8 Retail Stocks to Own For the Long Haul in 2018


There are more than 500 national retailers traded on the NYSE and the NASDAQ. Given the sheer number of big box stores, warehouse clubs, restaurant chains and other retail stores listed on public markets, it can be hard to identify which retailers are going to outperform the market.

Fortunately, some of Wall Street's top analysts have already done most of the work for us.

Every year, analyst issue approximately 4,200 distinct recommendations for retail companies. Analysts may not always get their "buy" ratings right, but it's worth taking a hard look when several analysts from different brokerages and research firm are giving "strong buy" and "buy" ratings to the same retailer.

This slide show lists the 8 retail companies that have the highest average analyst recommendations from Wall Street's equities research analysts over the last 12 months.

#1 - Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 29 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $234.1111 (23.0% Upside)

Alibaba Group logoAlibaba Group Holding Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others. It operates Taobao Marketplace, a mobile commerce destination; Tmall, a third-party platform for brands and retailers; Rural Taobao program that enables rural residents and businesses to sell agricultural products to urban consumers; Juhuasuan, a sales and marketing platform for flash sales; Alibaba.com, an online wholesale marketplace; Alitrip, an online travel booking platform; 1688.com, an online wholesale marketplace; AliExpress, a consumer marketplace; and Hema, a proprietary grocery retail format. The company also provides pay-for-performance and display marketing services through its Alimama marketing technology platform; and Taobao Ad Network and Exchange, a real-time bidding online marketing exchange in China. In addition, it offers cloud computing services, including elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, and management and application services, as well as big data analytics and a machine learning platform through its Alibaba Cloud Computing platform; Web hosting and domain name registration services; and payment and escrow services, as well as develops and operates mobile Web browsers. The company provides its solutions primarily for businesses. Alibaba Group Holding Limited has strategic collaborations with Driscoll's and Thai Union/Chicken of the Sea to launch their food products to China; and a collaboration agreement with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Hangzhou, the People's Republic of China.

#2 - Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 49 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $1,749.6395 (-4.0% Upside)

Amazon.com logoAmazon.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 vendors, as well as those offered by third-party sellers through physical stores and retail Websites, such as amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.com.mx, amazon.com.au, amazon.com.br, amazon.cn, amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.in, amazon.it, amazon.co.jp, amazon.nl, amazon.es, and amazon.co.uk. The company also manufactures and sells electronic devices, including kindle e-readers, fire tablets, fire TVs, and echo devices; and provides Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that allows independent authors and publishers to make their books available in the Kindle Store. 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, app developers, and others to publish and sell content. Further, the company provides compute, storage, database, and other AWS services, as well as 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 unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes; and other services. It serves consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

#3 - Stamps.com (NASDAQ:STMP)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 6 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $247.4286 (-8.2% Upside)

Stamps.com logoStamps.com Inc. provides Internet-based mailing and shipping solutions in the United States. The company offers mailing and shipping solutions to mail and ship various mail pieces and packages through the United States Postal Service (USPS) under the Stamps.com and Endicia brands. Its solutions support various USPS mail classes, including First Class Mail, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Media Mail, Parcel Select, and others. The company's USPS mailing and shipping solutions enable users to print electronic postage directly onto envelopes, plain paper, or labels using personal computer, printer, and Internet connection. It also provides multi carrier shipping solutions under the ShipStation, ShipWorks, and ShippingEasy brands; mailing and shipping integration solutions comprising electronic postage for transactions to partners who manage the front-end process; branded insurance to insure mails or packages; and international postage solutions. In addition, the company offers customized postage solutions under the PhotoStamps and PictureItPostage brand names, which allow consumers to turn digital photos, designs, or images into USPS-approved postage; and sells NetStamps labels, DYMO Stamp labels, shipping labels, other mailing labels, dedicated postage printers, scales, and other mailing and shipping-focused office supplies through its mailing and shipping supplies stores. It serves individuals, small businesses, home offices, medium-size businesses, large enterprises, e-commerce merchants, and warehouse shippers. The company was formerly known as StampMaster, Inc. and changed its name to Stamps.com Inc. in December 1998. Stamps.com Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in El Segundo, California.

#4 - IAC (NASDAQ:IAC)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 21 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $178.3190 (15.5% Upside)

IAC logoIAC/InterActiveCorp, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media and Internet company in the United States and internationally. It operates through Match Group, ANGI Homeservices, Video, Applications, and Publishing segments. The Match Group segment provides subscription dating products, which enable users to establish a profile and review the profiles of other users in 42 languages. The ANGI Homeservices segment owns and operates the HomeAdvisor digital marketplace, which matches consumers with service professionals for home repair, maintenance, and improvement projects; and Angie's List that connects consumers with service professionals for local services through an online directory of service professionals in approximately 700 service categories, as well as provides consumers with tools, services, and content, including reviews of local service professionals. The Video segment operates a video sharing platform, which provides creators with professional tools to host, manage, review, distribute, and monetize videos online. It also offers creators with professional live streaming capabilities, as well as a live video solution; and creators with production hardware, tools, and services for capturing, broadcasting, and editing live events. The Applications segment develops, markets, and distributes various applications, primarily browser extensions. It also provides software and services that clean, repair, update, secure, and optimize computers, mobile phones, and digital devices; and customized browser-based search applications. The Publishing segment publishes digital content and/or offers search services. Its brands include Dotdash, Dictionary.com, Investopedia, The Daily Beast, Ask.com, and CityGrid. The company was formerly known as InterActiveCorp. IAC/InterActiveCorp was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

