In case you haven’t picked up on the trend, industrial stocks have been some of the best performers in recent weeks even amidst market weakness. These stocks are likely getting a boost from reopening optimism and President Joseph Biden’s lofty infrastructure spending plans. Just take one look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average chart and compare it to the other major indices to gain a better understanding of why it’s such a good place for investors to be at this time.
There’s a good chance that this trend in industrials will continue given that many of these companies are the backbone of the economy, which is why it might be a good idea to consider adding positions in them at this time. We’ve put together a list of 3 compelling industrial stocks that have been shrugging off the market weakness to help you recognize some of the companies with the most potential. Let’s take a deeper look below.
The transports sector is worth a look at this time, and that includes FedEx (NYSE:FDX), which is a leading international provider of package delivery, e-commerce, and related services. This stock was a very strong performer throughout 2020 but has had a quiet 2021 thus far. Since the stock has been basing over the last few months, it looks primed to resume its uptrend, particularly thanks to the recent overall strength in industrials. Keep in mind that the trend of e-commerce growth that has been benefitting FedEx should continue for years to come, even after brick and mortar retailers open their doors again.
There’s also a lot to like about the company’s latest earnings results, which saw the company report Q3 revenue growth of 23% year-over-year at 21.5 billion. The company’s Q3 EPS grew by 246% year-over-year to reach $3.47, another impressive figure from the report especially given the fact that the company’s operating income was negatively impacted by severe winter weather during the quarter. Perhaps the most encouraging sign for investors to look at from the report was the fact that FedEx reinstated its forward guidance for the first time since the global pandemic began, a sign that the company’s management has clarity about where the business is going this year. Consider FedEx one of the best industrial stocks to buy at this time, especially given the possibility for big earnings growth in the short-term.
This industrial company might just be one of the biggest beneficiaries of President Biden’s $2 trillion spending plan to focus on improving America’s deteriorating infrastructure. That’s because United Rentals Inc (NYSE:URI) rents and sells equipment, including heavy machines and hand tools, to a wide variety of customers across the country. That includes construction industry participants, manufacturers, utilities, industrial companies, municipalities, homeowners, and more. Consider that even if the infrastructure bill causes construction and manufacturing activity to pick up dramatically, there are still plenty of companies out there that are trying to work their way out of a tough financial period and will look to rent or lease equipment from United Rentals instead of making large purchases that impact their capital expenditures.
United Rentals stock has been performing well this year and has rallied over 35% year-to-date. The company has a very strong market position and is poised for a big year given the prospects of an economic recovery. It’s also worth mentioning that United Rentals eported a nice 12.7% year-over-year increase in equipment rental sales in Q4, which could be a sign of good things to come for the company.
L3 Harris Technologies
This industrial company is the 6th largest defense contractor in the US and is one of the top options to consider buying in the defense space at this time. The company is primarily focused on aerospace electronics and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technology and counts customers like the US Intelligence Community, the US Department of Defense, and the US Department of Homeland Security among its customers. While there have been some concerns about how defense spending will be impacted under the Biden Administration, the recent weakness in the sector could be viewed as an attractive buying opportunity for long-term investors.
Since the company also has commercial customers, investors should look for a rebound in commercial air travel to boost the company’s share price in the near-term. L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) also offers investors a dividend yield of 2.08% and recently secured a contract from Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) to develop an advanced electronic warfare system that protects F-16 fighter aircraft against radar and electronic threats. L3Harris Technologies stock is up 7% in March and could be a strong performer this year if the rally in industrials continues.