The 2020 U.S. election is just days away, and the stock market is once again experiencing high levels of volatility. A surge of new coronavirus cases is clouding the global economic outlook, and uncertainty about the potential effect of election results might also be a factor in the market's recent turbulence.
Investors should probably count on continued market volatility in the near term, but the recent sell-offs for the broader market have also created opportunities to build positions in stocks that will post huge growth over the long term. Read on for profiles of three companies that look poised to deliver strong returns regardless of whether Donald Trump wins a second term or Joe Biden becomes the next U.S. president.
1. Match Group
Politics seems to be a bit more divisive than usual these days, and some people might even be unwilling to date across the political aisle. However, that's not going to stop the formation of new romantic connections.
Given the growing popularity of online dating, it's also a safe bet that an increasing percentage of romantic partners will meet through digital channels. As long as the online dating revolution continues to progress, and there are no indications it won't, Match Group (MTCH 3.63%) should be in good position to capitalize.
Match stands as the far-and-away leader in the digital romance category and owns and operates more leading dating platforms than any other player in the field. The company's biggest moneymaker is Tinder -- a mobile dating app that's incredibly popular and stands as the most used dating app in both the U.S. and Europe. Match also owns platforms including PlentyOfFish, Match.com, OkCupid, and Hinge.
Each of its platforms benefits from a network effect -- the more users are on a given dating service, the better the overall experience should be. And even if a user leaves one of Match's services, the breadth and strength of the company's ecosystem means there's a good chance that the user will wind up on another one of the company's services.
While electoral outcomes are unlikely to play a big role in Match's growth trajectory, the company has seen its sales and earnings growth stunted by quarantine and social-distancing initiatives stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Even with these challenges, the company managed to grow sales 12% year over year last quarter, and non-GAAP (adjusted) net income rose 10%. Virus-related pressures should ease eventually, and the business's growth should accelerate once again.
2. Glu Mobile
The video game industry is poised for big growth regardless of which candidate wins the presidency and which party controls the House of Representatives or the Senate. A report from GlobalData estimates that annual revenue from the industry will hit $300 billion in 2025 -- up from $131 billion in 2018 -- and top companies in the space should deliver strong returns for investors.
Glu Mobile (GLUU) is a relatively small company compared to industry leaders like Activision Blizzard or Take-Two Interactive or even fellow mobile-focused publisher Zynga, but it still has characteristics that make it an appealing buy in the interactive entertainment category. The company's relatively small size could actually wind up working to the advantage of investors. With a market capitalization of roughly $1.3 billion, Glu is still squarely in small-cap territory -- and even smaller-scale hits have the potential to move the needle on the company's share price in a big way.
Glu has a solid balance sheet, with roughly $283 million in cash and no debt at the end of June, putting the company in good position to acquire a new game development studio in the near future and fund the development of additional titles. Glu is valued at roughly 21 times this year's expected earnings and 2.3 times expected sales -- levels that look cheap for a company in the potentially high-growth video game industry. The company has a solid foundation of core franchises that should create a solid sales base while it works on new titles to drive future growth, and its in-game online retail store integration could also turn into a growth driver.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden have policy platform differences that could shape the progression of influential technologies, including 5G and the Internet of Things, in slightly different ways. However, there seems to be a bipartisan understanding that gathering and analyzing valuable data will play a huge role in the country's future economic success.
Impinj (PI 2.94%) develops radio-frequency-identification (RFID) technologies that allow otherwise non-electronic devices and objects to transmit information and be part of the data analytics revolution. The company's RFID tags are often used as a much more advanced replacement for the barcode system -- with tags capable of being updated to store new information and allowing for inventory to be taken much faster.
Impinj's sales have slumped because of pressures created by the coronavirus, and the stock is down roughly 18.5% over the last year and 55% from the lifetime high it hit in 2017. Retail is the company's biggest market, and store closures and reduced consumer traffic have meant fewer orders for its products. The company also saw reduced demand due to pressures affecting the airline industry, where its tags and sensors are used to track baggage.
The RFID specialist will likely continue to face coronavirus-related headwinds in the near term, but recent turbulence for the business and sell-offs for the stock have also created opportunities for long-term investors. The market for the tech is still very young, and there's a good chance that businesses in a wide range of industries will increasingly turn to RFID tags, sensors, and software to gain a competitive edge or keep up with the demands of their respective markets.