Blue-chip stocks are the type of investment that allows people to sleep soundly at night. These are the shares of established companies that are profitable, have clean balance sheets, and have a track record of performance. Banks, insurers and healthcare companies are examples of rock-solid blue-chip stocks.
They may not be flashy or exciting, but they can deliver steady gains to investors over the long term and are far less risky than many growth stocks and shares of start-up companies. Importantly, blue-chip stocks tend to fall less during a market correction and recover faster when the bulls start running again on Wall Street. Here are three blue-chip stocks to buy and hold forever.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), the largest healthcare insurer in the U.S., remains a great blue-chip stock to buy and hold forever. And there’s an opportunity to buy the dip in the stock after its recent fourth-quarter financial results. While the company beat Wall Street forecasts on both the top and bottom lines, its stock has slumped after it reported a higher-than-expected utilization rate for medical services, which can eat into profits.
Year-to-date, UNH stock has declined 5%. However, the company’s share price has still doubled over the past five years. Healthcare stocks often perform well in election years. An 18-forward P/E ratio is low for UNH stock. UnitedHealth also pays a quarterly dividend of $1.88 per share, giving it a yield of 1.50%.
Thomson Reuters (TRI)
It’s a challenging time for media companies, especially newspapers. The industry is awash in layoffs and red ink. Yet Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) continues to buck the trend and its stock is now trading near an all-time high. The company’s bread-and-butter continues to be its international newswire, which media outlets are relying on more than ever as they cut back their own newsrooms. However, Thomson Reuters continues to make strategic investments in new areas, including artificial intelligence ( ).
Most recently, Thomson Reuters has increased an offer it made to buy Swedish tax preparation firm Pagero by 25% to $789 million. Thomson Reuters already controls 54% of Pagero and is seeking to gain 100% control of the company, which it hopes to add to its other accounting services that include digital firms such as Checkpoint. Thomson Reuters has a strategy to grow through mergers and acquisitions and has a $10 billion M&A budget through 2025.
TRI stock has gained 22% in the last 12 months and is up 181% over five years.
A lot of people are down on e-commerce company eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). But the company’s current valuation is dirt cheap and the company continues to implement a turnaround strategy that could make it a worthwhile long-term investment. Right now, EBAY stock is trading at only eight times future earnings estimates, which is about as cheap as you’ll find for a technology concern. Also, the shares come with a quarterly dividend payment of 25 cents a share, giving it a yield of 2.40%.
Most technology stocks, including e-commerce rival Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), pay no dividend. Additionally, eBay just announced plans to eliminate 9% of its workforce, or about 1,000 full-time employees, as it seeks to control costs and lower expenses over the coming year. Last fall, eBay issued fourth-quarter revenue guidance for the holiday sales period that fell short of Wall Street estimates, causing its stock to drop. But over five years, EBAY stock is up 23%, with future gains likely.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.