Sunday, 21 April 2024

2 Warren Buffett Stocks You Can Buy With This Year’s Average $3,011 Tax Refund

by BD Banks

Another tax day has come and gone, and refunds are always a focus of this tax season. Through early April, the average amount refunded to taxpayers was $3,011.

This involves both bad news and good news for investors. The bad news is that those taxpayers made an interest-free loan to the government. However, the sting of that realization may be helped by the good news that taxpayers finally have their money back, likely giving them some cash to invest.

Those who want to find Warren Buffett investments (or at least stocks from his team at Berkshire Hathaway) might consider some of the consumer stocks he holds right now. Let’s look at two below.


Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is a stock that Buffett recognized late. He and his team waited until the first quarter of 2019 to invest in the e-commerce giant even though it has been trading since 1997. The optionality of its many businesses and the stock’s tremendous growth has been a boon to Berkshire’s portfolio.

Amazon began as an e-commerce company, and online sales remain its largest revenue source. But it also supports fast-growing businesses such as subscriptions (Amazon Prime), online seller services, and online advertising. Investors should pay particular attention to its cloud computing operation. That segment, Amazon Web Services (AWS), drives the majority of the company’s operating income.

Today, the company has a massive $1.9 trillion market value. In 2023, Amazon claimed a staggering $575 billion in net sales, a 12% yearly increase. Since operating expenses grew at a slower 7% rate over that time, profits rose significantly. Amazon was able to earn $30 billion in net income in 2023, a huge improvement over its $3 billion loss in the prior year.

Amazon’s shares are trading at $184 per share, so investors receiving the average tax refund can afford a few shares despite an 80% increase in the stock price.

From a valuation perspective, Amazon’s price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 63 may sound rich, but it’s notably lower than the five-year average of 91. Additionally, its forward P/E ratio of 44 speaks to the 45% earnings growth expected for the retail giant, a pace that could keep it a market-beating holding for shareholders.

Floor & Decor

Regional to national growth stories propelled stocks like Home Depot in the previous century, and that trend appears set to bolster a smaller Home Depot competitor called Floor & Decor Holdings (NYSE: FND). Buffett’s team began buying the company in the third quarter of 2021. It specializes in hard flooring and decor, offering more selection than a Home Depot and using its bulk purchasing power to offer low prices to consumers.

As of the end of 2023, Floor & Decor had expanded to 36 states, and its store count of 221 grew by 31 during that fiscal year. Also, it plans to open between 30 and 35 new stores in fiscal 2024, bringing it closer to a long-term goal of operating 500 locations.

Admittedly, the sluggish economy affected its near-term performance. During fiscal 2023, net sales of $4.4 billion rose 4%, well below the double-digit increases of past years. Moreover, rising selling and store operating expenses took a toll, and net income of $246 million dropped 18% from the previous fiscal year.

That placed upward pressure on the P/E ratio, which currently stands at 49. While this is above the five-year average of 40, it’s not at unusual levels for the stock. Also, its price-to-sales (P/S) ratio is 2.7, a bit below its 2.9 average, indicating that it’s not as overpriced as the P/E ratio might imply.

Indeed, the stock continues moving higher despite the company’s struggles. A price of about $110 per share makes it affordable for most income-tax-refund recipients.

Additionally, hard flooring has the type of “forever” demand that attracts Buffett and can boost the stock over time. As the company brings additional offerings to the hard-flooring industry, the stock should continue to move higher as it expands into additional markets.

Should you invest $1,000 in Amazon right now?

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John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Will Healy has positions in Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and Home Depot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.