This week, there are lots of ways to show some love for your country: fireworks, BBQ’s, and maybe a swig or two out of that 12 oz. red and white can. But did you know that it’s a great time to show your wallet some love as well? Check out the five best American companies to invest in now, and let the good times roll:
1. American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): What better investment to make than in a company that has the word “America” and our national symbol as its corporate name? Unlike its main preppy competitor, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle is primarily a U.S. and Canadian based business. That lack of international exposure has helped the company’s stock avoid the same fate as Abercrombie’s in 2012, which is down amidst too many giant flagship stores in Europe. American Eagle is not just an American name: it’s a company with a new CEO that is closing unprofitable lines of business and bringing splashier styles back to teens at attainable prices. Smells like a higher stock price by the end of the year to us!
2. U.S. Steel (X): The company represents blue collar America to this day: men and women in hardhats working their tails off in manufacturing cities throughout the East Coast. Sure, steel stocks have been a little battered in 2012 with slowing economies in Europe and China and also U.S. steel companies producing too much of the shiny stuff and depressing prices. But U.S. Steel is still a solid bet because its volumes and pricing trends have held up the best amongst its rivals, which hints that its stock could rise before the others as the economy finds its footing.
3. Coinstar (CSTR): You know this company as the one with green machines in supermarkets collecting your pocket change for a modest fee. We view it as a company basically printing a ton of cash and its shareholders cheering as a result. What you didn’t know is that Coinstar also owns RedBox, the video rental machine that you feed money to on a lonely Friday night. Recently, the company made a large deal to acquire Blockbuster branded video kiosks with the plans to rebrand them moving forward. The stock got hit on this news, but we like the deal as it gives Coinstar more of the market and now you could buy the stock at a cheaper price.
4. Express Scripts (ESRX): The U.S. healthcare system is set for a major overhaul, and there is a way to profit while the government takes money from one side of your pocketbook. Express Scripts is the largest U.S. company you’ve never heard of, responsible for negotiating drug prices with manufactures and shipping the pills to people at home or for pickup at the local drugstore (not a Walgreens though, these two had a nasty split recently). With the Supreme Court upholding ObamaCare, more people will gain access to care and prescriptions, especially the generics that Express Scripts cleans up on financially. By the way, it bought out its largest rival Medco in 2011, so the company basically controls the market.
5. Lifetime Fitness (LTM): Maybe you haven’t heard but one of the largest themes in the U.S. for the next umpteen years is a wave of babyboomers entering their golden years. Generally these people have saved and want to prolong their lives so that they can spend their blood, sweat and tears. What better way to play to this theme than a premiere gym operator! Lifetime runs upscale gyms with all sorts of money-making classes. Furthermore, it’s big on personal training and has onsite places to grab a healthy lunch and a massage. In a way, the place represents a mini spa with monthly dues. Food for thought: this is one business shielded from online competition like Amazon, which is always great to boast.