With 2020 about to start fading in the rearview mirror, it's time to start beefing up your portfolio for the year ahead. The strategies that won over the past year may not be the same keys to market-thumping success in 2021. I have a few names that I think will do just fine in the coming year.
GoDaddy is a company that probably doesn't ping on a lot of growth radars. Isn't peddling domain registrations a cutthroat business with low margins to boot? Well, GoDaddy has been a steady performer over the years in this niche.
The leading domain registrar is capping off a year that will stretch its streak of double-digit revenue growth to eight years. We didn't put domain renewals on ice during the pandemic. If anything, we were motivated to grab a piece of cyberspace during the shelter-in-place phase of the COVID-19 crisis. There are now more than 20 million paying active accounts at GoDaddy. It came through with more than a million net adds through the first three quarters of 2020, a record nine-month haul for the 23-year-old company.
GoDaddy's domains revenue rose 12% in its latest quarter, but that's less than half of its business these days. It also offers hosting and presence services. Business applications revenue is actually its fastest growing segment, and that will only continue to accelerate after recent acquisitions in e-commerce, offline commerce, and integrated payments.
GoDaddy's revenue growth has slowed to the pre-teens, but it doesn't mean that the double-digit gains are over on the top line. Its momentum and recent acquisitions should help it offer even more related services to its widening account base in the coming years.
Annaly Capital Management
In this low interest rate climate, one would think that investors would be flocking to high-yielding mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs), but that's not how 2020 played out. Annaly Capital Management, a buyer of mortgage-backed securities, wasn't a standout winner this past year. The stock itself has declined 10% as we head into the final two trading days of 2020, and its total return is barely positive only because of the generous quarterly payouts.
Borrowing money at low rates to buy mortgages offering higher rates sounds like a speculative recipe for trouble, but Annaly knows what it's doing. More important for investors as we head into 2020, Annaly offers a sensible alternative for investors bidding up cryptocurrency or chasing market darlings fetching ridiculous revenue multiples because idle funds parked in fixed-income vehicles are stuck in neutral.
Annaly has had to reduce its distributions in back-to-back years, but its current yield of 10.4% is going to be mesmerizing in the coming year. Interest rates aren't likely to head higher anytime soon as we claw our way out of both a pandemic and a global recession. Real estate is holding up nicely in the new normal. As investors rotate out of some of the winners of 2020, it wouldn't be a surprise if some lowly REITs with fat yields storm back into favor.
It may seem odd to pivot from a high-yielding mortgage REIT to the same kind of high-multiple darling I was just rallying against, but hear me out on fuboTV. One of this quarter's hottest debutantes may have nearly quadrupled since hitting the market at $10 in early October, but a pair of bearish analyst notes late last week find the live TV streaming specialist selling off sharply in recent days. In short, I'm offering up one of this quarter's biggest winners as a contrarian play.
Folks are cutting loose their cable and satellite TV providers, and they're not looking back. They're leaning on the popular streaming services for movies and buzz-generating TV shows for a sliver of what they used to pay, but the void for live sports is huge. FuboTV is standing out among the larger streaming TV platforms because it offers roughly 40 different sports channels along with more than 70 nonsports networks. It's the first player to offer dozens of live sporting events in crisp 4K high-def.
FuboTV is a small player in this booming niche, but no one is gaining market share faster in recent months. Its revenue soared 71% in its latest quarter, and it has boosted its year-end subscriber guidance twice in the last three months. Bears will argue that this is a cutthroat industry and fuboTV is competing against cash-rich tech giants and battle-tested media stocks, but average revenue per user at fuboTV is rapidly outpacing its average cost per user.
With strong momentum pointing to another blowout quarter in a few weeks, the recent correction could be a springboard as fuboTV becomes a household name in a country full of sports fans.