Stocks dropped recently after rallying sharply through most of 2021. While that volatility might have you worried about an imminent pullback, the truth is, no one knows the timing (or duration) of the next downturn.
That's why it makes sense to regularly add to your portfolio through every market cycle. So, let's look at a few stocks that seem especially attractive right now if you're aiming to put a big chunk of cash to work today.
Lululemon Athletica is not a stretch
It's understandable if you're feeling late to the Lululemon Athletica growth story. The yoga-inspired apparel giant has trounced the market over the past three years and is up significantly since pandemic lows in early 2020.
But there are more market-thumping returns to come.
Lululemon tore past management's growth and earnings outlook in the most recent quarter, with sales gains accelerating to 28% on a two-year basis. That's nearly 10 full percentage points faster than the chain was growing before the pandemic struck.
Investors can't count on today's favorable selling environment to last forever. But Lululemon is winning market share through big improvements to its shopping experience, and through a steady stream of popular product launches.
These releases show that the chain can successfully push into new demographics like menswear, new niches like bras, and new geographies outside of its current North American focus. All those factors imply a significantly higher sales base in five years than the roughly $6 billion that Lululemon is expecting in 2021.
eBay delivers cash
eBay is a much better business than it was just two years ago. Sure, its soaring sales volumes are mostly tied to pandemic-related shopping changes that will lesson over the next few quarters. But the online marketplace has also divested weaker portions of its business, dramatically improved its buying experience, and built a bigger base of devoted shoppers. The proof of that success shows up in metrics like eBay's growing buyer pool and rising market share in niches like premium sneakers and watches.
Shareholders benefit from some unusually strong financial metrics, too. The asset-light operating model churns out cash, and the company's seller fees recently hit a new high of roughly 10% of sales. As a result, investors can expect to see rising cash returns through dividends and stock buybacks, even as eBay invests aggressively in expanding its market share.
Disney is a deal
Disney stock has been left out of the market rally so far this year, which creates a good opportunity for patient investors. Sure, the entertainment giant's finances are pressured by pandemic-related customer traffic slumps. Its theme park, film, and cruise line segments might take several more quarters before they're back to normal capacities.
In the meantime, Disney is building a formidable direct-to-consumer business that's blown past 100 million global subscribers. Its ability to bundle services like Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu (in addition to its use of on-demand pricing for new releases) give it some solid advantages over industry peers like Netflix. Put it together, and there's a high likelihood that Disney will be setting big annual sales records a few years from now.
While there are no guarantees in the stock market, buying these high-quality businesses gives investors exposure to attractive growth opportunities, rising earnings, and cash returns. Those assets should help you grow your initial purchase price faster than the wider market over time.