The stock market's volatility in recent days has been a reminder that more or less steady long-term capital gains are often interrupted by periods of quick declines. As the old saying goes, "Stocks take the stairs up, but the elevator down."
Investors can ignore short-term slumps for the most part -- except if they're hunting for bargains. With that idea in mind, let's look at three attractive growth stocks, Target ( TGT -2.46% ), Garmin ( GRMN 3.71% ), and eBay ( EBAY -0.10% ), which have fallen from all-time highs and might represent even better buys today.
eBay handles enough merchandise volume to make it one of the biggest e-commerce retailers on the planet. However, its middleman selling approach makes it much more financially efficient than its peers. The marketplace giant routinely generates over $3 billion in operating cash, or well over 30% of sales, for example.
Its growth rate has been impressive since the pandemic struck, which doesn't separate it from rivals such as Walmart and Amazon. But eBay is winning share in some key niches that its buyers love. For instance, its collectible sneaker and luxury watch categories are booming.
eBay's margins are rising as it finds more ways to add value for its sellers, which, in turn, allows it to raise transaction fees. That fundamental profit metric recently crossed 11% of sales, in fact.
Investor returns from here should continue to be lifted by those gains and by eBay's stock buybacks and dividend. The stock's roughly 7% decline in recent days might not be the end of its pullback, but it has made the stock more attractive.
Target is sitting about 8% below the all-time highs the chain set in mid-August. And sure, there are some reasons to worry about a potential growth slowdown. Shipping bottlenecks might pressure earnings in the second half of 2021, too.
But this business has to date given investors no reason to think its business is losing momentum. Comparable-store sales grew 9% in the second quarter, on top of the record 24% spike a year ago. Target is still gaining market share in areas like home furnishings and consumer electronics, and shoppers are thrilled with the tight integration between its online and in-store selling channels.
Yes, Target is still far more expensive than peers like Costco and Walmart. There's a good reason for that premium, though -- it's holding on to more of its revenue as operating profit. The chain is bumping up against 10% operating margins, which is double Walmart's and roughly three-times Costco's comparable figure.
That success alone should be enough to keep Target on your watch list during stock price downturns like these.
Garmin shares are down about 7% from all-time highs set in late August. That's an admittedly modest discount for a stock that's still trouncing the market so far in 2021.
However, the navigation-device giant is having a banner year, even following soaring growth in 2020. Sales gains accelerated last quarter and are booming across segments ranging from smartwatches to marine navigation. Margins are climbing toward 30% of sales, putting it in the same league as Apple.
Garmin would suffer from an economic growth slowdown, should one hit in late 2021. But right now, the business is on track for another big sales year, along with rising margins, thanks in part to a flood of innovative tech releases.
You could wait to see if this stellar business becomes more attractive through further price declines. Or you could take advantage of the recent discount and start a position in this growth stock today.