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9 shares that Fools have been buying!

BUY AND HOLD spelled in letters on top of a pile of books. Alongside is a piggy bank in glasses. Buy and hold is a popular long term stock and shares strategy.
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Investing alongside you, fellow Foolish investors, here’s a selection of listed companies that some of our contributors have been buying shares in across the past month!

Anglo American

What it does: Anglo American is a global mining company, with operations in 15 countries.

By Andrew Mackie. The Anglo American (LSE: AAL) share price saw some big swings throughout 2022. However, this is part of the course when investing in mining stocks.

Although the near-term economic outlook might weigh down on its share price, in the medium and long term I am very bullish on the company prospects. Decarbonisation of the world’s energy and transport system is extremely metal- and minerals-intensive.

As the pace of the transition accelerates throughout this decade, the demand for many of its metals will soar. However, what is not been currently reflected in the prices of these metals is supply-side constraints. Years of under investment across huge swathes of the natural resources sector means that we are likely to face a supply cliff.

Exacerbating the problem is a skills gap in the mining space. Finding suitably qualified exploration geologists is becoming increasingly difficult due to a range of factors. It’s little wonder, therefore, that I bought some of it shares for my portfolio last month.

Andrew Mackie owns shares in Anglo American.

Apple

What it does: The company designs and manufactures consumer electronic devices. Its most popular product is the iPhone.

By Stephen Wright. I don’t feel the need to overcomplicate things right now. That’s why I’ve been buying Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares.

The company has all the features I look for in a stock to invest in. It’s easy to understand, it produces a lot of cash, and it doesn’t take much ongoing investment to run.

Apple has two sources of revenue. Its hardware operations involve selling products to consumers and its services business makes money by taking a cut of sales from its App store.

The business is also well protected from competition. When users join Apple’s ecosystem by buying its products, it becomes difficult to switch.

With the stock down 37% over the last 12 months, I think this is a great time to be investing in Apple shares. That’s why I’ve been buying the stock for my portfolio.

Stephen Wright owns shares in Apple.

Argentex

What it does: Argentex offers foreign exchange services to corporate clients and individuals, providing bespoke advice and strategies.

By Roland Head. Argentex (LSE: AGFX) issued a trading statement upgrading its profit guidance for 2022 on 12 December. Shortly after this, I bought the shares.

I’d been watching this small cap for a while, as it looked cheap to me for a company with 25%+ operating margins and plenty of cash. Other attractions included owner management (the CEO owns 12%) and a useful dividend.

However, growth faltered in 2021. I was keen to see if Argentex could return to growth before committing my own funds.

December’s update reassured me that the company’s investment in new technology and recruitment is starting to deliver results. Profits rose by 26% during the first half of last year. I think there’s more to come.

One caveat is that this is a competitive sector. There’s no guarantee that Argentex will be a long-term winner.

Right now, though, I think the shares look reasonably priced with good growth potential.

Roland Head owns shares in Argentex.

Ashtead

What it does: Ashtead is an international construction equipment rental company that operates in the US, the UK, and Canada.

By Edward Sheldon, CFA. I bought Ashtead (LSE: AHT) shares for several reasons.

The main reason is that I expect the company to benefit from supply chain onshoring in the US. Right now, the US is undergoing a huge reshoring initiative to eliminate supply chain vulnerabilities. This is likely to create high demand for construction equipment in the years ahead.

Another reason is that I was impressed with the company’s interim results. For the half year to 31 October, Ashtead delivered revenue growth of 26%. On the back of these strong H1 results, it raised its guidance for the year and lifted its interim dividend by 20%.

Finally, the valuation looked reasonable to me. When I bought the shares, the P/E ratio was around 16.5.

As for the risks here, one I’ll be keeping an eye on is the state of the US economy. If the US was to fall into a deep recession and construction came to a halt, Ashtead could suffer.

I think there’s a decent chance this stock can deliver solid returns over the medium to long term, however.

Edward Sheldon owns shares in Ashtead 

Games Workshop

What it does: Games Workshop designs, manufactures, and sells fantasy miniatures for its Warhammer tabletop gaming experience.

By Zaven Boyrazian. Games Workshop is the mastermind behind the world’s most popular tabletop franchise, Warhammer. It’s undoubtedly a consumer-discretionary business. Yet, despite the pressure from rising inflation and a fall in consumer spending, revenue is proving remarkably resistant.

