The novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic have raised a lot of fear and uncertainty in society and driven the stock market into bear territory. Nonetheless, I remain bullish on growth stocks for 2020, particularly at these prices. For those of us who remain optimistic about the market, some magnificent stocks are on sale right now. These seven stocks are on my buy list.
1. Roku (down 35% in 2020)
Sometimes fear makes us irrational, and the sell-off in Roku (ROKU -6.60%) reflects that. As a stay-at-home stock, Roku should be up in this environment, not down. Video streaming is a great long-term investment, one that should see a short-term upsurge as people stay indoors because of COVID-19. People will be using Roku's service more over the next few months, not less. And yet the stock is dramatically on sale right now. This one seems like a no-brainer to me.
2. SmileDirectClub (down 55% in 2020)
SmileDirectClub (SDC 200.00%) has been a battleground stock ever since its broken IPO. To be sure, given a price that's currently near $4 a share, there aren't a lot of investors sitting on positive returns. That said, the stock was priced at $15 a share a little over a month ago; the COVID-19 sell-off has been brutal for this company, which doesn't make a lot of sense. SmileDirectClub, like Teladoc, is a telehealth stock. Virtual healthcare is right in its wheelhouse. Granted, getting your teeth straightened is an elective sort of healthcare, and sales might suffer in the near term. But the long-term outlook remains very bright.
3. Amarin (down 50% in 2020)
Speaking of battleground stocks, if you look that phrase up in a dictionary, you might find a picture of a fish oil pill. Amarin (AMRN -1.65%) has been a highflier for a couple of years, ever since results of a study were announced showing its pill was unexpectedly strong in treating cardiovascular health. While the Irish biotech is down sharply in 2020, its five-year chart is a thing of beauty. The stock has quadrupled since Amarin's study results were announced (even after the brutal sell-off this year). That four-bagger dwarfs the S&P 500, of course. Amarin has announced that its 800-person salesforce will be on hiatus for the month of March. So this growth stock will suffer in the short term. But the upside remains huge (and the price is right).
4. Smartsheet (down 3% in 2020)
So many amazing stocks have had 50% haircuts in this environment, why buy one that has been essentially flat? Well, software-as-a-service might be the strongest of all business models, so it's not surprising that many of these stocks have held up pretty well. But what makes Smartsheet (SMAR -0.37%) an exciting buy in this environment is the nature of its offering: collaborative software. With Smartsheet's tools, employees can collaborate in real time, over the internet, and skip face-to-face meetings. If you read one earnings call transcript this quarter, read Smartsheet's. The company reported outstanding 52% growth rates for the year. But the really interesting part of the call is how the company is responding to the coronavirus crisis, with tools that allow healthcare companies and government officials to collaborate in real time. The nature of this crisis might make Smartsheet's collaborative offerings more and more prominent.
5. Square (down 38% in 2020)
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's other company, Square (SQ 0.14%), is a great fintech company for small businesses. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses are being hit especially hard right now. In North Carolina, for instance, all the bars and restaurants are now closed except for takeout orders. So Square's stock has been hammered, along with a lot of retail stocks. But Square's business is very strong. Yesterday, the company received FDIC clearance to open a bank. This means Square can now make loans to all the merchants in its network, and it's huge news for Square. The company has inherent informational advantages over all the other banks. This is a wonderful business, and a virus is making it cheap right now.
6. IMAX (down 48% in 2020)
I wrote about IMAX (IMAX 2.52%) last Thursday, and the stock price proceeded to ramp up by more than 50% that same day. You're welcome! Actually, the reason the stock spiked is that the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) requested financial assistance from the federal government for all its 150,000 member employees. So all the theater stocks spiked for the day, not just IMAX. That's how dismal this sector has been. IMAX has fallen through the floor because its business is shutting down in the short term. But IMAX (unlike cruise ships or airlines) has a wonderful cash/debt outlook. The company has almost three times as much cash as debt. After the virus passes through, our world will return to normal, and movie attendance will spike back up. Brave shareholders who buy now will be rewarded then. Any share price in the single digits is a fantastic bargain for this company.
7. Carvana (down 61% in 2020)
Carvana (CVNA -1.28%) has been an amazing stock ever since its initial public offering. It has almost tripled in three years -- even after being decimated in 2020. You want to see an ugly chart? Look at that drop-off. Of course, this is a bad market for retailers, let alone auto retailers. But look at the bright side: Carvana is an internet retailer, a virtual retailer, a retailer that will deliver a car to you. So while auto sales will no doubt fall dramatically because of COVID-19, what we might also see is more momentum for the online marketplace. Amazon has held up very well in 2020, and Carvana might surprise to the upside too. For those of you who have missed out on that fantastic run-up in Carvana shares, now is a wonderful opportunity to buy a dominant internet retailer at a serious discount.