Best US stocks for December – Motley Fool UK

We asked our freelance writers to reveal the top US shares they’d buy in December, which included two nods for a certain well-known tech stock.
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Every month, we ask our freelance writers to share their top US stocks with investors — here’s what they said for December!
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What it does: Alphabet is one of the world’s largest technology companies. It is the owner of Google and YouTube.
By Edward Sheldon, CFA. Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) shares have taken a big hit in 2022 and I think this has created a great buying opportunity for long-term investors like myself.
While Alphabet’s revenue growth has slowed recently due to weakness in the digital advertising market and currency headwinds, the long-term growth potential here remains significant, in my view.
One potential growth driver is cloud computing. Currently, Alphabet is the third-largest cloud provider behind Amazon and Microsoft, and last quarter it generated revenue growth of 38% in its cloud division.
Another potential growth driver is its ‘Other Bets’ division. Here, the company has exposure to artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, digital healthcare, biotechnology, smart home technology, and more.
Two risks to consider with Alphabet include prolonged weakness across the tech sector and lawsuits against the company. However, with the stock trading on a P/E ratio of less than 20, I think the risk/reward skew is attractive.
Edward Sheldon owns shares in Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft.
What it does: Realty Income is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which operates 11,700 properties spanning multiple sectors. 
By Royston Wild. Encouraging GDP from the States recently showed growth speed up to 2.6% in the third quarter. But the threat of a recession still looms large amid Federal Reserve rate hikes and weak growth elsewhere. 
In this scenario snapping up defensive real estate shares could remain a good idea for nervous investors. Realty Income (NYSE: O) is one such stock on my radar right now. The long-term lease agreements its tenants are locked into should keep earnings stable in what could be a tough 2023. 
I also like Realty Income because of the sector split of its property portfolio. It has significant weighting towards grocery, convenience, discount and drug stores, for example. Businesses within these areas are particularly resistant to recessionary conditions. 
Finally, I believe this US stock could be a great way for me to boost my passive income. It has to pay a minimum of 90% of annual profits out by way of dividends. And it’s raised dividends for 100 straight quarters.
Royston Wild does not own shares in Realty Income. 
What it does: United Parcel Service is the world’s largest parcel delivery company, operating primarily in the United States.
By Gabriel McKeown. After a very strong three years, the momentum behind United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) appears to have reduced slightly. The stock is down almost 15% this year, however, the underlying fundamentals are remarkably strong. Profit margins are significant, free cash flow is considerably above historical averages, and debt levels remain low.
The company also offers a dividend yield of 2.5%, and this is forecast to reach 3.3% next year. This income generation is another positive lament, as the dividend has been paid consistently for the last 23 years, and grown for the last 7.
This recent share price decline has also resulted in the price-to-earnings ratio falling to 17, which appears to be fair value given the strength of the fundamentals, and positive forecasts. Also given the market share covered by UPS, this should help to isolate the stock from further market negativity.
Gabriel McKeown does not own shares in United Parcel Service.
What it does: A cloud-technology company powering the drug development pipeline for pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms globally.
By Zaven Boyrazian. Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV) is a little-known enterprise providing the backbone to one of the most critical industries worldwide – healthcare. The firm offers cloud-based software solutions and services for life science companies, enabling the research, development and commercialisation of medicines.
The increasingly complex regulatory environment has made it difficult for competition to arise, enabling Veeva to become industry-standard. And that’s translated into impressive double-digit revenue and profit growth.
With investments in the healthcare sector steadily ramping up, demand for the group’s technology isn’t likely to disappear any time soon. That’s why it’s not surprising that the stock doesn’t trade at a cheap valuation.
The share price premium opens the door to volatility should short any short-term hiccups arise. However, the long-term potential for this business is ginormous, in my opinion. And that justifies the lofty price tag in my mind, hence why I believe it’s one of the best US stocks to buy in December.
Zaven Boyrazian owns shares in Veeva Systems.
What it does: Altria is a leading US tobacco manufacturing and marketing company whose brands include Marlboro
By Christopher Ruane. One of the US stocks I have added to my portfolio in recent months is Altria (NYSE: MO). If I had spare cash to invest in December, I would buy more of the shares for my portfolio.
The dividend yield of 8.4% is juicy. But it does deflect attention from a core question: how sustainable is the business? Declining cigarette sales are a risk to profits.
But Altria has other sources of income, like its stake of roughly 10% in Budweiser producer Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Meanwhile, Altria’s portfolio of premium tobacco brands gives it significant pricing power. Revenue decline in the first nine months of the year was 3.9% compared to the same period in 2021. The company remains highly profitable. It has spent $1.5bn on share repurchases and $4.9bn on dividends so far this year.
Even as sales continue their long-term decline, I expect Altria to keep producing strong earnings.
Christopher Ruane owns shares in Altria.
What it does: Alphabet is one of the world’s biggest tech conglomerates and is the parent company of Google and YouTube.
By John Choong. Tech stocks have been crushed this year, and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) is no exception. However, its historically low earnings multiples indicate that its stock could be massively undervalued. With a P/E of 17 and a PEG ratio of 0.2, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to snatch up Alphabet stock at such a cheap price.
Additionally, the company’s innovations in Search and YouTube present it with plenty of momentum to capitalise on grow in the long term. More lucratively, its Cloud segment continues to grow and snatch market share from Microsoft and Amazon, which presents further upside potential.
It’s worth noting, however, that Alphabet’s costs are running rampant. The tech giant continues to increase its headcount despite inflationary pressures eating into its bottom line, which has disappointed investors. Nevertheless, I’m confident in CFO Ruth Porat’s ability to manage capital efficiently moving forward given its impeccable balance sheet. After all, it’s got an average’ buy’ rating with an average price target of $129.
John Choong has positions in Alphabet.
What it does: Inc is a US-based technology giant focusing on e-commerce, cloud computing, online advertising, digital streaming and AI.
By Paul Summers: It seems like everyone and their dog hates big tech stocks right now. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is one of the biggest casualties. As I type, shares are down 44% year-to-date. That flicks my contrarian switch. 
To be sure, higher interest rates and soaring inflation aren’t doing the retail juggernaut any favours. Lower-than-expected guidance on net sales in the fourth quarter further compounded investors’ misery.
Fortunately, I don’t need to worry about the next few months as a potential long-term investor. Amazon has such a dominant hold in its various markets – particularly highly profitable cloud computing – that it’s only a matter of time before sentiment reverses. News that inflation has peaked could be the catalyst, especially if the Federal Reserve rows back on further rate rises. 
Having been too expensive for me in the past, Amazon stock looks like a great candidate for my growth-focused portfolio.
Paul Summers has no position in Inc.
What it does: The company is a conglomerate that acquires businesses using cash generated through its insurance operations.
By Stephen Wright. Looking for a top US stock to buy in December, the choice isn’t difficult for me. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) is a business like no other.
Berkshire is a collection of smaller businesses, including insurance companies, railroads, and utilities operations.
What impresses me most is the culture of the organisation. This comes down to two things.
The first is its decentralised culture. This empowers managers of individual subsidiaries, who know their businesses the best.
The second is the company’s disciplined financial approach. This enables Berkshire to avoid catastrophic insurance losses.
These two features sound basic, but they set the company apart from others. They’re the reason that the company has been so successful and why I think this will continue.
Right now, the shares trade at what I consider to be a decent valuation. I’ll be looking to add to my investment in December.
Stephen Wright owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Microsoft, and Veeva Systems. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
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Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.
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