Unveiling the Hottest Stocks: Top 3 Picks for Your Portfolio in May

Stocks to buy

Looking ahead, the future of the U.S. economy appears promising as recent inflation data suggests some stabilization. In April, the CPI rose by 0.3%, slightly below expectations, but increased by 3.4% in 12 months, in line with forecasts. This moderation in inflation has sparked optimism in financial markets, with stock futures rising and treasury yields falling. If this trend continues, it could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to consider lowering interest rates. This could potentially bolster economic growth in the months ahead for these hot stocks to buy.

The economy is only looking to perform better and defy expectations for at least the next few months. This means that now is the perfect time to invest in some growth-forward companies. Here are the top three hot stocks to buy in May.

Green Plains (GPRE)

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Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) is an agri-tech company specializing in transforming crops into biofuel. Producing around 1 billion gallons each year, the company is one of the world’s largest biofuel producers. Currently valued at $19.02, GPRE has a 12-month median price target of $30.50, representing a 60.36% increase. 

The biofuel industry holds enormous potential and is highly profitable for renewable energy companies. Valued at $115.5 billion in 2022, it is expected to reach $205.45 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.14%. The majority of this industry consists of the ethanol market. As the U.S.’s fourth largest ethanol producer, GPRE can leverage its position to capitalize on the industry’s growth. 

GPRE also has promising financials. Although the company reported disappointing earnings last quarter, these short-term concerns are mitigated by a favorable outlook. The company has already established that it can be profitable, and analysts forecast revenue for Q2 2025 to reach $645.23 million, an 8.04% increase. Furthermore, with $277.4 million in cash, GPRE can easily weather challenges and still focus on growth. 

The most significant catalyst behind the company’s success is its recent opening of a $70 million biorefinery in York County. Made possible through a partnership with Shell (NYSE:SHEL), the new production facility includes advanced technology to maximize the efficiency of its production process. The company’s arsenal now consists of ten biorefineries, and as it continues to expand its business, it expects revenue to skyrocket for GPRE.

First Solar (FSLR)

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First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) manufactures and provides photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. FSLR’s shares have risen 11.41% YTD, and with a 12-month median price target of 19.84%, ​​analysts are bullish on the stock.

In recent years, FSLR has leveraged the growth of the solar energy systems market to boost its business. Valued at $189.15 billion in 2022, this market is projected to reach $837.28 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.04%. Primarily driven by increasing consumer demand and favorable government incentives, this growth is expected to contribute towards FSLR’s earnings gain. 

In Q1 2024, FSLR topped analyst estimates, reporting net sales of $794 million and EPS of $2.20. The company also saw net income jump an astonishing 455% YoY to $236.61 million. Further success can be seen in FSLR’s expected sales backlog of 78.3 GW and management’s optimistic full-year 2024 revenue guidance of $4.6 billion. 

Its consistent expansion efforts are the most significant catalyst behind the company’s growth. To meet an anticipated increase in demand for solar energy, FSLR has recently invested $1.1 billion to build its fifth U.S. panel factory, which majorly expands its domestic manufacturing footprint. The company is also constructing a factory in Alabama, slated to begin production in 2025, adding to its manufacturing prowess. Commitment to expansion has allowed FSLR to achieve remarkable success last quarter and will continue to fuel growth in 2024.

Citigroup (C)

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Citigroup (NYSE:C) is a global financial services company offering banking, investment and wealth management services worldwide. Its headquarters are in Delaware and New York City. 22 Analysts predict the price targets to be between $80 and $46, with an average of $62 and its current price at $64.

C’s introduction of the Citi Strata Premier Card has strengthened the company’s value. This card enhances travel rewards and protections, giving cardholders lucrative rewards. Its competitive reward system, which supports a change to EV, helps customers easily get rewards. The card maintains a competitive edge with a reasonable $95 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) backing, helping C stay at the forefront of the banking industry.

C’s strong financials throughout the year and its consistent competitive edge make it one of the hot stocks to buy in May.

On the date of publication, Michael Que did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

The researchers contributing to this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

Michael Que is a financial writer with extensive experience in the technology industry, with his work featured on Seeking Alpha, Benzinga and MSN Money. He is the owner of Que Capital, a research firm that combines fundamental analysis with ESG factors to pick the best sustainable long-term investments.

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