Election Day 2020 is nearly upon us, and tens of millions of Americans have already cast their votes for the presidential candidate they think will do a better job of leading the country, as well as for U.S. representatives and senators who, as a group, will have a similar impact on its direction. However it all turns out, the results will certainly have a raft of impacts on the economy.
But those impacts won't be felt so sharply across the board. For example, these three stocks are likely to do well regardless of who sits in the Oval Office for the next four years.
Amazon: Expect explosive revenue and profit growth
Amazon's (AMZN -0.07%) revenue growth has only accelerated since the start of the pandemic, and even after the crisis recedes, it will surely keep some of that newly acquired market share. Many customers who were already using the e-commerce company's services regularly prior to 2020 may have noticed that it can fill more of their needs now that it has made substantial investments in its fulfillment and grocery infrastructure. In the most recent quarter, it announced it will be hiring an additional 220,000 temporary and permanent employees. That's in addition to the 175,000 that they hired in the previous quarter.
Speaking of long-term customers, the company boasted 150 million Amazon Prime members as of January. While management has not revealed a more recent membership figure, since then, its subscription revenue, which includes fees that Prime members pay, is up by 29%. It therefore would be no surprise if that number is much higher now.
Prime members shop more often on Amazon and spend more when they do. Their purchasing power was on full display during its Prime Day event, when it made an estimated $10.6 billion in sales over 48 hours. Those members will help drive growth for the company over the long term.
In addition, Amazon Web Services continues to dominate the cloud. The segment's revenues grew by 29% last quarter while its operating income grew by 58%. And even though that business provided just 12% of the company's overall revenue, it supplied 50% of its operating profits. With so many businesses now needing online presences and cloud-based support for operations, this segment is likely to continue on an upward trajectory.
Pinterest: Growing users at a blistering pace
Pinterest (PINS -5.16%) grew its global monthly active users, or MAU, by 39% to 416 million last quarter. That's a much faster rate than competitor Facebook, which grew MAU's by 12% last quarter. Pinterest also offers advertisers the opportunity to reach a more specific demographic: The majority of its users are women ages 18 to 64.
Moreover, its user growth is accelerating. Outside the U.S., it added 13 million, 32 million, and 49 million MAUs in the last three quarters, respectively. The company is also accelerating signups in the U.S., albeit on a smaller scale, adding 1 million, 2 million, and 6 million newcomers, in the same periods.
Additionally, it has room to grow its average revenue per user (ARPU) both domestically and abroad. In its most recent quarter, Facebook generated ARPU of $39.63 from its U.S and Canada members, while Pinterest earned ARPU of $2.50 in the U.S. In fact, out of the major social media companies, Facebook, Twitter, and Snap, Pinterest generates the lowest ARPU. However, as advertisers grow warier about placing their brands in proximity to all the damaging content on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest could come to be favored as a safer alternative.
Chegg: Students are flocking to its platform
Chegg (CHGG -17.12%), which operates a direct-to-student online learning platform, is benefiting as colleges around the world have moved instruction online. That change has led to increased use of the company's platform. Furthermore, as new coronavirus cases surge back to record highs in the U.S. and are on the rise in many parts of the world, it looks like remote instruction won't stop being a necessity anytime soon. Indeed, the California State University system -- the largest higher education system in the U.S. -- has already announced that its winter and spring sessions will be conducted completely online.
"Chegg was built with the belief that learning would move increasingly online, and we have always bet on that inevitability," CEO Dan Rosensweig noted in the company's Q2 earnings release. Now, it finds itself in the right place at the right time.
When classes are conducted remotely, students have fewer opportunities to engage with professors and ask questions. Chegg steps in to fill the void. As part of a subscription, students can ask questions on Chegg's platform and have them answered by subject-matter experts. Additionally, they can access a large database of previously answered questions.
In the last two reported quarters, Chegg's revenues grew by 63% and 63.6%, respectively. Zooming out a little, the company grew by totals of 26% and 28% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Clearly, 2020 is shaping up to bring much sharper top-line gains to the company, with trailing-12-month revenue growth of 48% thus far according to S&P Capital Intelligence.
Then there's the bottom line. Chegg's operating margin has improved each of the company's last five fiscal years, from -17% in 2015 to 4.6% in 2019. What's more, operating profit totals so far this year are ahead of last year, with only the fourth and historically most profitable quarter remaining for the company. Importantly, for each incremental subscriber the company adds, 90% of the revenue reaches the bottom line. As Chegg scales up, its profits should continue to expand.
Double-digit-percentage revenue growth is likely to continue for Chegg long after the pandemic -- or so management believes. In the August earnings call, CFO Andy Brown said, "The momentum we see in the business, accentuated by the pandemic, is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and we expect to be a high growth, high-margin company for years to come." Music to an investor's ears.
The underlying factors that are supporting these three companies' successes -- and that will keep supporting them -- won't be much influenced by politics. Therefore, investors can confidently add these growth stocks to their portfolios regardless of which party they think will win this election.