Stocks to buy

Don’t Worry! 3 Bulletproof Stocks to Survive Any Potential Market Crash

There’s plenty of uncertainty in the market. Despite many forward indicators suggesting the market is doing well—low unemployment and steady wage growth should buffer the market—many aren’t so sure this will be the case a year or longer from now. Accordingly, the search for bulletproof stocks is on.

Now, it’s entirely possible the Federal Reserve can cut interest rates at just the right time to stave off a hard landing. However, it’s typically the case that the economy begins to falter as interest rates decline, as a self-fulfilling loop. Otherwise, it suggests long-term investment potential. Declining unemployment and steady wage growth offer stability, and the Fed may up the interest rates when inflation concerns arise.

Despite seeing 2024 through rose-colored glasses, the market’s uncertainties continue to sprout. Wall Street’s reply to the Federal Reserve’s policy may lean toward optimism, but long-term investors will likely continue to seek the stability of certain bulletproof stocks.

Here are three stocks I think investors need to pay attention to right now.

Restaurant Brands (QSR)

Source: Shutterstock

Restaurant Brands International’s (NYSE:QSR) quarterly report, given a leg up by strong Tim Hortons sales, outran analyst expectations. Despite a 4% stock dip, I think there was a lot to like about these numbers. Key figures included adjusted earnings per share of 75 cents and revenue of $1.82 billion, outpacing the forecasted figure of $1.81 billion, albeit by a small amount.

The company’s Q4 net income attributable to shareholders rose to $508 million, or $1.60 per share. This number was considerably from $229 million the previous year, with earnings at 75 cents per share and net sales at $1.82 billion.

After unveiling a new reporting structure, Restaurant Brands grouped overseas locations and separated statistics by U.S. and Canadian brands. Tim Hortons’ same-store sales are up by 8.4% due to the banner’s cold drinks and snacks lineups branching out.

Burger King saw a 6.3% rise in U.S. same-store sales thanks to turnaround efforts, with consumer interest in value deals in the spotlight. CEO Josh Kobza praised this growth, raising flags of a strong market position for QSR stock.

Pepsi (PEP)

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PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) made its strong Q4 and full-year results known, adding to its annual dividend increase streak. CEO Ramon Laguarta took note of a Q4 sales slowdown because of pricing and disposable income constraints. However, the CEO suggested the consumer outlook in the coming quarters could be positive, citing low employment and other bullish macro factors. In an era where interest rates fall, and wages rise, Pepsi could be well-positioned to keep growing. But even in a situation where margin pressures materialize, I think Pepsi’s strong brand and consumer loyalty figures provide the sort of intangibles that make this a bulletproof stock in any environment.

The company’s net income skyrocketed in Q4, reaching $1.3 billion, compared to its $518 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Adjusted earnings were $1.78 per share, and despite a tiny dip in net sales, organic revenue jumped by 4.5% thanks to higher prices.

Price hikes became smaller in demand because of high borrowing costs and reduced personal savings. This is especially true for North America, affecting consumer spending and causing smaller pack sizes for convenience. So long as Pepsi retains pricing power, this stock is worth owning.

Duke Energy (DUK)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), finding itself comfy in Charlotte, North Carolina, is among the leading U.S. utility companies operating in six states. The company has begun branching out, improving its market-related risk profile and financial stability. The company’s strategic locations thrive due to millennial growth trends, especially along the East Coast. In short, Duke Energy is positioning itself well for the long-term, digging a moat to insulate its business and provide growth in any economic backdrop.

Duke hands investors a forward yield of 4.34% and 19 consecutive dividend increases. It’s rated a consensus moderate buy with a price target of $104.25.

The company is a well-known utility stock company. With a dividend yield of over 4% and employing over 28,000 workers, it’s no wonder it’s featured on top utility stock lists. DUK stock deserves a spot on investors’ bulletproof stock lists due to its strong core business model and long-term growth outlook.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

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