Growth investing can make you rich. Well-chosen growth stocks can increase in value many times as they scale their revenue and profits, creating fortunes for their investors along the way.
The key, of course, is being able to identify which growth stocks to buy among a sea of potential candidates. To help you in this regard, here are three rapidly expanding companies with particularly attractive growth prospects.
DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) is helping to enable the digital transformation megatrend. As the leader in e-signature and other digital agreement technologies, DocuSign helps organizations prepare, sign, store, and manage contracts online.
Many businesses were already migrating their paper-based processes to the cloud before the coronavirus pandemic, due in part to the cost savings, convenience, and security benefits it provides. Social distancing directives and a corresponding rise in remote work during the COVID-19 crisis have only served to accelerate this trend. DocuSign's business, in turn, is booming. Its revenue climbed 39% year over year to $297 million in the first quarter, while its operating cash flow leapt 29% to $59 million.
Plenty more growth lies ahead. The digital transaction management market will approach $16 billion by 2025, up from $4.6 billion in 2018, according to Grand View Research. As a key service provider in this rapidly expanding industry, DocuSign is well-positioned to deliver strong returns to investors in the coming years.
Zoom Video Communications
Like DocuSign, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) is helping to enable life-saving social distancing strategies during the pandemic. The popular video conferencing platform also stands to benefit from the trend toward remote work and online education that's likely to continue long after the crisis ends.
Zoom is growing sales and profits at a rate that few businesses can match. Its first-quarter revenue soared 169% year over year to $328 million, while its adjusted net income rose nearly sevenfold to $58 million. Zoom's cash flow metrics were even more impressive; its operating and free cash flow increased more than tenfold to $259 million and $252 million, respectively.
Zoom's strong cash flow generation and fortress-like balance sheet -- which contains $1.1 billion in cash and investments and no debt -- place it in a sound financial position. The fact that it's so profitable so early in its growth cycle is a testament to the strength of its asset-light business model. Better still, Zoom should grow even more profitable as it scales its business across more users and paying customers. So don't let its stock's nearly-300% returns since debuting on the public markets in April 2019 stop you from buying shares today, because plenty more gains still lie ahead.
Like DocuSign and Zoom, Shopify's (NYSE:SHOP) growth is being fueled by powerful long-term trends. Retail sales are shifting online at an accelerated pace due in part to the COVID-19 crisis. Shopify helps small -- and, increasingly, large -- businesses build and grow their online operations. And it's perfectly positioned to ride the global e-commerce boom.
Shopify's first-quarter revenue surged 47% to $470 million, while its adjusted net income soared 214% to $22 million. Merchants are flocking to Shopify's e-commerce platform, and many are growing their sales at a healthy clip. Shopify's gross merchandise volume -- essentially, the total dollar amount of sales merchants made on its platform -- jumped 46% to $17.4 billion in the first quarter.
A couple of blockbuster deals should help to boost Shopify's growth. In May, Shopify partnered with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to help merchants create Facebook Shops, or customized storefronts on the social media titan's namesake platform and Instagram. Shopify will power Facebook's checkout features, and also provide merchants with tools to manage their inventory, orders, and fulfillment.
Shopify also recently formed a partnership with retail colossus Walmart (NYSE:WMT). The deal will let 1,200 of Shopify's highest-performing merchants start selling their wares on Walmart.com. The partnership will help Walmart strengthen its third-party marketplace, while also helping Shopify give its best merchants an even larger market opportunity. If the partnership goes well -- and all signs suggest that it will -- Walmart will likely open up its marketplace to more of Shopify's more than 1 million merchants. That could propel the e-commerce star's stock to even greater heights in the months and years ahead.