Blue-Chip bargains are a sure way to add value to your portfolio.
During high market volatility and uncertainty, identifying sound investment opportunities for long-term growth is akin to finding a pearl at the bottom of a waterfall.
However, the bottom contains not one but seven such pearls in the form of Blue-Chip bargains poised for remarkable expansion.
From semiconductor pioneers to tech giants, digital payment leaders, and global banking stalwarts, these companies have honed their strategies to harness the winds of change and secure their positions in an uncertain future.
These industry titans have navigated diverse sectors, from advanced technology to e-commerce, fast food, and finance, all to deliver sustained value to investors.
The article offers insights into how these blue-chip bargains are charting paths to success amid the challenges and opportunities of today’s dynamic market.
ON Semiconductor (ON)
The American semiconductor supplier ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:ON) has achieved rapid long-term growth through several fundamental strategies.
The company has displayed disciplined and reliable execution, consistently exceeding its targets even in challenging market environments. This approach has resulted in substantial financial performance, with Q2 revenue of $2.09 billion and non-GAAP gross margins of 47.4%.
ON Semiconductor has successfully expanded its silicon carbide business, a key growth driver. Silicon carbide revenue grew nearly 4x YoY.
The company has secured significant long-term supply agreements, with over $11 billion in committed silicon carbide revenue. Partnerships with industry leaders like Vitesco and BorgWarner further solidify its position in the electric vehicle market.
The company’s focus on the automotive and industrial markets, which account for 80% of its revenue, has contributed to its growth.
ON Semiconductor’s advanced sensing technologies, like eight-megapixel image sensors, have gained traction in the automotive sector. Thus, the industrial segment benefits from having a renewable energy infrastructure.
Finally, efforts to streamline operations and exit non-core businesses have improved profitability, and strategic investments in silicon carbide production have yielded results, contributing to gross margin expansion.
The company’s commitment to returning 50% of free cash flow to shareholders enhances investor value.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has outlined several key strategies for achieving long-term growth. One of the key drivers of growth is their focus on artificial intelligence.
They see AI as one of their “5 superpowers” and are actively working to democratize AI by scaling it. Intel also makes AI ubiquitous across various workloads and usage models, from cloud to enterprise, network, edge, and client applications.
This commitment to AI should capitalize on the growing demand for AI products and services, positioning Intel as a leader.
Notably, Intel is also expanding its manufacturing capacity and capabilities. They are investing in leading-edge semiconductor facilities in Germany and plan a new assembly and test facility in Poland.
These investments are part of their IDM 2.0 (Integrated Device Manufacturing) strategy, which aims to strengthen its position in the semiconductor industry and enhance its foundry business.
Intel Foundry Services is another growth driver. It enables Intel to capitalize on the AI market and secure a diversified and resilient global supply chain. IFS expands its scale and accelerates its capabilities at the leading edge, offering choice and leading-edge capacity outside of Asia.
Finally, Intel continues to focus on its product roadmaps with advancements in manufacturing technologies and product offerings, such as the upcoming Meteor Lake platform built on Intel 4 and dedicated AI capabilities to regain its leadership.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) focuses on providing a superior user experience.
The Taobao app has seen significant growth in its user base, with daily active users increasing by 6% or more YoY. This growth indicates a strong user preference for Alibaba’s platform.
Alibaba is focused on offering value for money to users and merchants. They are onboarding new merchants and encouraging them to participate in the value-for-money battle. This approach is aimed at attracting more users and building long-term merchant relationships.
Strategically, Alibaba invests heavily in AI to enhance merchant tools and improve the shopping experience. They aim to become a one-stop smart portal for life and consumption enabled by AI, catering to the diverse needs of their vast user base.
Moreover, Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group has achieved significant revenue growth, especially in its international retail business, expanding into high-priority markets and improving monetization to drive profitability.
Alibaba is focusing on local services and logistics, with a strong emphasis on improving efficiency. They aim to build a robust logistic network for cross-border and domestic parcels, reducing costs and improving service levels.
Finally, they aim to provide high-performance, low-cost computing power for model training and services, benefiting from the application of AI in all industries.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to diversify its product lineup.
While the iPhone remains a significant contributor, the company has expanded into various product categories, such as Mac, iPad, wearables, and home accessories. This diversification minimizes dependence on a single product category.
