The stock market keeps hitting news highs, but many shares that took off in the wild ride of 2020 are now falling back to earth. Corrections can look scary to investors, but if you pick companies with strong fundamentals and a solid long-term outlook, they may well provide a better journey ahead.
Airbnb (ABNB -0.85%), Walt Disney (DIS 0.74%), and Home Depot (HD 0.95%) are all trading below their all-time highs as the market becomes more subdued. But they're all demonstrating solid growth and have strong business models to keep them going, making now a good time to consider buying in.
Airbnb: 25% off its high
The December 2020 IPO of Airbnb came at a curious time: the height of serious, pandemic-related sales declines. Yet the stock market was actually rebounding from the pandemic-induced crash, and Airbnb ended up being the largest IPO of the year. By February, the stock had gained more than 50% from its first-day closing price. But then it came crashing back down and is now up just 5% year-to-date.
That might be because of its sky-high valuation. Even with these lower prices and the company's increased revenue, shares are still trading at a price-to-sales ratio of 21. But there are many reasons to believe that the company's growth will continue, and that the price will follow.
In the second quarter, the company -- which matches travelers with locals willing to host them -- made back much of its declines from the year earlier. Bookings of overnight stays and local experiences increased 197%, revenue soared 299%, and gross booking value (which measures the value in dollars of bookings) increased 320%. Yet, many parts of the world are still in the throes of the pandemic, and even regions showing recoveries are lagging in travel. So Airbnb could see even higher growth when people truly get back to traveling.
At the same time, the company has demonstrated resilience that traditional travel can't match. It's able to offer customers unique experiences in remote areas, making it easier for travelers to vacation under challenging circumstances. Private residences mean people can travel and perhaps stay safer from the pandemic than they might at a hotel with a lot of people. These features will remain advantages even when travel comes back.
Airbnb's stock price didn't move too much after the fantastic Q2 report, and that's good for investors who want to take a position while the price is still low.
Disney: 12% off its high
Entertainment giant Disney also had it rough during the pandemic, having to close parks and experiences, which are usually a huge part of overall sales. But it posted a dramatic turnaround in the third fiscal quarter ended July 3 with a 45% year-over-year sales increase, helped by a 300% gain in the parks and experiences segment. Sales for that business were $4.3 billion, still well below the 2019 level of $6.6 billion. However, its total sales of $17.0 billion were approaching the $20.3 billion it achieved in 2019.
That's due to the monstrous success of premium streaming channel Disney+, which didn't even exist in Q3 2019. It was launched in November 2019. So when the pandemic shut the world down a few months later, it was poised to take off. In its year and a half of operation, it has exceeded expectations, drawing more than 100 million subscribers. Together with Disney's other paid subscription services, ESPN+ and Hulu, Disney has 174 million paid subscribers and is catching up to leader Netflix with its 209 million subscribers.
Disney+ is expected to reach between 230 million and 260 million subscribers by 2024 and it's launching in new markets to make that happen. It also recently rolled out Star, its international general streaming service.
Disney stock is about flat year-to-date despite its excellent third-quarter report.
Home Depot: 5% off its high
As king of the home-improvement stores, Home Depot saw explosive growth throughout the pandemic. That began to fizzle in the 2021 second quarter, but "fizzle" might be the wrong word -- it still posted a 5% comps (or same-store sales) increase, year-over-year, and an 8% total sales jump. That might have impressed investors in the pre-pandemic days, but after double-digit comps for four straight quarters, including 31% in Q1 2021, investors didn't take it so well.
But it's actually quite a feat to face tough comps and still post growth. Home Depot invested billions of dollars in its digital program in an initiative that started in 2018 and finished right before the pandemic. That included new and improved distribution centers, and the company has added even more over the past year. It was well-prepared to handle the rush on home-improvement products while people stayed put, and open stores meant that it was able to offer its customers many shopping options.
Lower comps shouldn't worry investors. 2020 was hard to match, and Home Depot still has all its parts in place to provide a best-in-class experience for customers. It should continue to see years of growth. Home Depot stock is still up 22% year-to-date, but the post-report dip gives new investors the chance to consider it while the stock is off its high.