Lots of holiday movies have already begun showing up on broadcast and streaming TV, with more to come. My personal favorite is Christmas Vacation. The lines from Cousin Eddie (played by Randy Quaid) are classic. One especially comes to mind: "Clark, that's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year."
Cousin Eddie was referring to a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month club. However, I think there are even better gifts that keep on giving the whole year for investors to consider as 2023 comes to a close. And you can find them listed among Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway(NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) holdings.
Here are my picks for the three best Buffett stocks to buy in December.
Buffett (or more likely, one of his two investment managers) reduced Berkshire's stake in Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) during the third quarter of 2023. I think, though, that Amazon remains a wonderful stock to buy this month.
The company is arguably more focused on generating stronger profits and free cash flow than it's ever been. And that focus is paying off.
The company's earnings more than tripled year over year in Q3. Its trailing-12-month free cash flow rose to $21.4 billion from an outflow of $19.7 billion in the prior-year period.
I expect that artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to provide a major tailwind for Amazon in the coming years. In particular, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will likely attract additional business from the generative AI boom.
Amazon hasn't stopped expanding into new markets, either. Earlier this year, it launched its Supply Chain by Amazon service that leverages its own unsurpassed internal supply chain capabilities. It also recently announced plans to begin selling cars online in 2024.
2. Bank of America
There's a good case to be made that Bank of America(NYSE: BAC) is one of Buffett's favorite stocks. It wouldn't rank as the second-largest holding in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio if it wasn't.
Buffett no doubt likes Bank of America primarily because of its excellent underlying business. The company's balance sheet remains strong and revenue and profits are growing.
Others also continue to recognize BofA's business leadership. It has received accolades, including being named the Best Bank in North America and the World's Most Innovative Bank in 2023 by Global Finance.
I like Bank of America's business, but I especially like its current valuation. Shares currently trade at a forward earnings multiple of under 9x. And the company's price-to-book ratio is only 0.9x.
We can't leave out Bank of America's dividend. The big bank's dividend yield stands at nearly 3.2%. BofA has also increased its dividend payout for 10 consecutive years.
Mastercard(NYSE: MA) is one of the stocks in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio that Buffett doesn't talk about very much. However, it's been a huge winner for the Oracle of Omaha, delivering a total return of more than 1,600% since Berkshire initiated a position in the first quarter of 2011.
Those winning ways have continued into 2023. Mastercard stock is up nearly 20%. The company reported year-over-year revenue growth of 14% in Q3, with earnings soaring 28%.
What I like most about Mastercard is its strong business moat. I really should use the plural form of the word, because the company enjoys multiple moats, including its well-known brand and switching costs associated with moving to rival payment-processing networks.
Mastercard should be able to keep the momentum going over the long run. The shift from cash to digital payments will continue, and e-commerce will grow. The middle classes in emerging markets will also expand. This Buffett stock is a gift that should, to paraphrase Cousin Eddie, keep on giving during the whole decade and beyond.
10 stocks we like better than Mastercard
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John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Keith Speights has positions in Amazon, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, and Mastercard. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, and Mastercard. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2025 $370 calls on Mastercard and short January 2025 $380 calls on Mastercard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.