5 shares that Fools have been buying!

Our Foolish freelancers are putting their money where their mouths are and buying these shares in recent weeks.

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Investing alongside you, fellow Foolish investors, here’s a selection of shares that some of our contributors have been buying across the past month!

Apple

What it does: Apple is the world’s largest consumer technology company, best known for the iPhone.

By Charlie Keough. I recently jumped on the opportunity to buy more shares in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) after its stock took a hit. The world’s second-largest firm by market cap has fallen 10.3% in the last month.

The business can’t seem to catch a break this year. Declining sales in China, which fell by 24% during the first six weeks of 2024, as well as a $2bn fine for breaking EU laws over music streaming, has spooked investors.

This isn’t great news. But I’m not too concerned. The stock is one of the largest holdings in my portfolio and I plan to own it for as long as possible.

Sales in China have slowed. However, in the long run, I expect the region to be a strong source of revenue for Apple as it continues to capitalise on Asia’s massive customer base.

What’s more, I’m bullish on what Apple could do in the years to come in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. CEO Tim Cook has already alluded to how the company has been working on generative AI technology for years. I think the times ahead could be exciting.

Charlie Keough owns shares in Apple.

BAE Systems

What it does: BAE Systems is a UK-based defence contractor that manufactures arms, aerospace, and security technology.

By Mark David Hartley. BAE Systems (LSE:BA.) is the largest defence contractor in Europe, developing technology for military agencies in the UK and beyond. I’ve been tracking the stock for some time now since it began rising after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The company made record profits of £2.7bn in 2023, resulting in a 38% share price increase over the past 12 months. Looking back, I should have got in earlier. The stock now has limited room for growth, with analysts on average forecasting a meagre 2% increase in the next 12 months.

While defence is a necessary evil, the company is profiting off wars that many hope will be resolved soon. In the event of peaceful outcomes, the share price is likely to fall again as government defence spending declines.

But as history has shown, peace times seldom last forever. I can’t imagine BAE will lose significant value in the long term.

Mark David Hartley owns shares in BAE Systems.

HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF

What it does: HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF is a low-cost fund that tracks the performance of the S&P 500 index in the US.

By Royston Wild. The S&P 500 index continues to rally and has burst to fresh peaks above 5,000 points in early 2024. It’s risen 14% over the past six months as a terrific blend of robust earnings reports, impressive economic data, and hopes of interest rate cuts has fuelled investor confidence.

I opened a position in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF (LSE:HSPX) to ride this momentum. And in recent days I’ve decided to top up my holdings.

There’s nothing short-termist in my approach, though. The S&P 500 has delivered stunning returns for decades (it’s up 1,000% in the past 30 years), and holders of tracker funds have reaped rich rewards in the process.

This fund gives me exposure to the world’s biggest economy in a way that limits risk. Spreading my capital across hundreds of stocks spanning multiple sectors reduces the impact of potential company- or industry-specific issues on my wealth.

The fund also gives me significant exposure to the fast-growing information technology sector. Its five biggest holdings are Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet and Amazon.

This ETF could fall in value if the Federal Reserve doesn’t cut rates as quickly or sharply as the market expects. But over the long haul, I expect my investment to pay off handsomely.

Royston Wild owns HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF.

JD Sports Fashion

What it does: JD Sports Fashion is a global retailer of shoes, sportswear and equipment that also operates a chain of gyms.

By Christopher Ruane. I have long liked the business model and proven operational ability of JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD.), which is why I have held it in my portfolio.

After a profits warning in January, the shares have moved lower. Still, they are around 27% higher over the past five years.

The price slump looked like a buying opportunity to me and I added some more shares to my portfolio.

I do think there are risks here, such as inflation eating profit margins and a recession hurting customer demand.

But JD has weathered economic storms before. I see it as a well-oiled machine that benefits from a strong brand and wide geographic reach.

A plan to open hundreds of new shops annually in coming years could be a further growth engine for the FTSE 100 retailer. The business remains solidly profitable and its interim results showed a net cash balance of £1.3bn at the end of July.

Christopher Ruane owns shares in JD Sports.

Windward

What it does: Windward operates a predictive analytics and risk management platform for the global maritime industry.

By Ben McPoland. I recently bought more shares of Windward (LSE: WNWD), adding to a position I started in January.

This is a small maritime artificial intelligence (AI) company whose growth is being driven by the rising number of sanctions placed on regimes and vessels. Hundreds of due diligence checks are run by companies daily, and Windward’s AI leverages tens of dozens of data and real-time sources to uncover risk and ensure compliance.

Deals have been coming thick and fast, including one with INTERPOL in February to address illegal activities at sea. More such partnerships should materialise as migrant smuggling and piracy become priority issues. The company has also just expanded its partnership with London Stock Exchange Group to integrate the latter’s leading World-Check services into its platform.  

Now, this is a small-cap company with a market cap of just £95m as I write. This means the shares can be volatile.

Revenue is expected to rise 23% this year to around $35m. Meanwhile, cash burn is decreasing significantly and EBITDA profits are forecast for 2025. So there’s a lot of promise here.

Ben McPoland owns shares in Windward and London Stock Exchange Group.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, BAE Systems, Microsoft, and Nvidia. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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