Investors never enjoy watching their stocks go down. (Well, maybe short sellers do.) Some of my favorite stocks have been absolutely clobbered in recent weeks, and if you have exposure to any high-growth stocks in your portfolio, you're probably in the same boat.
However, as long-term investors, market corrections like this can lead to some excellent opportunities to build up our favorite stock positions at a massive discount. Here are two in particular that are at the top of my buy list this spring at their current prices.
Stellar results and tons of room to grow
MercadoLibre (MELI 4.71%) is firing on all cylinders. On the marketplace side of its business, often referred to as the "Amazon.com (AMZN 2.07%) of Latin America," gross merchandise volume grew by 114% year over year in the first quarter, and this was the less exciting side of the business. Its MercadoPago payments platform saw total payment volume of $14.7 billion, which is 129% higher than in the same quarter a year ago. And payment volume from outside of MercadoLibre's marketplace is growing even faster.
In all, MercadoLibre has posted year-over-year revenue growth over 100% for four consecutive quarters. But it could still be just scratching the surface of its opportunity. Its marketplace sales volume is about 4% of that of Amazon, and its payment processing volume of about $60 billion annually is about 0.1% of the cashless payment volume flowing around the globe. With shares down by more than 30% from their 52-week high, MercadoLibre is a stock that is on sale but really shouldn't be.
A blowout quarter, but still on sale
PayPal Holdings (PYPL 2.01%) isn't on sale to the extent that MercadoLibre is, but it's still about 20% off its highs despite posting blowout results. Not only did PayPal handily beat expectations on the top and bottom line, but its business continues to grow at an impressive pace.
Total payment volume reached $285 billion in the first quarter, which translates to an annualized pace of more than $1.1 trillion. There are now 392 million active accounts between the PayPal and Venmo platforms, and 14.5 million of these were added in the first quarter alone, so it's clear that even after its pandemic-fueled growth in mid-2020, the company is still attracting millions of new users. PayPal is expecting 20% year-over-year revenue growth for the full year, and points to cryptocurrencies as a particularly promising growth engine, as PayPal recently enabled cryptocurrency payments at millions of merchants and is seeing high levels of engagement among its cryptocurrency user base.
Most importantly, PayPal is highly profitable, with more than $5 billion in free cash flow over the past four quarters, giving it plenty of financial flexibility to pursue value-adding acquisitions or other growth opportunities as they arise. In short, PayPal is already the clear fintech leader in online and person-to-person payments, but there could still be plenty of room to grow in the years ahead.
Expect some turbulence
It's not a good idea to buy any growth stock without expecting a fair amount of turbulence over the coming years, and these two are certainly not an exception. There's no way to know whether the recent correction in these two companies is done, or if we could see more pressure ahead.
Invest with the long term in mind. These are both fantastic companies that have the potential to grow their businesses to several times the current size, but the path higher won't likely be a straight line.