#5 - XCel Brands (NASDAQ:XELB)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $4.6667 (63.7% Upside)

XCel Brands logoXcel Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a consumer products company in the United States. The company designs, produces, licenses, markets, and sells branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products; and acquires consumer lifestyle brands, including the Isaac Mizrahi, the Judith Ripka, the H Halston, the C Wonder, and the Highline Collective brands. It licenses its brands to third parties; and provides design, production, and marketing services for promotion and distribution through a ubiquitous-channel retail sales strategy, including distribution through interactive television, the Internet, and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels. The company also offers social media marketing and other marketing, and public relations support for our brands. In addition, it markets the Mizrahi brands through isaacmizrahi.com; the Ripka brands through judithripka.com; and the C Wonder brands through cwonder.com. Xcel Brands, Inc. is headquartered in New York, New York.

#6 - McDonald's (NYSE:MCD)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.7
Ratings Breakdown: 21 Buy Ratings, 8 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $183.5926 (15.6% Upside)

McDonaldMcDonald's Corporation operates and franchises McDonald's restaurants in the United States and internationally. Its restaurants offer various food products, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as breakfast menu. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated 37,241 restaurants, including 34,108 franchised restaurants comprising 21,366 franchised to conventional franchisees, 6,945 licensed to developmental licensees, and 5,797 licensed to foreign affiliates; and 3,133 company-operated restaurants. McDonald's Corporation was founded in 1940 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

#7 - Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 20 Buy Ratings, 5 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $203.9048 (-5.1% Upside)

Costco Wholesale logoCostco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. The company provides dry and packaged foods, and groceries; snack foods, candies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio products; meat, bakery, deli, and produces; and apparel and small appliances. It also operates gas stations, pharmacies, optical dispensing centers, food courts, and hearing-aid centers; and engages in the travel business. In addition, the company provides gold star individual and business membership services. As of September 3, 2017, it operated 741 membership warehouses, including 514 warehouses in the United States, Washington, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 97 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, 9 in Australia, 2 in Spain, 1 in Iceland, and 1 in France. Further, the company sells its products through online. The company was formerly known as Costco Companies, Inc. Costco Wholesale Corporation was founded in 1976 and is based in Issaquah, Washington.

#8 - Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.7
Ratings Breakdown: 12 Buy Ratings, 5 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $95.00 (-8.2% Upside)

Five Below logoFive Below, Inc. operates as a specialty value retailer in the United States. It offers accessories, including novelty socks, sunglasses, jewelry, scarves, gloves, hair accessories, athletic tops and bottoms, and T-shirts, as well as beauty products comprising nail polish, lip gloss, fragrance, and branded cosmetics; and items used to complete and personalize living space, including glitter lamps, posters, frames, fleece blankets, plush items, pillows, candles, incense, lighting, novelty décor, and related items, as well as provides storage options for the customers room. The company also provides sport balls; team sports merchandise and fitness accessories, such as hand weights, jump ropes, and gym balls; games, including name brand board games, puzzles, collectibles, and toys; and pool, beach and outdoor toys, games, and accessories. In addition, it offers accessories, such as cases, chargers, headphones, and other related items for cell phones, tablet, audio, and computers; books, video games, and DVDs; craft activity kits; arts and crafts supplies that consist of crayons, markers, and stickers; and trend-right items for school comprising backpacks, fashion notebooks and journals, novelty pens and pencils, locker accessories, and everyday name brand items. Further, the company provides party goods, decorations, gag gifts, and greeting cards, as well as every day and special occasion merchandise products; assortment of classic and novelty candy bars, movie-size box candy, seasonal-related candy, and gum and snack food; chilled drinks through coolers; and seasonally-specific items used to celebrate and decorate for events. It primarily serves teen and pre-teen customers. As of February 3, 2018, it operated 625 stores in 32 states. The company was formerly known as Cheap Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Five Below, Inc. in August 2002. Five Below, Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

#9 - Booking (NASDAQ:BKNG)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.7
Ratings Breakdown: 19 Buy Ratings, 8 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $2,178.2174 (7.8% Upside)

Booking logoBooking Holdings Inc, formerly The Priceline Group Inc., is a provider of travel and restaurant online reservation and related services. The Company, through its online travel companies (OTCs), connects consumers wishing to make travel reservations with providers of travel services across the world. It offers consumers an array of accommodation reservations (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, apartments, vacation rentals and other properties) through its Booking.com, priceline.com and agoda.com brands. Its other brands include KAYAK, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable, Inc. (OpenTable). As of December 31, 2016, Booking.com offered accommodation reservation services for over 1,115,000 properties in over 220 countries and territories on its various Websites and in over 40 languages, which included over 568,000 vacation rental properties (updated property counts were available on the Booking.com Website).

