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Got $1,200? Here Are 3 Hot Stocks to Buy Now

By Rick Munarriz – Oct 12, 2020 at 10:05AM

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Some stocks that have been flying high in 2020 are still strong investments.

We don't know if most of the country will get another crack at a $1,200 stimulus check, but there's a good chance that you may be saving more money than you thought you would in the new normal. You're probably not going out as much as you used to, and we know that folks aren't traveling, shopping for apparel, or spending in general these days. You may find that you've saved enough through the past few months to have $1,200 ready to invest in today's market. Let's put it to work.

Twilio (TWLO 7.15%), The Trade Desk (TTD 7.09%), and Zynga (ZNGA) are stocks that I expect will recover quickly. Here's why I'm bullish on those three briefly out-of-favor investments. 

A woman excited with one hand raised in the air as the other holds her smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Twilio

Your phone has become your most productive appliance, and Twilio is playing a critical role behind the scenes. Twilio is the leading provider of in-app communication solutions. When you get a notification that your delivery has arrived, or when you want to reset your streaming app without having to close it out, it's Twilio making it happen. 

Most people have never heard of Twilio, but it's a good name for investors to know. Its stock has been one of this year's biggest winners, more than tripling in 2020. Revenue rose 46% in its latest quarter, and analysts are scrambling to keep up. It's posted back-to-back quarters of profitability on an adjusted basis with Wall Street pros bracing for a loss.

There are now more than 200,000 active customers, and once they dip a foot into the Twilio pool they get in deeper for a good swim. Returning customers are spending 32% more on Twilio's platform than they did a year earlier. 

The Trade Desk

You can be a hot stock that's not exactly hitting it out of the park on the fundamentals front. The Trade Desk has more than doubled this year -- up 136% in 2020 -- but the programmatic advertising leader isn't at its best right now. Revenue declined 13% in the second quarter, as marketers just weren't willing to spend on leads during the first few months of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Things will get better. The Trade Desk's guidance for the quarter that ended last month calls for $177 million to $181 million in revenue, a year-over-year gain of 9% at the midpoint. This is only the beginning. The Trade Desk has never posted top-line growth of less than 34% before the pandemic. The marketing lull will work in The Trade Desk's favor. 

More advertisers will flock to the high-tech platform where algorithms help fuel smarter ad allocation decisions. We're already 27 consecutive quarters into customer retention rates of 95% or better. The Trade Desk will have a larger share of the ad market after we claw our way out of the coronavirus calamity. 

Zynga

Twilio isn't the only one cashing in on the smartphone revolution. Zynga's the company behind some of the hottest mobile games. If you find yourself firing up Words With FriendsEmpires & Puzzles, or  Merge Dragons! you are in the Zynga ecosystem. If you played Mafia Wars and FarmVille back in the day -- or FarmVille 3, which rolled out this summer -- you know how sticky these casual games are when someone's looking for a short diversion. 

The stock's 52% year-to-date surge heading into this new trading week isn't as impressive as the 2020 gains posted by Twilio and The Trade Desk, but it's naturally still trouncing the market with its return. Revenue rose 47% in its latest quarter; it's the fastest growing of the three stocks on this list based on their latest financial performances. Bookings climbed 38% for the period. With a growing catalog of organic and acquired properties, Zynga is putting out some spectacular numbers.

Twilio, The Trade Desk, and Zynga are hot growth stocks right now. You could do far worse with the next $1,200 that you're ready to invest in the market.   

Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Trade Desk, Twilio, and Zynga. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Zynga Stock Quote
Zynga
ZNGA
Twilio Stock Quote
Twilio
TWLO
$49.02 (7.15%) $3.27
Trade Desk Stock Quote
Trade Desk
TTD
$52.14 (7.09%) $3.45

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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