Technology stocks always attract a large following. No matter how many tech bubbles go boom and bust, analysts and investors are always on the lookout for the next big tech superstar (and the incredible growth that usually accompanies it).
This doesn't mean you should opt for a spray-and-pray approach to the industry. Investors wanting to diversify into technology can have a look at the three companies below, each of which has generated impressive returns since its market debut.
Recent pullbacks in these stocks may have some investors worried, but The Trade Desk (TTD 5.14%), ServiceNow (NOW 3.85%), and Okta (OKTA 1.51%) are part of high-growth sectors with huge addressable markets that can fuel results for years to come. Find out why they have plenty of steam left to reward patient investors over the next several years.
The Trade Desk
The Trade Desk enables enterprises to manage digital ad campaigns and expenditure across formats and devices. The company's platform allows a media buyer to not only buy digital media but also optimize and measure the effectiveness of these campaigns.
An eMarketer report says that digital ad spending in the United States is expected to account for 54.2% of total ad expenditure in 2019, with the market hitting nearly $130 billion by the end of this year and growing at a double-digit pace. The Trade Desk is part of the programmatic ad space that itself is estimated to reach $34 billion in 2019.
Management expects programmatic advertising to grow at a far higher pace compared to digital ads overall, which will help the company drive growth and capture market share. The Trade Desk aims to take advantage of the shift to data-driven ad spending which is more consumer-specific -- and often far more effective as well.
Due to its market position in this space, the company has managed to sign master service agreements in the second quarter with 55 companies, the highest count since 2016. But the biggest revenue driver for this company might be its deal with Amazon Publisher Services.
While earlier advertisers had to deal with Amazon to display ads to Fire TV and Fire TV stick users, they will now be using The Trade Desk's platform for the same. This deal can be a game-changer for the company, and CEO Jeff Green discussed the opportunity extensively during the second-quarter earnings call.
In the June quarter, revenue was up 42% year over year, while growth was even higher for the connected TV (CTV) channel which more than doubled from the year-ago period. This business is set to move even higher thanks to the deal with Amazon.
Shares of The Trade Desk are already up over 10-fold since their market debut, though the stock is currently down over 30% from its 52-week high. It's the perfect time to consider a position in this promising business.
One of the toughest challenges for companies in the tech space is building customer loyalty. People and companies' preferences are fleeting as they eye every new innovation or technology that might deliver more efficiency.
That's why I like ServiceNow, a cloud-based enterprise solutions provider where subscription sales accounted for 94% of revenue in the June quarter. This provides a steady stream of income and cash flows. Furthermore, the customer renewal rate for ServiceNow stands at a monstrous 98%.
What does ServiceNow do? It automates workflows and IT operations with a focus on service management, customer support, and human resource verticals. The company wants to enable and accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises, and it has a customer base of 5,400 that continues to grow.
ServiceNow has been named as a leader by Forrester Wave in the Enterprise Service Management (ESM) segment. Forrester states:
ServiceNow is the largest ESM player in the market and currently the dominant player in the large enterprise market. With one of the clearest and broadest strategic visions out there, this vendor has been investing in automation and intelligence, ease of use, DevOps, and its position as an enterprise platform.
The company is now expanding into automation services across areas such as legal and finance. A high renewal rate helps the firm to upsell other services, thereby increasing the average contract value. All these factors have contributed to solid growth for the firm. Revenue has nearly doubled from $1.4 billion in 2016 to $2.6 billion in 2018. Analysts expect the top line to hit nearly $3.5 billion in the current year, eventually approaching $6 billion by the end of 2021.
Okta is a company that operates in the identity and access management space, a market that's expected to grow 13% annually from $10.1 billion in 2018 to $23.4 billion by 2025, according to a report by Zion Market Research.
Zion Research states:
The rising momentum of web-based applications and remote working has led the users to stay connected with organizational resources without putting security at risk. Moreover, organizations are hosting applications on the cloud, making it extremely important to manage their authentication and authorization for various applications and organizational data, thereby driving the identity and access management market.
Okta has tapped into a sweet spot by helping enterprises connect their employee base with applications through the Okta Identity Cloud Platform. Earlier this month, Okta also launched SecurityInsights, which provides customers with personalized security detection and remediation capabilities.
SecurityInsights has two features -- the first is UserInsights which allows end-users to report suspicious activities. Second, HealthInsight provides the same capabilities to the administrator. These solutions will help enterprises take quick action against cyber attacks.
Okta also recently partnered with Atlassian, which provides enterprise-facing collaboration and productivity software. Now, organizations will be able to integrate Okta's authentication technology into Atlassian's cloud products. This will give employees secure access to the tools they need everyday and in a safe environment.
The company recognizes the need for enterprise security is rapidly evolving as workers are increasingly spread out. Around 80% of attacks involve the use of weak credentials, and this puts the entire organization at risk. Companies need to maintain the best security practices, and Okta is growing its portfolio of products to meet these needs at a rapid pace.
And its track record doing so is impressive. The company put up revenue growth of 56% in fiscal 2019, while analysts expect sales to approach $1 billion by 2022. Profitability is also trending in the right direction, too, as EBITDA is expected to break into positive territory that same year.
The stock has returned a whopping 580% since its IPO in April 2017, but shares have declined 16% in the past three month.
Tech stocks will lose market value in a sell-off
Due to their premium valuations and the sky-high expectations that come with them, technology stocks underperform the broader indexes in a bear market. All three of these companies have shed significant value recently as investors grapple with macroeconomic concerns.
Investors have a great opportunity now to build their positions during these kinds of dips. These three companies have unmatched market opportunities and strong businesses that should pay off for shareholders willing to play the long game.