3 Blue-Chip Stocks with Hidden Growth Potential

A lot of times, people view things as a binary. A potential investment is a growth company or a value stock. It’s high quality or it’s risky speculation. This sort of thinking is understandable. Such frameworks are useful for quickly understanding the world. But sometimes a company can represent multiple different styles of investment, such as with the three hidden growth blue-chip stocks below.

People often think of the best blue-chip stocks to buy as being ones in staid, boring businesses that pay reliable dividends but don’t grow very much. But today’s picks offer both safety and considerable upside.

Nike (NKE)
Nike (NYSE:NKE) is the world’s dominant seller of athletic apparel and footwear. While the company was once a growth superstar, investors might think of Nike’s opportunity as being largely played out at this point.

But this blue-chip stock still has surprising upside thanks to emerging markets. In recent years, Nike has invested heavily in fast-growing consumer markets such as China, Southeast Asia and Latin America. As these countries see their middle classes blossom, Nike should be able to sell a lot more shoes and jerseys.

Second, Nike was at the forefront of harnessing the power of the direct-to-consumer model. Back in the mid-2010s, when shopping malls were still riding high, Nike was taking its products to customers directly through social media, apps and influencers. Being early to this transition allowed Nike to thrive over the past few years as traditional brick-and-mortar retail was upended by the pandemic.

Nike remains well-positioned to grow as the world economy normalizes. That’s especially true in China, where Nike’s results have been soft due to that country’s lingering pandemic lockdowns. Once China is fully back in business, NKE stock should enjoy a major tailwind.

Estee Lauder (EL)
Shares of cosmetics company Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) have gotten pummeled over the past 18 months, falling from a high of around $370 to less than $200 today. EL stock now trades for roughly the same price it did prior to the onset of the pandemic.

At this price, the leading beauty products firm offers a solid value proposition. That’s because it benefits from many of the same trends as Nike. For instance, Estee Lauder relies on emerging markets for much of its future growth possibilities.

The global prestige beauty market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.56% through 2028. With Americans spending much more a year on prestige beauty products than those in countries like China and Brazil, Estee Lauder has a big growth opportunity. As the middle class continues to prosper in these large developing countries, it provides Estee Lauder with a tremendous growth runway.

Shares have slumped recently as the initial economic reopening wave largely played itself out in some markets. But investors shouldn’t sleep on the longer-term possibilities. Particularly with the heightened focus on social media and beauty products among younger consumers, Estee Lauder has plenty of great years ahead of it.

Qualcomm (QCOM)
Last up on our list of hidden growth blue-chip stocks to buy is Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies focused on mobile communications.

The firm rose to prominence by developing key patents for technologies such as 3G and 4G. Over the years, Qualcomm has monetized this intellectual property heavily, leading to tremendous results for its shareholders. Additionally, its move into designing its own chip ecosystems, such as Snapdragon, has proven lucrative.

The key driver for the company now will be artificial intelligence (AI). Qualcomm has long prioritized making AI-enabled chips for mobile applications such as phones, connected cars, and internet of things (IoT) applications. Qualcomm’s AI chips have performed well in tests, particularly related to power efficiency.

QCOM stock is an underappreciated growth investment that also offers appealing blue-chip characteristics such as a healthy starting valuation and a strong dividend yield of 2.6%.

— Ian Bezek

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Source: Investor Place