CITI: Here Are The 20 Best Stocks In America

Citi’s army of analysts and strategists have examined the universe of stocks they cover and screened them for what they considered to be the 50 “World Champions.”

These companies boast “leading business models and market share,” wrote Citi’s Robert Buckland, Robert Garlick and the global equities research team.

The analysts’ considered three selection criteria: market cap of at least $US3 billion; at least a top 3 market share in a third of their businesses; and a global reach as measured by significant revenue outside of their home market.

To narrow it down to the top 50, Citi analysts then looked at both historical financial performance and forecasts of the same measures between 2014-2016.

We’ve highlighted 20 of the U.S. buy rated stocks and ranked them by estimated total return (ETR). We also pulled a few key quotes from the 212-page note that highlight what makes each of these companies a world champion.

Note: Closing price as of April 17.

FMC Technologies (FTI)

he Halvorsen Loader solution for the U.S. Air Force is provided by FMC Technologies, Inc.

Estimated total return: 20.8%

Target price: $63

Current price: $US54.80

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'FTI firmly maintains its leading position in the manufacture of subsea technologies for oil and gas production, one of the fastest growing segments of the oilfield equipment market,' according to Citi's Robin Shoemaker.

Source: Citi

Polaris Industries (PII)

Estimated total return: 20.9%

Target price: $156

Current price: $135.39

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.38%

'Over the past three years, PII has consistently shown significant market share gains in every core business unit and has over-delivered on retail expectations,' writes Citi's Gregory Badishkanian.

Source: Citi

VF Corp (VFC)

Estimated total return: 21.4%

Target price: $69

Current price: $59.85

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.82%

'The company's historical expertise in owned manufacturing has also enabled it to build one of the strongest global supply chains in the industry, as it continues to develop new innovations and drive increased efficiencies,' according to Kate McShane.

Source: Citi

Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG)

Estimated total return: 21.9%

Target price: $79

Current price: $66.64

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.28%

'HOG is number one in core market share but also number one within outreach demographics, including women and young adults, and the Hispanic and African- American populations,' writes Citi's Gregory Badishkanian.

Source: Citi

American Express Co. (AXP)

Estimated total return: 24.2%

Target price: $104

Current price: $86.22

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.23%

'AXP targets high end consumers and business accounts. AXP also owns two bank subsidiaries which have given it access to the US deposit market,' writes Citi's Donald Fandetti.

Source: Citi

Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB)

Estimated total return: 25.2%

Target price: $US343

Current price: $290.54

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'Biogen is a global leader in multiple sclerosis, hematology, and should become a leader in hemophilia,' writes Citi's Yaron Werber. 'Biogen also has a deep mid-stage pipeline that appears overlooked and will come into focus in 2014 when proof of concept data is expected from multiple drugs and could provide an upside surprise over time.'

Source: Citi

Google Inc (GOOG)

Estimated total return: 27.3%

Target price: $US676

Current price: $536.10

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'Google is the clear leader in our view in the Internet search market,' writes Mark May. 'However, arguably more importantly is that Google has significantly leveraged its success in search to establish itself as the global leader in online display/brand, video and mobile advertising as well.'

Source: Citi

Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN)

Estimated total return: 28.4%

Target price: $US104

Current price: $84.45

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.85%

'Mead's singular focus on pediatric nutrition and long history of science-based innovation readily differentiates the company from its competitors,' according to Citi's David Driscoll.

Source: Citi

Starbucks Corp (SBUX)

Estimated total return: 31.1%

Target price: $89

Current price: $US70.15

Dividend yield 2014E: 1.59%

'Starbucks is well positioned to gain global market share, as it has strong brand equity and the potential to accelerate unit expansion in growth markets,' writes Citi's Gregory Badishkanian. 'Starbucks also has a major focus on China, which it expects to become its second home market.'

