Wall Street's been taking a breather lately. The Dow has closed lower for five consecutive weeks, rattling investor confidence in the process -- but it isn't always playing out that way. There are dozens of stocks still hitting fresh highs despite the general market downturn.
Zoom Video Communications (ZM 1.77%), American Express (AXP 4.08%), and Costco Wholesale (COST 4.26%) hit new highs last week. Let's go over how these names continue to impress investors when the equity market's going the other way.
The fast-growing provider of video-conferencing solutions is one of the six IPOs this year to have more than doubled. Valuation concerns have kept the stock in check after its initial burst, understandable for a company grappling with profitability and trading at nearly 60 times trailing revenue. However, Zoom Video's growing popularity keeps attracting believers, and that culminated last Monday when William Blair analyst Bhavan Suri initiated coverage.
Suri's bullishness is based on Zoom's heady growth -- revenue soared 118% last year -- as well as its strong customer growth and stellar net dollar expansion rate. He sees Zoom's appeal expanding to a broader audience than conventional video-conferencing platforms, dramatically boosting its potential market.
With stocks retreating, it's a surprise that a company that failed to impress at the start of this quarter's earnings season is coming out ahead. Take American Express, which posted mixed financial results last month. Net income declined, and the 7% uptick in revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations. Yet the stock still hit another all-time high on Wednesday.
American Express is still doing a lot of things right. It's expanding its co-branded card offerings, broadening its reach for plastic-hungry consumers. AmEx is also making changes to its cards, tacking on new perks while also boosting annual fees.
One of the biggest names to report earnings this week will be Costco, and the leading warehouse club operator is hitting new all-time highs ahead of Thursday's results. This may seem to be a rough time to sell groceries, given that internet retailing giants and discount department store chains are beefing up their offerings as they make online ordering more efficient. Yet Costco continues to withstand the challenge.
One factor is that Costco doesn't need to rely on earnings season to make an impression. Last month, the company boosted its dividend and beefed up its share buyback authorization. Earlier this month it posted impressive store-level sales for the four weeks ending May 5, with comps rising 5.4% for the period. Back out volatile gasoline sales, and store-level results still rose better than 5%.