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12 Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now

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In this article, we will discuss the 12 Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now. You can skip our outlook of the equity market and go directly to the 5 Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now.

The equities markets around the world have been in a slump in 2022 over concerns of an impending recession and rising interest rates. The S&P 500 index is down 20% YTD, reflecting the challenging environment both companies and investors had to face in 2022. The current market environment is difficult for individual investors who favor stock-picking as picking and choosing a stock in this market is extremely difficult as the market heads south. This is where the benefits of having your funds invested with a hedge fund or following the positions of large successful hedge funds can reap the rewards for investors.

As the name suggests, hedge funds are “hedged” against several risks, which an individual investor might not consider or remain oblivious to. Most hedge funds perform better in bear markets than in bull markets. Hedge funds employ different strategies to protect the value of the assets under management and provide returns to investors. One of the most popular kinds of hedge funds across the globe is the long-short equity fund. The total asset size of long-short equity funds in the world is estimated to be $683 billion. However, investors have been taking money out of these long-short equity funds over the past few years. In 2022 till August, $25 billion have been taken out by investors from long-short equity funds.

Funds that employ various strategies across different asset classes, often called “multi-strategy funds,” are gaining popularity around the world. The difference in asset-under-management of long-short equity funds and multi-strategy funds has come down to approximately $27 billion from $235 billion in 2021. Multi-strategy funds can improve investors’ access to new investment methods, reducing the need for time-consuming due diligence. Similarly, employing a single strategy, especially during periods of high volatility, is not wise, which is why multi-strategy hedge funds are gaining popularity.

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Why Hedge Funds Win and Why Should We Pay Attention to Their Stock Picks?

A latest report by Bloomberg cements the argument which says that major hedge funds have an edge in the market over average investors due to the sheer scale of the money, resources and talent these institutions have. The report says that despite the economic volatility, giants in the $4 trillion hedge fund industry were able to post double-digit gains. These notable names include Citadel and Millennium Management.

Bloomberg specifically mentioned the role resources play in this performance:

“Giants from Citadel to Millennium Management produced double-digit gains as their army of traders once again earned steady returns.”

The report also noted that a whopping 95% of the capital allocated to multi-strategy investment firms posted gains in 2022 through September, while nine in every 10 dollars invested in macro hedge funds gained 23.7% on average in the same period. Hedge funds on average lost 9% in this period, while the S&P index fell 25%.

Given this outperformance, in this article, we will focus on the top picks of over 900 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey. These stocks are the most popular among the elite hedge funds, as of the end of the third quarter.

Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now According to Hedge Funds

12. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 115

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is a streaming video-on-demand platform that provides original and third-party digital video content to consumers. It is the largest subscription-based SVOD platform, with over 220 million subscribers.

On December 9, 2022, John Blackledge, an analyst at Cowen, increased his price target on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to $405 while keeping an Outperform rating on the stock. The analyst named the company as his top large-cap pick for 2023.

As per Insider Monkey’s database, 115 hedge funds remained bullish on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) at the end of the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management had the biggest stake in the company at the end of the third quarter.

Harding Loevner, an asset management company, mentioned Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) in its third-quarter 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) mustered a modest recovery as the market Allocation Effect: 0.3 mulled the potential of its new lower-priced ad-supported subscription model to drive revenue growth and reduce its dependency on continued heavy investment in content to attract and retain viewers.

11. salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 117

Founded in 1999, salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) is a cloud-based company that provides software solutions focused on customer relationship management, customer services, sales, application development, marketing automation, and analytics.

On December 5, 2022, Phil Winslow, an analyst at Credit Suisse, reduced his price target on salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) to $225 while keeping an Outperform rating on the stock. According to the analyst, the company’s Q3 results were impressive, and the management raised its 2023 operating margin guidance to 20.7% from prior guidance of 20.4%, which is a positive sign.

According to Insider Monkey’s database, 117 hedge funds held shares of the company at the end of the third quarter of 2022. Fisher Asset Management was the most bullish fund on the company’s stock at the end of Q3 2022.

Aristotle Atlantic Partners, LLC, an investment advisor, mentioned salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) in its third-quarter 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:

We sold Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) to reduce our weighting in the Information Technology sector. Salesforce held their investor day, and the company reiterated their organic Fiscal Year 2026 revenue target of $50 billion. This target remains more back-end loaded based on current slowing macroeconomic conditions and requires new annual contract growth well ahead of what the company has been averaging for the past few years. We are skeptical that the company will be able to achieve this revenue target organically and see Merger & Acquisitions (M&A) being key to achieving the growth. While we believe Salesforce has shown good success in growing its non-CRM clouds, we do see more competitive pressures emerging for the Marketing and Customer Service Clouds, specifically on the pricing side during a global economic slowdown.

10. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 126

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) is an American multinational company that operates an online payment system and provides its services to consumers and merchants. The company’s user count reached 426 million by the end of 2021, which also includes 34 million merchant accounts. Some other payment platforms like Venmo and Xoom also belong to PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL).

On November 7, 2022, James Fotheringham, an analyst at BMO Capital, reduced his price target on PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) to $109 while keeping an Outperform rating on the stock. The analyst is positive about the company’s long-term prospects as it continues to gain e-commerce volumes, continued frequency of usage by active accounts, and margin expansion via enhanced cost discipline.

As per Insider Monkey’s database, 126 hedge funds remained bullish on PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) at the end of Q3 2022. Fisher Asset Management came out to be the biggest holder of the company’s shares at the end of the quarter.

9. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 140

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is an American multinational tech company that designs consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, TV boxes, etc. It also provides several software-based services such as Apple Music, iCloud, Apple TV+, Apple Care, Apple Pay, etc. The majority of the company’s revenue is generated through its smartphones (iPhones).

On December 14, 2022, Amit Daryanani, an analyst at Evercore ISI, reiterated his price target on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at $190 while keeping an Outperform rating on the stock. The analyst believes that the company will comply with regulatory requirements in the EU.

At the end of Q3 2022, 140 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s database were long on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the end of the quarter. Berkshire Hathaway remained the leading stakeholder of the company at the end of Q3 2022.

In its Q2 2022 investor letter, Alger Capital, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a leading technology provider in telecommunications. computing and services. Apple’s iOS operating system is the company’s unique intellectual property and competitive strength. This software drives extremely tight engagement with consumers and enterprises. The engagement is fostering the growing purchase of high-margin services like music, apps, and apple pay. Apple’s shares detracted from performance as management lowered its guidance for the second quarter due to headwinds from the war in Ukraine, adverse foreign currency shifts, and dampened consumer demand associated with the coronavirus in China. Additionally, many investors were concerned that lockdowns implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19 would impact the production of apple products, however, the manufacturing facilities have resumed activity.

8. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 142

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) is a company that offers mobility as a service. The services offered by the company include ride-hailing, food, package delivery, couriers, etc. The company runs its operations in more than 63 countries and has over 110 million users. Almost 70% of the total revenue is generated through ride-sharing, while 20% comes from food delivery.

The company’s Q3 revenue amounted to $8.34 billion, beating market expectations by $284.22 million. The company’s Normalized EPS stood at $0.21, missing market expectations by $0.27. The CEO, while commenting on results, stated that even with foreign exchange and inflationary headwinds impacting businesses globally, the company delivered better than expected in the quarter due to several factors, such as strong demand and better marketplace efficiency.

As per Insider Monkey’s database, 142 hedge funds had stakes in Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) at the end of the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management remained the leading stakeholder in the company at the end of Q3 2022.

Artisan Partners made the following comment about Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

During the quarter, we began new GardenSM campaigns in Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) and Shopify. In July, we initiated our position in Uber, a leader in global ride-hailing and online food delivery. We believe the company is well positioned to benefit from strong secular tailwinds in both of its core businesses. Earlier this year, management outlined a plan at its investor day to achieve $4 billion of free cash flow by 2024, an encouraging commitment given investors have maligned the company for years of being unprofitable. We witnessed solid progress toward achieving this goal in the company’s most recent earnings results, where it beat expectations for the quarter on both fronts and delivered positive FCF for the first time. The company also indicated it isn’t seeing any evidence of slowing demand. We recognize the execution risk associated with Uber achieving its long-term targets, and the path likely won’t be linear, which is why we are keeping our position size modest until we see signs of continued operational momentum in the coming quarters.

7. Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 146

Founded in 1966, Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) is the second-largest payment processor in the world. In 2021, Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) processed approximately $6 trillion in transactions. The company operates in more than 200 countries and can process transactions in more than 150 currencies.

On October 28, 2022, Ashwin Shirvaikar, an analyst at Citi, reduced his price target on Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) to $400 while keeping a Buy rating on the stock. According to the analyst, the company still has room for growth even though its Q4 expense guidance left the investors puzzled.

