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3 Dow Stocks That Are Screaming Buys in July

For well over a century, the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) has been the most-watched stock index in the world. Originally comprised of 12 mostly industrial companies when it debuted in 1896, the Dow Jones has, today, grown to a 30-stock index packed with profitable, time-tested, and diverse multinational businesses.

The maturity of the 30 components that comprise the Dow makes these stocks especially popular with the broader market undergoing its steepest downturn since March 2020, and closing out its worst start to a year since 1970.

As we power ahead into the second half of 2022, three Dow stocks stand out as screaming buys in July.

Image source: Getty Images.

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Perhaps the biggest no-brainer buy within the Dow is pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA).

Last week, Walgreens was clobbered after reporting its fiscal third-quarter operating results (the quarter ended May 31). Although the quarterly profit topped expectations and the company maintained its full-year earnings-per-share guidance, investors were less than thrilled by a significant drop in COVID-19 vaccine administrations and a decline of 4% in sales from continuing operations.

But this pessimism overlooks that a decrease in COVID-19 vaccines administered had been forecast all along. Furthermore, the company sold its wholesale drug business to AmerisourceBergen last year for $6.5 billion. While both factors weighed on Walgreens' sales and profits, neither have any impact on the company's long-term strategy.

Even before the pandemic, Walgreens put its multipoint growth strategy into motion. This included selling its wholesale drug segment to reduce its debt, as well as reducing its annual operating expenses to make its business more efficient. The company achieved more than $2 billion in annual cost reductions as of the end of fiscal 2021.

But what's far more exciting than Walgreens Boots Alliance trimming the fat is where the company has chosen to spend aggressively. Even though its brick-and-mortar stores are its lifeblood, investments in direct-to-consumer sales and same-day pickup are paying dividends. The company saw 25% year-over-year growth from digital sales in the May-ended quarter.

Additionally, Walgreens has partnered with, and become a majority investor in, VillageMD. This duo has opened 120 co-located, full-service health clinics, with the goal of opening 1,000 by the end of 2027. Whereas most pharmacy-chain health clinics can only administer vaccines or cater to a sniffle, having physician-staffed clinics broadens the gamut of services Walgreens can offer. This makes it likelier that it will see repeat patients, which could be a boon to its pharmacy segment.

Considering it's valued at roughly 8 times forecast earnings in fiscal 2022 and has a nearly 5% yield, Walgreens Boots Alliance stock looks like an incredibly smart and safe buy for patient investors.

Chevron

The second Dow Jones Industrial Average stock that's a screaming buy in July is integrated oil and gas behemoth Chevron (NYSE: CVX).

After sprinting to a new high during the first week of June, shares of Chevron and other oil and gas stocks tumbled. The company retraced by more than 20% on growing concerns that a domestic or global recession could reduce demand for oil and gas. Remember, we're only a little more than 26 months removed from a historic demand drawdown that briefly sent crude oil futures deeply into the negative.

However, short-term commodity price vacillations can't hide the fact that domestic and global energy supply chains are broken and will likely take years to fix. The pandemic caused drilling and exploration companies to scale back investments in the United States. Meanwhile, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shifted Russia's oil supply away from certain needy markets in Europe to other regions. The point being that there's no quick fix to boost supply; and therefore no means to significantly lower oil and natural gas prices anytime soon.

But as I've previously pointed out, Chevron is better equipped to handle commodity price drops than virtually all other oil and gas stocks. That's because its operations are integrated. In addition to its highly profitable upstream drilling assets, it operates transmission pipelines, refineries, and chemical plants. These midstream and downstream assets act as a hedge in the event of a sizable decline in oil and natural gas prices.

To build on this point, Chevron's balance sheet is in much better shape than other energy giants. It ended its most-recent quarter with less than $18 billion in net debt, and has generated more than $21 billion in levered free cash flow over the trailing 12 months. This financial flexibility should allow Chevron to aggressively repurchase its common stock and reward shareholders with a market-trouncing dividend.

Image source: Getty Images.

Salesforce

The third Dow stock that's begging to be bought in July is Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), a provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Shares of Salesforce have been nearly halved since November, as the combination of higher interest rates and a weakening domestic growth outlook raise the warning flags about a possible recession. Tech stocks are usually cyclical, and are therefore prone to weakness during recessions.

The good news is that Salesforce can easily navigate through any near-term turbulence.

The company finds itself at the center of what should be a steadily growing industry throughout the decade. CRM software is used by consumer-facing businesses to improve existing client relationships and boost sales. It can aid companies with online marketing campaigns, help them oversee product and service issues, and be used to run predictive sales analyses to determine which existing clients would be likeliest to purchase a new product or service.

But what makes Salesforce so special is its absolute dominance of the CRM software space. According to data from IDC, It has been the top dog, in terms of market share, in each of the past nine years. What's more, its share of global CRM spending has been steadily increasing. In 2021, it accounted for 23.8% of cloud-based CRM software spending. That's more than four times higher than its next-closest competitor.

Another key puzzle piece to Salesforce's success has been earnings-accretive acquisitions. Although not every deal will work out as planned, co-CEO Marc Benioff has overseen the buyouts of MuleSoft, Tableau Software, and Slack Technologies. Aside from modestly diversifying its sales channels, buying these businesses expands the company's ecosystem and provides a larger platform with which to cross-sell its higher-margin services.

According to Benioff, Salesforce is on pace to hit at least $50 billion in annual sales by fiscal 2026 (ending Jan. 31, 2025). This implies his company could nearly double its revenue in four years. That's incredible growth for a company valued at less than 29 times Wall Street's forecast earnings for the next fiscal year.

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Sean Williams has positions in Walgreens Boots Alliance. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Salesforce, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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