Cryptocurrencies have generated lots of headlines recently. These digital assets don't have business plans and don't generate cash profits like regular businesses aim to do, which makes it impossible to find a fair value for them. But it doesn't take much of a news item to drive some cryptocurrencies much higher in a hurry. The meme-themed cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE 3.45%), for example, has surged nearly a hundredfold in 2021, from less than half a penny to roughly $0.42 per token.
Many Dogecoin owners see the token as an easy way to get rich quickly. That's more like gambling than investing, especially since Dogecoin comes with some unique market risks. In particular, sector leader Bitcoin (BTC -1.80%) will never have more than 21 million tokens on the market, and runner-up Ethereum (ETH -0.27%) caps its annual generation at 18 million tokens. Dogecoin has no such limits, with a circulating supply of 129 billion tokens today.
It's not surprising that younger people, in particular, are attracted to cryptocurrencies. They view digital assets as a way to get rich quickly, which is really nothing more than gambling. This could end badly for carefree speculators, given the volatile and unpredictable nature of even the largest and most serious cryptocurrencies.
You can do better. Over the long term, the stock market has been an excellent tool for building sustainable wealth. Forget the silly meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin and take a good, hard look at these promising high-growth companies. They can make you rich over time, just like cryptocurrencies, and you'll lose less sleep over the stocks.
Back to the Dolby lab again
I'm sure you know the name Dolby Labs (DLB -1.04%). This company has been a leader in audio and video technologies for decades and that legacy continues today. Large volumes of consumer electronics such as TV sets, set-top boxes, and video game consoles are shipping with support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision technologies. Every unit of these shipments translates into royalty payments to Dolby Labs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been both good and bad for Dolby. The company's portfolio of technologies and equipment for cinematic experiences suffered minuscule orders due to lockdowns and a lack of studio support for new silver-screen titles. At the same time, home entertainment shipments surged in 2020 and especially over the holidays.
The rising interest in premium-quality media is visible in Dolby's financial results. First-quarter sales increased 34% year over year, landing at $390 million. Adjusted earnings rose from $0.64 to $1.48 per share. Your average analyst would have settled for earnings near $1.04 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $345 million.
As Dolby expands its technology solutions and grows its addressable markets, one device at a time, I would much rather own this stock than a bucket of Dogecoin tokens.
Give me a ring
RingCentral (RNG 1.24%) is a leader in the market for Unified-Communications-as-a-Service, providing cloud-based voice and video communication solutions to companies of every size and stripe. RingCentral's business fortunes got a serious tailwind from the pandemic's work-from-home policies and hope to convert this temporary advantage into a long-lasting growth trend.
"Our technology moat, combined with a differentiated distribution moat with our unique partnerships, positions us for long-term durable growth," said CFO Mitesh Dhruv on February's fourth-quarter earnings call. "We are confident in our ability to thrive in this $50 billion-plus addressable market, and we believe 2021 could be a very exciting year ahead for RingCentral."
Let me explain how large the growth opportunity is. As Dhruv said, the UCaaS sector generates sales north of $50 billion per year. RingCentral's slice of that revenue pie was just $1.2 billion last year. As the company fights to capture a larger share, the market itself should grow for years to come. Cloud-based voice and video calls are here to stay and we're talking about a renowned provider of top-shelf technologies for these services.
That's another technology stock that looks like a better investment than that risky Dogecoin cryptocurrency.