As we do each month, we asked 10 of our top analysts across various sectors for one stock that looks especially compelling right now. Here are the companies they singled out.
Dan Caplinger: My stock for the month is Chinese online-search giant Baidu . I've been a big fan of emerging markets for a long time, and China in particular intrigues me because of the language and cultural differences that provide such a big barrier to entry in many industries. Although fast-food giants and other consumer-facing U.S. companies have done a good job of building a big presence in the nation, Baidu has managed to fend off Google and retain a commanding share of the online search market. The stock's recent plunge in reaction to up-and-comer Qihoo 360 seems far too overblown, especially given the potential for huge growth in the search market in China and in neighboring countries that will leave room for multiple competitors in the space.
Moreover, investors are forgetting that Baidu has expansion plans beyond China, and its prospects for picking up market share in other lucrative emerging Internet markets look bright. Best of all, even if its lightning-fast growth pace slows, being able to pick up shares at a trailing multiple below 20 is a bargain that's too tempting to resist.
John Maxfield: Apple .
If I were the world's most interesting man (which I most certainly am not) here's how I'd sum up my selection of Apple as the one stock to buy in April: I don't usually buy technology stocks, but when I do they're dirt cheap.
Apple is patently, even offensively, inexpensive. It went from over $700 per share last September -- at which point even seasoned investors like David Einhorn were predicting it'd be the "first trillion-dollar company" -- down to roughly $420 earlier this month. It's the classic case of mania followed by utter despair.
On a valuation basis, the company's stock trades for a little more than 10 times its estimated future earnings over the next 12 months. If you exclude its obscene cash hoard, that figure falls to roughly seven times earnings. And even more telling is its 2.3% dividend yield, which is bound to increase, given that Apple is in "serious discussions" about returning more capital to shareholders.
While I've been wrong before, and will be again, I've personally bought Apple at three different price points during its descent, and couldn't be happier with the decision.
Keith Speights: Biogen Idec is on a roll that I don't see stopping anytime soon. Shares are up more than 40% during the last year. The biotech currently stands as the leader in the multiple sclerosis market with blockbuster drugs such as Avonex and Tysabri. Many expect Biogen's Tecfidera, which was recently approved by the FDA, to exceed the success of both of those drugs and become the top-selling MS drug within the next few years.
The excitement over Tecfidera stems from several important advantages for the drug. Most treatments for MS are taken via injection, which can be inconvenient and sometimes results in inflammation around the injection site. Tecfidera is a pill and therefore avoids these drawbacks. There are other MS pills available -- Novartis' Gilenya and Sanofi's Aubagio, but Tecfidera's better safety profile and solid efficacy should catapult it ahead of both of these rival drugs.
While multiple sclerosis is definitely Biogen's strongest niche, the company isn't entirely dependent on one therapeutic area. Rituxan, which generated $1.1 billion in sales last year, targets treatment of several indications including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, and rheumatoid arthritis. The FDA also recently accepted the company's Biologic License Application (BLA) for a new hemophilia therapy. These products, combined with Biogen's increasingly strong MS portfolio, should help the stock continue its winning ways.
Tim Beyers: No less than Steven Spielberg -- STEVEN SPIELBERG! -- helped sell J.J. Abrams on taking Star Wars Episode VII, the director revealed in a recent interview with Empire magazine. Combine serious resources, serious talent, and serious brand and you might have the next $2 billion flick under development right now, only the third in history. In the meanwhile, Iron Man 3 shows up in May as the Marvel franchise continues to expand. All of it bodes well for Walt Disney, which has also hinted at plans to bring the Star Wars universe to a new theme park.
Matt DiLallo: Despite roots that go all the way back to the days of Standard Oil, the most intriguing aspect of Buckeye Partners is its future. While on the surface the company appears to just be another master limited partnership, the difference here is that the company has mixed in some international flavor to spice up its business mix.