The investing guru is letting her wallet do the talking with a number of big bets early on
You can’t say Cathie Wood is afraid to make big bets. The investing guru is more than willing to lay it all on the line for stocks she believes in. Of the top Cathie Wood stocks picked up in 2024, she’s bought $160 million worth of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) for her Ark Invest family of funds even though the electric vehicle maker is down 22% this year. But you have to admire how Wood sticks to her guns.
But Tesla isn’t the only big bet she’s making. In fact, the investing star is loading up on a number of companies in the first quarter. The following seven Cathie Wood stocks are among some of her biggest plays. Let’s see whether you should follow suit.
Twist Bioscience (TWST)
Sounding like it is out of a dystopian science fiction novel, Twist Bioscience (NASDAQ:TWST) is a leading maker of high-quality, low-cost synthetic DNA for drug maker research and development. The biotech’s platform industrializes bioengineering with a proprietary technology to manufacture the DNA on a silicon chip. It can write over 1 million short DNA sequences on a single chip. Business is booming.
Fiscal first quarter revenue jumped 32% to a record $71 million allowing Twist to boost full-year guidance. It now expects to $288 million to $293 million this year, up 185 to 20% from last year. Yet it is still reporting significant operating losses that it also expects to widen further in fiscal 2024. Twist said it forecasts $191.5 million in losses at the midpoint of guidance, 4% more than its prior estimates.
Wood doesn’t care and continues scooping up shares. In just the last week she made six separate purchases totaling more than 155,000 shares at an average cost of around $36 a share. She now owns 6.4 million shares of TWST stock. Twist is up 45% over the past year as it expects to turn profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the fourth quarter.
Archer Aviation (ACHR)
Wood hasn’t made as many purchases of Archer Aviation (NYSE:ACHR) as she did of Twist Biosciences but she didn’t need to. The investing guru owns over 22.7 million shares of the electric vertical takeoff and landing ( ) aircraft manufacturer so the 345,000 shares she picked up last week was a drop in the bucket.
The robotaxi industry is beginning to take off. Archer and other eVTOL companies are racing to gain Federal Aviation Adminitration certification so they can begin commercial service. Its Midnight eVTOL craft recently received Special Airworthiness certification from the agency that will let it begin test flights. Archer hopes to launch its business in 2025. It is already anticipating international expansion as well with plans for flying taxi services in India and the United Arab Emirates in 2026.
However, ACHR stock has encountered some turbulence. Although shares have nearly doubled over the past year they are down 12% in 2024. Still, they represent an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a completely new industry.
Another one of the top Cathie Wood stocks to look at is Pinterest (NYSE:PINS). At the moment, it’s gaining altitude at a much steadier pace than Archer Aviation. Even if shares are up just 45% over the last 12 months they have achieved the gains with much less volatility.
That could be due to the market finally realizing the potential inherent in PINS stock business. This is a site where users are announcing to advertisers the very specific things they are interested in and will be buying. Where ads have a more tacked-on feeling on other social media sites and use a shotgun approach to reach customers, Pinterest users are very narrowly focused. The site is an advertiser’s dream destination and they are finally waking up to it.
Pinterest revenue jumped 11% last quarter allowing it to post a $10 million profit compared to an $11 million loss the year before. Monthly average users ( ) are also marching higher again with revenue per user expanding.
Wood made 10 separate purchases of PINS stock in the first quarter beyond those she made late last year. She purchased over 1.3 million shares, doubling her previous holdings and bringing her total to 2.57 million shares.
Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings (DNA)
Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings (NYSE:DNA) is another biotech looking to “Blade Runner” our future. It’s also another one of the top Cathie Wood stocks to consider.
Its technology also gets down to the molecular level of our DNA by seeking to alter genetic makeup for use in food and chemicals. Gingko says its processes alter the genetic code similar to how a computer responds to 0s and 1s. The big difference is that Gingko is using the most basic building blocks of a cell, its DNA. Once the biotech reprograms a cell it can replicate itself and grow exponentially.
What could go wrong?
Plenty of businesses see no problem with altering the genetic makeup of our food. German pharmaceutical Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY), for example, is using Gingko’s advances to create microbes for crops so less pesticides can be used. It’s notable Bayer bought Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018.
The Ark Invest CEO has been replicating her stock purchases of DNA stock, making 22 separate purchases since the beginning of the year. She now owns almost 179 million shares, which account for 1.8% of her combined portfolios. That is good enough to rank 21 on her list of biggest holdings.
Palantir Technologies (PLTR)
In Palantir Technologies (NASDAQ:PLTR), Wood is buying into what has been described as the “best pure-play” stock in artificial intelligence ( ). PLTR stock has been transformed by AI from simply a data analytics firm for the government and big business into a premiere growth stock using AI to solve some of the toughest decision-making problems.
Palantir just launched its AI platform — imaginatively named Artificial Intelligence Platform () — that exudes a magnetic attraction for business. The big data company says customers are flocking to the platform and signing up in droves for its “boot camps.”
Having initially set a 500 boot camp goal for the year, Palantir already blew “that goal out of the water” by hosting 560 camps in the first couple of weeks following its release. Revenue is soaring and the company just turned profitable on a GAAP basis for the first time. It reported a net income of $217 million in 2023, a complete reversal of the $317 million loss it suffered in the prior year. It now expects to be profitable on an ongoing basis.
Wood only made a handful of stock purchases (four in all) but bought 2.2 million shares. She now owns over 12.5 million shares. Yet PLTR stock isn’t even among her top 10 holdings, being only good enough for 15th place.
Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
Finally, a company that isn’t messing with the genetic codes of living things. But Pacific Biosciences (NASDAQ:PACB) makes the sequencing equipment that makes it possible for biotechs to do just that. Yet the genomics stock isn’t having as easy of a time as those companies. PACB stock is down 32% so far this year and 26% over the past year.
That hasn’t stopped Wood from buying in and likely made the shares more attractive to her. She made a half-dozen purchases of 1.35 million shares of PacBio. That gives her a total of around 31 million shares. Of course, with two Ark exchange traded funds targeting the genomics sector it’s not surprising she is heavily invested here. PACB stock ranks seventh in the Ark Genomic Revolution ETF (NYSE:ARKG).
Pacific Biosciences is no fly-by-night operation. It has a two-decade history of being in business and owns a strong body of intellectual property and patents. Despite that history, the equipment maker is still a money-losing operation. It suffered net losses of $224 million in the first nine months of 2023 and saw falling sales in its high-margin consumables business. That puts a dent in its ability to challenge Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) for industry leadership.
Rocket Labs USA (RKLB)
Another one of the top Cathie Wood stocks to consider is Rocket Labs USA (NASDAQ:RKLB). Wood bought 1.6 million shares bringing her total holdings of RKLB stock to 5.8 million. Shares of the satellite launch company are surprisingly down 22% in 2024 but should get into orbit once again.
Rocket Labs is the most successful space launch company behind SpaceX. It enjoyed a long string of successful launches before suffering a launch failure in September. That dented RKLB stock even though the company returned to space at the end of the year. It had 42 launches overall in 2023, the most ever for the fledgling rocket company. It plans for even more launches this year.
Now there is an eloquence and beauty to watching a SpaceX booster land again for reuse that’s not present in Rocket Labs’ spalshdowns. Yet the company did achieve an important milestone last year when it reused for the first time one of its Rutherford engines that it recovered from a previous flight.
RKLB stock shouldn’t trade at such a deep discount. It just nabbed an important Defense Dept. contract and should become an even more viable space venture in the future. Cathie Wood is getting ready for a rocket ride with this stock.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.