Among sports' great contests, the quadrennial battle that is the soccer World Cup stands out among the most epic. Win, and you have bragging rights for a nice long run. And given that The Motley Fool is focused on longer-term success, it makes sense that this week on the Rule Breakers podcast, when co-founder David Gardner picks his 15th set of five stocks, he's dedicating it to the World Cup, with timing based on the World Cup.
So, his holding period for this set is, of course, four years -- enough time, one hopes, for the market's short-term biases and momentary moods to even out, and for the proverbial cream to rise to the top. Which companies is he betting on and why? Join him on the pitch and find out.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on July 4, 2018.
David Gardner: Alright, let's get to it! We're going to call this list five stocks celebrating the 2018 World Cup. Each of these I'm suggesting for the next four years, I'm picking each of these stocks individually -- I hope -- and certainly the group together, as market-beaters. We're going to try to outpace the S&P 500, as we do in all things here at The Motley Fool, or at least with my approach through Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor. This is our 15th stock sampler. And, yes, the market is still at or near all-time highs, just like it was in 2016. It'll be interesting to see how these four years ago, especially for these five stocks.
Stock No. 1. This is one I've already talked about on this podcast. It has a different name than two years ago. It's Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG). The ticker symbol is BKNG. How could I not pick one of my personal biggest holdings, a company I deeply admire, that's such a dominant worldwide player, and that's still enjoying such significant growth?
Some of that growth might be coming in ways that you or I might not expect. For example, have you ever heard of Airbnb? I bet you have. I have, too. A lot of people think that Airbnb might make life tough on hotels in particular -- hotels, motels, etc. Why pay Hilton or Marriott when arguably, you could pay less and stay in sometimes nicer accommodations by using something like Airbnb? Sounds like a threat, doesn't it, to Priceline/Booking/Agoda?
Here's some good news. As of -- well, I'm looking at last summer's numbers, anyways. I'm assuming these haven't changed dramatically. Airbnb had about four million unique properties that were listed there that you could stay in, that you could rent. Booking, with the same business model, had five million places that you could stay that were not hotels or motels. Like Airbnb, Booking is doing the same kind of a business. It's playing in that sharing economy. What might look like a threat to some on Wall Street as they look at Booking Holdings, maybe they need to make sure they've done their homework and recognize that that same model's going to work really well for this company, too.
BKNG, again, the ticker symbol. It's been an 85-bagger for Stock Advisor members who listened to me when I first picked it in 2004. But even more fun, I think -- even though it hasn't been quite as rewarding -- was when, in 2010, I decided to rerecommend Priceline at the time for Stock Advisor members. A lot of people were saying, "It's already up eight times! From 2004 to 2010, it's gone up eight times! Why would you recommend we buy this stock today?"
The reason this is fun is because, as of this year now, it is up 949% from that rerecommendation. Over 900% is a ten-bagger. Doing the math -- always reminding people of this, by the way -- a 100% gain is a two-bagger. A 900% gain is a ten-bagger. That rerecommendation is up itself ten times in value, proving that when you find a great horse, stick with it. Keep the bets in place. Maybe add some more purse over the course of time, because these great companies can win the triple crown sometimes on their own track by themselves. Booking Holdings is a good example of that, BKNG, stock No. 1.
Alright. Again, proceeding alphabetically, stock No. 2 is Dassault Systemes (NASDAQOTH:DASTY). The ticker symbol is DASTY. I attempted just a slight French lilt, with the accent grave over one of those Es in the second name. That's my high school schoolboy French talking. The one that I didn't continue, the one that, sadly, I kind of lost. I can still pronounce French pretty well, I just can't speak it back and forth very well at all.
Dassault Systemes has been an outstanding performer since first picked in September of 2009. It's up 429% for Stock Advisor members. The market over that time is up 206%, so it's a couple of hundred percentage points ahead of the market. It's a five-bagger. It's a $36 billion company today, but a lot of people haven't heard of it.
Some people in America might especially ask, "Is France really a capitalist nation?" There's a lot of socialism, or has been, in France. Although, under Macron, it looks like more and more capitalism might be in the offing. If so, I think that's a great antidote to beleaguered Europe. A stronger, more capitalist France sounds really good to me. If so, Dassault Systemes would be a great example of that.
