Scared out of the stock market by recent volatility in Europe because of Greece's debt problems? Though I certainly can't blame you for being reticent, running for the hills probably isn't the answer.
Instead, look toward our Rising Stars, who let you know -- in real time -- what they're buying and, more importantly, why they're buying it. Today, I'm highlighting three recent buys by our crack team of analysts. Add these companies to your watchlist and you'll never miss a beat; read to the end and I'll offer you access to a report highlighting 11 dividend stocks to weather the current market storm.
But first, our big three buys...
New Rising Star Joe Tenebruso doesn't find any reason to hide his love for Apple. Though the company will always have competition from the likes of Google
1. It is the world's most valuable brand.
2. Apple has superior products and service.
3. The company has a deep and wide moat, protected primarily by its culture of innovation.
4. Even without Steve Jobs, the company has a strong management team.
Joe also sees several avenues for continued expansion, including Apple's ability to push its iPhones into the business realm currently dominated by Research In Motion's
Apple currently trades for just over 10 times next year's expected earnings, which pales in comparison to its expected earnings growth rate of 20%.
- Add Apple to My Watchlist.
National Oilwell Varco
Fool veteran Rex Moore added National Oilwell Varco to his portfolio after the company's recent earnings came out. Like Joe, Rex enumerated his reasons for loving NOV's prospects moving forward.
1. Shale -- As our country continues the steady march toward natural gas, Rex is comforted by the fact that National Oilwell Varco, despite its history in oil extraction, is also poised to benefit from an explosion in natural gas ventures.
2. Deepwater -- As the price for a barrel of oil rises, oil-extracting companies will be willing to pay the high price for deepwater oil extraction. NOV is already benefiting, as Petrobras
3. Mergers and acquisitions -- Normally, investors should be wary of companies that grow via acquisitions. With NOV, though, Rex isn't too worried. "NOV's management has executed so well for so long because, as CEO Pete Miller puts it, 'We are not going to do M&A just to do M&A.' He emphasizes prudent spending toward the strategic goal of giving customers the ability to use the more efficient and cost-effective 'just-in-time' inventory strategy."
Currently, shares of NOV are trading for just 12 times next year's earnings, with 15% expected long-term earnings growth.
- Add National Oilwell Varco to My Watchlist.
Finally, Rising Star leader Alyce Lomax added the Big G to her portfolio at the end of October. Alyce invests in socially responsible companies, and she found lots to like about Google: "Google says it makes the world greener with its products and services, and the company itself has been carbon neutral since 2007."
From a business perspective, Alyce sees a company that's firing on all cylinders but is priced in the bargain bin. One thing that would turn her off to Google, however, would be if the company decides to acquire rival Yahoo!
Currently, shares of Google are trading for just 13.5 times next year's earnings, with analysts expecting 19% earnings growth.
- Add Google to My Watchlist.
Stability, stability, stability
As I said at the outset, I couldn't blame you if recent volatility has you spooked. All three of these companies are well-established in their respective fields and are more than reasonably priced based on standard metrics.
If you're looking for a few more stable investment ideas for your portfolio, I suggest you check out our newest special free report: "Secure Your Future With 11 Rock-Solid Dividends." Inside, you'll get the names of stocks our analysts have hand-picked for their dividend-paying fortitude. The report is yours today, absolutely free!