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TipRanks

Billionaire Ray Dalio Places Bet on 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks

When billionaire financier Ray Dalio makes a move, Wall Street pays attention. Dalio, who got his start working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange trading commodity futures, founded the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, in 1975. With the firm managing about $140 billion in global investments and Dalio’s own net worth coming at $17 billion, he has earned legendary status on Wall Street. Summing up his success, Dalio has three pieces of advice for investors. First, diversify. Keeping a wide range of stocks in the portfolio, from multiple sectors, is the surest way to invest well. Second, don’t think that rising markets will rise forever. This is Dalio’s variation on an old saw that past performance does not guarantee future returns. Dalio will tell you that all strong past returns really guarantee are current high prices. And finally, Dalio tells investors, “Do the opposite of what your instincts are.” Or put another way, don’t follow the herd, as such thinking frequently leads to suboptimal results. Looking to Dalio for investing inspiration, we used TipRanks’ database to find out if three stocks the billionaire recently added to the fund represent compelling plays. According to the platform, the analyst community believes they do, with all of the picks earning “Strong Buy” consensus ratings. Linde PLC (LIN) The first new position is in Linde, the world’s largest industrial gas production company, whether counting by revenues or market share. Linde produces a range of gasses for industrial use, and is the dominant supplier of argon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, along with niche gasses like carbon dioxide for the soft drink industry. The company also produces gas storage and transfer equipment, welding equipment, and refrigerants. In short, Linde embodies Dalio’s ‘diversify’ dictum. Linde’s industry leadership and essential products helped the company bounce back from the corona crisis. The company’s revenues slipped in 1H20, but grew in the second half, reaching pre-corona levels in Q3 and exceeding those levels in Q4. In a sign of confidence, the company held its dividend steady through the ‘corona year,’ at 96 cents per common share – and in its recent Q1 declaration, Linde raised the payment to $1.06 per share. This annualizes to $4.24 and gives a yield of 1.7%. The key point here is not the modest yield, but the company’s confidence in the security of its positions, allowing it to keep a steady dividend at a time when many peers are cutting profit sharing. It’s no wonder, then, that an investor like Dalio would take an interest in a company like Linde. The billionaire’s fund snapped up 20,149 shares during the fourth quarter, worth $5.05 million at current prices. Assessing Linde for BMO, analyst John McNulty expresses his confidence in Linde’s current performance. “LIN continues to execute on its growth strategy to drive solid double-digit earnings growth, notably without requiring a further macro improvement. In our view, management’s 11-13% guide for 2021 remains conservative driven by its on coming projects, continued pricing, efficiency gains, and solid buybacks with its strong balance sheet and cash flows. Further, the solid FCF position provides them plenty of dry powder for M&A, de-caps, etc. We believe LIN is poised to continue to surprise investors and outperform the broader group even in a cyclical market. the largest global industrial gas company,” McNulty opined. In line with his bullish comments, McNulty rates LIN as a Buy, and his $320 price target implies an upside of ~28% for the coming year. (To watch McNulty’s track record, click here) Wall Street’s analysts are in broad agreement on the quality of Linde’s stock, as shown by the 15 Buy reviews overbalancing the 3 Holds. This gives the stock its Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. Shares are priced at $250.88, and their $295.73 average price target suggests they have ~18% growth ahead. (See LIN stock analysis on TipRanks) BlackRock (BLK) Next up is the world’s largest asset manager. BlackRock has over $8.67 trillion in assets under management. The company is one of the dominant index funds in the US financial scene, and saw $16.2 billion revenue last year, with a net income of $4.9 billion. BlackRock’s recent Q4 report shows its strength, as far as numbers can. EPS came in at $10.02 per share, a 12% sequential gain and a 20% year-over-year gain. Quarterly revenues of $4.8 billion were up 17% yoy. The full-year top line was up 11% from 2019. BlackRock achieved all of this even as the corona crisis flattened the economy in 1H20. In the first quarter of this year, BlackRock declared its…



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