It's too soon for a "COVID-19 is over" party, but there are signs that things are starting to get somewhat back to normal. We're seeing a lot of the obvious names roaring back, but there are still some opportunities for investors that seem to be hiding in plain sight.
SmileDirectClub (SDC 6.79%), Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI 0.74%), and The RealReal (REAL -7.91%) have a lot to gain as we climb our way out of the pandemic. The three stocks are trading well below their highs, so obviously Wall Street isn't connecting the dots.
We've been wearing masks for 14 months, and straightening our teeth hasn't been a priority. SmileDirectClub is a disruptor in clean dental aligners, offering them directly to consumers at a discount. Cutting out costly orthodontists and dentists to have teeth molds done remotely offers a big price break for corrective dental work.
SmileDirectClub revenue nearly tripled in 2018, rising a respectable 77% in 2019. The pandemic naturally tripped up the upstart. With workplaces, classrooms, and social settings on ice there wasn't a need to fix crooked chompers or gaps between our teeth. Revenue declined 13% last year, but SmileDirectClub's results turned positive in the first quarter of this year.
Business should pick up from now. We're heading back out into the wild, and suddenly dental cosmetics make sense. SmileDirectClub is projecting 20% to 30% annualized revenue growth through the next five years. If this sounds intriguing keep in mind that SmileDirectClub has shed more than half of its value since peaking in January. I knew that would make you smile.
Sirius XM Holdings
Unlike the two other somewhat obscure and broken IPOs on this list, you're probably familiar with Sirius XM Holdings. The 2008 merger between Sirius and XM created a satellite radio monopoly, and it's a juggernaut with 34.5 million subscribers.
The rub with the media stock is that it shifted in reverse during the pandemic. The same amazing investment that delivered 11 consecutive years of positive returns declined in 2020. It still can't shift into a new gear, trading lower in 2021 with a 28% slide since peaking four months ago.
Revenue growth has slowed, and its total subs are actually slightly lower than where Sirius XM was a year ago. The sticking point here is that with our cars largely in park over the past year it was easy to cancel a satellite radio subscription that we weren't using. We're going to be back in the driver's seat -- in more ways than one -- in the year ahead, and Sirius XM will be a major beneficiary as folks return to premium satellite radio. Sirius XM is only expecting a 4% increase in revenue this year, so it won't take much to get it moving in the right direction again.
The circular economy is real, and as an online consignment shop for brand-name apparel, footwear, handbags, jewelry, and watches, The RealReal is sitting pretty in the revolution. It gives eco-friendly shoppers a way to score deals on secondhand gear that is restorative and regenerative by design.
The RealReal stands out from the competition with a rigorous verification process on every item that is sold through its digital storefront. Revenue rose 55% in 2018 and 48% in 2019. Our appetite for luxury goods dried up during the pandemic as social scenes disappeared, and The RealReal's top line took a 5% hit last year.
Whether you appreciate The RealReal's sustainability message or you're just a deal-seeker who doesn't like to pay retail prices, the near-term growth prospects are strong here. Revenue and gross merchandise volume rebounded with a 27% increase in its latest quarter, and The RealReal's eyeing even headier growth for the current quarter.
Despite the clear runway at this point in the recovery and social reawakening cycle The RealReal has shed more than half of its value since hitting an all-time high in February. The RealReal went public at $20 two summers ago, and it's not likely to stay in the low teens for too much longer.