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11 Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now

In this article, we will take a detailed look at the 11 Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now. For a quick overview of such stocks, read our article 5 Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now.

Markets that were overjoyed a few weeks ago are now wavering as latest data shows inflation remains sticky and the Fed might not be ready to begin cutting interest rates before the summer of 2024.  In this environment experts are recommending holding on to big name stocks or large-cap companies that can weather economic storms and unexpected events in the market. Small-cap investors who were getting ready to see a rally amid hopes of rate cuts are expected to have a difficult time in 2024 until there's clarity and certainty around the Fed's next plan of action. On the other hand, large-cap stocks are continuing to see traction. A Wall Street Journal report cited Brent Lium, portfolio manager at Crossmark Global Investments, who said:

“When you get nervous, people tend to go to, and hold on to, the names that they know and think of as the biggest and the best."

On the other hand, long-term analysts believe sooner or later the Federal Reserve would begin cutting rates and earnings growth and economic strength will drive the S&P 500 higher near the end of 2024. Goldman Sachs recently increased its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 5,200, up from its previous estimate of 5,100. Goldman Sachs's David Kostin said he expects mega-cap stocks' earnings strengths, especially those of the Magnificent Seven group of stocks, to drive the S&P 500 profits in 2024.

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Methodology

For this article we scanned Insider Monkey's database of over 900 hedge funds and their holdings and picked 11 large-cap stocks with the highest number of hedge fund investors. These are big name stocks highly popular among smart money investors in 2024.Hedge funds’ top 10 consensus stock picks outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here).

Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now
Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now

11. Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 117

Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B) is one of the best big name stocks to buy right now according to smart money investors. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 117 hedge funds out of the 933 funds in Insider Monkey's database had stakes in Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B). The biggest stake in Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B) is owned by Michael Larson's Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust which owns a $7.1 billion stake in Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B).

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B (NYSE:BRK.B) recently posted its 13F filings for the fourth quarter of 2023. These filings show the firm dumped its entire stakes in DR Horton, Stoneco Ltd., Global Life and Markel Group.

10. Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 129

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) is in the spotlight after Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) announced its first ever share buyback program according to which it will repurchase up to $7 billion of its common stock.

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) has also given a three-year outlook during its latest investor day. For the first quarter of 2024, Uber expects gross bookings in the range of $37 billion to $38.5 billion, with adjusted EBITDA projected to be between $1.26 billion and $1.34 billion.

As of the end of the last quarter of 2023, 129 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER). The biggest stakeholder of Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) during this period was D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw which owns an $886 million stake in Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER).

RiverPark Advisors made the following comment about Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:

“Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER): UBER was the top contributor in the quarter following a better-than-expected 2Q23 earnings report and 3Q23 guidance. Gross bookings of $33.6 billion were up 16% year over year. Mobility gross bookings of $17 billion grew 25% over last year driven by a combination of product innovation and driver availability. Delivery gross bookings of $16 billion were up 12% from last year. 2Q Adjusted EBITDA of $916 million, up $552 million year over year, significantly beat Street estimates of $845 million and the company generated $1.1 billion of free cash flow. Management guided to continuing growth in 3Q Gross Bookings (17%-20% growth) and Adjusted EBITDA (of $975-1,025 million).

UBER remains the undisputed global leader in ride sharing, with a greater than 50% share in every major region in which it operates. The company is also a leader in food delivery, where it is number one or two in the more than 25 countries in which it operates. Moreover, after a history of losses, the company is now profitable, delivering expanding margins and substantial free cash flow. We view UBER as more than just ride sharing and food delivery, but also as a global mobility platform with the ability to sell to its 130 million users (by comparison, Amazon Prime has 200 million members) and penetrate new markets of on-demand services, such as package and grocery delivery, travel, and worker staffing for shift work. Given its $4.3 billion of unrestricted cash and $4.4 billion of investments, the company’s enterprise value of $95 billion equates to just over 20x next year’s estimated free cash flow.”

9. Salesforce Inc (NYSE:CRM)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 131

Salesforce Inc (NYSE:CRM) has been making waves ever since the generative AI revolution began. Salesforce Inc (NYSE:CRM) is integrating AI features with its CRM platform and other products and services.

Last month, BofA analyst Brad Sills added the stock to his top picks for 2024 list. The analyst praised Salesforce Inc's (NYSE:CRM) installed base of over 150,000 customers and said Salesforce had a competitive moat and more runway to continue growing at 15% and more organically in the years to come.

As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 131 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Salesforce Inc (NYSE:CRM), up from 122 funds in the previous quarter. This shows a spike in hedge fund sentiment for Salesforce Inc (NYSE:CRM).

