10 Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy to Anchor Your Portfolio in 2019

10 Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy to Anchor Your PortfolioPosted on Monday, November 12th, 2018 by Chris Markoch

The mid-term elections are over, but the market volatility will probably continue. The ongoing trade war with China is one issue that has the market seeking direction, there’s the ongoing debate about the future of health care policy, and inflation is peeking its head above the economy and could be an issue for businesses in 2019.

But let’s not be a party pooper. The period right after mid-term elections is typically the best time to invest and there are plenty of market fundamentals (including the continued strength in the job market) that indicate this year will be no different.

However, for investors to get the benefit of this robust economy they need to balance growth with income, and that increases the appeal of blue-chip stocks.

Blue-chip stocks give investors a Goldilocks solution to stock selection. They may not be red-hot stocks, but they’re not overly conservative either. They offer the benefits of growth and the security of income. That combination makes them safe stocks that can provide an anchor for a portfolio during volatile times. Three of the characteristics that define blue-chip stocks are that they are well-known companies, they have a strong record of positive earnings and dividends, and they are widely held by investors.

We’ve put together a list of 10 blue-chip stocks that are a solid anchor for your portfolio at any time.

#1 - 3M (NYSE:MMM)

3M logo

3M (NYSE: MMM) Since dropping 28% off its all-time high in January, 3M’s stock may have found a bottom. In a time where many companies are looking to shed extraneous business units to focus on “core competencies”, 3M has embraced a wide range of products and services beyond the office supplies it has become known for. But the real competitive advantage for 3M is research and development (R&D) that allows them to create products that offer value beyond their price, making them more than a commodity, and giving them the ability to have more control over prices. The investment has given the company the ability to make sales regardless of the economy, essentially turning it into a defensive stock, and has given them an ability to grow both their revenue and earnings per share (EPS). Like many blue-chip stocks, 3M is a dividend king, paying and increasing a dividend every year since 1977, and analysts see no sign that the trend will end in 2018.

About 3M
3M Company operates as a technology company worldwide. The company's Industrial segment offers tapes, abrasives, adhesives, ceramics, sealants, specialty materials, purification products, closure systems, acoustic systems products, automotive components, abrasion-resistant films, and paint finishing and detailing products. Its Safety and Graphics segment provides personal protection and transportation safety products, commercial graphics systems, commercial cleaning and protection products, floor matting, roofing granules, fall protection products, self-contained breathing apparatus systems, and gas and flame detection instruments. The company's Health Care segment offers medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, drug delivery and health information systems, dental and orthodontic products, and food safety products. Its Electronics and Energy segment provides optical films, packaging and interconnection devices, insulating and splicing solutions, touch screens and monitors, renewable energy component solutions, and infrastructure protection products. The company's Consumer segment offers consumer and office tapes and adhesives, repositionable notes, indexing systems, home improvement products, furnace filters, painter tapes, mounting and home care products, sponges, scouring pads, high-performance clothes, protective material products, and adhesive bandages and braces. It also provides cloud-based, conversational artificial intelligence-powered systems. It serves automotive, electronics and automotive electrification, appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, construction, medical clinics and hospitals, pharmaceuticals, dental and orthodontic practitioners, health information systems, food manufacturing and testing, consumer and office retail, office business to business, home improvement, drug and pharmacy retail, and other markets. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Current Price: $166.25
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 6 Hold Ratings, 3 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $195.8164 (17.8% Upside)

#2 - Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon.com logo

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) If investors think that Amazon’s stock does not have room to grow, they need to take a closer look. Consumers certainly are. A recent report from CNBC shows the beginning of what could be a trend for advertisers moving their advertising dollars away from Google and towards Amazon. The rationale is that Amazon is where many consumers (some estimates say the number could be as high as 55%) are beginning their search for products, so it’s logical that advertisers would want to be in place to capture those eyeballs. This is setting up to be a lucrative space for Amazon, but it’s only part of the story. With plans to buy Landmark Theaters, AMZN is poised to have a location for its original content. And Amazon continues to make inroads into the consumer packaged-goods arena which is projected to be a $760 billion market by 2020. Amazon has already shown its ability to step into new markets like health and household essentials and quickly become a market share leader. If successful, their move into packaged goods will continue to show how the company finds ways to use its existing businesses to shorten its time to market in other sectors.

About Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions in North America and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) segments. It sells merchandise and content purchased for resale from third-party sellers through physical stores and online stores. The company also manufactures and sells electronic devices, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TVs, and Echo devices; provides Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that allows independent authors and publishers to make their books available in the Kindle Store; and develops and produces media content. In addition, it offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on its Websites, as well as their own branded Websites; and programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, skill and app developers, and others to publish and sell content. Further, the company provides compute, storage, database, and other AWS services, as well as compute, storage, database offerings, fulfillment, publishing, digital content subscriptions, advertising, and co-branded credit card agreement services. Additionally, it offers Amazon Prime, a membership program, which provides free shipping of various items; access to streaming of movies and TV episodes; and other services. It serves consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. Amazon.com, Inc. has a strategic partnership with Volkswagen AG. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Current Price: $1,858.97
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 43 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $2,190.8126 (17.9% Upside)

#3 - Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft logo

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Another tech stock that deserves to be part of a stable, blue-chip portfolio is Microsoft. During the recent October correction, Microsoft’s stock only dropped 6.6% compared with competitors’ stock that fell over 20%. The stock is up over 20% for the year and has averaged 26% over the last five years. At first glance, investors may look at the dominant market share they receive from their Windows operating system and wonder where is the growth coming from? Microsoft has been less successful at breaking into the mobile arena as Android and iOS systems have made it difficult for Windows to gain traction on mobile devices. However, that doesn't mean Microsoft will be left behind. Mobile computing relies on cloud storage, and Microsoft is well positioned in this space with their cloud operating division, Azure. The company is also aggressively pursuing the nascent artificial intelligence market and making inroads into the Internet of Things. Meanwhile, their Xbox One gaming console remains popular and the company is beginning to make inroads with their Surface brand of laptop/tablet hybrids. Put it all together and you see a company that is becoming much more multi-faceted and well-positioned for growth beyond their Windows operating system.

About Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises. The company's Intelligent Cloud segment licenses server products and cloud services, such as SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs, as well as Azure, a cloud platform; and enterprise services, including premier support and Microsoft consulting services to assist customers in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions, as well as provides training and certification to developers and IT professionals. Its More Personal Computing segment offers Windows OEM, volume, and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; patent licensing, Windows Internet of Things, and MSN display advertising; devices comprising Surface, PC accessories, and other intelligent devices; Xbox hardware and software and services; and Bing and Bing Ads search advertising. It markets its products through original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and resellers; and online and Microsoft retail stores. Microsoft Corporation has collaboration with E.ON, NIIT Technologies Ltd., and CUNA Mutual Group; strategic alliance with Nielsen Holdings plc and PAREXEL International Corp.; and a strategic collaboration with Mastercard Incorporated. The company was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

Current Price: $126.22
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 25 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $136.7692 (8.4% Upside)

#4 - Visa (NYSE:V)

Visa logo

Visa (NYSE: V) In an increasingly paperless, and cashless, society, Visa is showing its strength. This blue-chip financial company has seen its stock rise 37% in the past 12 months. Visa stands to capture a large segment of the market as consumers and financial institutions are moving away from cash and towards the convenient of debit cards. But this is not just a United States issue. In fact, the United States may not even be the tip of the spear. Instead, you can look at developing economies where debit cards are becoming the primary payment method. But the strength of Visa goes beyond the debit card arena. Visa’s stock continues to outperform other mobile payment systems such as PayPal. Investors who do not currently own Visa should keep an eye on their valuation. The stock currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 26.26 which puts the stock at a premium to the industry average.

