Investors know the phrase “let your winners run,” but it’s easier said than done. The temptation to take profits off the table is often too great to ignore. By doing so, however, we run the risk of undercutting our portfolio returns. Having said that, you can’t go wrong with these stocks that just hit 52-week highs.
There are quite a few winning stocks at 52-week highs that investors should continue to let run. The following three stocks may be at new peaks, but they have plenty of room to move higher still if you let them. That also means it’s not too late to buy these top-notch stocks and handsomely profit from them.
With AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), investors are getting the excitement and growth potential of a small biotech but one that has the weight and gravitas of a stalwart pharmaceutical. The drugmaker’s stock is up 12% in 2024 after reporting solid earnings last week. They showed the loss of patent protection on its arthritis treatment Humira won’t be the devastating impact originally believed. ABBV stock is literally pennies away from setting a new all-time high.
Despite competition from biosimilars, Humira remains AbbVie’s largest source of revenue. It generated $3.3 billion in global sales, a 41% drop year-over-year. Yet AbbVie’s non-Humira portfolio turned in impressive quarterly results offsetting the sting of its lead drug’s decline. Skyrizi saw a 52% jump in global sales to $2.4 billion, Rinvoq was up 63% to $1.3 billion, and Vraylar soared 40% to $789 million.
AbbVie’s strength lies not only in its deep bench of billion-dollar drugs but also in a robust pipeline of therapies under development. That’s important because there is always new competition coming to market in biosimilars and generics. Cancer treatment Imbruvica, for example, generated $3.6 billion in sales last year, but that’s down 21% from 2022 as new drugs were released.
Sales will fall over the next few years as Humira fades but there are plenty more drugs in the wings. AbbVie also generates strong cash flows that support its dividend, which yields 3.6% annually.
Streaming music leader Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is another stock hitting a 52-week high after an impressive earnings report. Fourth quarter results benefited from double-digit revenue growth as both its ad-supported and premium services drove higher members and margins.
Monthly active users () hit 602 million representing 23% year-over-year growth. The 28 million net additions surpassed Spotify’s guidance by 1 million MAUs. It had 236 million premium subscribers, up 15% from last year, and 379 million MAUs on its ad-supported channel, a 28% increase.
Spotify is the world’s biggest streaming music service. Though it’s not yet profitable, there is a good chance it crosses that threshold this year. The biggest hurdle it faces is how record labels will react to demands for music. It’s a variable beyond Spotify’s control. Three labels control 80% of all music licensing and hold large sway over pricing. It’s why Spotify’s move into podcasting is welcome. It allows for greater self-determination.
Of course, Spotify has the world’s biggest podcast personality in Joe Rogan. It just signed him to a new contract worth up to $250 million. The original $200 million contract that brought him to the platform shook the market but it’s paying off for the streamer. It’s why they signed him to a new multi-year deal.
There may be some upper bounds that SPOT stock may not cross but it’s not near them yet. The 52-week high is only just the next leg higher.
American Express (AXP)
American Express (NYSE:AXP) rounds out our trio of stocks at 52-week highs. While its stock has been rising since late last year, the Federal Reserve didn’t announce any interest rate cuts at its meeting this week. While it might not raise rates anymore the central bank is in no mood to cut them either. It wants to keep rates elevated to contain inflation which is running at 3.4% currently.
That takes pressure off American Express, which will likely see its net interest income (NII) continue growing as a result. Falling rates could weigh on NII but that’s been pushed to the back burner until inflation approaches the targeted 2% level.
American Express is also enjoying stronger-than-expected credit quality, lower-than-expected net charge-offs and rising loan growth. Despite pursuing younger borrowers, which many thought might dint the credit card issuer, that hasn’t been the case. Of course, American Express still has a target demographic that’s wealthier than other card issuers so they tend to feel any financial pinch later. With the economy seemingly making the hoped-for soft landing, AmEx is performing above expectations.
That could slow later in the year as the Fed indicated it wants at least three rate cuts, assuming inflation complies. However, with a stock up 10% after just a month of trading and American Express looks like it has more room to run. If you are looking for stocks that hit 52-week highs, start here.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey held a LONG position in ABBV stock. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.