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Pro Analysis

Trump doesn't have to get tax reform perfect for these 9 stocks to see a rally, Jefferies says

Package handlers unload boxes from a trailer to be sorted for final delivery at a FedEx Corp
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images


After the Republican health-care reform effort failed, some investors are worried about the prospects for the rest of President Donald Trump's economic agenda. In fact, the S&P 500 turned lower during Wednesday trading in part because House Speaker Paul Ryan said tax reform may take longer than the Obamacare replacement effort.

But Jefferies told clients corporate tax reform has a large margin for error and there are companies that will still significantly benefit even if a smaller tax cut plan is implemented.

"Many point to the postelection rally as evidence that market expectations are high for tax reform, but certain data challenges that view. We detail 40 stocks that Jefferies analysts believe are likely to benefit from even a slimmed-down tax package. When all you're expecting is soggy bread with cheese, it's not that hard to be positively surprised," Jefferies' research team wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

The analysts said the current Republican and Trump plans to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent or 20 percent from 35 percent will be difficult to pass due to controversy over the border adjusted tax.

"Still, the political importance of getting something done after the health-care failure is perhaps even higher; now is a unique time given Republican majorities, so there's still a good argument for some sort of reform," the report said.

As a result, Jefferies analysts looked for the companies that will benefit most from a more modest corporate tax rate reduction to 25 percent, the removal of some deductions and no border adjusted tax.

"Even a 25 percent rate would be a significant positive for many companies ... the market doesn't seem to be pricing in a high likelihood of successful reform," the note said.

Here are nine Jefferies buy-rated stocks that made the recommended list.