Everybody wants to know where to invest to produce immediate, outsized returns. If you came to this article hoping to do that with $1,000, then allow me to tap the brakes right now. Your odds of success with any stock investment only go up with enough time -- quick gains are unlikely. The investing ideas I'll present have a five-year horizon, and I wouldn't be surprised if they produced lackluster returns for months or even a couple of years.
Here are the five picks I have for you: advertising-technology company Magnite (MGNI 3.28%), restaurant chain Domino's Pizza (DPZ -0.87%), website design company Wix.com (WIX 2.37%), plant-based meat company Beyond Meat (BYND 21.89%), and Latin America's payments and e-commerce giant MercadoLibre (MELI -0.97%).
But again, I'm not saying that right now is a perfectly timed moment to buy shares of these companies. Timing the market consistently and perfectly isn't possible. Therefore, think of a $1,000 investment in any of these companies as part of a bigger-picture portfolio strategy.
If there's a stock here you don't own, now might be a good time to start a position -- all of them have recent news to support a long-term bullish outlook. And if these are stocks you already own, then now could be a good time to add to your position.
Some big news recently broke for streaming-TV platform Roku. According to Adweek, upfront spending commitments (what advertisers agree on before the start of the television season) for the company doubled from 2020, and negotiations finished a quarter earlier than in years past. This is good news for Roku investors, but it's also good for shareholders of Magnite, a small company helping power Roku's ad platform.
Magnite is the combination of The Rubicon Project and Telaria. But after these two companies merged to become Magnite, it acquired competitor SpotX. The acquisition was just completed in April, and importantly, this is the deal that brought Roku in as a Magnite customer. As the largest independent supply-side advertising platform (SSP) in the world, Magnite has an impressive customer base besides Roku, including media giants Walt Disney and Discovery.
Backtracking to Roku, its growth in ad dollars far outpaces that of the industry. Upfront ad spend as a whole is only up 7.6% year over year, according to Business Insider, whereas Roku's has doubled. This is a testament to the company but also to the profound ongoing consumer shift away from traditional TV in favor of streaming. Advertisers will go where the people are and where they can get a good return on investment for ads. More and more, this is what connected TV (CTV) provides and why an ad tech company with a CTV focus like Magnite is a good place to invest a $1,000.
As of this writing, the stock is down over 50% from its all-time high. Given the outlook for the industry appears bright, and Magnite is a leading SSP, this discounted share price is a bonus for those buying today.
Investors often think they have to buy stocks nobody has ever heard of in order to make money. But a $1,000 investment in well-known Domino's Pizza 10 years ago would be worth about $19,000 today -- a return that few other stocks can match over the last decade. And the company has been a winner doing some very boring things. Basically, it has opened a lot of new locations, and sales per location have gone up. And with its growing profits, management has rewarded shareholders by buying back its own stock and paying a small, growing dividend.
Domino's story over the last 10 years continues today. On July 15, the company announced it had opened its 18,000th location. This milestone is impressive, but it will be surpassed in short order. Management is targeting 25,000 locations worldwide by 2025 -- almost 40% growth from its current footprint over just the next four or so years.
Domino's is also targeting $25 billion in sales by 2025. For perspective, the company had over 17,000 locations in 2020 and sales of $16.1 billion. Therefore, not only is management projecting a lot of new stores, it's also projecting more sales per location. That will make both franchisees and the parent company more profitable by leveraging fixed costs, so I expect profits to grow faster than revenue over the next four years.
Because of its potential for profit growth, Domino's should be able to keep buying back stock and growing its dividend. For these reasons, investing $1,000 in the stock now looks appetizing to me.
It might not be a household name like Domino's, but Wix has a business model that you should get to know. The company offers free tools for website creators in hopes of drawing people in. It monetizes these free websites by placing ads, and it then has dozens of paid products for users to choose from. So the company helps people get started online for free, and as their websites grow, it offers almost any solution that they might need to upgrade.
