Spring has sprung, and the growing season can only mean one thing: Yes, Warren Buffett's investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) will almost certainly record yet another bout of growth in the value of its stock portfolio.
As we careen into May, three of the portfolio's stocks stand out as being ripe for the buying. Read on for the money details of this troika.
Quick, what's the top payment card brand in the world?
You probably guessed Visa (NYSE:V), and of course you're right. Visa is by far the world's No. 1 in cards outstanding and payment volume. That's a fine place to be in just now as consumers around the globe continue their move away from cash.
This, combined with a world economy that's still motoring along, plus the 2016 consolidation of the formerly separate Visa Europe, has really juiced Visa's results. The company habitually posts strong growth on both the top and bottom lines.
Analysts are predicting continued improvements, and I believe them. Those micro- and macroeconomic trends are going to continue to benefit card payment processors, and none more dramatically than King Visa. The company reported very good second-quarter figures toward the end of April, and the positive sentiment arising from this should carry through May.
While we're on the subject of financial sector powerhouses benefiting from positive economic trends, let's talk a little about JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). It's a standout stock in the Berkshire portfolio, which is saying something given how many finance industry players are in the collection.
JPMorgan Chase has been rocking it these past few years. All of its major units have posted growth, leading the bank to break its record for quarterly revenue -- nearly $30 billion in this year's first quarter. Loans and deposits have been rising at encouraging yet manageable rates, while other operations (credit cards, for one) have zoomed ahead lately.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase's all-important efficiency ratio saw a notable drop during the quarter, sliding four percentage points to 55%. Since a lower number is better, this indicates that the bank is headed fast in the right direction.
If you believe, as Buffett clearly does, that the economy still has room to run, JPMorgan is a fantastic stock to buy just now despite its recent run-up in price. As with Visa, the company should continue to benefit from the afterglow of an excellent set of quarterly figures released in April.
Sirius XM Holdings
But I believe the resulting sell-off presents a juicy buying opportunity for the stock. Sirius XM's net profit whiff was due to costs related to its acquisition of Pandora Media, not the company's underlying business.
And that business is doing well: In Sirius XM's ostensibly disappointing first quarter, the tally of self-pay subscribers continued to grow, rising by around 131,000 souls to over 29 million. That helped put more money in the company's pocket as its satellite radio operation booked an 8% increase in revenue for the period.
Meanwhile, we should bear in mind that said core business is a monopoly in satellite radio. Which, by the way, is rapidly becoming the entertainment option of choice in new- and recent-model cars.
So in other words, never mind the April drag with Sirius XM. Look at it as a solid opportunity to buy the stock on the cheap instead.