The novel coronavirus is an invisible enemy that has brought global economies to their knees in just a few months. More than 3.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases and roughly 250,000 deaths around the world have been recorded.
The unemployment rate in the United States stands at 4.4% while the unemployment rate in Canada is close to 8%. A drastic fall in consumer spending and a spike in unemployment rates have driven equity markets lower. Despite an impressive surge last month, the S&P 500 is still trading 17% below record highs, at the time of this writing.
This is a good time to buy top-quality stocks with strong fundamentals. If you have $10,000 right now that you don't need for the next five years, you could consider investing it in these three stocks to generate wealth over time. Even if the market corrects from current levels, good businesses remain safe bets for long-term investors.
An e-commerce giant
Amazon.com (AMZN 2.55%) is one of the few companies that has seen a considerable surge in demand during these uncertain times. Amazon has several coronavirus-proof businesses.
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have closed their doors and people have no option but to turn to online marketplaces such as Amazon's. As people are largely staying at home, the demand for streaming services has gone up. This should benefit Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon also owns the largest game streaming platform, Twitch, which saw viewership nearly double from 1.3 million in January to 2.5 million in April. And the work-from-home trend has driven demand for cloud computing services higher, a driver for Amazon Web Services.
Amazon recently released its results for the first quarter and reported sales of $75.5 billion, up 26% year over year and above consensus estimates of $73.6 billion. However, it disappointed investors with earnings of $5.01, which was below consensus estimates of $6.25. In the second quarter, Amazon expects revenue in the range of $75 billion to $81 billion, a growth rate between 18% and 28%. These growth rates are not bad at a time when most industries are experiencing crippled demand.
And management promises future innovation. In the quarterly press release, CEO Jeff Bezos was quoted as saying, "If you're a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we're not thinking small."
For long-term investors, Amazon remains one of the best options right now. It is a major player in multiple businesses and each of these businesses is expanding at a fast pace, which should drive Amazon sales higher.
A remote-work enabler
Okta (OKTA 1.67%) is an enterprise-based software player. The shift to remote work has taken off and several companies have proven rather unprepared for the transition. Okta's suite of products and services can help companies navigate these turbulent times.
Okta has a portfolio of cloud-based products to help companies manage access and digital identity tasks. Enterprise data is at risk from cyberthreats. This will continue to drive demand for Okta's products. Okta's user authentication service has a single login process for multiple software applications, making it easy to use. The company provides employees with a platform to access enterprise applications from any device.
Okta's top-line growth depends on customer acquisition. This company increased its customer base to 7,950 by the end of the last quarter. It added 550 new customers and now has 1,450 clients that spend over $100,000 annually on subscriptions.
In the last fiscal year, Okta managed to grow sales by 47% to $586 million. Its dollar-based net retention rate, which helps measure how much customers are spending, stands at a healthy 119%. Okta generates just 16% from total sales from international markets. This provides the company with an opportunity to gain traction in overseas markets as 69% of Fortune's Global 2000 companies are located internationally and they will continue to spend on cybersecurity products.
Okta's enviable growth rate and expanding addressable markets make it a solid bet for investors in 2020 and beyond.
An online advertising disruptor
The Trade Desk (TTD 2.31%) is one of the top players in the programmatic-ad space. This disruptor aims to empower digital ad buyers. It has a cloud-based platform that helps ad buyers manage and optimize data-driven ad campaigns.
The Trade Desk has integrated its platform with large publishers and data partners. For example, it recently announced a partnership with Chinese social media giant TikTok. This collaboration will help ad buyers in 11 regions across Southeast Asia access TikTok data and make data-driven decisions.
The online advertisement business will take a massive hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the current quarter, which could actually help The Trade Desk.
Enterprises will be prudent in allocating marketing budgets and will aim for a high conversion rate. The Trade Desk's programmatic ad platform will help them achieve this goal in a cost-effective manner and help offset a bit of this weakness.
Connected TV (CTV) ad sales for The Trade Desk rose 137% in 2019 and while this growth will likely decelerate in 2020 amid the pandemic, since people are devoting a lot of time consuming online entertainment, the CTV vertical could still see a boost in enterprise spending.
The Trade Desk is well poised to take advantage of a shift in entertainment consumption to online sources.