7 stocks that Fools have been buying!

Investing alongside you, fellow Foolish investors, here’s a selection of stocks that some of our contributors have been buying across the past month! Agronomics What it does: Agronomics invests in a range of companies in the emerging industry of cellular agriculture. By Ben McPoland. I’ve recently been adding to my holding in Agronomics (LSE: ANIC). This is a company that invests in a range of start-ups focused on cellular agriculture. That is, the production of animal-based products from cell cultures rather than directly from animals. This space sometimes gets called “lab-grown meat”. Some obvious attractions to this alternative is that it is more environmentally sustainable and involves no animal cruelty. It could have greater health benefits too because the meat is “cleaner”, containing no antibiotic residues. There has been noteworthy progress at Agronomics recently. For example, portfolio holding BlueNalu, a US firm producing real seafood products directly from fish cells rather than the sea, raised $33.5m in a series B financing round. For Agronomics, this is a 2x multiple of invested capital. Now, one risk here is that there is an increasing number of firms in this nascent space. That’s good for Agronomics’ investment choices, but it means the firm could back the wrong horses. Still, I’m very encouraged by progress so far. I’ve been buying the stock at 9p per share. Ben McPoland owns shares in Agronomics. Aviva  What it does: Aviva is Britain’s biggest life insurance provider and has nearly 19m customers across its markets. By Royston Wild. I’ve had my eye on Aviva (LSE:AV.) shares for some time. So following fresh share price weakness this month I pulled the trigger and bought the FTSE 100 stock for my portfolio. In the year to date it has fallen a thumping 14% in value.  Tough economic conditions mean businesses like this face near-term uncertainty. Demand for non-essential financial services like life policies tends to fall when consumers feel the pinch.  Yet I believe the rock-bottom valuation of Aviva shares overstates the scale of the threat. Today it trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 9.6 times for 2023. I expect profits here to soar in the years ahead as the size of elderly populations in its UK, Irish and Scandinavian markets grow. In this environment sales of its protection, pensions and wealth products could rocket.  At current prices Aviva shares also offer a huge 8.4% forward dividend yield. I think it could be the FTSE’s best value stock right now.  Royston Wild owns shares in Aviva. Glencore What it does: Glencore is a Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company By John Fieldsend. Glencore (LSE: GLEN) shares are hovering near a 52-week low at the moment with a 445p share price as I write. That’s a 23% drop from earlier in the year. The value looks too good to pass up. Analysts like it more than perhaps any other FTSE 100 stock. A raft of buys is paired with not a single sell. An average price target of 500p sounds like an attractive opportunity. The miner enjoyed an excellent 2022 spearheaded by sales of coal, copper, nickel and zinc. That first resource, coal, did make up 53% of all revenues last year. This reliance on the fossil fuel is a risk looking ahead though. But with a dividend yield that stands near 8% and is set to grow in coming years, I don’t think there are many better value plays on offer at the moment. I’m happy to have bought in at what I believe is an excellent entry point.   John Fieldsend owns shares in Glencore. Hargreaves Lansdown What it does: Hargreaves Lansdown operates the largest retail investment platform in the UK. By Edward Sheldon, CFA. Recently, I bought more of Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.) stock. There were a few reasons why. One was that I was impressed with the company’s full-year results for the year ended 30 June. For the year, revenue and earnings per share were up 26% and 47% respectively. Another was that the company revealed in its full-year results that it’s benefitting from higher interest rates. Higher rates are leading to more interest in its Active Savings products and helping to boost profits. Finally, I was attracted to the company’s valuation and dividend yield. When I bought the shares, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was around 12 and the yield was above 5%. Now, one risk with these shares is competition from new rivals such as Trading 212 and Freetrade. This is an issue I’ll be keeping a close eye on. Overall though, I think they have a lot of appeal at current levels. Edward Sheldon owns shares in Hargreaves Lansdown. Legal & General  What it does: Legal & General is one of the UK’s largest financial and insurance firms with a focus on four main areas.  By Charlie Keough. Down 14% in 2023, I couldn’t resist buying some more Legal & General (LSE:LGEN) shares.   It may come as no surprise that its 9% dividend yield is one of the biggest reasons why I’m a massive fan of the stock. And in terms of passive income opportunities, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find better options. With its cumulative dividend plan on track to finish next year, this only reinforces this.  I also like Legal & General due to its strong brand name. It’s an iconic business. And with its share price sitting at 216p, I see ample room for growth.   Of course, there are risks. The firm’s assets under management have dipped in recent times given current macroeconomic pressures. With the group’s CEO set to retire, this may also spark uncertainty.  However, from a passive income perspective, and as a long-term buy, I see the stock as a no-brainer. In the weeks ahead, I may even be tempted to buy some more shares!  Charlie Keough owns shares in Legal & General.   Safestore Holdings What it does: Safestore is the largest self-storage service provider in the UK and is in the process of expanding in Europe. By Zaven Boyrazian. Being even the UK’s leading self-storage provider doesn’t make Safestore (LSE:SAFE) a particularly exciting-sounding business. But often, boring enterprises can be lucrative streams of passive income. And that’s certainly been the case for long-term shareholders. Demand for self-storage across the UK and Europe has been quietly rising. And subsequently, it’s turned this company into a cash-generating machine, enabling shareholder dividends to surge over the last decade. With rising interest rates dampening the entire real estate sector, the stock has taken a bit of a hit lately. And that, to me, looked like a perfect buying opportunity. The ongoing inflationary pressure on households and businesses has started to have an adverse impact on the group’s financials, with occupancy taking a hit. And prolonged economic instability will likely cause operating profits to shrink. But this is ultimately a short-term problem. And in the long run, the future of Safestore shares looks exceptionally promising in my eyes. Zaven Boyrazian owns shares in Safestore Holdings. Spero Therapeutics  What it does: A biopharma company specialising in the development of treatments for rare and infectious disease.  By Dr James Fox. Spero Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SPRO) focuses on developing innovative treatments for serious and life-threatening bacterial infections.  It’s an interesting proposition for several reasons. Firstly, at the time of writing the company has $87m in cash and a market value of $62m. This infers that the market puts very little value on the products in Spero’s pipeline.  However, the company’s pipeline deserves more market recognition. In fact, it has several partnership deals with pharma giants. The GSK partnership alone could deliver $550m alone in milestone payments.  Of course, there’s plenty of risk when investing in pharma. New drugs and treatments frequently fail, and this is why it’s better to invest in companies with a range of products in development.  Tebipenem is the only treatment in phase 3 trials. It’s an oral antibiotic that looks to treat complicated urinary tract infection (cUTI) and acute pyelonephritis (AP) to help patients avoid hospitalisations.


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