Looking at the latest trading update, pre-tax profits are expected to fall by around 6% versus 2021. However, upon closer inspection, this decline originates from the timing of various licensing contracts rather than a drop in product demand. In other words, core cash flow is still expanding. So much so that management has just raised dividends by a whopping 68%!

Robust fundamentals combined with a depressed share price often breed buying opportunities. And while 2023 may be a tough year if the UK falls into a deep recession, this business’s long-term potential remains immense. At least, that’s what I think. And it’s why I added this business to my portfolio in December.

Zaven Boyrazian owns shares in Games Workshop.

Li Auto

What it does: Li Auto is a leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer founded in 2015 and headquartered in Beijing.

By Dr James Fox. I have limited exposure to growth stocks, so when I buy one, it must be for a very good reason.

Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) is among the most promising electric vehicle (EV) outfits. EVs are clearly part of the future, but my interest in Li starts with its attractive valuation.

The Beijing-based firm is cheaper than its US peers according to a host of metrics, and it may be the first Chinese EV company to turn a profit this year.

China’s zero-Covid policy caused problems for Li and its peers in 2022. Lockdowns and restrictions put the supply chain under pressure and demand started to wane.

However, early data suggests the firm outperformed its peers in the latter half of 2022 and should achieve faster top line expansion and positive normalized earnings in 2023.

I’m predicting a stellar year for the firm, buoyed on China’s reopening and the outstandingly impressive L9 SUV – check it out.

James Fox owns shares in Li Auto.

Moderna

What it does: Moderna is an American biotechnology company that focuses on RNA therapeutics.

By John Choong. Although Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has come substantially off its pandemic highs, I believe its current levels are rather lucrative.

Its main revenue stream of Covid vaccines may be waning, which has caused many analysts alike to downgrade the stock. However, its pipeline of shots for flu and respiratory syncytial viruses could provide some support to its top and bottom lines in the short to medium term.

What I’m invested in, though, is its venture into vaccine treatments for cancer. The company’s most recent phase two trials for skin cancer showed plenty of promise and is set to move to phase three later this year. If successful, analysts are suggesting that Moderna could end up becoming a money-spinner as its cancer vaccine could generate up to $1bn in revenue a year, and $5bn if applications go beyond melanoma.

So, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 6.6, price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.1, and enterprise value-to-EBITDA of 4.4, I’ve been snapping up its shares.

John Choong has positions in Moderna.

Rightmove

What it does: Rightmove operates the UK’s most popular online property portal and largest property marketplace.

By Ben McPoland. Rightmove (LSE:RMV) shares are down 25% over the last 12 months. That’s understandable given the fact that higher interest rates have made mortgages more expensive and reduced demand in the housing market. These risks could send the stock down further over the short-to-medium term.

However, I’m taking a longer view with my purchase of Rightmove stock. This is a company that commands an 84% share of its market. It is extremely profitable, with an asset-light business model generating an operating margin above 73%.

Righmove also has no significant debt, which is important as interest rates march higher. Plus, the stock now has a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 22. That’s the cheapest it’s been in many years.

I don’t see people’s desire to hunt down their dream home changing. And I expect online property browsing to only increase in the future, benefiting the company’s platform for many more years.

Ben McPoland owns shares in Rightmove

Vodafone

What it does: Vodafone operates telecoms networks, and provides services such as mobile and broadband across Europe and Africa.

By Christopher Ruane. I had been thinking about buying shares in telecoms giant Vodafone (LSE: VOD) for a while. So what made me finally decide to make a move?

The underlying investment case has not really changed, in my view. As a leading operator in many markets across Europe and Africa, Vodafone is poised to benefit from ongoing growth in demand for services like broadband and mobile data. Set against that is the company’s large debt pile, which risks eating into the firm’s profitability.

What has changed, though, is the share price. After the shares fell more than a fifth in the past year, Vodafone now offers a dividend yield of over 8%. There are some other FTSE 100 companies offering such a high yield – but not many.

With a strong brand, large customer base and resilient demand for telecoms services, I am hoping that Vodafone will be a rewarding investment for me.

Christopher Ruane owns shares in Vodafone.

The post 9 shares that Fools have been buying! appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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The Motley Fool UK has recommended Apple, Games Workshop Group Plc, Rightmove Plc, and Vodafone Group Public. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Motley Fool UK 2023