2 Growth Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

It’s not terribly difficult to find a good growth stock these days — plenty of companies are plugged into red-hot trends. And it’s just as easy to identify “forever” stocks: established leaders in markets that will last in perpetuity, like food and healthcare.

But finding stocks that offer both growth and longevity in that growth can be tricky, since most hot trends are eventually extinguished.

These types of stocks do exist though. Here’s a closer look at two of these growth stocks with true “forever” potential.

1. Alphabet

Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent to search engine giant Google and video repository YouTube, also operates a fast-growing cloud computing business and is the name behind the Android mobile operating system.

Last quarter’s top and bottom lines fell short of estimates. CEO Sundar Pichai recently cautioned employees that their productivity was slipping, particularly in light of brewing economic weakness.

But in the bigger picture, Google still dominates the search market, and YouTube remains a top entertainment destination. Global Stats says Google consistently fields more than 90% of the world’s web searches, and Android just as consistently holds more than 70% of the mobile OS market. YouTube serves up over 1 billion hours of video every day to more than 2 billion regular monthly users.

All of these are opportunities to drive advertising revenue. And technology market research company Canalys estimates Google’s cloud business grew another 45% last quarter, generating $5 billion worth of revenue for the three-month period and extending a long growth streak.

In only two quarters since 2010 has Alphabet reported lower year-over-year revenue, and one of those was the quarter in which COVID-19 was rapidly spreading across the world. And although the company fell short of last quarter’s sales estimates, the top line still was up 13% year over year, in line with analysts’ expectations for the current fiscal year as well as next year.

Why it’s a great “forever” growth stock: The world is always going be exploring the internet’s 1.1 billion websites, and it’s unlikely that short-form video is going to lose its appeal. Mobility is here to stay as well, just like cloud computing. Precedence Research predicts an annualized growth rate of more than 17% through 2030 for the cloud computing market.

There are just too many growth opportunities here to believe that Alphabet, a leader in these arenas, won’t continue to make the most of them.

2. Microsoft

The other “forever” holding with real long-term growth potential is Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), the name behind the world’s most popular operating system for computers. It also sells the productivity software frequently installed on PCs. Cloud computing, the Xbox gaming console, LinkedIn, and a modest web-search business are also profit centers for the $2 trillion company.

Like Alphabet, Microsoft fell short of last quarter’s estimates. Earnings of $2.23 per share missed analyst projections for $2.29, while sales of $51.9 billion didn’t quite meet forecasts for $52.4 billion.

Don’t read too much into the miss, however. Inflation and the subsequent broad economic slowdown make things tough to predict, and Microsoft’s fiscal fourth-quarter revenue was still its best fourth quarter ever. And like Alphabet, Microsoft has logged a steady, uninterrupted streak of revenue growth, with net year-over-year increases in every quarter since late 2017.

Why it’s a great “forever” growth stock: This year’s expected revenue growth of 11% is likely to accelerate to more than 14% next year, although it’s unlikely the enormous company can maintain that pace forever. Eventually, it will run out of opportunities to add incremental revenue, and will instead rely more on price increases to generate growth.

That time looks to be many years down the road, though. In the meantime, it enjoys an edge that’s easy to overlook: Although companies can still purchase Microsoft’s software outright, it’s increasingly common to use it for a monthly fee. This recurring revenue makes the company a reliable cash cow.

And it should remain one as long as the world uses computers, organizations need cloud computing, and people play video games. That is, forever.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. James Brumley has positions in Alphabet (A shares). The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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