About Visa
Visa Inc. operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities. It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions; and offers fraud protection for account holders and assured payment for merchants. In addition, the company offers card products, as well as value-added services. It provides its services under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, V PAY, and PLUS brands. Visa Inc. was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Current Price: $163.47
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 23 Buy Ratings, 1 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $177.3478 (8.5% Upside)

#5 - Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Netflix logo

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) Remember a few years ago when people thought the idea of streaming content was a fad? Remember when investors were presuming that a company like Netflix had to have more to offer than just being an alternative to their local video store? Then Netflix started creating its own content and the ballgame changed. The company continues to fundamentally change not only how we watch, but what we watch. The company faces competition in the streaming space as evidenced by it recently missing on its subscriber goals which caused its stock to take a small loss. However, with the stock up 64% for the year, it seems investors are not jumping ship. One of the reasons for this is that the company continues to sign major talent, such as the creator of the ABC hit show Black-Ish, Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy) and Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story). Not only does this create confidence that Netflix will continue to create compelling new content while keeping this talent off the market.

About Netflix
Netflix, Inc. provides Internet entertainment services. The company operates in three segments: Domestic streaming, International streaming, and Domestic DVD. It offers TV series, documentaries, and feature films across various genres and languages. The company provides members the ability to receive streaming content through a host of Internet-connected screens, including TVs, digital video players, television set-top boxes, and mobile devices. It also provides DVDs-by-mail membership services. The company has approximately 139 million paid members in 190 countries. Netflix, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California.

Current Price: $348.11
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 28 Buy Ratings, 9 Hold Ratings, 4 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $385.0250 (10.6% Upside)

#6 - Nike (NYSE:NKE)

Nike logo

Nike (NYSE: NKE) Normally, when a company is not in the news, it’s not a good sign for the stock. But in the case of Nike, no news means no bad news. When you consider the controversies surrounding Under Armour and Adidas, particularly with major college sports, staying out of the news is very good for Nike’s stock. Their relative lack of news is not to say that Nike has been a laggard. The stock is up over 40% in the past 12 months. Part of the reason for the growth is increasing revenues in the United States as the economy has strengthened. One of the major speed bumps for Nike, as well as its competitors, is the ongoing trade war with China. Slower sales in China will be a drag on sales in Asia in general. However, the brand is still showing global strength and, in fact, investors largely shrugged off the 11% October correction in the stock that was slightly higher than the 7% decline in the S&P 500.

About Nike
NIKE, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, markets, and sells athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories worldwide. The company offers NIKE brand products in six categories: running, NIKE basketball, the Jordan brand, football, training, and sportswear. It also markets products designed for kids, as well as for other athletic and recreational uses, such as American football, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, skateboarding, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, walking, and outdoor activities; and apparel with licensed college and professional team and league logos, as well as sells sports apparel. In addition, the company sells a line of performance equipment and accessories, including bags, socks, sport balls, eyewear, timepieces, digital devices, bats, gloves, protective equipment, and other equipment under the NIKE brand for sports activities; various plastic products to other manufacturers; athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories under the Jumpman trademark; casual sneakers, apparel, and accessories under the Converse, Chuck Taylor, All Star, One Star, Star Chevron, and Jack Purcell trademarks; and action sports and youth lifestyle apparel and accessories under the Hurley trademark. Further, it licenses agreements that permit unaffiliated parties to manufacture and sell apparel, digital devices, and applications and other equipment for sports activities under NIKE-owned trademarks. NIKE, Inc. sells its products to footwear stores; sporting goods stores; athletic specialty stores; department stores; skate, tennis, and golf shops; and other retail accounts through NIKE-owned retail stores, digital platforms, independent distributors, licensees, and sales representatives. The company was formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc. and changed its name to NIKE, Inc. in 1971. NIKE, Inc. was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon.

