Looking for Long-Term Picks? The 3 Best Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy and Hold Now


  • Discover three leading blue-chip stocks to buy to take advantage of their stability, growth potential and shareholder rewards for reliable long-term returns.
  • Visa (V): As the world shifts toward digital payments, Visa is poised to capitalize thanks to its global scale and trusted brand.
  • HCA Healthcare (HCA): The largest U.S. hospital operator delivers steady growth and strong cash flows to reward shareholders.
  • Home Depot (HD): Despite economic uncertainty, Home Depot retains leadership in home improvement with scale, brand power and shareholder returns.
Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy - Looking for Long-Term Picks? The 3 Best Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy and Hold Now

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Blue-chip stocks refer to industry-leading companies with strong financials, dominant market share, global brand recognition and a track record of steady growth over decades. These tend to be extremely stable even during volatile markets, making them appealing long-term holds. With the economy facing uncertainty ahead, many investors are therefore looking for blue-chip stocks to buy.

The good news is some blue-chip stocks also offer significant upside appreciation potential in addition to stability. In particular, Visa, HCA Healthcare and Home Depot present compelling investment cases right now. These blue-chip stocks to buy could continue delivering market-beating returns for years to come through various growth drivers. While they certainly aren’t risk-free, these blue chips’ financial strength, leadership status in critical sectors, commitment to shareholders and long runways for expansion make them some of the more appealing stocks to buy and hold. Income investors can also collect steady dividend payments along the way.

Visa (V)

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As one of the world’s largest payment networks, Visa (NYSE:V) is one of the blue-chip stocks to buy with immense growth potential ahead. This global payments megacorp continues to post strong financial results amid economic uncertainty.

In its most recent fiscal year 2023, Visa delivered $32.65 billion in net revenues, up 11% year-over-year. GAAP earnings per share also rose 18% to $8.28. Analysts estimate Visa’s revenues will grow at a 10%+ compound annual rate over the next three years.

Driving these gains is the secular shift away from cash and paper transactions toward digital payments. This is a massive trend with plenty of runway left even in developed markets. Visa’s network spans over 200 countries and territories, positioning it extremely well to capitalize on this cashless revolution.

Despite competitive threats from fintech disruptors, Visa has maintained a dominant market share and posted steady volume, sales and earnings growth. Its unparalleled scale and trusted global brand cement Visa’s status as a resilient blue-chip stock. With growth accelerating across existing payment flows and new flows like B2B, P2P and remittances, Visa offers investors one of the more reliable blue-chip stocks to buy. Its reasonable valuation only sweetens Visa’s upside as a long-term buy-and-hold.

HCA Healthcare (HCA)

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HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) is the largest for-profit hospital operator in the United States. It’s also one of the blue-chip stocks to buy that investors can feel confident holding for the long term. With 186 hospitals and nearly 2,400 ambulatory sites across 20 states and the UK, HCA provides quality care to millions each year. Its focus on integrating services, technology, equipment and talent makes HCA a leader in efficient, high-quality care delivery.

Financially, HCA is also on very solid ground. In Q1 2024, the company reported revenues of $17.3 billion, up an impressive 11% year-over-year. Robust patient volume growth drove this performance, with same-hospital admissions rising 6.2% and equivalent admissions up 5.2%. Adjusted EBITDA climbed to $3.35 billion, net income totaled over $1.5 billion and earnings per share hit $5.93.

Additionally, the company generates strong cash flow, reaching $2.4 billion this quarter. HCA also rewards shareholders via dividends and buybacks. For example, this quarter, it declared a dividend of $0.66 per share. It also authorized a new $6 billion share repurchase program. With double-digit revenue growth, excellent profitability and shareholder returns, HCA checks all the boxes of high-quality blue-chip stocks to buy and hold for years to come.

Home Depot (HD)

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Home Depot (NYSE:HD) remains one of the stronger blue-chip stocks to buy even amid some near-term headwinds. The home improvement giant has increased its quarterly dividend by 7.7% to $2.25 per share, marking the 148th consecutive quarter it has paid dividends. This 2.4% forward yield presents income investors with an opportunity to buy shares on the cheap after a 24% plunge in 2022.

Although slowing home sales have softened demand for big-ticket purchases, home repairs can’t be put off indefinitely. This bodes well for Home Depot’s $1 trillion addressable market. Its impending acquisition of leading specialty distributor SRS for $50 billion will also expand its professional customer base.

Home Depot retains an exceptionally strong balance sheet. The $15 billion share repurchase program that began in August 2023 reinforces its financial health and shareholder value commitment.

With 2,335 stores and 2024 sales still projected to top $151 billion, Home Depot remains an undisputed leader in its industry. Its brand, scale and strategic growth investments cement its status as one of the more stable, long-term blue-chip stocks to buy.

On the date of publication, Andrea van Schalkwyk did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Andrea van Schalkwyk is a value investor who adheres to the principles of the renowned Warren Buffett and his mentor Benjamin Graham. He holds a Master of Engineering (MEng) from the University of Padua and an Executive MBA from the CUOA Business School.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/05/looking-for-long-term-picks-the-3-best-blue-chip-stocks-to-buy-and-hold-now/.

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