Stocks to buy

We’re rolling into the sixth month of 2023, so your portfolio is nearly ready for its mid-year checkup. If you still have some work to do, then perhaps it’s time to add some A-rated stocks to buy.

You want your portfolio to be doing better than the market and better than an index fund could do. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 1% for the year, the S&P 500 gained 10% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite is off to the races, up 25% since Jan. 1.

If you’re lagging your benchmark, I suggest using the Portfolio Grader as a guide to find some stocks to buy that could help push you over your mid-year goal.

The Portfolio Grader is a free tool that uses metrics like momentum, stock performance, earnings history and analyst opinions to evaluate equities.

The Portfolio Grader assigns each stock an “A” through an “F” grade. You want to be looking at the A-rated stocks to buy if you want to add a new name to your holdings.

Here are seven A-rated stocks to buy now.

Ferrari (RACE)

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Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) may not be the first of the automotive stocks to buy you think of, and it’s not the biggest. But if you’re looking strictly at the returns and potential, Ferrari stock is almost as flashy as the company’s high-performance vehicles.

Ferrari, the Italian maker of sports cars and supercars, looks like a superstock this year. RACE stock is up to $290 per share, rising 40% in 2023. It released its new high-performance car, the Roma Spider, in the first quarter, adding to a 10% increase in overall shipments.

Earnings for the first quarter were $1.43 billion, or 20% better than a year ago and more than the $1.38 billion analysts expected. Earnings per share were $1.62, or 12 cents better than the Street expected.

RACE stock is undoubtedly off to the races. It has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Oracle (ORCL)

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Dating back to 1977, you could almost consider Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) a legacy computing company. Oracle is still relevant, though, and provides cloud services, software development tools, data management, business applications and more.

The cloud business is particularly profitable, with Oracle posting $4.1 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter ending in February. That’s a gain of 45% from a year ago.

Some of that is inflated because Oracle bought healthcare software company Cerner last year for $28.3 billion. If you take Cerner’s numbers out, Oracle still grew 28% yearly, which is more than solid.

Oracle currently offers a forward price-to-earnings ratio of only 17.3, and the stock is up 30% this year. It has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Starbucks (SBUX)

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Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world, making a nice profit in brewing premium coffees and selling them with a little flash and customer service (people love a good barista!).

And while the company and other restaurants and service industry companies took a hit during Covid-19, people have rediscovered their need for vanilla lattes, caramel Frappuccinos and other blended coffees.

Starbucks also makes it easy for customers. You can order online or through your mobile phone and pick up your drink at an appointed time with little to no waiting. It also maintains a rewards program with over 28 million members, providing billions in annual recurring revenue.

Earnings for the first quarter were $8.72 billion, up 14.2% from a year ago and better than the $8.43 billion analysts expected. SBUX stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

First Solar (FSLR)

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Now that Washington settled the debt ceiling issue and has taken the threat of massive default off the table (at least until 2025), it’s time to look again at First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR).

The green energy company makes photovoltaic solar panels critical for adapting solar energy. And First Solar is also taking advantage of government subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act that encourages the nation to build out renewable energy.

First Solar also is ramping up production with its acquisition of Evolar, a European company that will help it develop next-generation PV technology.

Earnings for the first quarter were huge – an increase of 49.4% to $548.3 million.

I like First Solar here, even as the stock price is up by 38% already this year. FSLR stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Boeing (BA)

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Boeing (NYSE:BA) is one of the world’s biggest and most highly regarded aviation companies. It’s involved in all air travel components, including commercial jets, defense systems and rockets for space travel.

Boeing had some headwinds so far in 2023 with the supply chain. Even though demand for air travel has roughly returned to pre-pandemic levels, Boeing is still having some issues getting the parts it needs to make new jets.

However, Boeing says it plans to add a second production line to its plant in South Carolina, and is increasing production of the 787 Dreamliner from three jets to four.

Even with those headwinds, though, Boeing reported revenue of $17.92 billion in the first quarter, a 28% increase from a year ago. The stock is up 11% in 2023, and I expect better performance as production increases.

BA stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

MercadoLibre (MELI)

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Suppose you want to buy and sell on a consumer-to-consumer platform in Latin America. In that case, you’d likely turn to MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), which operates a tremendously successful platform that shipped more than 302 million items in the first quarter alone.

But if you want to profit from these kinds of sales, you don’t have to do it in Latin America. You can be in the U.S. and buy MELI stock.

MercadoLibre posted revenues of $3.04 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 30.6% from a year ago. Earnings per share were $3.97, compared to $1.30 in the same quarter a year ago. That’s a huge jump.

MercadoLibre said its shipping volume in the first quarter was up 18.9% from a year ago.

Looking at the long term, the company is expected to see earnings rise four times the estimated 2022 earnings by 2025. MELI stock is already up 50% in 2023 and has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Crocs (CROX)

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I’m not sure if Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) was ever supposed to be this big. The clog-like footwear was designed to be boating shoes, but people fell in love with the look and the casual comfort. It’s sometimes hard to go out on the streets without seeing someone in a pair – especially younger people.

Now Crocs expanded to make sandals and even boots. And it’s been a big winner. CROC stock is up more than 480% over the last five years, turning a tidy profit for people who got in early on the Crocs fad.

So far this year, shares are holding steady and showing a slight profit. But I still have plenty of confidence. Crocs reported $884.17 million in revenue in the first quarter, up 33.9% from a year ago. Crocs also beat expectations on revenue (analysts expected $857.76 million) and on EPS ($2.61 versus expectations of $2.15.

I think it’s time for a casual summer look. CROX stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in FSLR, BA and CROX. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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