Current Price: $82.85
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 24 Buy Ratings, 10 Hold Ratings, 2 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $87.1653 (5.2% Upside)

#7 - Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP)

Union Pacific logo

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) One of the cornerstones of a healthy economy is the idea of moving goods from point A to point B. And with the U.S. economy growing, and expected to grow even more with the mid-term elections behind us, investors should look at a company such as Union Pacific. UNP is more than a railroad; it's branched out into intermodal transportation services which are keeping the company relevant in the 21st-century economy. As evidence of that, the stock is up over 40% in the past 12 months. A swift resolution to the trade war and dueling tariffs would be a welcome benefit for the company. But even if the trade war lingers, UNP should benefit from increasing consumer spending of goods and services in the United States. Fundamentally, this blue-chip stock is known for having a strong balance sheet, a history of paying out – and growing – dividends, and a low payout ratio.

About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, engages in the railroad business in the United States. It offers transportation services for agricultural products, including grains, commodities produced from grains, fertilizers, and food and beverage products; coal and sand, as well as petroleum, liquid petroleum gases, and renewables; and construction products, industrial chemicals, plastics, forest products, specialized products, metals and ores, and soda ash, as well as intermodal and finished vehicles. As of December 31, 2018, its rail network included 32,236 route miles linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and Eastern United States gateways. Union Pacific Corporation was founded in 1862 and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Current Price: $174.74
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 13 Buy Ratings, 6 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $175.6842 (0.5% Upside)

#8 - Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Southern logo

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) Utility stocks are frequently considered to be solid, blue-chip stocks for many investors. Generally, they enjoy monopolies in the areas they serve, helping them receive a steady revenue stream in those markets. After all, consumers need the basic services that they provide. One of the appeals of utility stocks is their ability to pay a dividend. In that respect, Southern Company does not disappoint. Southern Company is the nation’s second-largest utility company with a customer base of around 9 million. In addition to having an attractive 5.4% dividend yield, Southern Company is considered a dividend aristocrat, having paid out a regular dividend for 70 years, including 16 years where the annual payout has been on the rise. But what makes this stock an attractive play right now is that it’s actually showing growth. The company has expanded its unregulated business beyond its typical role in power generation and electrical distribution (which are highly regulated markets) to include natural gas (less regulated). They have done this through acquisitions and saw Q1 profits soar 33% from the same period last year.

About Southern
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations. It owns and/or operates 33 hydroelectric generating stations, 26 fossil fuel generating stations, 3 nuclear generating stations, 13 combined cycle/cogeneration stations, 40 solar facilities, 9 wind facilities, and 1 biomass facility; and constructs, operates, and maintains 75,200 miles of natural gas pipelines and 14 storage facilities with total capacity of 158 Bcf to provide natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company serves approximately 9 million electric and gas utility customers. It also provides products and services in the areas of distributed generation infrastructure, energy efficiency, and utility infrastructure. In addition, the company offers digital wireless communications services with various communication options, including push to talk, cellular service, text messaging, wireless Internet access, and wireless data. The Southern Company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Current Price: $54.08
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 1 Buy Ratings, 10 Hold Ratings, 2 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $47.1667 (-12.8% Upside)

#9 - Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Walt Disney logo

Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) Admit it, when you look through your social media feed it’s hard to deny that Walt Disney World, and its surrounding properties, continues to have tremendous appeal regardless of the time of year. So while they are increasingly being known, and defined, as an entertainment brand, they are still magical at monetizing their theme parks and resorts which help offset any weakness it may suffer in its entertainment business. As a case in point, in 2017 despite weakness in its studio business, the company was able to limit its earnings decline to a single percent largely due to strength in its theme parks. Although analysts expect Disney to enjoy continued revenue growth through its parks and resorts, as well as the release of several successful films such as Ant Man and The Wasp, they are equally excited about Disney’s successful bid to buy select assets of 21stCentury Fox which would broaden its content base. 

