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3 Stocks Immune to the U.S. and China Trade War

By Anne Burdakin - Updated Nov 8, 2019 at 5:55PM

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You can make money and find refuge from the trade war with the right stocks.

The trade war with China has roiled the markets for months, stoking uncertainty and threatening investors' gains. The good news is there are money-making stocks outside the influence of the trade war available to investors who are willing to do a little digging. Let's take a look at three of them.

1. Good education pays off

You don't have to worry about trade wars when it comes to Chegg. (CHGG -2.39%)

Chegg is an American higher education technology company that brings value to students burdened with the highest educational costs in the nation's history. It specializes in online textbook rentals, homework help, online tutoring, test prepping, scholarships, and internship matching for college students.

The company reported third-quarter 2019 results Nov. 4 and surprised to the upside. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.18, eclipsing analysts' expectations of $0.09 by 100%. 

Net revenues of $94.2 million also beat consensus of $89.4 million by 5.3% and rose 26.8% year over year. Chegg has been pushing to reach as many of the 20 million American students as possible. As a result, subscribers increased 29% year over year.

Chegg raised its 2019 annual guidance and investors cheered, bidding the stock up 15% on the news. Yet the stock is less than halfway to its 52-week-high. In light of recent earnings and subscriber growth, investors should expect plenty of upside in Chegg's stock price.

Flags of China and the US with tiles spelling out Trade War

Source: Getty Images

2. Software changed our financial lives

As a predominantly domestic business, Intuit (INTU -3.34%) is insulated from China trade wars. Only 5% of its revenues come from overseas.

If you're an American taxpayer you probably know TurboTax and Quickbooks software, two of Intuit's products. The company provides other financial management technology for everyone from individual consumers to financial institutions.

The company has had an excellent 2019 so far, with its stock up 43% -- more than double the broader market. The second quarter reported a 38% jump in QuickBooks Online subscribers, to nearly 3.9 million at improved margins. Earnings posted a gain of 19%. In the third quarter, the good news continued with earnings up another 16%. Intuit shares hit an all-time high on Sept. 5, 2019 at $295.77 before settling to its current price of $252.11.

Intuit's next earnings release date is Nov 21, 2019. While shares are pricey, Intuit has been delivering the goods. The company places a high value on research and development and is continuing to build out its popular TurboTax product, adding live access to tax professionals while customers prepare their tax returns.

As a growth consumer goods stock with no exposure to China trade wars, Intuit looks very attractive.

3. Seniors know a winner when they see it

As a major U.S. healthcare insurer, Humana (HUM -0.22%) specializes in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Humana has no exposure to the trade war with China. 

Humana reported third-quarter earnings Nov. 6 that beat Wall Street's forecast, as it focused on attracting more full benefit member users to its platform while also reducing costs. Adjusted earnings came in at $5.03 per share, beating forecasts of $4.58 per share.

Humana said senior citizen membership enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans accelerated, increasing 2019 projections to 530,000 from a previous range of 480,000 to 500,000. Government rule changes allowing insurers to offer more benefits bolstered consumer attraction to Medicare Advantage. Humana's individual Medicare Advantage membership at the end of the third quarter of 2019 was 3.55 million, up 17% from 3 million at the end of the same quarter in 2018.

"Our results to date through the third quarter of 2019 are a testament to our focus on operational excellence and to the maturity of our strategy," said Humana CEO Bruce Broussard. "Highlighting this success is our significant individual Medicare Advantage membership growth, which is now projected to exceed half a million members for the full year."

Humana competes in an intense marketplace with UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, Anthem, and others. The company's execution on strategy is bearing fruit and investors are expecting continuing success through 2020.

Given its successful performance and raised guidance, investors wishing to avoid China trade war exposure should consider adding Humana to their portfolios.

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Stocks Mentioned

Humana Inc. Stock Quote
Humana Inc.
$440.42 (-0.22%) $0.97
Intuit Inc. Stock Quote
Intuit Inc.
$358.97 (-3.34%) $-12.40
Chegg Stock Quote
$17.98 (-2.39%) $0.44
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Stock Quote
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
$497.56 (1.11%) $5.48
Anthem, Inc. Stock Quote
Anthem, Inc.
$505.29 (2.11%) $10.44
Cigna Corporation Stock Quote
Cigna Corporation

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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