We all know that fortune favors the bold when it comes to buying stocks. However, it can often be very difficult to invest in a company at the forefront of new technologies. Human nature often creates feelings of skepticism and excitement in such instances, holding investors back from gains.
It can pay off handsomely to think outside the box and go where many investors fear to go. Today, let's look at why a marketplace for freelance talent, a do-it-yourself video game developer, and a coronavirus vaccine drugmaker are among the most revolutionary stocks to buy now.
Platforms like Upwork (UPWK 7.35%) are what make digital nomadism, that is, working remotely while living anywhere in the world, possible. Last year, the company brokered $2.524 billion worth of freelance contracts on its website, up from $2.087 billion in 2019.
From that, the company took in $374 million in revenue as commissions, which is a massive increase over the $301 million it recognized a year before. Upwork serves more than a niche market. In fact, over 70% of freelancers using the program have college degrees. More than 30% of Fortune 100 companies list on Upwork to hire remote talent, including GoDaddy.com, Microsoft, and General Electric.
There are more than 225 million jobs across the globe that could be performed remotely. Right now, Upwork has a small but rising percentage of market share, with 145,400 core clients and presence across 180 countries. The service creates ample value, as it dramatically reduces the time to hire someone and adds substantial cost savings in terms of human resources.
What I like most about Upwork is its expansion into managed services as well. For projects like graphics design, firms usually solicit tens or hundreds of contractors to work together. Hence, one can see that there is ample revenue to be made for a company that headhunts and coordinates such efforts.
What's more, Upwork is no longer losing money as it finally managed to break even last year. It is still a maverick tech company with a market cap of $6 billion. I would definitely add it to one's watchlist due to its value proposition, scalability, and ability to expand internationally.
Roblox (RBLX 3.99%) is a platform that allows video game developers to self-publish their games on it. The company makes money through its in-game currency Robux, which enables players to purchase content. It also negotiates advertising, licensing, and royalty agreements with developers and their user-generated content.
In 2020, the number of daily active users on Roblox increased by 85% year over year to 32.6 million. Simultaneously, its revenue increased by 82% over 2019 to $924 million. Best of all, Roblox's operating cash flows increased by over five-fold to $524 million. This was largely due to more people staying at home due to coronavirus containment measures and turning to digital entertainment to keep their sanity in check.
As of Dec. 31, 2020, the firm has more than 20 million games on its platform. Its games are compatible across all consoles, ranging from iOS to Android to PC to Mac to Xbox to VR Oculus. Like Upwork, Roblox also has a significant international presence. Anyone in over 170 countries can access or develop games on Roblox. After its IPO, the company's cash and equivalents increased to over $1.4 billion, giving it just the capital it needs to continue its momentum of growth.
Pfizer (PFE -0.15%) manufactures the world's leading coronavirus vaccine, BNT162b2. Not only is the vaccine 97% effective against the original strains of COVID-19, but its efficacy also held up against the circulating U.K. and South African mutant strains. Overall, those who were unvaccinated were 29 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who received BNT162b2.
The pharma giant expects to produce up to 2 billion doses of the vaccine this year, which will create more than $15 billion in revenue. As a result, the company's 2021 guidance calls for $61.4 billion in sales and $3.20 in earnings per share (EPS), representing massive increases over the $41.9 billion in revenue and $2.22 in EPS it brought in during 2020.
At a price of just 18 times free cash flow, Pfizer trades for a considerable discount over the other hot biotech stocks. In addition, the company boasts an impressive annual 4.42% dividend yield. Besides its awesome coronavirus vaccine, I would also recommend checking out its robust pipeline.