This is a company that was operating in CAD/CAM software back in the day. When you were designing things using software, whether you were an architectural designer, or you were designing packaging for a new children's toy, you could use CAD/CAM software to design it right there on the computer and show people, prototypically, what it would look like. Well, that's still a big business today for Dassault Systemes. But as the world has moved more and more toward 3D graphics, or think about virtual reality, think about all of those assets and prototypes that are being developed purely digitally, you're seeing the beauty of being a leader in that space, which is certainly what Dassault Systemes is. Again, the ticker symbol is DASTY.
As the world goes more and more 3D -- in fact, their website is 3ds.com, you can check it out -- as the world goes toward virtual and augmented reality, you're going to see a lot more use of this company's product. Already, though, very substantial worldwide leader.
And, great to include France here. As I do this taping, France is still alive in the World Cup, so I have France on my mind. I'm certainly cheering them on. I'd like to see them do pretty well. I'm not sure, at the end of the day, I think I'd pick England to win it all if I had to pick a team right now. But I'm certainly cheering France on. Good luck, France. But, even more, good luck Dassault Systemes.
Stock No. 3. This is not a stock tied to a specific country. I do have couple of others coming on this list. Nope, this one is the No. 1 maker of the biggest FIFA World Cup video game in the world, and that would, of course, be Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA). Today, with its ticker symbol, EA, it totes a $44 billion market cap and is one of the worldwide leaders in interactive entertainment. In fact, the FIFA World Cup 2018 game that many are enjoying -- maybe you have it on your PlayStation or Xbox these days -- that is in its 25th installment.
Certainly, a big part of EA's success over a few decades now has been these sports games, like Madden football or FIFA World Cup. They just keep coming out with a new edition each year that fans willingly pay up for -- most years, anyway, as long as it gets decent enough reviews, as long as the company has put some effort into improving the game from one year to the next. I can't say that Electronic Arts has distinguished itself every year in that regard, but more often than not, it has, which is why it has a very substantial sports business.
Of course, EA has wide-ranging assets and properties across all genres of interactive entertainment, not just sports. But, because this is our five stocks celebrating the World Cup list, I had to think about including Electronic Arts, one of my favorite companies.
This is, if you're a Motley Fool Rule Breaker member, a starter stock. Hint hint, if you're not a Motley Fool Rule Breaker member -- we think you should join Rule Breakers, just go to fool.com or rulebreakers.com and take a 30-day free trial to join us at Rule Breakers. You'll see what our starter stocks are. That's a shorter list of stocks that we think anybody who's just starting investing, these are good picks for them. Why? Because usually, these are companies with larger sizes, more substantial resources, they're safer companies, and most of these companies, you would recognize their names. They're recognizable names in businesses in which they reside. They're often the leader within their category.
Certainly, Electronic Arts is one such example, and darn it, I wish I'd picked this stock on my Brexit-inspired stock list two years in place of Hain Celestial! I did actually pick this stock for Rule Breakers in June of 2016. It's up 89% since then, with the market up 36%, marked directly against the market. This would have been a big-time winner.
That's why I'm putting it on my list for the next four years. A company like this, I see thriving and continuing to grow, again, for at least the next decade plus out, unless the world changes in some way I can't really see. Interactive entertainment, big brands, these are really vital businesses, and Electronic Arts is a great example. That's stock No. 3.
We're coming down the home stretch. Here comes stock No. 4, the company MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI). The ticker symbol is MELI. Again, a slight effort at trying to pronounce the name as a native speaker of Spanish might. This is a company that's a $13 billion company. It's one I've mentioned a number of times on this podcast. I'm sure, in some of our five-stock samplers, I've included it. I'm not looking at the full list right now. It's one of my favorite go-to companies.
Here's a few things about MercadoLibre. First of all, I'd like to point out that a number of Latin American countries are still in the World Cup. MercadoLibre operates in all of them. That's one of the things I love about the World Cup, actually. Latin America doesn't often make the leadership category when you look at a lot of other, especially athletic, things worldwide. You don't see a lot of dominance in the Winter Olympics or the Summer Olympics from this block, although it's well ahead of the Middle East in terms of its gold medals, no doubt. But, think about soccer and how many tremendous teams come out of Latin America. So, I had to think about including this company on my five-stock sampler.
