The 3 Best Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy Now

Investors are starting to clamor about whether we have seen the low for 2022 or, at the very least, whether the lows we reached last month will hold for the next several weeks. In any case, however investors really should be looking for the best blue-chip stocks to buy.

In fact, no matter what the market  is doing,  investors really ought to be looking to buy the stocks of high-quality companies with strong businesses.

Sometimes during euphoric markets,  poor businesses generate robust gains. But those are the very stocks that get decimated in bear markets.

At least the best blue-chip stocks tend to hold up to some degree amid bear markets. When those names do come under pressure, they usually provide investors with good buying opportunities.

Ticker Company Current Price
JNJ Johnson & Johnson $164
MSFT Microsoft $235
CAH Cardinal Health $70.50

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Why is Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) one of the best blue-chip stocks to buy? The answer is that the company continues to deliver, and the stock continues to show relative strength. Indeed, while the S&P 500 is down 22.4% from its high and 21.9% so far this year, JNJ stock is only down 10.3% and up 3.5% during those periods, respectively. So even though it, too, is struggling, it’s outperforming the benchmark index that most investments are measured against.

The company pays out a 2.75% dividend yield and just last month, its management announced a new $5 billion buyback plan and reaffirmed its full-year outlook. That’s talking the talk and walking the walk.

Then on Oct. 18, Johnson & Johnson reported fiscal third-quarter results that beat analysts’ average expectations on the  top and bottom lines. Further, JNJ modestly boosted its full-year outlook. Trading at just 16 times earnings, JNJ stock is hard to ignore.

Microsoft (MSFT)

I really believe that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is one of the best blue-chip stocks to buy, and I recently identified the “greedy price” at which investors should look to buy it if it ever falls that far.

The truth is, I’d be surprised but pleased if it did reach that $210-$215 level. The shares remain about 30% below their all-time high and were recently down as much as 37.3%. For many, that’s reason enough to buy this stock, even if its dividend does yield just 1.1%.

Not all blue-chip stocks pay a robust dividend, and that’s okay. Sometimes stocks are attractive because of the stickiness of companies’ business and the strength of  their competitive advantages. Given how many industries that Microsoft dominates around the world, I believe it has a very strong business and competitive advantages.

Further, analysts, on average, expect the company to generate double-digit percentage earnings and revenue growth annually from now through FY26. In addition to the strong growth, Microsoft generates higher operating margins than all of  the FAANG names.

Trading at roughly 22 times earnings, the stock is starting to look like a bargain given the quality of its earnings.

Cardinal Health (CAH)

I wanted to go with the obvious choice here — Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — but you’re not Googling the best blue-chip stocks to buy now to read about Apple. Instead, you want a fresh idea, something like Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH).

With its $18.5 billion market capitalization, Cardinal Health isn’t small, but it does tend to fly under the radar. That’s especially true compared to the two other stocks on this list. That said, CAH is also the best performer of the three.

The shares reached all-time highs in September and are now just 1.5% below those highs! That’s impressive, given the state of the overall market. Further, the stock is up 37% this year and 43% over the past 12 months.

Its e dividend yield is approaching 3%, while the stock trades at a meager 13 times earnings despite this year’s rally. As for analysts’ average expectations, they call for roughly 9% revenue growth this year and 6.5% growth next year. On the earnings front, the mean estimates call for just 4% growth this year but almost 18% growth next year.

This is a name to keep on your radar and buy on weakness as long as the trend remains favorable.

On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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