Stocks don't normally double in a year, and when they do, it's worth looking back and seeing what we can learn from any trends. This year, the market has had a strong year, but there has been a bifurcation of stocks that have done extremely well and others that have struggled.
Looking at the stocks that have doubled over the past year, three tech stocks stuck out to me. Zoom (ZM 3.17%), Shopify (SHOP 4.68%), and Peloton (PTON 4.64%) are all emerging as powerhouses in their respective businesses, a big reason these growth stocks have all more than doubled in the past year.
The go-to videoconferencing stock
Who would have thought that Zoom would be the star company of 2020? It was arguably the largest beneficiary of the health crisis and changes in how we work and communicate.
The financial impact on Zoom's business has been downright astounding. You can see below that quarterly revenue has more than tripled in the last two quarters and doesn't seem like it's slowing down.
It's not clear that Zoom's business will continue to grow at this high rate, or at all, after the pandemic passes, but the company has ingrained itself with consumers and businesses around the world. That's a valuable position to be in, and makes this a stock to watch in 2021.
The new online shopping darling
Amazon is the biggest name in online shopping, but it's Shopify that's fueling the next generation of growth for e-commerce. The company makes the back-end infrastructure that powers over 1 million companies from Tesla to shoemaker Allbirds.
As more shopping has been done online during the pandemic, it's no surprise that Shopify has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. It is signing up new businesses that are forming around the world and generating fees as people buy more things on its platform.
While the pandemic has accelerated the market toward more online shopping, I think Shopify is uniquely positioned to benefit long term. The company is enabling small businesses to build brands, rather than squashing or controlling them, allowing innovation from others to drive growth. And it's slowly expanding its offerings into payments and advanced services for enterprise customers. As more companies want to build direct relationships with customers, Shopify is perfectly positioned to provide back-end services that allow these companies to grow.
Fitness during the pandemic
The biggest challenge Peloton had in building a profitable business long term was building enough scale to make its subscription services the profit driver. A small base of bikes and treadmills could make for a nice niche business, but if millions of bikes and treadmills are in the market with active subscribers attached, this could be a massively profitable business because each additional customer's subscription is nearly all profit. A pandemic that has kept people home couldn't have come at a better time for any company.
As of June 30, 2020, Peloton had 1.1 million subscribers doing an average of 24.7 workouts per month. That's an incredible usage rate for an at-home workout platform, and it shows how big the base is and how much consumers love the product.
Peloton's stock is up 466% in the last year, but that may be just the start. The company has a great brand and huge lead in at-home workouts, which I don't think is going to be changing anytime soon.
Making a pandemic your tailwind
The theme with these three companies is that the pandemic has been a boost to their overall business. It didn't change what they did per se, but it accelerated consumer and business adoption at a faster rate. Companies that have done that over the last year have done well for investors, and Zoom, Shopify, and Peloton exemplify the trend.