You've worked hard for your money and even harder to save it. It's only natural to expect the stocks you buy to work hard for you while you focus on the important things in life. To stack the odds in your favor, you'll want to select financially solid companies with large market opportunities and a proven track record to build your portfolio around. Let's look at three stocks that check all of those boxes.
Home Depot: A business built on a solid financial foundation
With 2,293 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, it's likely there's a Home Depot (NYSE:HD) store near you. If you are one of the more than 128 million homeowners in the U.S., it's also likely you've visited this do-it-yourself home supply store, maybe even as recently as last weekend. But what you might not know is that this quality retailer is an amazing cash machine.
Over the last 10 years, Home Depot has only added 45 stores, a tiny 2% of its store base. But revenues have increased an amazing 62%, driving incredible efficiency in its stores. This smart strategy has more than doubled the percentage of its net earnings from 4.9% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2019, enabled it to amass over $14 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and provided shareholders an increasing dividend for the last 11 years.
Is there a large and growing market for this brick-and-mortar retailer? You bet. Almost 80% of homes in the U.S. are at least 20 years old and 40% are more than 50 years old. These aging homes will have their owners spending millions for maintenance and upgrades, especially with people at home more due to the coronavirus. Lastly, its proven track record in the face of intense competitive pressure from Amazon and other online retailers makes this stock a solid brick for the foundation of your portfolio.
MercadoLibre: A market leader with a massive opportunity
Latin America has twice the population of the U.S., 25% more internet users, but only a fraction of the e-commerce activity. Last year, online purchases in the region were less than 5% of total retail sales, presenting a huge opportunity for MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), the region's leading e-commerce company. Another massive opportunity is the large unbanked and underbanked population, which plays to its popular payment service, Mercado Pago.
Founded in 1999, the company has overcome recessions, currency devaluations, and government instability to become an impressive growth engine. Over the last five calendar years, the e-commerce specialist has grown at a 33% compound annual growth rate and currently sports an impressive $2.8 billion annual run-rate business.
Although it has largely been investing its profits in growth, its coronavirus-propelled 61% year-over-year growth in the second quarter enabled it to post a solid $57 million in net income for its most recent quarter. The balance sheet carries plenty of fuel for continued investments in growth, with almost $3.3 billion in cash and marketable securities, making this regional gem a stable launchpad for your financial future.
Veeva: A quality operator with a proven track record
If you don't work in the life sciences industry, you may not have heard of Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV). But for those creating life-saving medicines and medical devices, Veeva has become a trusted partner. The cloud-software platform was founded to serve this highly regulated industry and has built an end-to-end suite of software tools to enable companies to manage their businesses in an efficient and compliant way. From customer relationship management tools for the sales team to modules to help research teams complete clinical trails and applications supporting manufacturing and post-market surveillance activities, new customers can have Veeva tackle their most pressing needs first and then expand over time. This focused approach has been highly successful.
It has built a $1.3 billion annual run rate business and has set its sights on eclipsing $3 billion in annual revenue by 2025. With a huge addressable market of over $10 billion and expected revenue growth of 28% this fiscal year in the face of coronavirus challenges, it is all but certain the company will achieve its lofty goals.
This growth company is also highly profitable, racking up $328 million in net income over the last 12 months, an impressive 26% of revenue. It also has a huge pile of cash and marketable securities of over $1 billion to fund innovation and make opportunistic acquisitions to fuel future growth. This life sciences cloud software partner is a rock-solid choice for long-term investors.
Leaving you with a bit of investing advice
Exceptional companies are recognized by the market and often carry higher valuations. That's true for this trio as well. This shouldn't scare away potential investors, but it does require a measured approach in building your positions. With transaction fees near zero, it pays to buy into these stocks over time (think years). Once they are in your portfolio, add opportunistically and sit back and let them do the work. Decades from now, you'll be happy you did.