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Why I Just Bought Fastly Stock

By Anders Bylund – Oct 22, 2020 at 6:33AM

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A modest preliminary sales report triggered a knee-jerk market panic. This exciting tech stock is a no-brainer buy right now.

Shares of networking specialist Fastly (FSLY 0.85%) took a dramatic haircut last week, dulling the edge of a skyrocketing stock chart. I'd been watching Fastly for a while, but never pulled the trigger on buying the stock. This time, I took a good look at the content delivery network specialist's preliminary earnings report and at the negative market reaction that followed. I concluded it was time to pick up some Fastly shares -- no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

What's so exciting about Fastly?

Fastly is a fairly small company today. Trailing revenues stand at just $246 million, but the top-line sales are growing like gangbusters. I'm talking about both the company's long-term growth trend and the fact that Fastly's sales are skyrocketing in the COVID-19 era. The revenue chart is not only pointing skyward, but it's also rising even faster over time. That is, Fastly's growth is accelerating.

FSLY Revenue (TTM) Chart

FSLY Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

This company's business is a perfect fit for 2020's booming interest in digital services. Fastly's second-quarter sales rose by 61% year over year, driven by 29% higher spending per enterprise customer and an expanding customer list. Businesses of every stripe are attempting to set themselves apart from the competition by tailoring their software and services to meet their specific needs. Fastly's edge computing network can help in many instances.

Fastly's data delivery and edge computing services are downright essential to many of its clients, putting the company on the same elevated level as cloud systems monitoring expert Datadog (DDOG 0.55%) and online communications expert Twilio (TWLO 1.34%). These companies are building long-term relationships with their customers today, and they are not easily replaced. The contracts should only grow over time while the companies extend their market reach. The minnows you see today are tomorrow's industry giants.

A paper plane draws a stock chart, falling sharply and then bouncing back even higher.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why did the stock crash last week?

Fastly's largest customer is Chinese social media titan ByteDance's video-sharing service, TikTok. The Trump administration is on the verge of blocking TikTok from the American market unless ByteDance manages to sell its North American TikTok operations to a local business. Database software veteran Oracle (ORCL 0.86%) and retail giant Walmart (WMT 0.43%) have placed a joint bid for the business. Washington has rubber-stamped it, but the Chinese government might still demolish the deal.

As such, Fastly's management isn't counting on TikTok sales going forward. Last week, the company issued preliminary third-quarter sales guidance 5% below management's original prediction. The stock opened 30% lower the next day, which is where I placed my buy order. Market nerves are still raw, so Fastly's stock has drooped another 8% lower from that point. If you want to follow my lead, you're doing it from an even better entry point.

Sure, TikTok is an important customer and Fastly would love to keep that contract active. Even if TikTok evaporates, though, we're still looking at a high-octane growth stock in the early days of an exciting long-term business story. Fastly is a no-brainer buy at these sharply lower prices, and I just couldn't keep my fingers off the buy button any longer.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Fastly and Twilio. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Datadog, Fastly, and Twilio. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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