Stock Market

Amid market volatility, enduring investments are hard to find. However, a few resilient, innovative blue-chip stocks offer competitive prices and total returns over the long term.

The first stock, fueled by AI and loyalty achievements, thrives internationally. Digital innovation and strategic initiatives underpin its growth, with global expansion yielding remarkable results, especially in China.

With its global sales surge, the second one highlights its adaptable strategies and digital channels that are propel growth. Innovation in restaurant formats and menu offerings showcases its commitment to change.

Lastly, the third pick leverages payment expansion and cross-border trends. Its value-added services and partnerships contribute to growth while focusing on digital identity ensures continued relevance.

And now, for the deep dive.

Starbucks (SBUX)

Source: monticello /

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is poised to reap substantial long-term benefits from its strategic initiatives and impressive performance.

Notably, Starbucks is capitalizing on digital innovation, with 90-day active Starbucks Rewards customers surging to nearly 75 million globally. Starbucks Rewards members in the U.S. are responsible for 57% of total sales, showcasing the loyalty program’s success.

Also, the company’s investment in AI-driven Deep Brew technology is set to revolutionize digital engagement, improve customer experience and partner productivity, and position Starbucks as a digital leader.

Additionally, Starbucks continues to innovate, as evidenced by products like the ready-to-drink Starbucks Pink Drink and partnerships with companies like Suntory. Notably, the Channel Development segment achieved an operating margin of 46.3%, reflecting SKU rationalization and adjustments to cater to on-the-go customers.

Further, Starbucks’ global expansion strategy yields impressive results, with double-digit growth across international segments. The Chinese market stands out, recording a 51% growth in revenue, reflecting the brand’s strength, resilience, and locally relevant innovation.

Finally, Starbucks has a focus on delivering shareholder value. It is evident in its Q3 EPS of $1, a 19% increase from the prior year. This growth underscores the effectiveness of the company’s strategies and its ability to capitalize on evolving consumer preferences and behaviors.

McDonald’s (MCD)

Source: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is poised for long-term benefits through its strategic initiatives, as highlighted in its Q2 2023 report.

The company’s consistent performance, marked by global comparable sales growth of 11.7%, reflects the success of its “Accelerating the Arches” playbook. This strategy emphasizes enhanced customer experiences and operational improvements, with the PACE program contributing to increased customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Additionally, McDonald’s has embraced an “Accelerating the Organization” approach, fostering collaboration, horizontal ways of working, and digitization. The focus on digital channels has proven fruitful, with around 90% of business in China coming through digital means, showcasing the power of a digitized economy and the potential for global growth.

Also, McDonald’s is learning from best practices across markets. This includes Canada’s initiative review process that prioritizes impactful projects, and the U.K. and Ireland adopting successful strategies from Germany’s burger rollout.

Overall, marketing prowess remains a key driver, with campaigns like Grimace’s viral phenomenon showcasing the brand’s power and engagement. McDonald’s strong brand positioning is recognized globally, and its investments in marketing have led to higher food quality scores from customers.

Mastercard (MA)

Source: David Cardinez /

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) stands to benefit significantly from its strong business fundamentals and strategic initiatives in the long term.

One of Mastercard’s key strategic priorities is expanding in payments. This involves winning diverse customers, capturing new payment flows, and leveraging various alternatives such as card rails, ACH, blockchain, and open banking. Also, the company has successfully won deals globally, such as UniCredit in Europe and partnerships with Fiserv, and Coast Capital.

Also, Mastercard is capitalizing on growth in cross-border travel, reaching 154% of 2019 levels in Q2. The company’s travel-oriented portfolios and initiatives in loyalty and marketing, position it for success. Partnerships with Alipay and WeChat Pay enable international travelers to link physical cards to digital wallets, allowing transactions across China easily.

Fundamentally, the company’s value-added services and solutions are driving revenue growth. These include fraud prevention, consulting, analytics, and identity solutions. Mastercard’s innovative capabilities are helping banks predict and prevent payment scams, enhance customer experiences, and improve acquisition and conversion rates.

Strategically, Mastercard’s embrace of new networks, including open banking and digital identity, has also contributed to its growth. Collaborations with various entities, such as Freddie Mac and Algon, demonstrate its focus on increasing financial inclusion and simpler, safer digital interactions.

Looking ahead, Mastercard’s outlook remains positive. It expects net revenue growth in the low teens for 2023. It will be driven by resilient consumer spending and the ongoing recovery of cross-border travel. Similarly, the company is prepared to adjust operating expenses if needed to respond to changes in top-line growth.

On the date of publication, Yiannis Zourmpanos did not hold (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 Publishing Guidelines.

Yiannis Zourmpanos is the founder of Yiazou Capital Research, a stock-market research platform designed to elevate the due diligence process through in-depth business analysis.

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