3 Sleeper Stocks Ready to Soar 3 Sleeper Stocks Ready to Soar

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By Ronald Tech

As the dust settles on the current bull run that began in spring 2023, a selection of stocks that have been flying under the radar are now poised for a strong comeback. Investors slowly catching on to these overlooked gems are witnessing a promising upward trend, fueled by robust financial performances, bullish future outlooks, strategic stock buybacks, and generous dividend payments.

Restaurant Brands International (QSR)

a tray of food from popeyes

Shares of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) are on the rise following the release of sturdy fourth-quarter financial results. A surge in sales at its Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurant chains has sparked optimism in the market. The firm, which also owns Popeyes Chicken and Firehouse Subs, reported earnings per share of $0.75, surpassing the $0.73 consensus estimate on Wall Street. Sales for the October through December period came in at $1.82 billion, slightly above the $1.81 billion forecast, marking an 8% increase from the previous year.

The popular coffee chain Tim Hortons witnessed an 8.4% year-over-year rise in same-store sales, outperforming estimates of 4.7%. Similarly, Burger King reported a same-store sales growth of 6.3%, and Popeyes experienced a 5.5% increase. After a year of implementing a strategic turnaround plan, including significant investments in restaurant renovations and advertising, the acquisition of Burger King’s largest U.S. franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group, in a $1 billion deal, has invigorated the company’s prospects. With QSR stock already climbing 15% over the last 12 months, further upticks seem imminent for astute investors.

Caterpillar (CAT)

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The construction equipment behemoth, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), has made a notable return to the spotlight with a 5% surge in its stock post the announcement of robust Q4 2023 financial results. The company reported an EPS of $5.23, comfortably beating the $4.76 consensus estimate among analysts. Sales for the quarter totaled $17.10 billion, in line with Wall Street forecasts. Notably, Caterpillar’s operating profit margin expanded to 18.9% from 17% a year ago.

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Looking ahead, Caterpillar anticipates that its full-year 2024 sales will mirror the previous year’s figures, while forecasting a profit margin of 19% for the year. Fueled by a robust economy and sustained infrastructure spending by government entities, Caterpillar’s earnings are poised to surprise on the upside in 2024 and beyond. Having already gained 10% in 2024 and a whopping 31% over the last 12 months, CAT stock is regaining popularity among discerning investors.

Ford (F)

Ford dealership sign against a blue sky.

Amid a substantial rally in its stock, Ford (NYSE:F) is basking in the glow of better-than-expected Q4 2023 earnings, further accentuated by the company’s announcement of a special dividend for its shareholders. Ford revealed that it will pay a one-time dividend of $0.18 per share, in addition to its regular first-quarter dividend payment of $0.15 per share, both payable on March 1. With a current dividend yield of 4.79%, excluding the special payout, the company’s optimistic financial outcome has emboldened investor sentiment.

Despite facing a six-week strike last autumn by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, Ford posted an EPS of $0.29, comfortably exceeding the $0.14 Wall Street consensus. Moreover, the company’s revenue for the quarter stood at $43.20 billion, surpassing the estimated $40.12 billion and marking a 4% increase from the previous year. Responding to these results and the announcement of a special dividend, investors have driven F stock up 3% year to date, signifying a potential resurgence for the automaker.