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These stocks are winning the inflation battle and expanding margins


The highest inflation reading since 1981 left the stock market rattled on Friday and investors scrambling once again to find places where they can hide from these persistent price pressures. There are a few stocks that could fit the bill. CNBC Pro sought to find companies winning the inflation battle. These names expanded profit margins consistently the last four quarters by raising prices or using their market sway to keep costs down, or both. We searched the S & P 500 for the following criteria: Margin momentum: Increased gross margins (year over year) each of the last four quarters Liked by Wall Street: A majority of analysts that cover the stock say it’s a buy Set to gain: Consensus stock price target on Wall Street is at least 10% higher from here We also set a minimum gross margin level of at least 30% to root out stocks that were growing margins off a severely depleted base level. We wanted to ensure this list is made up of companies with strong margins that are consistently getting stronger. A lot of the stocks are under-the-radar names that have a specialty or dominant market position that gives the companies pricing power. Despite the pressures tech stocks felt from higher rates and inflation, many made the cut, including Nvidia , Micron and Broadcom . Micron is well-liked on Wall Street with 78% of analysts having a buy rating. Visa and Synchrony Financial are among the financial stocks that made the list. ConocoPhillips , Diamondback Energy and Pioneer Natural are among the energy names that made the portfolio as the group rides surging oil and gas prices.

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