The stock market is off to a wild start early in 2021. Strong performance for technology companies and the increased potential for another big round of stimulus have added bullish momentum. But recent volatility kicked off by the short-squeeze mania surrounding GameStop and a handful of other companies is prompting uncertainty and complicating the picture.
While it makes sense to keep an eye on the developments of the day, investors will usually be best served by keeping a long-term focus and putting their dollars behind strong businesses that are poised to go the distance. With that in mind, read on for a look at three promising growth stocks that are worth buying this February.
Digital advertising has reshaped the media landscape. The shift has pulled dollars away from distribution mediums, including cable television and print media, but the overall effect extends far beyond just shifting spending to new channels. It has facilitated huge growth in the broader digital communications space.
In addition to serving as the foundation for Alphabet and Facebook's technology empires, digital ads are at the heart of the internet experience and economy. For most pages you visit on the web, digital advertising is the monetary fuel that keeps the machine running -- whether through direct placement of ads or data collection that's used to serve you ads down the road. PubMatic (PUBM -0.44%) is a company that's providing software to make advertising increasingly flexible and hyper-focused, and it could have a long runway for growth.
Programmatic advertising is an approach to buying and targeting ads that's changing the game. Integrating data analytics and artificial intelligence, PubMatic and other players in the space are providing cloud-based software to automate the purchasing of advertising. This approach allows companies to get more out of their advertising dollars, and spending can be quickly redirected to other opportunities that yield better results.
PubMatic's stock price has climbed roughly 41% from its closing on the day of its initial public offering in December 2020, and the company now has a market capitalization of roughly $1.9 billion. It's not the only player in the space, and bigger rivals, including The Trade Desk and Magnite (up 1,470% and 1,670% over the last three years, respectively), will be vying for category growth, but PubMatic has a good shot at posting strong performance and delivering impressive returns.
Amazon (AMZN 3.58%) might play a bigger role in shaping the next few decades than any other company on Earth. The tech giant already has leadership positions in e-commerce and cloud computing, two of the most influential industries on the planet, and ongoing growth for online retail and communications has the company at the heart of reshaping business and experiences in everyday life.
Amazon is also making a substantial push in the digital advertising market, challenging category leaders including Alphabet and Facebook. This growth bet could have huge payoffs over the long term, and it's one that investors should be excited about.
The worldwide digital advertising market generated $169.7 billion in 2020, according to ResearchAndMarkets. The industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 11.9% through 2023, reaching $237.5 billion at the end of the forecast period.
As more commerce and communications increasingly move to online channels, the digital ad market has room for continued growth. Even better, the strengths of Amazon's individual businesses are reinforcing each other and should continue doing so in the future.
The company has huge advantages when it comes to technology infrastructure and data, and its industry-leading online retail platform naturally stands out as a valuable destination for advertisers. Cloud-computing expertise and a massive e-commerce platform have laid the foundations to pursue other promising growth initiatives, and these projects also have the potential to further strengthen the two core pillars. Amazon's overall business is a thing of beauty.
3. Take-Two Interactive
Take-Two Interactive (TTWO 2.75%) has been one of the video game industry's greatest success stories over the last decade. The company's share price has risen roughly 1,500% over that time, and growth for its market capitalization has been even more impressive at nearly 2,100% across the stretch thanks to the added benefit of creating new shares. Much of that incredible performance stemmed from Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), Take-Two's most successful game ever -- and also the single most profitable entertainment release in history, by some accounts.
Take-Two released the first versions of the game in 2013, and it continued to port the game to new platforms. This expanded the game's audience and generated extra revenue as players bought the game multiple times to gain access to improved graphics and expanded features. Take-Two also kept GTA V alive and thriving with the help of regular content updates for its online multiplayer mode, and the title has now shipped over 135 million copies and scored billions of dollars in high-margin in-game content sales.
Now, Take-Two is set to launch an updated version of GTA V on Sony's and Microsoft's respective next-generation consoles, and it looks like the title still has plenty of kick in it. Releasing new content updates for Grand Theft Auto V's online mode to keep players engaged and spending on in-game currency has been enormously profitable for Take-Two, and the debut on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S in late 2020 will help the company get even more longevity out of the record-breaking title.
With Take-Two readying what will likely be another highly profitable release of GTA V, and seeing high performance for other franchises including NBA 2K and Red Dead Redemption, the company has never looked stronger.