Polen Focus Growth Strategy stated the following regarding Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“In the fourth quarter, the top relative and absolute contributors to the Portfolio’s performance were Netflix, ServiceNow, and Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM).

Salesforce has continued to grow its revenues at what we see as a healthy rate despite market concerns about the impact of the weaker macroeconomy on its business and penetration rates in its core CRM offering. Even its most mature and largest offerings, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, are still growing revenue at double-digit rates. In addition, management realized that their cost structure, especially in salespeople, had gotten too bloated. Over the past year and a half, the company has run a much more streamlined expense structure that has led to strong operating margin expansion and earnings growth. Importantly, we do not feel Salesforce has cut into its innovation or sales muscle through these cost cuts but has eliminated unnecessary excess fat from the organization.”

8. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 131

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be late to the AI party but it could become a formidable player in the industry as new reports suggest that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is getting ready to launch a generative AI tool for iOS developers. Citi in a latest note said Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming developer conference could act as an AI catalyst for the stock. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also reportedly working on launching new AI features for its next version of macOS, Apple Music and Spotlight search.

A total of 131 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023. The most notable stake in Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway which owns a $174 billion stake in Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Mairs & Power Growth Fund stated the following regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

“The Fund’s relative performance was negatively impacted by what we didn’t own as well. In particular, not holding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for most of the year cost the Fund more than 300bps (basis points) of performance. Apple may be the best-known company in the world and its seemingly ubiquitous iPhone holds a dominant share of the global cell phone market. Apple is even more dominant among Millennials and Gen Zers, which should lead to even greater market share as these cohorts age. This loyal user base should pay huge dividends for shareholders as Apple continues to monetize this ecosystem, especially as the company delves deeper into services, payments, and AI. We initiated a position in Apple during the fourth quarter and await a more attractive entry point to add to our position.”

7. Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 141

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) ranks seventh in our list of the best big name stocks to buy now. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2023,  141 hedge funds out of the 933 funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in the payments giant Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA).

Last month Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) posted fourth quarter results. Adjusted EPS in the period came in at $3.18, beating estimates by $0.10. Revenue in the quarter jumped 13% year over year to $6.5 billion, surpassing estimates by $20 million.

Ensemble Capital Management stated the following regarding Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) in its fourth quarter 2023 investor letter:

Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) (7.21% weight in the Fund): Payment companies are data companies. As we discussed last quarter in our write up of Mastercard, merchants can generate significant value from analyzing payment data to better understand their customers. Mastercard has long built AI-based products to enhance payment security and provide merchants with rich data analytics. In December, they rolled out Muse, a new online shopping companion that merchants who utilize certain Mastercard services can install on their own websites.

Muse seeks to replicate the instore experience of working with a salesclerk by allowing the customer to use natural language to browse products. Online shopping already works well if you know exactly what you are looking for, but Muse is striving to help customers find things to buy even when they aren’t sure what they are looking for.

Mastercard (7.21% weight in the Fund): In late October, Mastercard reported earnings that investors interpreted as pointing to a near term slowdown in payment growth. The stock fell 5.6% on the day. By the end of the next week, the stock had recovered its losses and went on to reach a new all time high on the last day of the year. But the 7.9% gain on the quarter slightly trailed the S&P 500.”

6. Visa Inc (NYSE:V)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 162

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) last month posted fiscal Q1 results. While EPS beat estimates, the stock slipped as Visa Inc's (NYSE:V) payment volumes came in lower than expected. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) also increased its guidance for expense growth for fiscal 2024. Despite this, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) remains one of the top big name stocks to buy and hold according to smart money investors Visa Inc (NYSE:V) shares have gained about 26% over the past one year. With years of consistent dividend increases and a resilient business, retail and institutional investors prefer to buy and hold the stock during troubled times.

A total of 162 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Visa Inc (NYSE:V).

In its October 2023 investor letter, Lakehouse Capital stated the following regarding Visa Inc. (NYSE:V):

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) reported a strong result with net revenue increasing 11% year-on-year to $8.6 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share increasing by 21% to $2.33. As has been the case for many years now, the scalable nature of the business allows for revenue growth to outpace its costs, which places the company in a good position to navigate through this inflationary period. The network continues to grow, with credentials and merchant locations up 7% and 17%, respectively. Cross-border travel-related spend also maintained its robust growth, increasing 26% year-on-year while Visa Direct reported 7.5 billion transactions, up 19% yearon-year, progressing on penetrating categories such as cross-border remittances. Altogether, we’re pleased with how the business is tracking and remain positive on Visa’s outlook.”

 

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now.

 

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Disclosure: None. 11 Best Big Name Stocks to Buy Right Now is originally published on Insider Monkey.