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The Nasdaq's Soaring and Investors Are Watching These 2 Winning Stocks

By Dan Caplinger - May 14, 2021 at 2:03PM

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Optimism is coming from a number of sources.

The stock market continued to move higher on Friday, building on its rebound from heavy losses earlier in the week. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) has faced an uphill battle lately as investors are losing confidence in some of the high-growth stocks that led the rally in 2020 and early 2021. However, the Nasdaq is leading the charge on Friday, rising more than 2% as of 1 p.m. EDT.

There were a couple of Nasdaq stocks that had noteworthy performances on Friday. Airbnb (ABNB 3.75%) initially lost ground after it reported its first-quarter financial results late Thursday, but the stock has now rebounded to move higher. Meanwhile, Plug Power (PLUG 16.66%) has plugged into the red-hot electric-vehicle and fuel-cell technology arena, and investors hope that the company will be able to keep making progress toward long-term solutions that will boost sales and profits.

Rocket lifting off a launch pad.

Image source: Getty Images.

Airbnb is chomping at the bit

Shares of Airbnb were higher by about 3% on Friday afternoon. The online accommodation platform has positioned itself to take maximum advantage of an expected rebound in travel activity. Although its backward-looking numbers don't yet show the company's full potential, Airbnb expects the remainder of the year to play out well.

Airbnb's numbers showed significant resiliency. Gross booking value jumped above the $10 billion mark during the quarter, soaring 52% from the year-ago quarter. The figure was actually higher by 3% compared to Airbnb's gross bookings two years ago, long before the pandemic became a major factor.

Revenue of $887 million was up 5% year over year and 6% from two years ago. Room-nights and experiences booked jumped by 13% to 64.4 million compared to last year's totals, although the numbers were down 21% from the first quarter of 2019.

Many favorable trends are making Airbnb optimistic about the future. People are starting to book travel well out into the future again, dispelling any concerns that travelers would never again want to count on being able to go where they want. Airbnb is attracting more hosts in desirable areas, especially rural properties that have seen huge demand for city dwellers looking for more space and a different lifestyle. Perhaps most interestingly, Airbnb is getting a lot of demand from people booking places for longer than four weeks, suggesting it's taking the place of short- to medium-term rentals.

Airbnb has managed to make it through an extremely difficult period, and now, it wants to see what the recovery will look like. Investors are expecting a huge boom from Airbnb and will be disappointed if they don't get it.

Shareholders are ready to Plug in

Plug Power saw its stock climb another 9% on Friday morning, continuing a streak of volatility that has pushed share prices in both directions throughout the week. Investors finally got some good news that hopefully will allow the fuel-cell company to put past uncertainty behind it.

Plug Power announced that it has finally finished its restatements of financial reports from 2018 and 2019, along with quarterly filings for periods in 2019 and 2020. The numbers weren't all pretty, as upward revisions to 2020's net revenue weren't sufficient to pull the number out of negative territory. At issue was the vesting of stock warrants that the fuel-cell maker had granted to as part of the e-commerce giant's relationship with Plug. Losses ballooned to $1.68 per share in 2020, up from a revised $0.36 per share in 2019 and $0.39 per share in 2018.

Plug hopes to see its business rebound in 2021. Gross billings could see gains of 50% to 60% year over year, with figures more than tripling between 2021 and 2024.

However, Plug Power shareholders have endured plenty of strife in the past. It'll be important for Plug to make good on its potential this time around in order to preserve investors' fragile confidence in the fuel-cell maker.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Airbnb, Inc. and Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Airbnb, Inc. Stock Quote
Airbnb, Inc.
$118.73 (3.75%) $4.29
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$12,493.93 (0.00%) $0.00, Inc. Stock Quote, Inc.
$142.69 (3.53%) $4.86
Plug Power Inc. Stock Quote
Plug Power Inc.
$28.78 (16.66%) $4.11

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

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