#10 - Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 24 Buy Ratings, 6 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $198.5339 (-0.2% Upside)

Home Depot logoThe Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It operates The Home Depot stores that sell various building materials, home improvement products, lawn and garden products, and décor products, as well as provide installation, home maintenance, and professional service programs to do-it-yourself and professional customers. The company also offers installation programs that include flooring, cabinets, countertops, water heaters, and sheds; and professional installation in various categories sold through its in-home sales programs, such as roofing, siding, windows, cabinet refacing, furnaces, and central air systems, as well as acts as a contractor to provide installation services to its do-it-for-me customers through third-party installers. In addition, it provides tool and equipment rental services. The company primarily serves home owners; and professional renovators/remodelers, general contractors, handymen, property managers, building service contractors, and specialty tradesmen, such as installers. It also sells its products through online. As of January 28, 2018, the company operated 2,284 stores, including 1,980 in the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam; 182 in Canada; and 122 in Mexico. The Home Depot, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

#11 - Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 6 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $41.40 (11.3% Upside)

ConnConn's, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer of durable consumer goods and related services in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Retail and Credit. Its stores provide furniture and mattress, including furniture and related accessories for the living room, dining room, and bedroom, as well as traditional and specialty mattresses; home appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and ranges; consumer electronics comprising televisions, Blu-ray players, home theaters, and portable audio equipment; and home office products consisting of computers, printers, and accessories. The company also provides short- and medium-term financing to its retail customers; and product support services, such as next-day delivery and installation services, credit insurance products, product repair services, and repair service agreements. As of April 5, 2018, it operated 118 retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Conn's, Inc. was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.

#12 - Burlington Stores (NYSE:BURL)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 15 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $150.8125 (1.1% Upside)

Burlington Stores logoBurlington Stores, Inc. operates as a retailer of branded apparel products in the United States. The company offers fashion-focused merchandise, including women's ready-to-wear apparel, accessories, footwear, menswear, youth apparel, coats, and gifts, as well as baby, home, and beauty products. As of February 3, 2018, it operated 629 stores, including an Internet store in 45 states and Puerto Rico. Burlington Stores, Inc. was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Burlington, New Jersey.

#13 - Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.6
Ratings Breakdown: 5 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $127.6667 (33.2% Upside)

Lithia Motors logoLithia Motors, Inc. operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing. As of February 23, 2018, the company offered 30 brands of new vehicles and various brands of used vehicles in 171 stores in the United States, as well as through online at approximately 200 Websites. Lithia Motors, Inc. was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Medford, Oregon.

#14 - Zagg (NASDAQ:ZAGG)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.7
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $19.8333 (17.4% Upside)

Zagg logoZAGG Inc, together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and distributes mobile tech accessories for smartphones and tablets in the United States, Europe, and internationally. It operates in ZAGG and mophie segments. The company offers screen protection products; battery cases and power management products for tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, cameras, and other electronic mobile devices; device specific keyboards and device agnostic keyboards; and earbuds, headphones, wireless charging products, Bluetooth speakers, and cables under the ZAGG, InvisibleShield, IFROGZ, and mophie brands. It sells its products through indirect channels, including big box retailers, wireless retailers, domestic and international distributors, independent Apple retailers, university bookstores, and small independently owned consumer electronics stores, as well as directly to retailers or through distributors; and directly to consumers on its Websites at ZAGG.com and mophie.com. The company also sells its products to franchisees that operate kiosks and ZAGG branded stores in shopping malls and retail centers. ZAGG Inc is headquartered in Midvale, Utah.

#15 - TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.6
Ratings Breakdown: 17 Buy Ratings, 7 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $90.1667 (-5.3% Upside)

TJX Companies logoThe TJX Companies, Inc. operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer. It operates through four segments: Marmaxx, HomeGoods, TJX Canada, and TJX International. The company sells family apparel, including footwear and accessories; home fashions, such as home basics, accent furniture, lamps, rugs, wall décor, decorative accessories, giftware, lighting, soft home, tabletop, and cookware, as well as expanded pet, kids, and gourmet food departments; jewelry; and other merchandise. It operates stores under the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Winners, HomeSense, T.K. Maxx, and Sierra Trading Post names, as well as operates e-commerce sites tjmaxx.com, tkmaxx.com, and sierratradingpost.com. As of February 3, 2018, the company operated a total of 4,070 stores in 9 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia. The TJX Companies, Inc. was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts.





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