Historically, individual retail investors have rarely been powerful enough to have a major impact on stock market prices. But technology has changed that dynamic by delivering empowering new tools, including social media and user-friendly trading app Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD).
Now, millions of these investors are banding together to influence the trajectories of their favorite stocks, even if sometimes without good reason, catching Wall Street wrong-footed on more than one occasion. But according to the list of most popular stocks on Robinhood, retail investors are still buying quality growth companies that come highly recommended by many analysts.
When two powerful forces are buying the same stocks, it can be rewarding to follow the herd. Here are three companies getting lots of love from Robinhood investors and Wall Street.
Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) manufactures some of the most popular computer processors in the world, but these products have been almost inaccessible for many consumers recently as persistent supply shortages cause prices to skyrocket. The pandemic is the culprit as it continues to disrupt production facilities globally, but that hasn’t shaken investor confidence in the stock.
AMD Robinhood Top 100 Rank
Wall Street Consensus Rating
AMD stock has risen about 1,700% over the last five years, and it continues reaching new highs in 2021.
On July 27, the company reported second-quarter earnings with a 99% increase in year-over-year revenue, in addition to the announcement of an exciting new deal with Tesla. The in-dash infotainment systems in Tesla’s Model S and Model X will now be powered by AMD Ryzen processors as demand keeps growing for advanced computing power in the automotive world.
For five straight quarters, AMD has expanded its revenue share in the computing and graphics industry, driven partly by higher average selling prices, which indicates customers are willing to pay more for the company’s products. It has seen particularly strong demand for its high-end graphics products on both the consumer and data-center side.
New deals with the likes of Tesla also highlight the attractive potential AMD has in much larger industries.
Analysts expect the company to deliver $2.49 in earnings per share for full-year fiscal 2021, giving the stock a price-to-earnings multiple of 42. But with its impressive momentum and promising new opportunities, today’s stock price could look like a bargain for long-term investors.
Another top Robinhood stock that Wall Street also loves is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The maker of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software is a household name many of us interact with every day. It’s now the second largest company in the world with a market capitalization of $2.23 trillion, and investors have reaped big rewards year to date with the stock gaining 33%.
Microsoft Robinhood Top 100 Rank
Wall Street Consensus Rating
Among Robinhood investors, Microsoft is beaten only by Sundial Growers, a controversial marijuana company that probably won’t remain in the top spot for long given its recent volatility.
And there isn’t a single analyst on Wall Street with a sell rating on Microsoft.
The company operates an incredibly diverse portfolio of businesses, but most notable is its intelligent cloud computing segment driven by the Azure platform. Over 95% of Fortune 500 companies are now using Azure, which generated 51% revenue growth in the recent fiscal fourth quarter as it continues to compete with industry leader Amazon Web Services.
Then, there’s Microsoft’s expanding hardware presence. Its Surface line of tablets and notebooks accounted for $1.38 billion in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue (although that’s down from $2.04 billion in the second quarter as economic reopenings have workers spending less on their home offices). The Xbox gaming platform suffered a similar fate after booming during the stay-at-home economy.
Looking at the big picture, Microsoft just generated $61.3 billion in net income for fiscal 2021, translating to $8.05 in earnings per share. It’s a highly profitable company, and with a steady growth forecast among Wall Street analysts, it’s tough to find a reason not to own this stock.
It’s the most recognizable consumer brand on the planet, according to Forbes, so its popularity across the investing community should come as no surprise. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) makes the iPhone and Mac line of personal computers, but growth in its digital services such as Apple Music has really impressed investors in recent years.
Apple Robinhood Top 100 Rank
Wall Street Consensus Rating
Apple shareholders are continuously rewarded in both the short and long term with a 15% year-to-date really that feeds into the nearly 500% gain over the last five years. It’s now the largest company in the world with a market cap of $2.49 trillion.
The company is perfectly positioned to benefit from the emerging 5G upgrade cycle as the company rolled out its first 5G-compatible iPhones in late 2020. Despite the pandemic, the new products releases pushed Apple to report record revenue of $111.4 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 26, 2020. The global rollout of 5G is ongoing, and as it becomes more prominent, new software services and mobile applications will present additional revenue opportunities. And Apple is set to unveil its newest 5G device on Sept. 14.
The company recently moved to aggregate its consumer service offerings under a single subscription option called Apple One. It includes six of the company’s digital services, including Apple Music, Apple TV, and iCloud. The services segment makes up 18% of total revenue, but its high gross margin — over 69% — makes it a big contributor to profitability, so investors pay very close attention to its performance.
Analysts don’t expect a great deal of near-term growth for Apple. But owning this tech giant can benefit an investment portfolio in other ways as its strong balance sheet protects it against stock market volatility. There are few stocks with a better risk-reward proposition than Apple.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.