Growth investors are always on the hunt for the next big thing -- a business poised to deliver many years of consistently strong increases in revenue and profits, thereby creating fortunes for its shareholders along the way. Fortunately, I believe we have one such opportunity available in the market today.
The bond-trading disruptor
MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) is helping to shine a light on the massive, yet still rather opaque, global debt market. In a world in which buyers and sellers have traditionally negotiated by phone, email, and text, MarketAxess' electronic trading platform provides investors in fixed-income securities -- basically, investments that generally pay a fixed rate of return on a set schedule, such as a bond -- with improved pricing and trading efficiencies. Moreover, MarketAxess' platform adds greater transparency to bond market transactions -- something that's becoming increasingly important in the current era of heightened financial-market regulation.
MarketAxess' share of fixed-income trading volume has climbed steadily in recent years, no doubt thanks to these investor benefits.
Yet even after a half-decade of steady gains, MarketAxess still commands only about 16% of the high-grade and 10% of the high-yield bond markets. That leaves plenty of growth still ahead, with MarketAxess estimating that a 1% increase in market share in its core markets would represent an additional $22 million to $26 million in revenue, and up to $39 million when factoring in its expanded markets. For a company that generated slightly more than $275 million in total revenue during the first three quarters of 2016, further share gains of this nature would be a significant boost to its top-line growth.
Also helping to drive growth is MarketAxess' recent entrance into high-potential new areas of the fixed-income trading arena, such as the $394 billion leveraged loan market. Along with operations in municipal bonds and local emerging markets, these growth initiatives are helping to greatly expand MarketAxess' total addressable market opportunity.
This powerful combination of steadily increasing share in both its core and expanded markets should provide MarketAxess with many years of robust revenue growth. And with its highly scalable operations -- the company can add new users to its bond-trading platform with minimal incremental expense -- profits should grow at an even greater clip as margins expand over time. In fact, analysts expect MarketAxess to deliver annualized earnings growth of more than 17% over the next half-decade. That's an impressive figure, and one that I believe MarketAxess could surpass due to its strong track record of operational execution and the powerful industry tailwinds that are propelling its business forward.
Because of these prospects, investors who buy shares in MarketAxess today should be well rewarded in the years ahead.