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Got $1,000? Here Are 3 Stocks to Buy in April

By Chris Neiger, Danny Vena, and Brian Withers - Apr 11, 2021 at 8:00AM

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Put that stimulus money to work with these stocks.

The stock market has been a bit unpredictable since the beginning of this year. Some tech stocks that were flying high in 2020 have been pushed down since January, but that doesn't mean that there aren't great long-term bets in the tech sector. 

We asked a few Motley Fool contributors which tech stocks would be a good place to put a little extra cash right now, and they came back with Clover Health Investments (CLOV 5.14%)Okta (OKTA 6.17%), and Amazon (AMZN 3.15%). Here's why. 

Hundred dollar bills on a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

A new approach to health insurance

Brian Withers (Clover Health): Clover Health is one of the recent SPACs (special purpose acquisition company) to be spun off as its own public company. Today, the shares are trading at an all-time low providing patient investors a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what could be an amazing long-term investment. 

A 2x2 matrix with Clover in the upper right. The Y axis is data richness and the X axis is data actionability.

Clover sits in the sweet spot between tech and healthcare data. Image source: Clover health.

At its core, Clover Health is a health insurance provider focusing on Medicare Advantage patients. But it's also a technology company. Where other healthcare information technology (HCIT) companies, big tech, and insurance payors have been unsuccessful, Clover sits in the sweet spot of having access to a tremendous trove of data as a health insurance payor and can help patients and healthcare professionals get access to that data in ways to provide better, more effective, and ultimately less expensive care. Here's how that works.

The company has developed Clover Assistant, a software application accessed via the web or mobile devices, that enables physicians to get full access to patient records. With this access, healthcare professionals can make better and more informed decisions about a patient's care plan. But the best part is that doctors who treat Clover patients can use the application for free and even can receive enhanced fees for using it. 

Investors may be skeptical as to whether this actually works. The company's proven track record of growth shows this concept is taking off. With every additional patient and healthcare professional who uses the software, it will become even "smarter" and more useful to all members. The table below shows its last three years of growth, and even shows that its medical cost ratio (medical expenses divided by premiums collected) is improving.

Metric

2018

2019

2020

2021 Estimated**

Members*

31,000

41,000

57,000

69,000

Member growth (YOY)

N/A

31%

38%

21%

Revenue

$358 million

$462 million

$673 million

$835 million

Revenue growth (YOY)

N/A

29%

46%

24%

Medical cost ratio

97%

99%

88%

90%

Data source: Clover Health. *Members rounded to the nearest thousand. **2021 Estimated numbers are the midpoint of the management outlook. YOY = year over year.

Finally, the strategy to focus on the growing aging population, members of which often have multiple medical conditions at once, is a solid way to collect more data to improve the platform. Interested investors should remember that this company is still relatively small and still has lots to prove. But for those willing to take a little risk, this is one stock that should be on your list to consider this month.

A woman using a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

Can I see your ID?

Danny Vena (Okta): One thing that has become abundantly clear in recent years is that preventing large-scale data breaches will only get more difficult from here. Ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to systems and data is one of the most important steps a business can take. That's where Okta (pronounced Ahk-tuh) comes in.

The company offers a cloud-based identity management and authentication service that takes the guesswork out of access management. It handles the user authentication for employees, contractors, and customers, and integrates with more than 6,500 of the most popular business software applications, all with a single, secure login process.

Okta is the industry leader, but don't take my word for it. The company was singled out by research company Gartner for four consecutive years, which called it "the only vendor that has consistently been a Leader since the inception of Gartner's evaluation of the identity space — starting with the first Identity as a Service (IDaaS) Magic Quadrant seven years ago." It isn't the only one: Forrester Research came to a similar conclusion. 

Those industry accolades are supported by the company's strong financial results. Okta grew revenue by 43% in 2020, while subscriptions climbed 44%. The company's remaining performance obligation (RPO) -- which represents future revenue that is under contract but has not yet been recognized -- grew even faster, up 49%. This shows that future growth will likely continue unabated. Free cash flow was also robust, up 205% compared to 2019. Okta is also on the verge of consistent profitability, having managed a small adjusted profit in each of the past three quarters. 

This could be just the tip of the iceberg. At Okta's investor day this week, the company announced its expansion into two new and important growth markets: privileged access and identity governance.

Privileged access gives customers the ability to provide access to highly sensitive areas within its network on an as-needed basis, thereby limiting access to a few key individuals. It can also track that access and provide additional protection for sensitive areas. Identity governance provides exception reporting that allows companies to quickly and easily isolate deviations from company policy, and identify unauthorized access. 

The addition of these new capabilities, and Okta's acquisition of Auth0 last month, is all part of the company's grand vision of the identity cloud, which marks the next step in Okta's evolution.

With the addition of these new capabilities, management believes the company's total addressable market has expanded from $55 billion to $80 billion. Okta generated revenue of just $835 million last year, a drop in the bucket when compared with the company's vast and growing opportunity. 

A man using a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

A tech stock with three fast-growing businesses

Chris Neiger (Amazon): Investors looking for a fantastic place to put $1,000 won't be disappointed with Amazon. The company has many irons in the fire, but three of them are white-hot right now: e-commerce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and advertising. 

Amazon's North American e-commerce sales surged 40% in the fourth quarter (reported on Feb. 2) to $75.3 billion. And for the full year 2020, the segment experienced 38% growth. International e-commerce sales are growing at an even faster clip, with revenue jumping 57% in the fourth quarter. 

Amazon's e-commerce sales account for at least one-third of all online U.S. retail sales right now. The company's e-commerce market share can fluctuate at times, but there's no denying that Amazon's e-commerce platform is the largest in the U.S. and will continue to be for years to come. 

As great as Amazon's e-commerce business is, investors shouldn't overlook the company's AWS cloud computing business. AWS is the leading cloud service provider in the world with 31% market share (followed by Microsoft's Azure with 20%). 

AWS sales increased by 27% in the fourth quarter and operating income from the segment reached $3.5 billion, making it the most lucrative business Amazon has. 

Amazon is already leading the cloud race, and with the global cloud computing market expected to reach an estimated $362 billion by 2022, there's plenty of more room for AWS to continue growing as cloud demand increases. 

And finally, investors may be unaware that Amazon has been slowly building its advertising business over the past few years -- and it's now a significant competitor. More than 10% of all U.S. digital ad spending occurred on Amazon's platform in 2020, up from 7.8% in 2019. 

Research from eMarketer estimates that ad spending on Amazon's platform will increase by 30% this year to $20 billion and that annual spending could surpass $30 billion by 2023. 

With Amazon's e-commerce, cloud computing, and advertising businesses firing on all cylinders, long-term investors should consider starting a position (or snatching up more shares) of this tech giant. 

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Stocks Mentioned

Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$109.56 (3.15%) $3.35
Okta Stock Quote
Okta
OKTA
$95.98 (6.17%) $5.58
Clover Health Investments, Corp. Stock Quote
Clover Health Investments, Corp.
CLOV
$2.25 (5.14%) $0.11

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

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