146 hedge funds are currently bullish on Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) as per Insider Monkey’s database. Akre Capital Management had the leading stake in the company at the end of Q3 2022.

Here is what Stewart Asset Management has to say about Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

We invest in businesses with strong, resilient earnings growth which are less cyclical. In the pandemic recession of 2020, the aggregate earnings of the portfolios we manage did not decline year-over-year, and in fact grew, albeit modestly. Looking at the Great Recession which began at year-end 2007 and lasted to mid-year 2009 is helpful too. Our four largest current holdings in the portfolio weathered that period well. During this same period, Mastercard’s (NYSE:MA) earnings almost tripled.

6. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 156

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a multinational conglomerate holding company. The company generated $257.6 billion in sales in 2021.

On November 30, 2022, Christophe Cherblanc, an analyst at Societe Generale, reduced his price target on Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) to $132 while keeping a Buy rating on the stock. According to the analyst Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) faces limited short-term cyclical headwinds being a large corporation with revenues of $280 billion. ­

As per Insider Monkey’s database, 156 hedge funds owned stakes in Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) at the end of the third quarter.

Here is what Stewart Asset Management has to say about Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

We invest in businesses with strong, resilient earnings growth which are less cyclical. In the pandemic recession of 2020, the aggregate earnings of the portfolios we manage did not decline year-over-year, and in fact grew, albeit modestly. Looking at the Great Recession which began at year-end 2007 and lasted to mid-year 2009 is helpful too. Our four largest current holdings in the portfolio weathered that period well. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), then called Google, reported earnings that doubled from 2007 to 2010.

Click to continue reading and 5 Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now.

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Disclosure: None. 12 Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 2, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Alphabet GOOGL, Tesla TSLA, Shopify SHOP, Amazon AMZN and Palo Alto Networks PANW.

Which of These Stocks Has Been the Best Buy, Post-Split?

Stock splits have been a regular occurrence in the market over the last several years, with many companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares and knock down barriers for potential investors.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a split doesn’t directly impact a company’s financial standing or performance.

In 2022, several companies performed splits, including Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto Networks. Below is a chart illustrating the performance of all five stocks over the last year, with the S&P 500 blended in as a benchmark.

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As we can see, PANW shares have been the best performers over the last year, the only to outperform the general market.

However, which has turned in a better performance post-split? Let’s take a closer look.

Tesla

We’re all familiar with Tesla, which has revolutionized the EV (electric vehicle) industry. It’s been one of the best-performing stocks over the last decade, quickly becoming a favorite among investors.

Earlier in June of 2022, the mega-popular EV manufacturer announced that its board approved a three-for-one stock split; shares began trading on a split-adjusted basis on August 25th, 2022.

Since the split, Tesla shares have lost roughly 40% in value, widely underperforming relative to the S&P 500.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers, and government entities worldwide.

PANW’s three-for-one stock split in mid-September seemingly flew under the radar. The company’s shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on September 14th, 2022.

Following the split, PANW shares have struggled to gain traction, down roughly 15% compared to the S&P 500’s 3.3% gain.

Shopify

Shopify provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based, multi-channel e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

SHOP shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 29th, 2022; the company performed a 10-for-1 split.

Impressively, Shopify shares have soared for a 50% gain since the split, crushing the general market’s performance.

Alphabet

Alphabet has evolved from primarily being a search engine into a company with operations in cloud computing, ad-based video and music streaming, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Last February, the tech titan announced a 20-for-1 split, and investors cheered on the news – GOOGL shares climbed 7% the day following the announcement. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on July 18th, 2022.

Alphabet shares have sailed through challenging waters since the split, down 10% and lagging behind the S&P 500.

Amazon

Amazon has evolved into an e-commerce giant with global operations. The company also enjoys a dominant position within the cloud computing space with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operations.

AMZN’s 20-for-1 split was a bit of a surprise, as it was the company’s first split since 1999. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 6th, 2022.

Following the split, Amazon shares have lost roughly 18% in value, well off the general market’s performance.

Bottom Line

Stock splits are typically exciting announcements that investors can receive, with companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares.

Interestingly enough, only Shopify shares reside in the green post-split of the five listed.

Why Haven’t You Looked at Zacks’ Top Stocks?

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Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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$13 million investment in Campbellford Memorial Hospital

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The Campbellford Memorial Hospital will be receiving a $13 million investment from the Ontario Government to address infrastructure concerns.

The announcement was made at the hospital by Northumberland—Peterborough South MPP David Piccini.

