Investors are barreling toward the end of 2023 – and whoever thought that the news slowed down during the holidays was dead wrong. Some of the biggest and best blue-chip stocks are making big moves this month.
And that really shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, blue-chip stocks represent companies that are at the top of their fields. These companies have a track record of doing well, regardless of economic headwinds that may befall competitors. They are blue chips because they constantly do things the right way.
That’s why blue-chip stocks won’t let you down. This is an ideal time to invest in blue chips because the stock market traditionally has its best returns in the fourth quarter. As investors reallocate their portfolios for the end of the year, blue-chip stocks are frequently in high demand.
We’ll use the Portfolio Grader to look at some of the best blue-chip stocks on the market. You can’t go wrong with any of these names. Or, you can hold several to diversify your portfolio.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is one of the most interesting companies right now. The software giant was already a leader in the generative artificial intelligence space before it seized on turmoil at OpenAI and turned it to its advantage.
OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, ousted CEO Sam Altman over the weekend in a surprise move. And Microsoft, which had invested $13 billion in OpenAI, made a move to snatch up Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, announcing they would head up Microsoft’s own AI efforts.
Even though Altman eventually returned to OpenAI following an employee revolt at that company and an all-new board taking power, I like Microsoft’s aggressiveness. And as it has a great relationship with Altman, it will continue to capitalize on that relationship as it continues its partnership and builds out its AI products.
Microsoft also added a series of AI tools to its Bing, Azure and other products. It also created its first “homegrown” AI “chip and cloud-computing processor,” which is being tested on Microsoft’s Bing and Office AI products.
These are the kinds of moves that ensure that Microsoft will remain a blue-chip stock for a long time to come. MSFT stock gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has been making all the right moves this year as well and that’s resulted in some incredible stock performance. NVDA stock is up 240% this year as the company’s high-powered chips have been in high demand from companies that need them to run generative AI applications.
The wins kept coming in the third quarter. Earnings results announced Tuesday showed Nvidia brought in an incredible $18.12 billion in revenue, up 206% from a year ago. Earnings per share of $4.02 are more than 6 times the earnings from a year ago, and 49% better than the previous quarter.
The company’s revenue growth is nearly ridiculous. And there’s more to come. Nvidia plans to release new AI chips for the Chinese market, designed to meet export standards from the U.S. while still providing high performance.
Those are blue-chip moves. NVDA stock gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) operates a customer relationship platform that helps businesses manage their relationships with customers, with tools that support sales, marketing and customer support teams.
As a cloud-based service, Salesforce automates workflows, manage leads and manage customer data. It’s also accessible to customers on any web-accessible device.
Its primary product, Einstein was launched in 2016, and this year Salesforce created new Einstein products that incorporate the power of generative artificial intelligence.
Earnings in the second quarter of fiscal 2024 (ending July 31) included revenue of $8.6 billion, an increase of 11% from a year ago. Those results were strong enough that Salesforce increased its full-year FY2024 revenue guidance to a range of $34.7 billion and $34.8 billion.
CRM stock is up 69% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
When you look at computing stocks, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as blue-chip as Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE). The software development company has many applications that let people make PDF documents, create and design documents, edit audio and video, and more.
Adobe has a generative AI product in Adobe Firefly, which allows users to describe what an image should look like and then have Adobe create it for them.
It also offers Adobe Sensei, which is a generative AI product used in the Adobe Experience Cloud to help customers reach overlooked audiences and build new advertising campaigns.
Revenue in the third quarter was $4.89 billion, setting a company record. Adobe also issued Q4 guidance for revenue in the range of $4.975 billion to $5.025 billion.
ADBE stock is up 81% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) is a Texas-based computer technology company that provides cloud computing, applications, platforms and cloud software. The company also sells servers and operating systems.
It’s working with Microsoft to make its cloud services more accessible to customers. Its Oracle Database@Azure project gives customers access to Oracle database services that are running on Oracle’s cloud infrastructure and deployed in Microsoft Azure databases.
The partnership merges Microsoft and Oracle’s cloud environments and is designed to help users migrate to cloud services while using Microsoft’s AI services.
Earnings for the company’s fiscal first quarter of 2024 included revenue of $12.5 billion, up 8% from a year ago. Adjusted EPS was up by 14% from a year ago.
ORCL stock is up 42% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) remains a best-in-class blue-chip shipping stock, recovering nicely from its 2022 lows to gain 47% this year.
I also like the fact that FedEx is taking steps to keep the profits coming in. Labor costs are higher, and inflation has been up this year, making the cost of business more expensive.
FedEx announced rate increases of 5.9% to its FedEx Express, Ground and Home Delivery services, effective at the beginning of 2024.
FedEx is also gearing up for its peak shipping season for the holidays. This will be a big month for FedEx, and the company has peak demand surcharges to accommodate last-minute customers’ shipping needs.
Earnings for the company’s fiscal first quarter of 2024 were down slightly from a year ago at $21.7 billion, but the company increased profits from $1.19 billion to $1.49 billion through reduced operating expenses.
FDX reported revenue of $22.8 billion in the second quarter of 2023, so I’ll be looking to see if it can top that number for this holiday season. FDX has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
Dell Technologies (DELL)
Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) makes laptop and desktop computers, workstations, notebooks and mobile devices. It also has a substantial business in the enterprise servers and storage business space, generating $8.4 billion in revenue in the second quarter of fiscal 2024.
Dell is also digging into the AI world with its generative AI platform, jointly engineered with Nvidia, to help customers generate more accurate predictions and decisions with their data.
As global IT spending is projected to grow from $4.7 trillion in 2022 to $6.2 trillion in 2027, Dell is in a prime position to continue its best-in-class status as a commercial hardware and cloud services provider.
DELL stock is up 82% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.
On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had long positions in NVDA and FDX. He did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article had a long position in NVDA. The staff member did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.