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3 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy Right Now With $500

Motley Fool - Sat Sep 9, 7:00AM CDT

Successful investing isn't complicated. All it takes is regularly putting money to work in growing companies. The stock market can go down in the short term for all kinds of reasons, but if you hold shares of great companies and let them grow, you'll be surprised how your money can snowball over many years.

And don't worry if that stock you want to buy has a higher share price than you think you can afford. Many brokers offer fractional shares, which means spreading your risk among three or more stocks has never been easier.

Looking for options to invest $500? Three Motley Fool contributors believe Celsius Holdings (NASDAQ: CELH), Global-E Online(NASDAQ: GLBE), and Home Depot(NYSE: HD) are timely choices right now.

Energize your savings with this stock

John Ballard (Celsius Holdings): The market for energy drinks has been booming in recent years. Celsius Holdings makes a variety of flavored drinks and protein bars that are accordingly seeing extremely strong demand. Revenue has grown from just $53 million in 2018 to $952 million over the past 12 months. In step with those tremendous results, the stock has soared 4,480% over the past five years.

But don't be fooled into thinking it's too late to buy this stock. Identifying fast-growing consumer brands in the early stages of growth is one of the best ways to find long-term winners, and Celsius could fit the bill.

It's one thing to have an in-demand beverage brand, but Celsius is executing very well in expanding across multiple distribution channels, including foodservice, college campuses, hospitals, and hotels. It's also benefiting from a partnership with PepsiCo that allows the upstart to use the beverage giant's global distribution network, which is an enormous advantage.

Celsius is gobbling up market share, and it's not done yet. It's currently the No. 3 energy-drink brand in the U.S., where it hit a record share of 8.6% last quarter. That may not seem like much, but it's double the 4.3% share it held a year ago.

Celsius' success is clearly a win for both companies, and for shareholders above all. The stock trades at an expensive forward price-to-earnings ratio of 115, but considering growth accelerated in the last quarter and is still more than doubling year over year, Celsius could still reach new highs for years to come.

Powering cross-border e-commerce

Jennifer Saibil (Global-e): No stocks are guaranteed to rise, and you might find it harder to feel confident if they're not profitable. Growth stocks often take time to progress from borrowing money to making money, eventually giving money back to shareholders.

Some clues to great growth stocks are high revenue increases and improving profitability. Global-e is achieving both, and there are other signs of a healthy business with a huge growth opportunity. It operates a cross-border e-commerce platform that gives any online retailer the tools to do business internationally, and it's growing rapidly.

Revenue increased 53% over last year in the 2023 second quarter to $133 million, and adjusted gross margin widened by 1.4 percentage points to 43.3%. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) almost doubled to $21 million, and net loss improved from $48.8 million to $35.5 million. Much of the net loss is still due to its deal with Shopify, which invested in Global-e early on and has a partnership offering its service to its millions of merchants. Management raised full-year guidance after the excellent report, and it's not hard to see how it could explode in a more favorable retail environment.

The deal with Shopify provides Global-e with a large client base from the get-go, but it has it own list of high-profile clients that consistently increases, including names like Disney and Macy's, which it acquired through its acquisition of competitor Borderfree. In the second quarter, it added brand names Anna Sui, LK Bennett, and Monday swimwear.

Global-e stock is up 96% this year, and at recent prices, it isn't cheap; it trades at a price-to-sales ratio of 13, and that's down from earlier highs. But considering its growth rates, opportunities, and improving profitability, Global-e looks like a no-brainer buy.

A proven winner

Jeremy Bowman (Home Depot): If you're just getting started out investing or have a little bit of money to put to work, I can't think of many more stocks that are more deserving than Home Depot, the leading home-improvement retailer.

Over its history, Home Depot has been one of the best performers on the stock market, making early investors wealthy, and it benefits from many of the same competitive advantages today.

Home Depot essentially operates in a duopoly with Lowe's, allowing both to earn unusually high operating margins for retail. Home Depot is well insulated from Amazon since much of its business comes from items that are difficult to sell or ship online. At the same time, it has invested heavily in the digital channel with an easy-to-use app and a streamlined buy-online, pick-up-in-store process.

Now looks like a particularly good time to pick up some shares of Home Depot because the stock is down as a result of weakness in the housing market. However, the housing market is cyclical, and Home Depot should benefit from the eventual rebound. There's an estimated shortage of 4 million homes in the country, creating a backlog of demand that homebuilders are attempting to close.

Currently, Home Depot trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 20, meaning it's significantly cheaper than the S&P 500's multiple at 25.4.

Finally, the stock offers a dividend yield of 2.6% and has a long track record of growth, raising its payout by double digits most years.

With an appeal to growth, value, and income investors, Home Depot stock has something for everyone.

10 stocks we like better than Celsius
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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. Jennifer Saibil has positions in Global-e Online and Walt Disney. Jeremy Bowman has positions in, Shopify, and Walt Disney. John Ballard has positions in and Celsius. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends, Celsius, Global-e Online, Home Depot, Shopify, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Lowe's Companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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