About Walt Disney
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company's Media Networks segment operates cable programming businesses under the ESPN, Disney, and Freeform brands; broadcast businesses, including ABC TV Network and eight owned television stations; and radio businesses. It also produces original live-action and animated television programming to first-run syndication and television markets; and subscription video-on-demand services and in home entertainment formats, as well as operates ESPN+, a direct-to-consumer streaming service providing multi-sports content. Its Parks and Resorts segment owns and operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California. This segment also operates Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland Paris, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney; and manages Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort, as well as licenses its intellectual property to a third party for the operations of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. The company's Studio Entertainment segment produces and acquires live-action and animated motion pictures for distribution in the theatrical, home entertainment, and television markets primarily under the Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Touchstone banners. This segment also produces stage plays and musical recordings; licenses and produces live entertainment events; and provides visual and audio effects, and other post-production services. Its Consumer Products & Interactive Media segment licenses its trade names, characters, and visual and literary properties; develops and publishes mobile games, books, magazines, and comic books; distributes branded merchandise directly through retail, online, and wholesale businesses; offers Website management and design; and develops and distributes online video content. The company was founded in 1923 and is based in Burbank, California.

Current Price: $133.91
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 18 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $143.55 (7.2% Upside)

#10 - Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

AFLAC logo

Aflac (NYSE: AFL) Healthcare, and how to pay for it, is one sector that will remain at the forefront of consumer's minds and wallets well into 2019 and beyond. Aflac is a supplemental insurance provider that helps consumers by providing insurance that can help them pay the high costs that come from unanticipated health costs. But while Aflac is well-known in the United States, it earns 75% of its profits from Japan. From a fundamental perspective, there's a lot to like about Aflac. To begin with, the stock trades at 11 times forward estimates on 2019 earnings, and they have earnings per share growth for next year that is forecast at 1.99%. But one of the real appeals of a stock like AFL is the dividend. Aflac is a dividend aristocrat, having issued a dividend for the last 36 years. And they are also expecting to see a benefit from a stronger Japanese yen.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, provides voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan. The Aflac U.S. segment provides products designed to protect individuals from depletion of assets comprising accident, cancer, critical illness/care, hospital indemnity, fixed-benefit dental, and vision care plans; and loss-of-income products, such as life and short-term disability plans in the United States. The company sells its products through sales associates and brokers, independent corporate agencies, individual agencies, and affiliated corporate agencies. Aflac Incorporated was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

Current Price: $52.16
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 2 Buy Ratings, 7 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $49.2222 (-5.6% Upside)

Historically, the period after a mid-term election is a great time to be invested in stocks, and 2018 looks to be no different. With institutional investors taking a closer look at fundamentals now that the noise of the election has quieted down, it's a time for investors to take a close look at blue-chip stocks that provide both steady income by way of a dividend – and the potential for growth by being in markets and sectors that are at the core of a robust U.S. economy. The blue-chip stocks in this presentation represent a cross-section of stocks. From technology to healthcare to utilities, you can find quality stocks that will help provide diversification for your portfolio. You can track these stocks, as well as others, at MarketBeat.com and bolster your portfolio for 2019 and beyond.

More on MarketBeat
15 REITS Analysts Can15 REITS Analysts Can't Stop Recommending
8 Battered Growth Stocks Worth Another Look8 Battered Growth Stocks Worth Another Look
8 Retail Stocks to Own For the Long Haul8 Retail Stocks to Own For the Long Haul
20 Stocks Analysts Can20 Stocks Analysts Can't Stop Upgrading
10 Great Cheap Stocks to Buy Now for Under $1010 Great Cheap Stocks to Buy Now for Under $10
20 Stocks Wall Street Analysts Love the Most20 Stocks Wall Street Analysts Love the Most

Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Yahoo Gemini Pixel