Let's face it: This is a strange and wild time to be an investor. The stock market has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past year. Recent weeks have seen a notable increase in market volatility as angst about the surging inflation rate and supply shortages are increasingly driving investors' actions.
Should you be concerned? The answer is no -- not if you maintain a long-term perspective; continue diversifying your investments and building your nest egg; and focus on fortifying your portfolio with durable, all-weather stocks. Now is the time to prepare for whatever the market has in store in the coming months.
If you have $5,000 and want to invest in top-notch growth stocks that have remained resilient throughout the market events of the past year, here are two companies to buy right now.
The pet industry likely isn't the first place you'd look when searching for a premium growth stock, but online retailer Chewy (CHWY -2.79%) is quickly proving to be a shrewd play for investors seeking long-term portfolio gains and explosive upside potential.
Chewy.com sells everything from pet food to toys to prescription medications, with products for all manner of animals: pets like dogs, cats, fish, and rabbits, as well as farm livestock. Chewy's one-stop-shopping business model serves a broad array of animal owners' needs, and its products have a consistent level of demand year-round. As a result, the pandemic had very little impact on the company's balance sheet, and Chewy quickly emerged as a recession-resilient stock play.
The company's net sales in 2020 represented a 47% increase from the previous year. During the 12-month period, Chewy not only grew its customer base by 43%, but also reported positive adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), which surged a whopping $166 million from 2019.
The final quarter of 2020 was also a period of remarkable growth for Chewy, with a 51% spike in net sales compared to the year-ago quarter. And it closed out its first full year as a publicly traded company with another huge win: a positive bottom line for the first time ever. The company reported total net income of $21 million for the fourth quarter.
Analysts seem especially enthused about Chewy's growth prospects. They project that the company can grow its average annual earnings by more than 130% over the upcoming five-year period alone.
Shares now trade about 61% higher than just one year ago. In addition, high analyst price targets place the stock with an upside potential of 96%. Chewy's growth story is just getting started, and investors who buy the stock now could see some serious portfolio growth over the next few decades.
2. Innovative Industrial Properties
Many pot stocks haven't had the easiest time of it over the past year, but there have been some notable exceptions. Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -0.70%), which operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT), is a prime example. The company delivered insane balance-sheet growth throughout the market tumult of the past year, and it has built on its rapidly expanding portfolio of commercial properties.
Innovative Industrial Properties has a robust portfolio of facilities that it leases to medical-use cannabis growers in states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The company also only leases its facilities to growers that are fully licensed in their respective state of operation. In building its business solely around the medical marijuana market, which is much more widely legalized than the recreational side of the industry, the REIT has been able to maintain a much faster growth trajectory than the average pot stock while outpacing the broader volatility that often impacts these companies.
As a result, Innovative Industrial Properties reported 162% revenue growth in 2020 along with a 191% increase in its net income and a 180% spike in adjusted funds from operations (AFFO). The company also made new acquisitions and expanded on existing ones to the tune of $620 million last year.
It started 2021 on a high note. During the first quarter, it grew revenue by 103% from the year-ago period, its net income rose 122% on a year-over-year basis, and its AFFO surged 116% year over year. Management also said that between Jan. 1 and the date of the first-quarter report (May 5), it made four new property acquisitions, in Florida, California, Texas, and Michigan. Another draw for investors is the fact that there are zero short-term liabilities on its balance sheet, while it closed the first quarter with about $122 million in cash and cash equivalents.
On a final note, Innovative Industrial Properties pays a robust dividend, which yields 3.1% based on current share prices, and it regularly increases its payout. The quarterly dividend on April 15 was 32% higher than in the first quarter of last year.
With its superior ability to deliver consistent growth in its balance sheet and share price (the stock is up 130% from one year ago), both conservative and risk-tolerant investors should consider seizing the opportunity to buy shares of this unstoppable marijuana stock.