The $13 million is broken down as follows:

  • $9,639,900 will be going to CMH as one-time capital funding to address the HVAC and generator
  • $1,874,929 for reimbursement of CMH’s COVID-19-related capital expenses
  • $771,797 in COVID-19 incremental operating funding
  • up to $600,000 in one-time funding to support the hospital’s in-year financial and operating pressures
  • $163,600 in pandemic prevention and containment funding
  • $81,132 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund
  • $46,884 in health human resources funding.

Interim President and CEO Eric Hanna welcomed the news, saying much needs to be done about the HVAC and generator.

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At the announcement, Hanna spoke of the issues with the generator.

“I’ve got the wee little generator up at the lake and then I’m thinking well, everything should be going well at the hospital,” Hanna told the audience in attendance.

“You get a call from the person in charge who says, ‘Guess what Eric? Generator didn’t start. Oh, so what does that mean? There’s no power in the hospital.’  That’s happened a couple of times in the past year and the generator is over 30 years old.”

Hanna says the solution was not as easy as replacing the generator.

“You can go buy the generator and that may be about a million dollars. But then when we found out afterwards, we came to hook up the new generator to the electrical distribution system and said it won’t work with that because your electrical distribution system is 1956. You can’t plug this generator into that. So now we’re putting close to $5 million into a whole electrical distribution system so the generator will work. It’s part of that ongoing thing and that’s why these costs continue to go up.”

The HVAC system was also something addressed by Hanna.

“It’s a contract close to $7 million to replace that. This wing, for example. There’s no fresh air in this wing. It hasn’t worked in here for 15 years. So now this is administrative areas and the concern was that in some of the patient carriers, it wasn’t working either.  So – having those discussions with David (Piccini) and saying what we have to do to correct this.”

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Chile’s Enap Set to Slash Debt Burden That Weighed on Investment

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(Bloomberg) — Enap, Chile’s state oil and gas company, plans to use near-record earnings to slash its debt burden, while increasing investment in its refineries and in exploration and production.

The company aims to reduce its debt load to about $3 billion “medium term” from the current $4.3 billion, Chief Executive Officer Julio Friedmann said in an interview. Plans include a bond sale in the first half of this year to refinance some securities.

The improved financial position — with 2022 profit surging to $575 million — comes after Enap’s oil and gas operations in Egypt, Ecuador and Argentina got a boost from high crude prices, while healthy international refining margins benefited plants in Chile. Those trends are expected to extend into this year and next, enabling the company to pre-pay some short-term obligations. About half of the current debt burden matures in the next three years.

“We are going to issue bonds,” the MIT-trained executive said Wednesday from the Aconcagua refinery in central Chile. “We are closely evaluating the local and international markets.”

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At the same time, Friedmann, who took the reins at Enap in November, plans to increase capital expenditure to about $700 million this year from $550 million last year.

The increase comes after underinvestment in the past few years because of Covid restrictions and the heavy debt load. Spending will focus on making treatment processes cleaner and upgrading infrastructure, as well as a more aggressive approach to increasing gas reserves in the far south of the country, he said.

Gas Markets

Enap plans to expand in both liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas markets in Chile, focusing on the wholesale business and eventually selling directly to large-scale consumers such as mines. Organizational changes to enable the expansion will be announced soon. There are no plans to enter the final distribution business, Friedmann said. The company wants to supply more gas to southern cities as a way of replacing dirtier fuels such as wood and diesel.

Enap and its partners are also preparing pipelines and a refinery near Concepcion to start receiving crude from Argentina’s Neuquen basin sometime this year in an arrangement that could supply as much as 30% of its needs.

While there’s plenty of potential do collaborate more with energy-rich Argentina, particularly in the Magallanes area, that would require greater long-term visibility on supplies from the neighboring country, Friedmann said.

He sees a role for Enap in the development of green hydrogen in Chile. It’s in talks with three companies to enable its facilities in Magallanes to be used to receive all the wind turbines, electrolyzers and other equipment that will be needed to make the clean fuel. Enap is also evaluating its own small pilot plants and will consider whether to take up options to enter other green hydrogen projects as an equity partner.

While the company will maintain its focus on meeting rising demand for traditional fuels, it anticipates new regulation that will require lower emissions. It’s also looking closely at clean-fuel options for aviation, Friedmann said.

(Adds clean fuel plans in last paragraph. I previous version corrected spelling of CEO’s surname.)

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