Despite the volatility and economic uncertainty engendered by the coronavirus pandemic, many growth-dependent technology stocks have posted great returns in 2020. However, many of those high-flying stocks have also given back some of their gains amid the broader market's sell-off. But there's an upside for some investors here: That stock market turbulence is offering up new opportunities to build positions in companies that are poised to deliver market-crushing performances over the long term.
If you were watching as tech stocks powered the market to new record highs earlier in 2020 and wished you had a bigger piece of the action, now could be a good time to snatch up these potential world-beaters at a discount.
An ever-growing number of devices are being connected to the internet, and more enterprises than ever are relying on their ability to rapidly transmit information. In this environment, safe, high-performance web functionality will only become more crucial to businesses, and that's where Cloudflare (NET 1.42%) shines.
The company provides content delivery network and web security software, speeding up computing and data transmission through the use of edge servers, and protecting websites from distributed-denial-of-service and cross-site-scripting attacks.
Cloudflare's stock price jumped early in October's trading after the company announced the launch of a new network-as-a-service deal that bundles many of its core offerings along with added protections, but its shares have since pulled back in conjunction with the broader market's retreat.
The stock now trades roughly 9% below the 52-week high it hit last month. While the company is still valued at an admittedly intimidating 40 times expected sales for the year, the business is posting tremendous growth and looks primed to enjoy long-term benefits from market-shaping trends.
The company posted year-over-year sales growth of 48% in the second quarter and a gross margin of roughly 76%. Cloudflare will likely deliver another set of strong sales-growth and gross-margin numbers when it reports its Q3 results on Thursday, and its industry-leading content delivery and cybersecurity services have it on track to continue adding customers at a rapid clip -- and eventually, to shift into substantial profitability. If the company can continue broadening its reach and use the foundations created by its core offerings to launch successful new services, its current valuation could come to look cheap.
Baozun (BZUN 4.90%) is a Chinese company that provides a range of e-commerce services that are primarily used by large Western brands. Businesses looking to launch and expand their online retail presence in China can turn to Baozun for services including website creation, customer management, marketing, warehousing, and order fulfillment. Clients can also get their sales portals featured on China's biggest online retail and social media hubs, such as Alibaba's Tmall, JD.com, and Tencent's WeChat.
While trade and political conflicts between the U.S. and China have created added uncertainty, the Chinese market will continue to become more important for many U.S. companies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that China will be the only economy to grow this year, with gross domestic product increasing by 1.9%. This only underscores the power behind that country's economic transformation, and the IMF anticipates that China's GDP will climb by 8.2% in 2021.
China stands as the world's largest online retail market by far; in 2019, its roughly $1.935 trillion in e-commerce spending accounted for roughly 55% of the global total, according to eMarketer. That organization projects that digital shopping will continue to see strong momentum, reaching roughly $4.1 trillion by 2023.
The combination of strong growth for China's online retail market and its overall economy bodes well for Baozun, as it will increase the importance and value of the company's services. With a market capitalization of roughly $3.1 billion and a leadership position in its niche, the company has huge room for growth.
3. Glu Mobile
Global video game industry revenues will top $159 billion this year and exceed $200 billion in 2023, according to Newzoo estimates. Research from GlobalData includes a wider set of revenue contributors (such as in-game advertising) and suggests that annual revenue for interactive entertainment could top $300 billion by 2025. Rising demand for video games doesn't ensure that all players in the space will thrive, but it is creating attractive risk-reward dynamics for investors.
With a market capitalization of roughly $1.2 billion, Glu Mobile (GLUU) is the last small-cap gaming publisher based in the U.S. Shares now trade in the $7 range, off roughly 30% from their 52-week high. Investors should consider building a position in the company following the overly steep pullback.
Glu is guiding for bookings growth of 28% this year, but its target for bookings growth of roughly 10% in the third quarter disappointed investors. It also didn't help that management pushed the release date of Deer Hunter World from this year into 2021 and implied that another in-development, story-focused game might be canceled following weak beta test numbers. These near-term setbacks look relatively minor in the context of the potential growth catalysts on the horizon.
Next year is shaping up to be a big one for Glu Mobile. In addition to Deer Hunter World, the publisher will release a new fishing game. The company also has a new game coming from CrowdStar, the studio responsible for big hits including Design Home and Covet Fashion. Management has indicated that they plan to use some of the company's $283 million cash position (against zero debt) to acquire new studios.
If those aren't enough potential growth catalysts for you, Glu recently launched an e-commerce store integrated with Design Home that allows users to purchase real-world items through the game. It could also make a similar move with Covet Fashion or the new title from CrowdStar set to release next year. Glu has plenty of avenues for growth, and its relatively conservative valuation suggests that even a small number of successes could lead to big share price gains.