One Stock to Buy…Even Now

08/10/2011 7:30 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Timothy Lutts

Publisher, Cabot Heritage Corporation

There’s no doubt that markets around the world are in tumult, but even now this stock is a worthy buy, writes Timothy Lutts of Cabot Wealth Advisory.

Yes, the market stinks.

If you want to take the rest of the month off and go fishing, play golf, or read some good books, I understand.

On the other hand, there’s always wisdom to be gained from studying stocks—even in times like the present, when a lot of your assets should be sitting in cash.

Now, human nature says the best way to get rich at times like this is to buy something that has just fallen a lot, and ride the rebound. But trusting human nature in the stock market is usually dangerous, and I know from experience that this is an extremely risky gambit. All too often, after you buy that stock, it goes down even more!

My favorite way to hunt at times like this is to look for stocks that are holding up extremely well. Those are the stocks in which there are very few motivated sellers, stocks that have such support that every share offered is quickly snapped up at current prices.

And when the pressure comes off the broad market, those are the stocks most likely to soar!

One acting well today is MasterCard (MA)

You know the business. It pulled in $6 billion in revenue last year, and 58% of that was from outside the US. It grew revenues 9% last quarter, and earnings 24%, and analysts are looking for earnings growth of 26% for all of 2011.

And it’s still a rather young stock!

MA began trading in mid-2006, peaked with the broad market at $320 in mid-2007, and bottomed with the broad market late in 2008.

Since then, it’s been working its way back to that old high, and for the past month it’s been knocking on the $320 level, trying to break out to new highs.

Last Wednesday, it did break out after issuing an excellent earnings report, but got dragged down by the market. Still, the stock is within spitting distance of new highs, and I think it’s only a matter of time.

Supporting this reasoning is the fact the stock is a far better value now than it was when it first fit this level, four years ago. Earnings in 2010 were up 146% from 2007, and this year they’ll be higher still.

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