Forbes is reporting that the top stocks for Q3 (from the GuruFocus tracking of high stakes investors) are Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), Apple (AAPL) and Exxon (XOM).
Here is a more in-depth look at how these top stocks are performing:
Microsoft: MSFT stock is up today after the announcement of a large debt offering. And MSFT stock has been increasing recently as the company searches for its new leader. As InvestorPlace noted just weeks ago, investor confidence is up in Microsoft after years of slower than hoped-for growth.
According to Forbes:
The most bought stock of the third quarter was Microsoft, with 28 gurus establishing or adding to an existing stake in the company. The company has a 90.5% weighting in their combined portfolios.
Oracle: ORCL stock has been rising slowly and is the world’s second largest software company in the multi-billion dollar software development market. While only up 5% year to date, ORCLs stock is up 8% in the past three months as its earnings reports show good growth potential.
Oracle is a company working to simplify IT by moving it out of the enterprise by integrating hardware and software in the cloud and data center. Its shares are up 6% year to date, rebounding after a drop of around 7.8% in the first half of the year.
Apple: AAPL stock may be a buy at long last — as InvestorPlace noted in its recent post — and gurus obviously noticed.
While only up 6% year to date, AAPL stock has been hot since mid-summer, with Apple up a market-slaying 40% gains since its late-June low. Some signs that there may soon be another increase is the tremendous demand for Apple products during the start of Christmas shopping season.
Computer, iPhone, iPad and iPod maker Apple saw its shares rise less than 3% year to date, with a 20% rally in the third quarter.
In its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter, Apple produced revenue of $37.5 billion, up from $36 billion in the prior-year quarter, and net income of $7.5 billion, or $8.26 per diluted share, down from $8.67 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. Its gross margin was 37%, from 40%.
Exxon: XOM stock certainly has growth potential, considering it’s only up 8% this year, with peaks and valleys through the year. In fact, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is looking to Exxon to see expansive growth — Exxon closed out its Nov. 15 trading with a 2.2% gain after reports revealed Buffett was buying. The Berkshire Hathaway stake in XOM stock is now worth roughly $3.7 billion. That was welcome news to investors — who may start snatching up XOM stock too.
Exxon’s revenue in the third quarter declined to $112.4 billion, from $115.14 billion in the prior-year quarter. Earnings also fell by 18% to $7.87 billion, and earnings per share dropped 14% to $1.79, in the same periods. Cash flow from operations and assets sales was $13.6 billion, and it returned $5.8 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.