Apple’s rapid growth extends beyond the United States. It has strong sales performance in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. This global presence mitigates the risks associated with regional economic fluctuations.
Apple’s services segment, including the App Store, Apple Music, and Apple TV+, has seen impressive growth. The company’s commitment to expanding its service ecosystem and a growing user base of over 2 billion active devices contributes significantly to long-term revenue. Apple continually invests in product innovation.
Specifically, the transition to Apple silicon for Macs and introducing new features like the Always-On display and advanced iPhone camera systems show the company’s dedication to enhancing its product offerings.
Apple enjoys an exceptionally high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. This loyalty leads to repeat purchases and a robust ecosystem lock-in, ensuring a steady customer base over the long term.
Notably, Apple is increasingly penetrating the enterprise market, attracting corporate customers with its products, including MacBooks and iPads. This expansion diversifies its revenue streams.
Therefore, Apple’s dedication to accessibility features, user privacy, and security aligns with evolving consumer expectations and regulatory trends and positions the company as a trusted tech provider.
The company is leveraging data and technology to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and gain insights for future growth.
McDonald’s is opening new restaurants, particularly in major markets. Meanwhile, it also explores innovative formats like takeaway-only locations and food lockers to cater to evolving customer preferences.
Introducing popular items like the McSmart menu in Germany and Saver Meal deals in the UK demonstrates a commitment to adapting to changing consumer needs and providing affordable options.
McDonald’s is investing in its chicken portfolio. The company is introducing products like the McCrispy Chicken Sandwich, which has already scaled to over ten major markets, including Spain, driving significant chicken share gains.
Also, the company’s loyalty programs and mobile app have resulted in digital sales representing nearly 40% of system-wide sales in top markets, with over 52 million active loyalty members.
Finally, McDonald’s has successfully created viral marketing phenomena like Grimace and campaigns rooted in consumer insights, which leads to double-digit solid comparable sales growth.
McDonald’s is also actively testing new concepts like CosMc’s, a small-format restaurant, to diversify its offerings and appeal to different customer segments.
As a leading digital payment provider, PayPal’s fortunes are tied to the e-commerce industry, and any uptick in e-commerce spending directly contributes to its growth.
The company has experienced growth in its branded checkout volumes, which is a critical area of focus. In June and July, branded checkout volume growth accelerated significantly, suggesting that PayPal’s strategic initiatives in this area are gaining traction and driving growth.
PayPal has disciplined its operating expenses, leading to an 11% reduction in non-GAAP non-transaction-related expenses YoY. This cost management has contributed to an increase in the non-GAAP operating margin, up approximately 2.3% YoY.
The company’s three strategic priorities—branded checkout, merchant solutions, and digital wallets—have driven growth.
PayPal’s focus on innovation, scaling A/B testing, and improving time-to-market has resulted in consistent product deliveries that enhance the customer experience.
Further, PayPal is investing in AI and machine learning technologies to improve its processes, infrastructure, and product quality. These investments will lead to cost savings and enhanced customer experiences, reinforcing long-term growth prospects.
Citigroup (NYSE:C) has diversified its business model and maintained a strong balance sheet.
This diversification has allowed them to weather challenging macroeconomic conditions in different markets. They have also focused on executing their strategy and simplifying and modernizing their bank. It is ensuring they remain agile and adaptable to changing market conditions.
In terms of revenue growth, Citigroup has seen success in various segments. Their Treasury and Trade Solutions business has experienced substantial growth, with revenues up 15% YoY.
This growth is driven by net interest and non-interest revenue as Citigroup wins fee-generating mandates with new clients and deepens relationships with existing corporate and commercial clients.
Security services revenues have increased by 15%, driven by higher interest rates across currencies.
Citigroup’s focus on cost efficiency is evident in its commitment to bending the expense curve by the end of 2024.
They are pursuing cost-saving opportunities to offset significant investments in their transformation, simplification efforts, and technology enhancements.
In their Personal Banking and Wealth Management business, Citigroup has seen growth in branded cards, retail services, and Wealth at Work.
New client acquisition in the private bank and wealth at work has grown significantly due to investments in their client advisors and bankers network.
While they faced challenges in investment banking, particularly in Q2 2023, Citigroup focused on right-sizing the business and making strategic investments in areas like technology and healthcare.
As of this writing, Yiannis Zourmpanos held a long position in INTC, BABA, PYPL and C. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.