Warren Buffett is considered by many to be the most successful investor in history. When the Oracle of Omaha acquired Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, the company that would serve as the foundation for his world-beating investment empire had a price of $18 per share. Today, a single share of the company’s Class A stock goes for more than $457,500 — good for growth of more than 2,540,000%.

While the law of large numbers suggests Berkshire is unlikely to repeat that performance, the company is significantly outperforming the S&P 500 this year, and investors could benefit by taking inspiration from its stock holdings. Read on to see why taking a buy-and-hold approach to these Buffett-backed stocks could be a winning move for your own portfolio. 

Image source: The Motley Fool.

1. Amazon

Amazon (AMZN -2.86%) stock has lost some luster in the market’s eyes this year, as its e-commerce business has faced rising costs and comparisons to periods driven by pandemic-elevated demand. E-commerce is still the company’s largest overall revenue generator, and comparatively weak performance for the business has led to sluggish overall sales growth and a big drop-off for earnings. Even after enjoying recent recovery momentum, Amazon stock still trades roughly 25% off the lifetime high it hit in July 2021.

On the other hand, there’s a good chance the company’s e-commerce business will get back to posting significant growth, and investors may be overlooking opportunities in the category. Excluding contributions from restaurants and automobiles, parts, and gas, e-commerce accounted for just over 17% of the overall retail market last year. Online retail will likely continue to gain share, Amazon is in prime position to capitalize, and advances in robotics and automation could make its e-commerce business much more profitable over the long term.

Perhaps even more importantly, the company’s much more profitable cloud computing business is still growing at a rapid pace. Revenue from Amazon Web Services (AWS) increased 33% year over year to reach $19.7 billion, and segment operating income rose 36% to hit $5.7 billion. AWS is the market-leading cloud-infrastructure services solution, and this hugely profitable business still has plenty of room for growth. 

Amazon has been one of this century’s most influential companies thus far, and that’s a distinction it will likely hold on to. 

2. HP

Buffett surprised the market in April by revealing that Berkshire Hathaway had purchased roughly $4 billion worth of HP (HPQ -2.84%) stock. The purchase worked out to about an 11% stake in the computer and printer hardware maker, and made Berkshire Hathaway the company’s largest shareholder. News of the big investment initially triggered a double-digit jump for HP’s share price, but the stock has given up those gains amid turbulence in the broader market, and investors now have a chance to buy shares at roughly the same price the Oracle of Omaha got. 

With its printing business unlikely to drive long-term growth, HP is putting extra emphasis on the computer hardware segment — and it’s making major shifts to shore up wins in the category. The company had focused on the more budget-conscious, mid-range PC and laptop markets over the last decade, but it’s shifting to concentrate on the premium category. Catering to the premium market should allow HP to better address market trends and increase sales and earnings. 

I currently do most of my work on one of the company’s Spectre brand laptops, and having previously been a user of Apple‘s MacBook hardware, I think HP’s high-end competitive offerings deserve high marks for providing similar levels of quality at significantly lower prices. With both consumers and businesses increasingly preferring high-performance computers, and the category offering avenues to improving the company’s overall margins, the company’s computer hardware and peripherals segments have solid growth potential.

HP also pays a dividend yielding 2.9%, and it’s been delivering rapid payout growth lately. With shares trading at roughly eight times this year’s expected earnings and sporting a solid dividend component, investors could score big wins if they’re willing to get on board and give the company’s turnaround initiative some time to unfold. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and HP. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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