There will no doubt be plenty of Oculus virtual reality headsets and iPhones given as gifts this holiday season. It's also a safe bet that millions of people will shop online and watch streaming services with their families. The trend of companies pushing their apps and data to the cloud will also almost certainly continue through the rest of the year and into 2023.

All of this means increased business for the so-called FAANG stocks. But I think one member of this group stands out above the rest right now. Here's my pick for the best FAANG stock to buy in December.

Logical elimination

I believe that there are things to like about all five of the FAANG stocks. However, I also think that some of them can be ruled out as the best through the simple process of logical elimination.

Let's start with what I consider to be the riskiest FAANG stock -- Meta Platforms (META 2.67%). My view is that Meta isn't as bad as some make it out to be. But the company is without question placing a massive bet on the metaverse. It remains to be seen if that bet will pay off. In the meantime, I'd scratch Meta off the list as the best FAANG stock for now because of its high risk level.

Netflix (NFLX 1.74%) seems to be improving somewhat. The main problem for the company, though, is that the competition in the streaming market is getting fiercer every day. I just don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling that Netflix will be able to recapture the glory of its past.

Apple (AAPL 1.66%) ranks as the best-performing FAANG stock in 2022. That's not all that impressive of an honor, though, considering that shares of the tech giant have fallen nearly 20% year to date.

I continue to like Apple's long-term prospects. The stock is actually the largest position in my personal portfolio outside of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But my take is it could be best to wait and see what happens with the COVID-19 situation in China before adding shares of Apple.

What about Amazon (AMZN -0.17%)? It's another FAANG stock that I really like. The company's long-term prospects remain bright. Its shares have plunged more than 40% year to date, making Amazon's valuation more attractive than it's been in quite a while. But I'll readily admit that Amazon's free-cash-flow trend is concerning -- at least a little.

With these four stocks eliminated, only Alphabet (GOOG 0.72%) (GOOGL 0.83%) remains. Although the others have their merits, I think the Google parent clearly ranks as the best FAANG stock to buy in December.

Why I like Alphabet

Sure, Alphabet stock has been beaten down quite a bit this year. However, as a result, the company's shares trade at only 18 times expected earnings. Alphabet's price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio is 1.36. This latter metric is well below any of the other FAANG stock.

Alphabet continues to have a rock-solid financial position. It raked in revenue of $282 billion over the last 12 months with profits of nearly $67 billion. Alphabet generated over $58 billion in levered free cash flow during the period. The company's cash stockpile tops $116 billion. 

This financial position is the direct result of a strong underlying business. No rival can touch Google Search's market share. Android remains the top mobile operating system in the world. Google Cloud continues to deliver strong growth and arguably is even winning the cloud wars.

I also believe that Alphabet has more new ways to potentially grow than any of the other FAANG stocks. The company's famous "other bets" include multiple businesses that could be huge winners over time, especially the Waymo self-driving car unit.


Alphabet faces some risks. An economic downturn would hurt advertising revenue, which continues to be the primary moneymaker for the company. TikTok presents a clear and present danger to YouTube's dominance. Some of Alphabet's other bets could flop.

However, any advertising slowdown would only be temporary. My view is that YouTube will be able to hold its own against TikTok with the rising adoption of YouTube Shorts. And only one or two successes with Alphabet's other bets could be game-changers over the long run.

Again, all of the FAANG stocks are attractive in different ways. I own most of them. But if I could only pick one right now, it would definitely be Alphabet.