Finding stocks that can guide your portfolio to safe harbor when the next market storm strikes doesn't have to be complicated. It's true that stocks are incredibly expensive right now and some just can't justify their nosebleed valuations. Even so, you can find compelling buying opportunities if you know where to look.
Two top-notch stocks from very different sectors -- healthcare and e-commerce -- have continued to generate high levels of balance sheet and business growth throughout the pandemic and each has something to offer a well-rounded portfolio. Let's dig deeper.
1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) is by far one of the most important players in the global multi-billion-dollar cystic fibrosis (CF) drug industry. The company has four approved drugs on the market: Trikafta, Symdeko, Orkambi, and Kalydeco. All of these drugs are for the treatment of individuals with CF.
More importantly, these four products are the only ones in a class of CF drugs known as CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) modulators that have as of yet made it to market. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, CFTR modulators "are designed to correct the malfunctioning protein made by the CFTR gene."
AbbVie is another well-known pharmaceutical company working on several different CFTR modulators, but its candidates are still in either phase 1 or 2 clinical trials. Even if these drugs do eventually gain approval down the line, the opportunity within the CF drug market and even more specifically within the CFTR modulator drug market is massive and far from saturated.
The global CF drug market is on track to hit a global valuation of about $14 billion by the year 2025, according to Grand View Research. Meanwhile, an April 2021 report by Research & Markets estimated the CFTR modulator drug market alone represents a $20 billion market opportunity. The same report also found that Vertex's Trikafta controlled 50% of this market as of 2020.
Trikafta is Vertex Pharmaceuticals' top-selling product. The drug was only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2019, but its approval was a huge breakthrough because Trikafta is indicated for roughly 90% of all CF patients. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, Trikafta accounted for $1.2 billion of Vertex's overall revenue of $1.7 billion.
The company's total first-quarter product revenue represented a robust 14% year-over-year increase, and was accompanied by a healthy 8% spike in its net income from the year-ago period. Management is forecasting that the company can increase its product revenue by as much as 11% for the full-year 2021.
Vertex also has an impressive pipeline that includes investigational CF therapies, along with drug candidates for other rare diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, sickle cell disease, and beta thalassemia.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals' notable competitive advantage in a highly profitable and fast-growing sector of the rare disease drug market paired with its consistent balance sheet growth make its stock an attractive buy for long-term healthcare investors. Demand for Vertex's life-changing medicines is driven by non-cyclical factors and is only increasing -- the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation estimates that there are more than 70,000 individuals with CF globally and roughly 1,000 new cases are identified annually.
Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals are trading down about 16% from the beginning of the year, but have gained well over 100% in the trailing five-year period. It's a great time to get this stock on sale and hold it in your portfolio for the long term.
If you're an investor who wants to jump on the e-commerce boom, Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) is hands down one of the top stocks to buy in this burgeoning market space.
It's hardly a secret that the e-commerce industry is growing at a record pace. In 2019, before the pandemic accelerated the popularity and utilization of e-commerce worldwide, this market had already achieved a global valuation of more than $9 trillion. According to Grand View Research, e-commerce is on track to realize a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 15% from 2020 to 2027 alone.
Shares of Etsy have seen record growth since the pandemic drove a new increase in both buyers and sellers to the company's innovative platform. The stock is up more than 1,800% from where it was trading just five years ago, and has soared nearly 80% over the past 12 months alone.
When Etsy reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, any worries investors might have had about a potential slowdown in growth as the world reopens were quickly quashed. Not only did Etsy's revenue surge by an incredible 142% from the year-ago period, but its net income also rose by more than 1,048%.
Even as pandemic restrictions shift around the globe and more and more people are getting out into the world again, Etsy's balance sheet and its business continue to grow. Etsy completed two major acquisitions in June: its $1.6 billion purchase of fashion resale marketplace Depop and one of Brazilian online marketplace Elo7 for $217 million.
Etsy's strategy of business expansion that focuses on marketplaces selling unique or custom items is enabling the company to continue differentiating itself from other major e-commerce players and will undoubtedly continue to drive its rapid balance sheet gains in the years to come.
In addition to explosive top- and bottom-line gains, Etsy also reported that gross merchandise sales (GMS) spiked 132% year over year while adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) took a giant leap of over 243%. The number of active sellers and buyers on Etsy's platform also increased by double-digit percentages from the year-ago quarter.
Analysts are estimating that Etsy can keep up average annual earnings growth of more than 52% for the next five years alone. Etsy is just starting to pursue its full growth potential, and investors shouldn't hesitate to scoop up this premium stock before shares explode even higher.