Many investors still follow the adage to “buy low and sell high.” It’s not a bad strategy. However, there’s another one that can work with the right stocks: Buy high and hold.
Some stocks remain great picks even after they’ve delivered huge gains. We only have to look at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway portfolio to find several examples. These Buffett stocks have soared over 50% — and they’re still no-brainer buys.
Amazon (AMZN 0.87%) stock has skyrocketed close to 90% since the beginning of 2023. While several factors were behind the big gain, the surging interest in generative AI played a big part in Amazon’s outsize returns.
Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its position in Amazon a little during the third quarter of 2023. However, the conglomerate’s stake still totals nearly $1.6 billion.
My take is that Buffett and Berkshire would have been better off buying more Amazon shares. Why? For one thing, the company’s profits continue to grow by leaps and bounds, thanks to a renewed focus on the bottom line.
More importantly, Amazon’s long-term prospects remain exceptionally strong. Organizations shifting their IT spending to the cloud (with the desire to build AI apps serving as key motivation) should provide a major tailwind for Amazon Web Services. There’s still plenty of room for Amazon’s e-commerce business to grow. The company also continues to expand into new markets.
2. D.R. Horton
Buffett didn’t buy many stocks in 2023. D.R. Horton (DHI -0.76%) stands out as a notable exception. It was one of three homebuilder stocks added to Berkshire’s portfolio in the second quarter last year.
D.R. Horton has been a big winner, jumping nearly 60% since the beginning of 2023. However, the stock has pulled back recently due to the company’s disappointing fiscal 2024 first-quarter update.
I’m not concerned, though. The U.S. has experienced a housing shortage for several years that hasn’t been addressed. D.R. Horton ranks as the largest homebuilder in the country based on volume, a spot it’s held for more than two decades. The company’s long-term prospects should be strong, thanks to the underlying market dynamics.
D.R. Horton could perform better than expected over the near term, too. The company’s full-year guidance for fiscal 2024 projects only modest revenue growth. However, the Federal Reserve has signaled that interest rate cuts could be on the way this year. If so, mortgage rates could also fall and provide an incentive for more Americans to buy new homes.
Lennar (LEN -0.50%) was one of the other homebuilder stocks Buffett bought last year. Like D.R. Horton, Lennar has turned out to be a good investment for the legendary investor. Since early 2023, the stock is up close to 65%.
The same factors that bode well for D.R. Horton should also help Lennar. The company expects to close on 80,000 new homes in its current fiscal year. Executive chairman and co-CEO Stuart Miller said in the company’s fiscal 2023 Q4 update in December that Lennar’s “strategy has positioned us particularly well as interest rates now seem likely to moderate in 2024.”
Even with its big gains over the last year or so, Lennar’s valuation looks attractive. The stock’s forward earnings multiple is under 10.5x.
Lennar also has a little something to offer for investors who like income. Its dividend currently yields 1.35%. With a payout ratio of less than 11%, it’s a pretty good bet that the company will increase its dividend in the future.
John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Keith Speights has positions in Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and Lennar. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.