Source: Citi

LasVegas Sands (LVS)

Estimated total return: 32.7%

Target price: $97

Current price: $76.46

Dividend yield 2014E: 2.68%

'Reflecting strong cash flow at its existing properties in Macau and Singapore, we expect LVS to look for expansion opportunities overseas (e.g. Japan and Korea) or return cash to shareholders,' according to Citi's Anil Daswani. 'We expect Las Vegas GGR to grow 5% to an all-time high US$6.8bn in FY14 thanks to improving consumer confidence.'

Source: Citi

MasterCard Inc (MA)

Estimated total return: 33.1%

Target price: $US91

Current price: $74.13

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.64%

'The electronic payment industry has experienced significant growth as consumer and corporate spending has grown and credit & debit cards have played a role in a greater share of purchases,' writes Citi's Donald Fandetti. 'MA (and other networks) is benefiting from strong secular trends such as increased global acceptance and a shift from paper-based payments (cash/check) to electronic payments.'

Source: Citi

Boeing Co (BA)

Estimated total return: 33.5%

Target price: $160

Current price: $127.92

Dividend yield 2014E: 2.39%

'Boeing essentially splits the large civil aircraft market with Airbus, although new entrants likely take some share at the low-end in the 2H of the decade,' writes Citi's Jason Gursky. 'Still, the growth in global air traffic, especially in emerging markets, underpins record visibility (~7-8 years in backlog) and record production rates.'

Source: Citi

FleetCor Technologies (FLT)

Estimated total return: 34.2%

Target price: $147

Current price: $114.96

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'As a result of its strong growth over the past decade, the company has taken the leadership position away from competitors and is keen on further consolidating the market, particularly outside the US,' writes Philip Stiller.

Source: Citi

Cerner Corp (CERN)

Estimated total return: 34.3%

Target price: $70

Current price: $54.00

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'The healthcare IT market continues to benefit from government incentives and hospital consolidation in the short term and we view long term drivers like financial and clinical integration, population health and international expansion as opportunities for Cerner,' writes Garen Saraian.

Source: Citi

Visa (V)

Two tourists walk past advertisements of foreign companies near the airport of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) March 8, 1994.

Estimated total return: 35.6%

Target price: $265

Current price: $207.95

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.81%

'The electronic payment industry has experienced significant growth as consumer and corporate spending has grown and credit & debit cards have played a role in a greater share of purchases,' writes Donald Fandetti. 'V (and MA) is benefiting from strong secular trends such as increased global acceptance and a shift from paper-based payments (cash/check) to electronic payments.'

Source: Citi

The Blackstone Group (BX)

Estimated total return: 38.3%

Target price: $40

Current price: $31.34

Dividend yield 2014E: 5.57%

'BX looks well positioned to capitalise on an improving macro environment, particularly across PE and RE, the latter where BX's platform is among the strongest in the business, we believe,' writes Citi's William Katz.

Source: Citi

Facebook (FB)

Estimated total return: 45.2%

Target price: $US85

Current price: $58.94

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'Facebook has over a notably short period time emerged as a clear global leader with significant potential given 1) its large, global and engaged audience; 2) its significant user profile and preference data asset; and 3) its relevance in the increasingly mobile-centric Internet universe,' writes Mark May. 'And, importantly, we see an opportunity for further growth and share gains as the company leverages its existing global user scale, identity-based data asset, >1mm advertiser base, and technical/product development capabilities to enhance existing business and expand into natural adjacencies.'

Source: Citi

Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD)

Estimated total return: 45.4%

Target price: $96

Current price: $70.00

Dividend yield 2014E: 0.00%

'Gilead is positioned to be the dominant player in the lucrative hepC market with a backdrop of a leading HIV franchise and a growing oncology franchise,' writes Citi's Yaron Werber. 'We believe that Gilead will generate a significant amount of cash and will do (1) stock buybacks, (2) product/company acquisitions to grow its pipeline, and (3) potentially start giving a dividend in 2-3 years as means to bolster its stock.'

Source: Citi

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