3 Stocks Ready to Ride the Bull Higher

Stocks to buy

Despite a few soft weeks, the stock market rally that began at the end of 2022 remains intact. We’re now seeing signs that the rally is broadening out beyond the popular mega-cap technology stocks to include other sectors of the market such as financials, retailers and industrials. Even energy stocks are starting to creep upwards as the price of crude oil is now back above $80 per barrel.

Equities are benefitting from improving sentiment among investors, solid earnings reports, and catalysts that are likely to help grow their sales and profits in coming quarters. With the market continuing to hit new all-time highs, we offer the following three stocks ready to ride the bull higher.

Eli Lilly (LLY)

Source: shutterstock.com/Michael Vi

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) was already riding high on expectations for sales of its newly approved weight loss drug Zepbound. But news of a partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to help distribute Zepbound and other prescription medications could take the company and its stock to a whole new level. LLY stock is up 130% over the last 12 months, including a 30% gain this year.

Going forward, Eli Lilly will use Amazon Pharmacy to distribute Zepbound to people’s homes through the drug maker’s new direct-to-consumer program. A new website, called LillyDirect, connects people with an independent telehealth company that can prescribe the medications that will then be delivered by Amazon. LillyDirect aims to make Zepbound easier for patients to access as demand for the weight loss treatment skyrockets.

Oracle (ORCL)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Shares of technology giant Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) look ready to ride the bull higher after the company reported strong quarterly financial results and offered upbeat forward guidance. For the final quarter of 2023, Oracle announced earnings per share (EPS) of $1.41 versus $1.38 that was expected among analysts who track the company’s progress. Revenue totaled $13.28 billion compared to $13.30 billion that was forecast. Sales increased 7% from a year earlier.

Oracle’s cloud service and license support segment, its largest business unit, saw sales rise 12% to $9.96 billion in the quarter. In terms of guidance, Oracle said it expects earnings of $1.62 to $1.66 per share. Analysts were expecting $1.64 in earnings for the current first quarter of 2024. Management said they anticipate revenue growth of 4% to 6% from a year ago in Q1 and remain committed to their goal of reaching $65 billion in sales by 2026.

ORCL stock has increased 46% over the last 12 months, including a 22% gain so far in 2024.

The Gap (GPS)

Source: Shutterstock

For a great comeback story, look to clothing retailer The Gap (NYSE:GPS). The company’s share price has risen an impressive 160% over the last 12 months, including a 17% increase this year, as the company has reported rising sales and declining inventory levels. Recently, GPS stock jumped 8% higher after the company reported strong year-end holiday sales and announced that Old Navy has returned to growth.

The Gap reported fourth quarter 2023 EPS of 49 cents, which was more than double the 23 cents that was forecast on Wall Street. Revenue came in at $4.30 billion versus $4.22 billion that had been expected among analysts. Old Navy’s sales grew 6% to $2.29 billion, the first growth registered by that brand in more than a year. Inventory levels declined by 16% during all of last year, allowing the retailer to now sell its clothing items at full price.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in LLY. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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