Investing in Dogecoin is a risky venture. In the past month, the cryptocurrency has lost more than 40% of its value while the S&P 500 has been flat. And while a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk ("the Dogefather") could quickly reverse that path, that unpredictability is what makes it an untenable investment for the long term, even if you are willing to stomach a moderate level of risk.
Rather than gambling on Dogecoin, investors are better off going with stocks with much more solid growth paths. Buying shares of GrowGeneration (NASDAQ:GRWG), Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will likely prove to be much safer options over the long haul, and you'll still come away with some strong returns.
Hydroponics and gardening company GrowGeneration has been an exceptional investment over the past year, rising more than 560% in value during that time and outperforming the S&P 500 and its 32% by a wide margin. What's exciting about the stock is that it likely hasn't peaked. Hydroponics can make growing crops more efficient by using pipes and pumps that occupy less space than conventional gardening methods. And that can be particularly useful in the cannabis industry, where both individuals and licensed producers can benefit from the practice. GrowGeneration could play a pivotal role in the burgeoning industry's long-term growth.
In its first-quarter results for the period ended March 31 (released May 12), sales of $90 million were up 173% year over year. Its comparable-store sales were up an incredible 51%. The outlook is so strong for the business that GrowGeneration is updating its guidance for the year, now projecting its full-year revenue to come in between $450 million and $470 million. When the company issued its fourth-quarter numbers back in March, it was forecasting sales of no more than $430 million for 2021.
With more states passing marijuana legislation (including potentially hot markets like New York and New Jersey), there could soon be an influx of demand for GrowGeneration's products. Even given its impressive gains thus far, GrowGeneration looks poised for greater returns in the years ahead.
2. Adobe Systems
Tech company Adobe has always been a solid long-term buy. In the past year, its shares are up 31%, are in line with the S&P 500. What makes the stock an attractive growth investment is the consistency that it offers. In each of its past five fiscal years, the company has generated a profit margin of 20% or better. That's important for investors because it means that for every dollar in revenue the company generates, $0.20 of it is going straight to the bottom line.
And Adobe has done just fine growing revenue. For the three-month period ended March 5, the company's sales of $3.9 billion were up 26% year over year. With subscription revenue accounting for more than 90% of its top line, that gives the business lots of stability. Users also benefit, because they don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive standalone software from the company and can just subscribe to it as they need it.
Strong branding is key to keeping customers coming back and buying products and services. And Adobe's brand has been synonymous with quality. That, along with strong margins, makes the stock ideal to buy and hold for many years.
Starbucks is another company that enjoys a strong brand, with consumers continually flocking to its stores despite the availability of cheaper coffee elsewhere. Although the pandemic has adversely impacted the business due to lockdowns and restrictions (sales were down more than 11% in fiscal 2020), the company has been reemerging and getting back to growing its operations.
On April 27, it released its second-quarter numbers for the period ended March 28. Comparable-store sales in China were up 91% year over year, while in the U.S. they rose by 9%. The company is also seeing consumers spend more across the globe; the average ticket size worldwide is up 19%. And like Adobe, repeat business is a big part of why the company is successful. As of the end of Q2, Starbucks' loyalty program had just under 23 million active rewards members in the U.S., up 18% from a year ago. These are all positive signs that the company's recovery is well under way. Prior to the pandemic, the business was growing at a slow but stable rate: In fiscal 2019, its sales rose by 7.2% to $27 billion, and the year before that they grew by 10.4%.
Now that the economy is opening back up in many places and more people are able to resume their normal day-to-day activities, the business should be able to continue building on its recent results, which could make the stock an even better buy in the near term. In the past 12 months, shares of Starbucks have increased by 35%.