Two more quick things I want to say about MercadoLibre. First of all, it has for me what I consider to be a shockingly low, and therefore very promising, risk rating. One of the things we do at The Motley Fool and in Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor, my services, is we put a number estimating the risk we think you take on when you buy a stock. We make that number somewhere between 0 to 25 -- the higher the number, the higher the risk of the stock. Our highest-risk stock that I think I've ever recommended off that 0-25-point scale is a 17 or 18. Very infrequently do I take that much risk. In general, we like to take, if possible, as little risk as we can and get the best returns we can imagine.
This is a tremendous multi-bagger for us off of a risk rating of five. That means, the way we define risk, that your chances of actually losing money if you hold this over a long period of time are very, very low. That's how we estimate risk.
When I talk about our risk ratings, longtime listeners will remember, I've done a whole series on risk ratings. It's something that I care and think a lot about. It's something we invented at Motley Fool Rule Breakers. I love these risk ratings, so I really wanted to double underline that -- a risk rating of just five for Mercado Libre. Really surprisingly safe investment for what might sound like a risky e-commerce player in a sometimes-volatile area of the world. But no, this is a grounded company with a $13 billion market cap.
In fact, since Uruguay is still in the World Cup, I decided I'd just visit the Mercado Libre Uruguay site. Sure enough, right on the front page, they're advertising a soccer ball. They're advertising Father's Day 40% off prices. Father's Day, as it turns out, in Uruguay, is the 15th of July. It's maybe a universally celebrated day worldwide, but at least in the country of Uruguay -- side note, a little bit of trivia for you coming out of your RBI podcast experience -- this year, it's the 15th of July in Uruguay. And yep, they're advertising soccer balls for Dad. Play soccer with Dad for Father's Day.
Have I saved the best for last? Well, these are all alphabetical, so we go down from M and we hit the letter Y. This is a really interesting company. It might be the best performer for last. We'll see. If it is, it'll be a lot better than its recent performance, which hasn't been great.
The company is Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), ticker symbol YNDX. How could I not think to include this longer-time Rule Breaker? I first picked it in 2012, so it's almost six years old in the Rule Breakers service. It's up 54% over that time, the market up 114%, so Yandex is down 60% to the market.
But if you know search engines, and you think about companies like Google, and you think, who's the Google of Russia? What's the No. 1 most-used search engine among Russian speakers, in that area of the world? And the answer is Yandex, a company founded in 1997 by Arkady Volozh, who today is still the CEO and founder of this company. He is a billionaire, but he's not one of those Russian billionaires who's just sitting on a whole heap of oil and milking it or striking questionable deals with the Russian government. Some of those oligarchs, there are a lot of questions about where that money's come from asked worldwide in a more transparent world these days. No, Volozh has done it through inventing the Google of Russia.
This is a company I have great hope for. It has been, as I mentioned, a significant underperformer over its first six years. But as I watch Russia, through penalty kicks, advance into the next round of the tournament, being held in Russia, it makes me happy for the nation. I think the better it performs, the more it comes online and connects with the rest of the world. I have great hopes for Russia, and not just for their soccer team or their national pride, but very specifically for the capitalism.
When I look at Yandex, I see a company that is the No. 1 search engine, but it's also doing a lot of other interesting things that you might do the same if you were Arkady Volozh looking at other competitors worldwide. "Who else is leading in search engines in other places? Let's start to mimic them," I think Volozh has been thinking, because in 2017, Yandex began to introduce its intelligent personal assistant, which is Alice.
Then, a few months later, it's time to buy Foodfox, a food delivery service. Or, how about this year, when it combined with Uber to merge their businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia, but most prominently there in Russia, so that Uber and Yandex are now together operating Uber Russia, another pretty good business model? Yandex owns the majority of that stake, and Uber owns a minority of that stake.
If you're seeing what Volozh is doing here, what Yandex is doing, they're getting into a lot of horizontal businesses using the optionality that you get if you're the leader in search for an important territory in the world. So, let's see how Yandex does over the next four years.
OK, those were our five stocks. Just recounting them alphabetically to close: Booking Holdings, BKNG; Dassault Systèmes, DASTY; Electronic Arts, EA; Mercado Libre, MELI; and finally, Yandex, YNDX. Good luck, five stocks celebrating the 2018 World Cup. We'll check in with you each year going forward.
David Gardner owns shares of Booking Holdings, MercadoLibre, and Yandex. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Booking Holdings, HAIN, and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool recommends Dassault Systemes, Electronic Arts, MAR, and Yandex. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.