27.9% to close the last trading session at $52.69.
FORR’s POWR Ratings reflect solid prospects. The stock has an overall rating of A, translating to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system.
It has a B grade for Growth, Stability, Sentiment, and Quality. Within the Financial Services (Enterprise) industry, it is ranked first out of 112 stocks. To see the other ratings of FORR for Value and Momentum, click here.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NGVC)
NGVC is a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements. The products in its stores include body care, pet care, household, and general merchandise and books and handouts. In addition, it carries a range of products associated with special diets such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and non-diary.
On February 1, 2022, NGVC announced its plans of closing down its 645 East 400 South, Suite A, Salt Lake City store by March 31, 2022. The closing down is part of its commitment to enhancing operating efficiencies across its store base.
NGVC’s net sales increased 4.6% year-over-year to $277.28 million for the first quarter ended December 31, 2021. The company’s adjusted EBITDA increased 44.7% year-over-year to $19.52 million. Also, its net income increased 145.5% year-over-year to $8.91 million.
Analysts expect NGVC’s EPS and revenue for fiscal 2022 to increase 5.5% and 4.2% year-over-year to $0.96 and $1.10 billion, respectively. Over the past nine months, the stock has gained 72.1% to close the last trading session at $19.40.
NGVC’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall rating of A, translating to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system.
It has an A grade for Sentiment and a B grade for Growth, Stability, and Quality. It is ranked #3 in the Grocery/Big Box Retailers industry. Click here to see the other ratings of NGVC for Value and Momentum.
Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. (NATR)
NATR is a natural health and wellness company. The company is engaged in the manufacturing and direct selling of nutritional and personal care products. Its product categories include various product classifications, such as immune, cardiovascular, digestive, personal care, weight management, and other general health products.
On January 18, 2022, NATR announced the launch of a new line of nutrition products named AIVIA. It has been designed to support fitness and weight management goals. The AIVIA collection features a variety of natural-based products to support physical activity, provide energy and help manage weight. NATR’s CEO Terrence Moorehead said, “This next iteration of our journey is leveraging the ‘Healing Power of Nature’ through our AIVIA nutritional supplement line to support powerful, focused nutrition for every active lifestyle.”
For the fiscal third quarter ended September 30, 2021, NATR’s net sales increased 14.5% year-over-year to $114.74 million. The company’s gross profit increased 16.7% year-over-year to $85.32 million. Also, its adjusted EBITDA increased 38% year-over-year to $12.90 million.
For fiscal 2022, NATR’s EPS and revenue are expected to increase 45.1% and 7.3% year-over-year to $1.19 and $467.10 million, respectively. Over the past year, the stock has lost 2.6% to close the last trading session at $16.68.
NATR’s POWR Ratings reflect solid prospects. The stock has an overall rating of A, translating to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system.
It has an A grade for Value, Stability, Sentiment, and Quality. Within the A-rated Medical – Consumer Goods industry, it is ranked first out of nine stocks. To see the other ratings of NATR for Growth and Momentum, click here.
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FORR shares were trading at $52.99 per share on Monday afternoon, up $0.30 (+0.57%). Year-to-date, FORR has declined -9.77%, versus a -11.30% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Dipanjan Banchur
Since he was in grade school, Dipanjan was interested in the stock market. This led to him obtaining a master’s degree in Finance and Accounting. Currently, as an investment analyst and financial journalist, Dipanjan has a strong interest in reading and analyzing emerging trends in financial markets. More...
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