March Market Madness: 3 Stocks to Dominate Your Bracket

Stocks to buy

March Madness is back and will bring together people who talk about college basketball and actively follow the games. Many people enjoy creating their brackets and seeing how close they get to predicting the final outcome. This backdrop has led to this list of stocks to buy.

Investors operate in a similar way. They analyze stocks and pick a few good ones that can potentially become long-term winners. Not every stock outperforms. Some picks disappoint while others exceed expectations. Investors looking for some stocks may want to consider these stocks to buy investments.

Microsoft (MSFT)

The Microsoft logo outside a building representing MSFT stock.

Source: Asif Islam / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a relatively safe top seed. Even a top seed can get knocked out of the tournament early, but Microsoft has a lot of staying power. The firm has many business segments operating in high-demand verticals.

Q2 Fiscal 2024 revenue increased by 18% year-over-year. Microsoft Cloud was the star player that generated $33.7 billion of the company’s $62.0 billion in the quarter. The cloud segment grew by 24% year-over-year and makes up more than half of the company’s total revenue.

The recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard further bolsters the juggernaut, but artificial intelligence has been the big storyline in recent months. The recent introduction of Copilot has enhanced Microsoft’s product line. It gives people more reasons to stick around and give the Microsoft ecosystem a try. 

Microsoft backed its revenue growth with 33% year-over-year net income growth. Profit margins are expanding, and the company regularly delivers high dividend hikes for its investors. It’s the big name of the stock market thanks to its $3 trillion valuation. Shares are up by 250% over the past five years. 

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL) and Google logos seen displayed on a smartphone

Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) has plenty of raw talent. Google Search, YouTube, and Google Cloud continue to be reliable earners for the company. Those key components helped the firm achieve 13% year-over-year revenue growth and 52% year-over-year net income growth in the fourth quarter of 2023

The stock also trades at a 25 P/E ratio while other tech giants have higher valuations. A few recent blunders have raised concerns about Alphabet’s team chemistry as the tournament approaches. The company’s recent Gemini blunder is the latest sting that is holding shares back. This makes it one of those stocks to buy.

Yes, Gemini’s AI image generation feature has been a complete bust. The company is in damage control and is seeking to fix its issues. However, the company’s star players continue to deliver and can carry the load. The stock looks underappreciated heading into the tournament. Luckily, Alphabet doesn’t have to get its team chemistry fixed by the end of March. The firm has more time to address cultural issues and generate shareholder value for long-term investors.

Celsius Holdings (CELH)

Hand pointing upward next to upward trend stock chart in purple and blackish blue lighting, symbolizes growth stocks

Source: shutterstock.com/Lemonsoup14

Investors out of the know wouldn’t expect a sports beverage drink to tussle with tech giants. However, investors who have been crunching the numbers and reviewing catalysts can feel more confident about ranking Celsius Holdings (NASDAQ:CELH) near the top of their brackets. 

The drink is healthier than most sports drinks and still tastes good. In fact, many of the athletes you see in March Madness will probably be avid fans of the drink. The company has a big following among Gen Z consumers which has resulted in significant financial growth.

Revenue increased by 95% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, and the company has barely tapped into international markets. Financial growth should accelerate as the company further penetrates into these opportunities. The company’s net income was $50.1 million compared to a $21.2 million loss in the same period last year. All in all, it’s one of those stocks to buy.

Celsius Holdings stock has all of the long-term results you would want from a company. Shares are up by 221% over the past year and have gained an astonishing 5,387% over the past five years. International expansion and scorching growth rates in domestic markets suggest the stock has a lot more room to run.

On this date of publication, Marc Guberti held long positions in MSFT, GOOG, and CELH. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Marc Guberti is a finance freelance writer at InvestorPlace.com who hosts the Breakthrough Success Podcast. He has contributed to several publications, including the U.S. News & World Report, Benzinga, and Joy Wallet.

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