This business model has proved effective. First, Wix consistently grows its customer base -- over the past year it has averaged 2.5 million new users per month and now has more than 200 million total. Second, the company consistently gets users to spend more money. Every cohort of users over the past decade has continued to increase spending over time, and the company boasted a net revenue retention rate of 113%.
Wix currently has a market capitalization under $16 billion, but it expects to collect $14.2 billion over the next 10 years just from existing users. And the company has a chance to grow revenue even more, because it's constantly launching new services it can monetize. Sometimes, it simply creates a new product. For example, it just launched a point-of-sale hardware device similar to Square, giving it a presence in brick-and-mortar stores. But at times, it also makes acquisitions. There were three so far this year, including a drop-shipping service that integrates with high-growth company Shopify.
Because of its great business model and wonderful execution, Wix stock is up close to 800% over the past five years. But it hasn't been a smooth ride. It pulled back at least 20% four different times during that period. The first three times were great entry points for a long-term investment. The fourth dip of at least 20% is right now. Given all we've seen, I think Wix is a good place to invest a grand.
4. Beyond Meat
On July 8, plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat made its most important announcement as a public company when it released Beyond Chicken Tenders in 400 independent restaurants around the country. Let me give context to this statement: Ever since the company went public in 2019, it has been an expensive stock. It currently trades at 19 times trailing-12-month sales -- an incredibly high multiple for a food company. To justify this price tag, the company needs to exponentially grow sales, and that's where I believe plant-based chicken comes in.
As a public company, Beyond Meat has primarily generated revenue from its plant-based hamburgers. For example, in 2020, 58% of revenue came from sales of Beyond Burgers. Since they're already available in thousands of restaurants and grocery stores, the company can still grow sales of Beyond Burgers, but the chicken opportunity is likely much bigger. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, poultry accounts for roughly a third of all meat consumed worldwide, compared to beef, which accounts for roughly a quarter. Therefore, it behooves a protein company like Beyond Meat to have a commercially available product in this massive category.
The day after announcing the launch of Beyond Chicken Tenders, VegNews reported that privately-owned Panda Express was testing the product in a select number of its more than 2,200 locations. To me, this demonstrates that the customer base for plant-based chicken is already out there, just waiting for a compelling product.
I'm optimistic that Beyond Chicken Tenders will be that compelling plant-based product. Consider that this launch isn't a hasty move. The company has been working with tech developed by the University of Missouri for roughly a decade, and it had chicken products commercially available until early 2019. These plant-based chicken products were selling well, but management pulled them, hoping to perfect the recipe. By relaunching them now, it suggests to me that management is confident it has made serious improvements over the previous iteration.
If plant-based chicken takes off like plant-based burgers have, Beyond Meat has a very good chance to grow a shareholder's $1,000 investment long term.
And lastly, long-term investors should consider investing $1,000 in Latin American e-commerce and payments company MercadoLibre. Naturally, the company has been firing on all cylinders since the start of the pandemic, since its services help people follow social-distancing guidelines. But this is more than a short-term pandemic play. In the first quarter of 2021, the company announced it had 70 million active users -- an increase of 62% year over year.
When you think about the first time you bought something online or paid for something digitally (i.e. not using cash), perhaps there was some initial trepidation. But once you finally tried these things, the ease and convenience of the transaction keeps you from going back to how you used to do things.
In other words, once you use e-commerce and digital payments, you tend to keep using these services. For MercadoLibre, I expect it will retain its new users, who will buy into its ecosystem more and more over time. Therefore, the company is enjoying an acceleration of long-term adoption in the region. That alone makes this a strong stock to consider.
Three major markets for MercadoLibre are Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, and there are around 400 million people in those three countries alone. With just 70 million users, there's plenty of room for growth in Latin America over the next decade.
Of these five stocks, MercadoLibre might be the least risky option. Though the adoption of e-commerce and digital payments is still in its early stages in Latin America, other regions of the world have shown how powerful these trends are. And as an incumbent, MercadoLibre has an advantage over newcomers, because it has already spent time building up infrastructure (like fulfillment centers), and that's not easily replicated. For these reasons and more, MercadoLibre is the one I'm personally considering the most for my portfolio.