Stocks to buy

7 Stocks to Buy Before the Holidays

The year 2022 is drawing to a close, ending what has been a brutal year for most investors. With nearly all the major indices around the world either in a bear market or hovering on the verge of one, most portfolios are ending the year deep in the red. Yet the holidays are a time for optimism and there is hope that these top stocks to buy will rebound in the New Year and that 2023 will be kinder to investors and their capital.

Fortunately, there is historical precedence for a rebound in the coming year. Markets tend to recover strongly in the year after a decline of 20% or more, according to industry data. Investors want to be prepared to take advantage of any upturn and position their portfolio for growth no matter what 2023 brings. With that in mind, we offer the following seven stocks to buy before the holidays.

MAT Mattel $16.39
JNJ Johnson & Johnson $175.92
MSFT Microsoft $241.56
DECK Deckers Outdoor $364.14
AMT American Tower $209.50
DKS Dick’s Sporting $109.79
PARA Paramount Global $16.71

Stocks to Buy: Mattel (MAT)

With toys a big part of year-end holidays. Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) is one of the top stocks to buy. The El Segundo, California-based company is the second-largest toy manufacturer in the world. Only the Lego Group in Denmark is bigger. Mattel is the brand behind some of the most iconic toys ever produced, from Barbie and Hot Wheels to American Girl and Bob the Builder. The toy sales that now stretch to more than 150 countries globally have led to nearly $6 billion in annual revenues at Mattel.

Plus, Mattel is increasingly branching out to the world of entertainment with a line of films based on its popular toys. Between 2023 and 2025, Mattel is producing movies based on Barbie, Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe, and even the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. The movies are expected to be a new lucrative revenue stream for Mattel. Over the past year, MAT stock has been pulled lower along with the rest of the market. As 2022 draws to a close, Mattel’s share price is down 23% at $16.68 a share. There’s no dividend, but a price-earnings (P/E) ratio below 10 is attractive.

Stocks to Buy: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

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Along with flu season, 2023 is seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 and other respiratory ailments. This has put a renewed spotlight on vaccine producers such as New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The pharma giant has forecast $3.5 billion in full-year 2022 sales of its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine. Sales are now ramping up with the onset of winter and the annual cold and flu season.

Johnson & Johnson also benefits from robust sales of several other medications used to treat diseases ranging from cancers to rheumatoid arthritis. While many other pharmaceutical companies also have blockbuster drug sales, Johnson & Johnson benefits from a stable of popular consumer products that include Tylenol, Listerine, Band-Aid, and Polysporin. JNJ stock is up in 2022, having risen 2% to trade at $174 a share. A P/E ratio of 24 is reasonable and a quarterly dividend payment of $1.13 a share is nice.

Stocks to Buy: Microsoft (MSFT)

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Seattle-based Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is another one of the most solid stocks to buy. Microsoft today is an increasingly diversified technology giant that analysts and investors remain bullish on despite the 2022 tech wreck. Video games and cloud computing increasingly make-up Microsoft’s business. And while its $68 billion acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) has run into some regulatory headwinds, the company remains profitable and has returned nearly 200% to shareholders over the past five years.

In 2022, MSFT stock has fallen 28% to $239 a share. However, the decline has more to do with poor investor sentiment toward the technology sector than with any structural or long-term issues at Microsoft itself. This remains a stock that still has a nearly $2 trillion market capitalization. The decline in the share price this year has brought its P/E ratio down to 25, and it pays a quarterly dividend of 68 cents, one of the few mega-cap tech stocks to share profits with stockholders. Wall Street analysts, including at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), continue to rate Microsoft’s stock a buy.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK)

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While Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK) is not a household name, the footwear it makes sure is. The Goleta, California-based company makes the popular Uggss brand of sheepskin slippers and shoes. It also manufactures the increasingly popular HOKA brand of running shoes. While little known to most people, Deckers Outdoor has been in business since 1973, and its footwear is sold in more than 50 countries, generating $2.5 billion in annual sales.

Uggs got a nice boost during the pandemic and that momentum has carried through the reopening in 2022. With high-profit margins and strong cash flow, many analysts continue to see strong growth potential in Deckers Outdoor, noting that with only 138 company-owned retail stores there is plenty of room for future expansion.

DECK stock is flat in 2022, down a slight 0.30% at $366 a share. Bank of America recently slapped a buy rating on Deckers Outdoor stock and a $425 per share price target, calling it a “high-quality stock with a compelling growth trajectory.” Bank of America’s price target is 16% higher than where the stock is trading as we close out 2022.

American Tower (AMT)

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Investors looking for exposure to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology should consider American Tower (NYSE:AMT). The real estate investment trust (REIT) operates the wireless communications infrastructure on which 5G networks run. The company is essential to the growth of 5G wireless with more than 200,000 communications sites worldwide. AMT stock is down 27% in 2022 but analysts see an upside ahead. The median price target on AMT is $245, nearly 20% higher than where shares currently trade.

AMT stock pays a decent quarterly dividend of $1.56 a share, which is good for a yield of 2.99%. The P/E ratio of 33 is a little high but not unreasonable for a tech stock of American Tower’s size. Beyond the U.S., American Tower’s business in Europe continues to grow at a strong rate due to partnerships with governments in countries such as Germany, Spain, and France. Long-term, American Tower’s share price should continue to grow alongside the expansion of 5G wireless services around the world.

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)

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Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) is the largest retailer of sporting goods in America. It’s the type of business and stock that perform well in good economic times and bad. Established in 1948, Dick’s today is a well-known and popular brand in every region of the U.S. Some investors view it as a hedge against inflation as parents are often likely to buy soccer cleats or football pads for their children even if prices rise.

This helps to account for the fact that DKS stock is only down 4% in 2022. At $110 a share, the stock has held up remarkably well in a tough market. The shares have certainly done better than many other retailers over the course of the last year. The company’s P/E ratio currently sits at 10, suggesting the stock is undervalued relative to many of its peers. And it pays a healthy quarterly dividend of 49 cents a share. While there are some concerns about high inventory levels at Dick’s Sporting Goods, the company should be able to weather that issue and any others that arise in 2023, making this a definite stock to buy before the holidays.

Paramount Global (PARA)

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Legendary investor Warren Buffett has added several new stocks to his portfolio amid this year’s market selloff, and one of his newest additions has been entertainment giant Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA). Over the course of 2022, Buffett has purchased more than 90 million shares of PARA stock, bringing his investment to $1.54 billion. The Oracle of Omaha has continued buying Paramount Global stock as the price has declined and now owns 10% of the company.

Formerly known as “ViacomCBS,” Paramount Global owns a number of impressive assets, including the Paramount film studio and the CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central television networks. It also owns the streaming service Paramount+. The film studio had a banner year in 2022, producing major box office hits such as Top Gun: Maverick, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and The Lost City.

Sadly, PARA stock slumped 48% in 2022 to trade at $16 a share. The stock’s P/E ratio is currently 3.70, making it look woefully undervalued when compared to the average P/E of 16 among companies listed on the S&P 500 index. Take a cue from Warren Buffett and buy shares of this entertainment juggernaut while they’re on sale.

Disclosure: On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in MSFT and MS. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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