After a dismal -- some would say downright scary -- first quarter, the stock market has roared back over the past three months. And while the economic outlook remains hazy and the market could very well crash again, history teaches us that patient investors will eventually be rewarded.
What's more, you don't need to be as wealthy as Warren Buffett to invest in stocks. If you have $5,000 laying around that you don't need for necessities or a rainy day, here are two top stocks that can make your money work for you: Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY 0.44%) and Shopify (SHOP -1.27%).
A leader in the oncology market
Bristol Myers Squibb hasn't had the best of years. The company's stock is down by 10.5% year to date, which is worse than the performance of the S&P 500 over the same period. But this poor performance is, in my view, an opportunity to buy the company's shares for a discount; here's why. This pharma giant -- which boasts a strong lineup of drugs -- is especially prominent within the oncology space. Among the company's best-selling cancer drugs is Revlimid, a treatment for multiple myeloma.
During the first quarter, Revlimid's revenue came in at $2.9 billion. The company has several other exciting cancer drugs, including Opdivo, Sprycel, and Pomalyst. Beyond its oncology lineup, Bristol Myers Squibb markets drugs including Eliquis, an immunosuppressant whose sales grew by 37% year over year during the first quarter to $2.6 billion. Then there's Orencia, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment whose sales during the first quarter were $714 million, a 12% increase compared to the prior-year quarter.
With a strong lineup of drugs, many of which still have much room to grow their sales, the company's top and bottom lines will likely continue to increase at a decent clip. According to the research firm Evaluate Pharma, Revlimid, Eliquis, and Opdivo will all be among the 10 best-selling drugs in the world in 2024. What's more, Bristol Myers Squibb has a rich pipeline. The company has more than two dozen products in development, including many undergoing a phase 3 clinical trial.
Finally, the company currently offers a 3.1% dividend yield and a conservative 31% cash payout ratio. Given all these factors, I expect the pharma giant to recover from its year-to-date performance and to provide market-beating returns in the long run.
Can anything stop Shopify?
Shopify has been an investor favorite since it became a publicly traded company. The tech giant's IPO was in May 2015, and those who have held shares of Shopify since then are sitting on gains of more than 3,000%. To give you some context, a $10,000 investment in Shopify on May 21, 2015, would be worth a little more than $400,000 today. Given Shopify's market-shattering returns in recent years, you might think it's too late to buy the company's stock.
But that couldn't be further from the truth; here are two reasons why. First, the company still has significant room to grow in international markets. At the end of 2019, 52% of the company's merchants were in the U.S., 7% were in the U.K., 6% in Canada, 6% in Australia, and 29% in the rest of the world. Thus, although the company is present in 175 countries -- and available in at least 20 languages -- Shopify continues to generate the bulk of its sales in just a few countries, particularly in North America.
There's a vast opportunity across the rest of the world for Shopify to attract significantly more merchants and continue growing its top line, and perhaps more importantly, its share of this market. Second, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales still make up only about 12% of total sales in the U.S. With the increase in e-commerce sales we will undoubtedly experience moving forward, more merchants will look to establish a strong online presence to reach their customers. Helping small and medium-sized businesses do just that is Shopify's bread and butter.
With these enticing opportunities -- and given that Shopify has already made significant headway in its market -- I think the company will keep winning for many years to come. Buying shares of Shopify today would be a great move.