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3 Stay-at-Home Stocks That Could Make You Rich -- Even After the Pandemic Is Over

By Adria Cimino - Dec 8, 2020 at 9:29AM

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People will eventually return to pre-coronavirus routines. But that doesn't mean they'll abandon the goods and services of these companies.

With a coronavirus vaccine right around the corner, we might wonder about the future performance of stocks that thrived in a stay-at-home environment. A vaccine won't end the pandemic overnight. But its existence may remove some fear and prompt consumers to return to outside-of-home activities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may decide on the vaccine candidates of Pfizer ( PFE 1.77% ) and Moderna ( MRNA -11.87% ) as early as this month.

Does this mean gains are over for all stocks that benefited from consumers spending time at home? No. But it does mean we should carefully choose companies in markets that were growing prior to the crisis -- and those with a strong future outlook. Here are three that could make you rich over the long term.

Woman looking at tablet and taking notes in notebook

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Teladoc

Teladoc Health ( TDOC -7.71% ) made its stock market debut in 2015, and ever since, annual revenue has been climbing. The company's platform provides virtual medical visits in primary care and in about 450 subspecialties. More than 51.5 million members worldwide use Teladoc's services.

The coronavirus pandemic offered the company an extra boost, as many medical offices closed or focused services on COVID-19 patients. For the quarter ending June 30, revenue rose 85% and virtual visits surged 203% year over year. The trend continued even as the health crisis eased temporarily in late summer. For the period ending Sept. 30, Teladoc's revenue climbed 109%, and virtual visits increased 206%.

And prior to the crisis, analysts were already predicting market growth. The global telemedicine market, at a compound annual growth rate of about 23%, is expected to reach more than 185 billion by 2026, according to a Fortune Business Insights report from last year. So, it's clear this shift to telemedicine isn't temporary.

To add to growth, Teladoc completed a merger with Livongo in October. Livongo brings its specialty of digital at-home management of chronic illnesses. I expect cost synergies and revenue opportunities from the deal, as well as telemedicine market growth, to drive future share performance.

2. Netflix

Netflix's ( NFLX -3.76% ) annual revenue has been rising for about 15 years. And the company has established itself as one that can increase profit and expand margins on an annual basis. Both measures have been climbing since 2016.

NFLX Net Income (Annual) Chart
Data source: YCharts.

Stay-at-home orders earlier this year offered an extra lift to an already strong company. Consumers, with more time to spend in front of their TVs, signed up for the streaming service. The company added more than 28 million paid members in the first nine months of the year. That surpasses the 27 million added for the full year 2019. The bad news here is that Netflix expects new additions to slow in this current quarter and during the first half of next year. Many of those who would have signed up now already signed up while housebound.

But there's a silver lining to that cloud: Consumers seem to be getting used to watching movies from the comfort of their own homes -- and they often prefer it. In a June survey, 36% of consumers said they strongly prefer streaming versus theaters for a movie premiere, according to Statista. That's up from 27% in March and 15% in 2018. Those preferring movie theaters declined from 28% in 2018 to 14% in June of this year.

And one more bright spot: Netflix has resumed production of some of its hit shows such as Stranger Things. The company predicts launches of its original titles to be up each quarter year over year in 2021.

This preference for movies at home and Netflix's commitment to original content has set the company up for more long-term growth -- even if membership adds falter in the near term.

3. Etsy

Etsy ( ETSY -5.57% ) has been reporting annual revenue growth since its 2015 initial public offering. The online marketplace for handcrafted and creative goods saw gross value of merchandise sold (GMS) and revenue leap this year. Part of that was due to shoppers' purchases of masks. But the company's GMS even without mask sales is impressive. And that's what is most important to consider moving forward. GMS excluding masks rose 93% year over year in the third quarter to $2.2 billion.

The trend in habitual buyers is another element to watch. These are shoppers who have spent at least $200 and made purchases on at least six days in the trailing 12-month period. Habitual buyers rose more than 104% in the quarter. This is significant because it shows Etsy is growing its loyal customer base. And at the same time, Etsy is investing in technology and marketing to bring in more buyers and revenue.

Will Etsy's 2021 be as strong as 2020? The great gains we've seen this year may make it difficult for the company to deliver big year-over-year comparable increases in GMS and other metrics. But Etsy's growth track record and customer base make me confident about this stock over the long term.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Teladoc Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Teladoc Health, Inc.
TDOC
$93.44 (-7.71%) $-7.81
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$617.77 (-3.76%) $-24.13
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
PFE
$54.68 (1.77%) $0.95
Etsy, Inc. Stock Quote
Etsy, Inc.
ETSY
$259.28 (-5.57%) $-15.30
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
MRNA
$310.61 (-11.87%) $-41.82

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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