Oh, the market is certainly frightful. But some stocks still look delightful. So, if you want to make your money grow, you've got to invest some dough.
My apologies to the composers of "Let It Snow!" However, my revised lyrics are right on target. Despite investors' fear and uncertainty about the stock market's current volatility, there are quite a few stocks that look very attractive right now.
Let's start with AbbVie's mouthwatering dividend yield of 4.5%. This stock doesn't have to perform very well at all to provide a solid total return with that kind of dividend payout. But I think AbbVie should deliver significant gains over the next few years.
The company has done a great job of ensuring that its blockbuster drug Humira continues to be a cash cow for years to come. Market research company EvaluatePharma even thinks that Humira will remain the world's best-selling drug through 2024.
AbbVie also claims a couple of other big winners in its stable. Cancer drug Imbruvica continues to fire on all cylinders. Mavyret has made a big splash in the hepatitis C market. And the big-pharma company should see tremendous growth for a couple of other approved products, endometriosis pain drug Orilissa and cancer drug Venclexta.
Of course, the most important thing to watch with a drugmaker like AbbVie is its pipeline. EvaluatePharma ranked AbbVie's pipeline as the second-best in the industry. Potential blockbuster drugs including risankizumab and upadacitinib could win approval relatively soon and quickly contribute to the company's growth.
MongoDB hasn't been immune to the stock market's gyrations. However, the database platform company's stock is still up around 180% so far in 2018.
The main reason behind MongoDB stock's sizzling performance is the company's sizzling growth. In Q3, MongoDB reported year-over-year revenue growth of 57%. Its customer base jumped 69% from the prior-year period to 8,300 customers.
MongoDB isn't profitable yet. And its market cap of around $4 billion might look absurdly expensive for a company that made less than $200 million over the last 12 months. But because of its strong growth prospects, I don't think the stock is overpriced.
CEO Dev Ittycheria noted in his comments during MongoDB's Q3 conference call that the overall database market is projected to grow from $59 billion this year to $84 billion by 2022. Unlike MongoDB's platform, most databases were designed decades ago and don't address the needs of today. The company's technological advantages and popularity among software developers should enable MongoDB to capture a significant chunk of the growing database market.
Another stock to buy in December also might seem pricey. Shares of digital and mobile payments company PayPal currently trade at nearly 29 times expected earnings. However, like MongoDB, the important thing to look at with PayPal is its growth opportunities.
PayPal's Venmo peer-to-peer payment app enjoys strong popularity with millennials. As CEO Dan Schulman put it, Venmo isn't just a payment transaction, "it's kind of an experience," with features that let users leave comments or emojis after transactions that others can see. And Venmo ranks as one of the top growth drivers for PayPal as the company pursues more ways to monetize the app.
The company has multiple avenues for growth. One is to attract more customers -- as it's doing with Venmo and other products. Another is to get customers to use its products more frequently. PayPal customers currently use their accounts about once every two weeks. The company's goal is to have customers use PayPal twice a week.
Allied Market Research projects that the global mobile-payments market will grow to nearly $4.6 trillion by 2023. I expect PayPal to claim its fair share of that and generate strong returns for investors in the process.
You might think that buying these three stocks in December isn't such a great idea in light of the overall stock market choppiness. But there will always be uncertainty about what the market will or will not do.
The key to investing success is a long-term perspective. AbbVie, MongoDB, and PayPal appear to have what it takes to deliver for investors over the long term. The stock market might be frightful, but these stocks look delightful.