Revenge travel is finally here. And summer 2023 looks like it’s going to be a hot one. In fact, travel numbers for this year’s Memorial Day weekend — which serves as the unofficial start to summer — were exceptionally strong. For example, air travel surpassed pre-pandemic levels. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 9.8 million people across America passed through airport security during the Memorial Day weekend, which was about 300,000 more people than during the same holiday weekend in 2019, before Covid-19 disrupted all our lives. With those numbers a strong sign of what’s to come for summer 2023, here are seven hot stocks to buy to make your portfolio sizzle.
Summer is the peak season for homestay and rental company Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB). And now looks to be a good time to buy following its most recent earnings report. While the company beat analysts’ estimates, the stock got dinged by a cautious outlook for the current second quarter.
In its latest shareholder letter, Airbnb made sure to state that it looks forward to another “strong summer travel season” in Q3 and that it is seeing travelers returning to major cities and they are also booking longer stays. Its Q1 nights and experiences bookings were up 19% from a year ago, with even stronger bookings expected over the busy summer months. The company is concentrating on growing its business in international markets outside the U.S. Long-term, ABNB stock should be fine.
Booking Holdings (BKNG)
Travel search giant Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) is another sizzling summer stock to consider. To date, BKNG stock has gained 26%. The company, which owns fare aggregator and travel websites such as Booking.com, Priceline, Kayak, Cheapflights, and Rentalcars.com has seen its share price rebound along with global travel coming out of the pandemic. Today, Booking Holdings operates travel-focused websites in 200 countries and 40 different languages.
Booking Holdings has reported strong financial results as the travel industry has come storming back following the Covid-19 crisis. The company reported that its Q1 revenue grew 40% from a year earlier, and it has forecast continued strong bookings for the current second quarter and leading into summer. The company also reported a free-cash-flow profit margin of nearly 42% over the last 12 months, which analysts applauded.
Food is part of summer, and few quick-service restaurants are performing as well right now as Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG). YTD, CMG stock is up 52%, bringing its gains over the past five years to 375%. Strong sales and an aggressive growth strategy continue to power the stock to new heights. The company most recently reiterated plans to open as many as 285 new restaurant locations this year. It managed to open 41 new locations during Q1 alone.
The popularity of Chipotle’s Mexican cuisine also shows no signs of abating. In the first quarter, the company reported that its sales rose 17% year-over-year to $2.37 billion, while its same-store sales rose an annualized 10.9%. And while it continues to add physical restaurant locations, Chipotle is also successfully growing its digital business, with digital orders accounting for nearly 40% of the company’s total sales during Q1. All of this growth has been music to the ears of analysts and investors, who continue to bid up CMG stock.
You don’t get far these days without a smartphone, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is once again marching higher after trading sideways for most of the past year. Heading into summer, AAPL stock is on an upswing, having risen 18% since mid-March. The stock is recovering as the entire technology sector gets a lift from the hype surrounding artificial intelligence and as concerns about supply chain gluts and Covid-19 lockdowns at the company’s manufacturing sites in China ease.
Going forward, Apple should continue to benefit from continued strong sales of its iconic iPhone, as well as its tablets and laptop computers. While a global recession remains a risk and could lead to a decline in consumer spending, most predictions are for a short and shallow recession at worst. Plus, Apple continues to diversify into new product areas, including streaming and online payments. There are even some analysts forecasting that the company will also be a big beneficiary of new A.I. technologies.
Ford Motor (F)
There’s nothing like a summer road trip. With that in mind, we turn to Ford Motor (NYSE:F). The automotive giant is seeing its stock get a nice lift after a recent investor day where it outlined its progress on electric vehicles, and on news that it has partnered with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in a deal that will see Ford use Tesla charging technology going forward. News of the Tesla partnership, in particular, has powered F stock 10% higher.
F stock had been in the doldrums prior to the Tesla deal being announced. But now many skeptical analysts and investors are looking at the automaker and its stock in a new light. Ford is spending $50 billion to ramp up its electric vehicle manufacturing to two million units a year by 2026 as it races to catch up with market leader Tesla. Ford and Tesla had long been intense rivals. But now that the two companies have become frenemies, F stock has caught fire.
Carnival Corp. (CCL)
Summer is the best time of year to be on the ocean, so why not set sail on a cruise ship operated by Carnival Corp. (NYSE:CCL). After two incredibly difficult years in which most of its ships were docked around the world during the pandemic, Carnival is seeing its business come roaring back. As a result, CCL stock is up 42% on the year and nearing a 52-week high. While the stock still has a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels, it is trending in the right direction.
The company’s most recent Q1 earnings told an encouraging story. Carnival reported revenue of $4.4 billion for the January through March period, up 173% from a year earlier and representing 95% of its pre-pandemic sales level. The company also announced record bookings for the remainder of 2023, noting customer deposits of $5.7 billion for Q1 alone, which was a record for the company. Travelers have clearly rediscovered cruising now that Covid-19 is firmly behind us.
Marriott International (MAR)
Travelers who don’t stay at an Airbnb this summer, will most likely book a hotel, which is reason to consider Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR). The company, which owns 32 hotel brands that include Courtyard, Delta, Westin, and The Ritz-Carlton, has seen its stock climb 15% higher this year after suffering a steep downturn throughout the pandemic. Analysts and investors have become more bullish on Marriott as its properties have fully reopened not only in the U.S. but in international locations too, especially in China.
Marriott is taking full advantage of the reopening to grow and expand around the world. In Q1, it added 79 new hotel properties with a total of 11,015 rooms to its global portfolio. The company has also stated that it plans to build an additional 3,060 hotels with approximately 502,000 rooms. Nearly half (200,000 hotel rooms) are currently under construction. That kind of demand-driven growth has made more than a few analysts and investors take notice and the stock is trending higher as a result.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in AAPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.