Taking a chance on opportunities other investors may be overlooking is a great way to earn life-changing returns in the stock market.
While Virgin Galactic (SPCE 5.72%) and Roblox (RBLX 1.39%) face near-term headwinds, both companies look poised for explosive growth in the burgeoning space tourism and video game industries. Let's dig deeper to find out why they could be top stocks to buy in April.
1. Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic's dream to crack the fast-growing space industry took a step backward after its most recent test flight failed to meet the company's objectives. In Dec. 2020, an onboard computer of Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceplane failed to connect, halting the rocket motor as part of the vehicle's fail-safe mechanism. According to President of Space Missions and Safety Michael P. Moses, the company is working on a solution and expects to conduct its next flight by May 2021. Management also postponed its space tourism plans to 2022.
The delay disappointed shareholders who want commercial operations to start as soon as possible, and shares of Virgin Galactic declined over 50% from their 52-week high of $62.80 per share. But now trading at a discount, Virgin Galactic is still a great way to bet on this cutting edge industry thanks to its strong balance sheet and technological advantages.
Virgin can afford to take its time on safety. With $666 million in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet at the end of 2020 set against management's expectation for negative free cash flow of $60 million in the first quarter of 2021, Virgin Galactic has plenty of financial runway before it launches commercial operations in 2022. And the potential market opportunity appears to be worth the wait.
According to analysts at UBS, the $400 billion space industry could double to $805 billion by 2030 -- with Virgin Galactic's target markets of hypersonic travel and space tourism representing $20 billion and $3 billion, respectively. Virgin Galactic is a great way to bet on these opportunities, because its suborbital flight technology works for both use cases. The company is also exploring opportunities in microgravity research, professional astronaut training, and transporting payloads for clients like NASA.
With a market cap of $39 billion versus annual revenue of $924 million, Roblox boasts a sky-high price-to-sales multiple of 42 as of this writing. But the video game entertainment company deserves its premium price because of its rapid growth rate and game-changing business model.
Unlike traditional rivals such as Zynga and Electronic Arts, which drive growth through expensive acquisitions and hyped-up blockbuster franchises, Roblox is a game creation platform that lets independent developers create much of the platform's content. This strategy allows the company to save on development costs while fueling growth by generating a massive amount of unique content for the Roblox "metaverse."
Management expects full-year 2021 revenue to surge 60% to $1.48 billion (at the midpoint of guidance) despite daily active user (DAU) growth decelerating to between 6% and 12% (about 35.5 million users). The latter figure marks a significant decline from 2020 when DAUs grew 85%.
Roblox will have to work harder to expand its user base as coronavirus-related tailwinds fade. But the company's massive research and development budget -- $201 million in 2020 (or 22% of revenue) -- will help it regain momentum by investing in new growth drivers and customers outside of its current core audience of kids under age 13.
According to Chief Business Officer Craig Donato, Roblox plans to enable developers to build more sophisticated games that will appeal to a "wider range of users." The platform is also experimenting with live music, as evidenced by a recent concert performed by rapper Lil Nas X entirely within Roblox. These new initiatives align with management's strategy to expand into older demographics, which could reboot user growth.
Betting on a comeback
Sometimes good companies hit speed bumps, but this doesn't necessarily derail their long-term plans for success. Virgin Galactic and Roblox are poised to bounce back better than ever because of their differentiated business models and massive growth opportunities in space travel and gaming.