Get-rich schemes are almost always too good to be true. Generating serious wealth usually takes time, patience, and effort. But one particular asset class seems to be challenging that age-old piece of knowledge: cryptocurrencies. Over the past few years, some of these digital currencies have skyrocketed. And among the best-performing is Dogecoin (DOGE -6.10%), which has soared by over 17,000% in the past six months alone. But the future of Dogecoin -- and other cryptos -- is still hard to predict.
They may certainly become mainstream in the future, or they may not. This uncertainty, coupled with the fact that they are extremely volatile, makes cryptocurrencies risky bets. Relying on Dogecoin as a primary growth strategy for your portfolio seems like an ill-advised life choice. Investors looking for a surer path to wealth creation would do well to focus on purchasing shares of businesses built to succeed in the long run. Two companies that fit this category to a T are Intuitive Surgical (ISRG -2.10%) and Etsy (ETSY -6.50%). Let's see why both might be worth an investment.
1. Intuitive Surgical
In the first quarter ending March 31, it was back to business as usual for Intuitive Surgical. After the medical device specialist hit a rough past last year because of the pandemic, the company seems to be hitting its stride. During the quarter, Intuitive Surgical's revenue of $1.29 billion jumped by 18% compared to the prior-year quarter. Key to the company's top-line growth was an increase of 16% in the number of procedures performed with its crown jewel, the da Vinci system.
Intuitive Surgical makes much of its revenue thanks to the sale of instruments and accessories that go along with the da Vinci System -- which is tied to the number of procedures performed with its robotic-assisted device. Thus, as procedure volume increases, so will the company's revenue and profits. Intuitive Surgical's earnings per share (EPS) climbed to $3.51 in the first quarter, up from $2.62 during the first quarter of 2020.
Looking forward, the future of the company looks bright. For one, Intuitive Surgical believes it can adopt more and more procedures and clinical applications with its robotic-assisted devices, which would likely lead to greater adoption among physicians and an increase in the number of surgeries performed.
Elsewhere, the robotic-assisted surgery market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4% through 2026, according to a report published by the research firm Mordor Intelligence. Intuitive Surgical has a leg up on most of its peers in this market, and thanks to its first-mover advantage and its devices' high switching costs, the company is likely to keep adding to its list of clients.
In short, even after more than 20 years of beating the market, this healthcare stock may be just getting started.
Many high-flying growth stocks have been struggling of late, and Etsy is unquestionably one of them. After reaching an all-time high earlier this year, the company is down by 10% year to date -- and by almost 30% in the last month. However, this sell-off is an excellent opportunity to get in on this e-commerce specialist. Here's why.
For one, Etsy continues to report strong financial results. During the first quarter, the company's revenue of $550.6 million soared by 141.5% compared to the year-ago period. This performance was driven by strong growth in gross merchandise sales (GMS) -- the total value of items sold on the company's platform. Etsy's GMS jumped by 132.3% year over year to $3.1 billion. Meanwhile, the company's active sellers increased by 67.1% year over year to 4.7 million, and its active buyers grew by 89.9% year over year to 90.7 million. What seems to have turned investors off was, in part, Etsy's own guidance.
The company expects GMS growth between 5% and 15% during the second quarter (compared to last year's Q2) and top-line growth between 15% and 25%.That's peanuts compared to what investors have gotten used to in recent quarters, but let's not forget that Etsy's business got a boost as a result of the pandemic. Red-hot growth rates of the kind the company reported for much of last year were bound to slow eventually, and for investors focused on the long term, this is nothing to worry about.
One of Etsy's greatest strengths is that many items found on its platform are handcrafted and unique. In a 2020 survey of the company's customers, 88% of buyers said that Etsy's marketplace has items one can't find anywhere else. This indicates that these buyers will turn to Etsy when looking for specific items, whereas sellers offering unique and handcrafted goods are likely to turn to Etsy to reach a wide potential clientele. This phenomenon is known as the network effect, and it can be a powerful source of competitive advantage for a company.
Just how large is the market for handcrafted goods? The company estimates that it has captured a meager 1% of this space worth roughly $1.7 trillion, signaling that there is still a very long runway for growth ahead.
That's why stressing over one -- or even a few -- quarters of decelerating growth isn't worth it. Investors shouldn't wait too long for Etsy's stock to drop even more to initiate a position. For buy and hold investors, now is as good a time as any to get in on this top growth stock.