Investing: Five stocks to buy now
-- Air Lease (symbol AL, $33). The dynamic duo who turned International Lease Finance Corp. into an airplane-leasing giant in the 1980s came out of semi-retirement to launch Air Lease in 2010. Since then, the company has built a fleet of 174 jets, which are leased to more than 75 airlines. Air Lease also helps manage air fleets, so when customers lease its new planes, it also brokers the sale of their old ones. Analysts expect profits to increase 30 percent in 2014, but the stock sells for only 15 times estimated earnings.
-- Eaton Corp. (ETN, $72). An improving global economy is bullish for Eaton, which specializes in power management. Eaton moved its headquarters from Ohio to Ireland in 2012 as part of its purchase of electronics giant Cooper Industries. The deal helped boost sales and profits in 2013. But the sluggish commercial-construction market is weighing on results. Morningstar analyst Daniel Holland thinks that business will rebound in 2014, allowing Eaton to fire on all cylinders.
-- Honeywell International (HON, $89). When Honeywell announced an ambitious five-year growth plan in 2010, analysts were skeptical. They acknowledged that the firm, which makes everything from thermostats to jet engines, was well run, but they thought it couldn't wring enough efficiencies from its operations to overcome a struggling economy. But Honeywell hit all of its goals, says Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jeff Osborne. Now, Honeywell is set to put out a new five-year plan that he thinks will be even more ambitious -- and will help boost the stock.
-- JPMorgan Chase (JPM, $56). Over the past two years, JPMorgan Chase has been mired in controversies, including a $13 billion settlement with regulators over improprieties in the mortgage market. The sideshows, though, mask the bank's underlying strength, says Raymond James analyst Anthony Polini. JPMorgan is one of the best-run banks, with a strong balance sheet and a compelling international investment-banking operation. The legal woes have suppressed the stock, which trades for just 9 times earnings.
-- Occidental Petroleum (OXY, $97). Occidental has an edge over many of its peers: It gets the bulk of its energy from politically stable North America, and most of that energy is in liquid form, which benefits from a favorable balance of supply and demand. Oxy also boasts a superb balance sheet, with plenty of cash for dividends and share buybacks. To boost Oxy's long-moribund stock price, the company has launched a restructuring plan, which initially involves selling assets to raise cash. Morningstar analyst Allen Good thinks Oxy's stock is a bargain.
(Kathy Kristof is a contributing editor to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit http://www.Kiplinger.com.)
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