A decade is a long time. It may sound arrogant to recommend a stock that you can buy today and profitably hold for the next 10 years, but it's certainly possible to find such winners. In fact, I've done it before.
A quick glance at my Motley Fool CAPS profile shows that I've picked four stocks -- Apple, Alphabet, Baidu, and Under Armour -- that have gone on to crush the market over the past decade-plus, with returns ranging from 417% to 1,919%.
You're free to chalk up that outperformance to luck, but I don't believe in just getting lucky. Instead, I know that -- through the disciplined study of trends and competitive advantage -- it is possible to consistently identify long-term winners. I also believe that opportunity favors the prepared mind.
To help you prepare your portfolio for the coming decade, here's one great stock that I expect will deliver market-crushing returns in the years ahead.
China's $12 trillion economy is set to become even more massive in the coming decades, with the Centre for Economics and Business Research projecting that it will overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy by 2032. And one company is particularly well positioned to profit from this megatrend: Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA).
A formidable competitive position
Alibaba currently dominates e-commerce in China, with a greater than 50% share, according to Analysys International Enfodesk. The company has a powerful presence in both the business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) segments, with its popular Tmall and Taobao marketplaces. And as China's e-commerce market has surged, so too has Alibaba's fortunes. The online juggernaut's revenue soared 58%, to $40 billion, in fiscal 2018,which ended in March. Earnings per share, meanwhile, jumped 44% to $3.91.
Multiple growth runways
This strong earnings growth comes even as Alibaba continues to spend heavily on a bevy of growth projects. Rather than wait for a rising tide to lift its profits, Alibaba is investing aggressively to strengthen and expand its empire. The company's major growth initiatives include cloud computing, streaming video services, mobile search, online food delivery, and even physical retail stores. Together they form a vast and constantly expanding ecosystem. They also help to widen Alibaba's economic moat and grow its already 550 million-person customer base. Moreover, they give investors many ways to win in the coming decade.
Better still, Alibaba's stock is currently trading for 29 times analysts' earnings estimates for fiscal 2019 and 22 times estimates for 2020. This is quite a bargain for a dominant business that's projected to increase its revenue by 59% this year and 38% next year -- and that could quite possibly grow its earnings per share by more than 20% annually over the next decade. Alibaba's valuation is even more attractive if you factor in its 33% stake in Ant Financial -- which operates the wildly successful mobile payments platform, Alipay -- and that recently raised funding at a $150 billion valuation.
All told, with its strong competitive position, outstanding long-term growth prospects, and attractively priced shares, Alibaba is the type of stock that you could buy today and potentially hold for a decade, thereby giving yourself the opportunity to profit handsomely alongside this Chinese powerhouse.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Baidu, Under Armour (A Shares), and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.