America’s Best Stocks 2017: All-Stars

These winning U.S. stocks scored high on value and growth

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From the December 2016 issue of the magazine.

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2017 Top 200

American All-Star Stocks

The aging bull market gave growth stocks a boost this year. The U.S. All-Star list ballooned to 28 stocks this time around, which is 10 more than there were last year.


Company Value Grade Growth Grade
Arrow Electronics (ARW) B A
Arthur J Gallagher (AJG) B A
AT&T (T) B A
Avnet (AVT) A B
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) B A
Consolidated Edison (ED) A B
Corning (GLW) A B
Dollar General (DG) B A
EMCOR Group (EME) B A
Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) B A
GameStop (GME) A B
Huntington Ingalls (HII) B A
Interpublic Group (IPG) B A
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) A B
Kelly Services (KELYA) A B
Old Republic International (ORI) A A
Owens Corning (OC) A A
PulteGroup (PHM) B A
Quest Diagnostics (DGX) B A
Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS) A B
Republic Services (RSG) B A
RPM International (RPM) B A
Tech Data (TECD) B A
Thor Industries (THO) B A
Travelers (TRV) B A
Trinity Industries (TRN) A B
Unum Group (UNM) A A
WR Berkley (WRB) B A

Straight As

We’re pleased to say that three stocks won the double-A prize this year. They are Old Republic International, Owens Corning, and Unum Group.

Old Republic International is a property and casualty insurance firm with a general and title insurance business along with the still smoldering remains of a mortgage guaranty insurance business. The firm from Chicago, stumbled badly in 2008 when its mortgage guaranty insurance business cratered. However, the company struggled through and managed to grow its dividend each year despite heavy losses along the way. These days the firm is profitable, trades at 11 times earnings and at just above book value. It pays a generous dividend yield of 4.1% and I own some of its shares.

Owens Corning is a building products company based in Toledo, Ohio. The company has been through some difficult times, but started paying a dividend in 2014 and the payments have been increased every year since then. While its dividend yield is only 1.4%, the company reduced its share count by 2.3% over the last year. That pushes its combined yield up to a more healthy 3.7%.

Unum Group, based in headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn. is a provider of employee benefits to customers in both the U.S. and the U.K. It trades at just under book value and at only 10 times earnings.

A Buffet of All-Star Stocks

The eight leading value All-Star stocks are Avnet, Consolidated Edison, Corning, GameStop, Jones Lang LaSalle, Kelly Services, Reliance Steel & Aluminum and Trinity Industries.

Corning posted the best performance of the value group with a smart 44% gain over the last year. On the other hand, GameStop fared the worst with a decline of 41% as investors worried about its video game stores, which will likely suffer as customers move online. But the stock trades at just six times forward earnings estimates and pays a 6% dividend yield. That’s well into bargain territory. However, GameStop was nudged out as the cheapest value All-Star by Trinity. The railcar company trades at just 93% of book value and six times trailing earnings. At the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive value name is Consolidated Edison, a famous utility that primarily services New York City, which trades at 19 times earnings while paying a 3.7% dividend yield.

The 17 leading growth All-Stars are Arrow Electronics, Arthur J Gallagher, AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway, Dollar General, EMCOR Group, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Huntington Ingalls, Interpublic Group, PulteGroup, Quest Diagnostics, Republic Services, RPM International, Tech Data, Thor Industries, Travelers, and WR Berkley. I personally own shares of Berkshire Hathaway.

Huntington Ingalls, America’s largest military shipbuilding company, is the top growth performer over the last year with a gain of 53%. The worst performer was Dollar General which chalked up gains of only 4% after its shares tumbled on weaker than expected growth last quarter. The cheapest growth player is home maker PulteGroup, which trades at 13 times earning. After making it through the U.S. real estate crash, the company appears to be gearing up again.

Before rushing to buy any stock it is important to understand the risks that stock ownership entails. While we believe our top stocks have the ingredients necessary for success, the future is far from certain and some stocks will inevitably flounder. There will also be periods–like the crash of 2008–when stocks generally do poorly. Always make sure a company’s situation hasn’t changed in some important way before investing. Read the latest press releases and regulatory filings. Scan newspaper stories and get up to speed on all of the most recent developments. Take particular care when buying or selling stocks that trade infrequently.) As always, we endeavour to put you on a profitable course, but head out only after you’re fully prepared.

Top 50 American Value Stocks

These U.S. stocks received an A-grade in value. Learn more about them in the full ranking of 500 U.S. stocks.


All-Star Stocks Company
AGCO (AGCO)
Anthem (ANTM)
Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM)
Avnet (AVT)
Bank of America (BAC)
Bank of New York Mellon (BK)
BB&T (BBT)
CalAtlantic Group (CAA)
Capital One Financial (COF)
Carnival (CCL)
Citigroup (C)
Citizens Financial Group (CFG)
CNA Financial (CNA)
Commercial Metals (CMC)
Consolidated Edison (ED)
Corning (GLW)
Dillard's (DDS)
Domtar (UFS)
Duke Energy (DUK)
Eversource Energy (ES)
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
GameStop (GME)
General Motors (GM)
Goldman Sachs Group (GS)
International Game Technology (IGT)
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Kelly Services (KELYA)
Kinder Morgan (KMI)
Kindred Healthcare (KND)
Kohl's (KSS)
M&T Bank (MTB)
Morgan Stanley (MS)
Mosaic (MOS)
News (NWSA)
★★ Old Republic International Cor (ORI)
★★ Owens Corning (OC)
PNC Financial Services Group (PNC)
Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG)
Regions Financial (RF)
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co (RS)
SunTrust Banks (STI)
Telephone & Data Systems (TDS)
Trinity Industries (TRN)
★★ Unum Group (UNM)
Valero Energy (VLO)
Wells Fargo (WFC)
Western Digital (WDC)
World Fuel Services (INT)
Xerox (XRX)

★ = All-Star stock
★★ = Earns an A for both value and growth

Top 50 American Growth Stocks

These stocks received A-grades in growth. Learn more about them in the full ranking of 500 U.S. stocks.



All-Star Stocks Company
Arrow Electronics (ARW)
Arthur J Gallagher (AJG)
Assurant (AIZ)
AT&T (T)
Avery Dennison (AVY)
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)
CBS (CBS)
Centene (CNC)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Dollar General (DG)
EMCOR Group (EME)
Flex Ltd (FLEX)
Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS)
General Dynamics (GD)
Harris (HRS)
Henry Schein (HSIC)
Home Depot (HD)
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)
Ingersoll-Rand PLC (IR)
Insight Enterprises (NSIT)
Interpublic Group of Cos (IPG)
JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT)
LKQ (LKQ)
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Northrop Grumman (NOC)
★★ Old Republic International Cor (ORI)
Omnicom Group (OMC)
★★ Owens Corning (OC)
Packaging of America (PKG)
Principal Financial Group (PFG)
PulteGroup (PHM)
Quest Diagnostics (DGX)
Raymond James Financial (RJF)
Republic Services (RSG)
RPM International (RPM)
Sanmina (SANM)
Southwest Airlines Co (LUV)
Spectrum Brands Holdings (SPB)
Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)
SYNNEX (SNX)
Tech Data (TECD)
Thor Industries (THO)
Travelers Cos (TRV)
United Parcel Service (UPS)
United Rentals (URI)
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
★★ Unum Group (UNM)
WellCare Health Plans (WCG)
Whirlpool (WHR)
WR Berkley (WRB)

★ = All-Star stock
★★ = Earns an A for both value and growth

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