For the past 12 years, growth stocks have ruled the roost on Wall Street. This isn't a huge surprise given that historically low lending rates and abundant access to capital have allowed fast-paced companies to borrow in order to hire, acquire, and innovate.
The striking outperformance of growth stocks has been readily on display via the Nasdaq 100 -- an index comprised of the 100 largest nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq exchange. Since the trough of the Great Recession on March 9, 2009, the benchmark S&P 500 has gained 556%, whereas the Nasdaq 100 has galloped higher by 1,350%!
Yet, in spite of the Nasdaq 100's clear outperformance over the S&P 500, investors can still find value within the index. The following trio of Nasdaq 100 stocks can be confidently bought hand over fist by investors in August.
Historically speaking, when there's any weakness in the FAANG stocks, it's an opportunity for long-term investors to go shopping. That's why social media behemoth Facebook (META -2.36%) stands out as a stock investors can buy hand over fist in August.
Two weeks ago, Facebook lifted the hood on its second-quarter operating results and cautioned that revenue growth could slow in the second half of the year. It's a common message we've heard from a number of online and mobile-based companies that benefited immensely from the coronavirus pandemic. However, a quick peek at Facebook's operating data shows no true cause for concern.
When the June quarter came to a close, Facebook recorded 2.9 billion people visiting its namesake site on a monthly basis, as well as 610 million additional unique visitors to WhatsApp and/or Instagram, which Facebook also owns. That's 3.51 billion people (44% of the world's population) visiting a Facebook-owned asset monthly. Advertisers are well aware that there's no social media company on the planet that offers access to more eyeballs than Facebook. This gives the company exceptional ad pricing power.
As a shareholder, what I continue to find most impressive about Facebook is the revenue and profit growth it's achieved while only meaningfully monetizing half of its assets. The roughly $54 billion in ad revenue generated on a year-to-date basis comes almost entirely from Facebook and Instagram. Despite being top social destinations, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp haven't been substantively monetized, as of yet. This gives Facebook another growth gear it can eventually shift into.
It would be wise not to overlook Facebook's opportunity in virtual and augmented reality, either. Although the company doesn't break out sales of its Oculus devices, "Other" category revenue, which encompasses Oculus, has been soaring this year. Ultimately, Oculus could represent one of the many ways Facebook keeps users within its ecosystem of products and services.
The bottom line is that a dominant company with a 20%-plus growth rate shouldn't be valued at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of less than 23. Despite its trillion-dollar market cap, Facebook remains a bargain.
Another Nasdaq 100 stock just begging to be bought in August is semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions provider Broadcom (AVGO -1.45%).
The single biggest growth driver for Broadcom looks to be the shift to 5G wireless infrastructure. It's been a decade since wireless carriers last made significant upgrades to download speeds. With carriers spending big bucks to update their infrastructure, we're liable to see consumers and businesses undertake a multiyear tech replacement cycle to take advantage of faster download speeds.
The reason this is such a positive for Broadcom is that the company generates a majority of its revenue from smartphone components. It develops and supplies original equipment manufacturers with wireless LAN/Bluetooth combination solutions, as well as proximity sensors, amplifiers, and global navigation satellite system receivers, to name a few core solutions. This multiyear upgrade cycle should lead to steady demand and highly predictable cash flow for Broadcom's biggest operating segment.
The big data push in the wake of the pandemic is also going to be a major boost to Broadcom's growth potential. Prior to March 2020, we were witnessing a steady shift by businesses to move data into the cloud. But once the pandemic struck, businesses had little choice but to create an online presence and ensure that data was accessible in the cloud, especially with remote workforces. This has substantially boosted data center storage demand.
While Broadcom has industrial and networking applications, it's the role it can play as a provider of connectivity and access chips to data centers that's most intriguing (beyond its smartphone sales). With cloud infrastructure still, arguably, in its early innings of growth, demand for data center infrastructure solutions should remain robust for a long time to come.
And don't overlook Broadcom's exceptional dividend growth. Whereas most tech stocks reinvest a lot of their cash flow back into innovation, Broadcom is so profitable that it can afford to parse out a base annual payout of $14.40 annually to its shareholders -- good enough for a 3% yield. Since the company began paying a dividend a little over 10 years ago, its quarterly payout has grown by more than 5,000%!
The third Nasdaq 100 stock that growth investors can confidently buy hand over fist in August is China-based e-commerce company JD.com (JD 0.87%).
For the past couple of months, China-based tech stocks have come under pressure from the Chinese government for a variety of reasons, including data security and allegations of antitrust violations. Since it's unclear which Chinese tech stocks could fall into the crosshairs of the government's watchful eye, pretty much all China-based growth stocks, including JD.com, have been hammered. But in JD's case, this discount looks like an opportunity.
Currently, JD slots in as China's second-largest online retailer, behind Alibaba (BABA 0.50%). For those who might recall, Alibaba was hit with a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine by Chinese regulators four months ago. But even though these two are China's largest online retailers, their operating models are very different.
Alibaba operates as a third-party marketplace, where it essentially acts as the middleman. Meanwhile, JD generates its online revenue almost exclusively as a direct retailer. This means JD handles inventory and logistics, just like Amazon. This added autonomy makes it far less likely that JD will become a target of Chinese regulators.
And it's not just the rapid growth of online retail in China that should excite investors. JD has been investing in a number of higher-margin ancillary operations that should help lift its profitability and operating cash flow. This includes advertising, healthcare services, and cloud services. The latter is especially exciting, with Cloudflare and JD partnering up in late April. This deal, which will see Cloudflare utilize JD's cloud infrastructure, will create a steady stream of revenue for this high-margin operating segment.
Although I'd dub JD as the riskiest of the three stocks here, primarily due to geopolitical uncertainty, it's tough to overlook this company's growth potential in the second-largest economy in the world. Paying 30 times forward earnings for a company with a sustainable 20%-plus growth rate is a solid deal for investors.