Over the past 14 months, we've witnessed history. We watched the benchmark S&P 500 lose more than 30% faster than any other time in its storied history. Conversely, we've also reveled in the greatest bounce-back rally from a bear-market bottom of all time. The widely followed S&P 500 has gained 88% since hitting its low on March 23, 2020.
But even with the S&P 500 eclipsing 4,200 for the first time ever, value can still be found. The following three top stocks offer the opportunity to make patient investors a lot richer in May, and well beyond.
Not to pick favorites, but the standout stock for May is technology-driven real estate company Redfin (RDFN -4.45%). The real estate sector is ripe for disruption, and Redfin looks to have all the tools needed to become a new-age player in a $93 billion market.
On a macro basis, Redfin is being aided by historically low mortgage rates, an exceptionally dovish Federal Reserve, and multiple stimulus packages being pushed out by Washington. Though we know mortgage rates won't remain this low forever, it has been an excellent time to be a real estate company.
What really allows Redfin to stand out, though, is the company's cost-savings potential relative to traditional real estate companies, as well as its personalized services. To begin with the former, Redfin lists homes for a 1.5% fee, or 1% if buying and selling. That's up to 2 percentage points lower than the commissions charged by traditional real estate firms. With the value of homes skyrocketing as mortgage rates have plummeted, the savings Redfin provides have only been magnified. It's worth pointing out that Redfin's share of homes sold in the U.S. has more than doubled over the past five years from 0.44% to 1%.
As noted, the other differentiating factor is Redfin's personalized services. The company continues to roll out its RedfinNow service, which purchases homes for cash from sellers, thus removing the haggling and other time-consuming procedures typically associated with selling a home. Redfin also offers its Concierge service, which aids sellers with staging and other improvement aspects designed to maximize the selling price of a home. Concierge comes with a 2% to 2.5% fee on the sales price of a home.
There really aren't disruptors like Redfin in the real estate space, which makes it a top stock to buy in May.
There probably isn't a marijuana stock I pound the table about more often than U.S. multistate operator (MSO) Cresco Labs (CRLBF -3.28%). With Cresco retracing 30% from its all-time high, the time to pounce is now.
A lot of investors have been piling into cannabis stocks on the prospect of U.S. legalization. With Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats taking back the Senate by the narrowest of margins, the pathway to legalization in Washington has never been better. However, legalization has never been necessary for the top MSOs to thrive. As long as the federal government maintains a hands-off approach to managing state-level decisions on weed, companies like Cresco Labs can rake in the green.
Following the closure of the company's Bluma Wellness deal, Cresco now has 32 operating dispensaries across 10 states. When additional deals close and the company utilizes its remaining retail licenses, it'll operate in the neighborhood of four dozen dispensaries.
What makes the retail side of Cresco so interesting is that it's chosen to operate in a number of limited-license states. It's maximized its retail presence in Illinois (10) and Ohio (5), as an example. By targeting states that limit how many retail licenses they'll assign, Cresco is ensuring that it grabs a healthy amount of market share and can effectively build up its brand without getting swarmed by the competition.
Arguably even more exciting is Cresco's wholesale operations. Wholesale usually produces weaker margins than retail, and is therefore discounted by Wall Street. But analysts seem to be overlooking the fact that Cresco offers more than enough volume to offset any margin weakness. That's because it holds a highly coveted cannabis distribution license in the No. 1 market in the world for marijuana sales: California. Within the Golden State, Cresco can place its proprietary and third-party products into more than 575 dispensaries.
Cresco Labs' discount to other pot stocks makes no sense, which is an opportunity ripe for the picking for long-term investors.
To put myself in your shoes, reading the word "insurance" probably sends your brain into an instant state of boredom. EverQuote is looking to change that by making insurance purchases as seamless as possible.
According to the company, the U.S. insurance market is a $154 billion opportunity. As part of that $154 billion, $16.7 billion is spent annually on advertising. And within that sphere, $6.5 billion is spent on digital ads, which is where EverQuote is focused. While the total insurance market is expected to see average annual growth of 4% through 2024, digital ad spend is forecast to grow by 16% annually over the same time frame.
The beauty of the EverQuote model is that it's making the buying and selling process considerably more efficient. Its marketplace allows for quick price comparisons, with approximately 20% of users ultimately purchasing a policy. Because the company's marketplace is attracting motivated, qualified shoppers, insurers are incented to use EverQuote's platform to maximize their return on investment with digital ad dollars.
Best of all, EverQuote has been able to expand into new verticals, nearly all of which are growing at a considerably faster rate than its traditional auto marketplace. Through acquisitions and organic shifts, EverQuote is now offering home, renters, health, and life insurance.
A forward sales multiple of 2 is just too low for a company with sustainable double-digit growth potential in the lucrative insurance space.