These technology giants tend to be solid bets in most economic conditions, but one in particular is struggling.

It has been nine years since CNBC business news personality Jim Cramer coined the acronym “FANG,” which later got expanded to ” FAANG ,” to describe a group of game-changing U.S. technology companies. That cohort consists of:

Of those five, Netflix is the only company that hasn’t achieved a trillion-dollar market valuation at some point since then. But despite the strong growth this group of stocks has already experienced, some could still have plenty more upside.

We asked three Motley Fool contributors to focus on the FAANG stocks. Here’s why they think there’s still upside left in Apple and Alphabet, but that Netflix shares are best avoided for now. An Apple a day keeps the bears away

Anthony Di Pizio (Apple): Recommending Apple stock isn’t exactly a bold call. It’s one of the most popular companies to own among investors of all skill levels — after all, it makes up 42% of the value of Warren Buffett’s stock portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A -2.63%) ( BRK.B -2.74%). But it’s also exactly the type of stock investors will benefit from holding during turbulent market periods.

The Nasdaq 100 technology index is down 21% so far in 2022, yet Apple stock is down by just 7%. Its hardware products such as the iPhone, iPad, and AirPods continue to sell incredibly well. Plus, its services segment is driving strong growth through subscription offerings like Apple Music, iCloud, Apple TV, and its innovative Apple Pay platform, which recently expanded into the ” buy now, pay later” business .

In terms of its top line, Apple’s just had the most lucrative fiscal third quarter in its history: It reported record revenue of $82.9 billion for the period that ended June 25. That represented growth of just 2% year over year, but the company commented that the number of installed active Apple devices hit all-time highs in every product category, and across every geographic segment. This shows that demand remains strong for Apple’s products among consumers even as high inflation and rising interest rates squeeze their budgets.

And while overall revenue growth was relatively modest, Apple’s services segment sales grew by 12% in the quarter. This is important because the gross profit margin for its services segment is 71% — significantly higher than its most recent hardware segment margin of 52%. As services become a larger part of Apple’s business, investors can expect a greater share of its revenues to flow through to the bottom line.

The cherry on top of the buy case for Apple is the enormous amount of money it’s returning to shareholders right now. Its dividend at current share prices offers a small annual yield of 0.55%, but it has repurchased nearly $65 billion worth of its own stock during the first nine months of fiscal 2022, which makes each share that remains in circulation more valuable. Need information? Just Google it.

Trevor Jennewine (Alphabet): Google is the best known of Alphabet’s many businesses. It’s the go-to search engine for billions of people, and Google Search currently holds a 90% market share. That advantage has allowed the company to accumulate a lot of consumer data, and its ownership of YouTube — the second-most-popular video streaming service by viewing time — has only reinforced its ability to engage consumers and harvest their data.

Collectively, those web properties have made Google an indomitable force in the digital ad industry. Though its market share in that business has dropped by a few percentage points in recent years, Alphabet still took in 28% of global digital ad spending in 2021. Moreover, its strong presence in online search and streaming media should keep it at the forefront of digital advertising for years to come.

Meanwhile, Alphabet is also gaining momentum in cloud computing. Fueled by its investments in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, Google Cloud captured 10% of the cloud computing market in Q2 2022, up from 8% in Q2 2021 and 6% in Q2 2020.

Not surprisingly, Alphabet’s strong market positions in high-growth industries have translated into strong financial results. Its revenue soared by 26% to $278 billion over the past four quarters, and free cash flow climbed 11% to $65 billion. Better yet, investors have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

Companies will spend over $600 billion on digital ads in 2022, according to eMarketer, and it forecasts that that figure will reach $875 billion by 2026. Additionally, according to Grand View […]

source 2 FAANG Stocks to Buy Now and 1 to Avoid

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