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2 Growth Stocks I'd Load Up On if the Market Crashes

By David Jagielski – Updated Oct 1, 2021 at 9:29AM

Key Points

  • Curaleaf Holdings and Walt Disney have been performing well lately, and could be solid investments to hang on to for years.
  • Both delivered year-over-year sales growth of at least 45% in their latest quarterly results.
  • The only problem is that they are trading at high multiples, especially compared to some of their rivals.

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These stocks are good long-term investments, but their prices are just a bit too steep right now.

The stock market has been a bit wobbly over the past few weeks, and the S&P 500 fell 3.3% over the past month. But given that the index has risen over 15% through the first eight months of the year, a sell-off could have been overdue. There are even concerns that a crash may be around the corner due to inflated valuations.

Two stocks that I would definitely look to buy if a crash happens are Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF -0.83%) and Walt Disney (DIS -0.51%). With solid growth prospects, both could provide market-beating long-term returns.

Businessperson sits at a counter with a phone, coffee, and laptop showing stock charts.

Image source: Getty Images

1. Curaleaf Holdings

Marijuana producer Curaleaf Holdings is arguably the top pot stock right now. The company has operations in 23 states and has 109 dispensaries. Its flagship Select brand is rapidly expanding now in 19 states (a year ago, it was entering its 14th state -- Ohio).

Curaleaf doesn't hesitate to enter new markets, and it is often chomping at the bit to do so. In August, it launched its third dispensary in New Jersey, which only passed legislation permitting recreational marijuana earlier this year.

But even without those new opportunities, Curaleaf is the largest cannabis company in the world by revenue. Last quarter, for the period ending June 30, sales of $312 million were up an incredible 166% year over year, putting it at an annual run rate of more than $1.2 billion. In the trailing 12 months, it has come just shy of the milestone $1 billion mark, with revenue totaling $985 million during that time frame.

The only thing that keeps me from buying shares of the stock right now is its premium. At a price-to-sales (P/S) multiple of nearly eight, it is trading at a much higher valuation than other marijuana producers.

CURLF PS Ratio Chart

CURLF PS Ratio data by YCharts

Now, given the company's strong position in the market and its dominance, an argument could certainly be made that it is worth a higher price tag. But the gap is just too large right now for me, especially when you consider Trulieve Cannabis will likely overtake Curaleaf in revenue once its merger with Harvest Health & Recreation comes to a close (there's still no official word on when that might be). 

Curaleaf is a good buy right now, but a drop in price could make it a fantastic one.

2. Walt Disney

Walt Disney is a much more attractive buy than it was just a few years ago. Now, it can be classified as a "recovery stock" as pent-up demand with people stuck at home during the pandemic could lead to a surge in traffic at its theme parks. Plus, its Disney+ streaming service unlocks a new growth opportunity, even as it is going head-to-head against Netflix in what's likely going to be a costly battle over content.

Last month, the company released its latest results, and they were already showing strong signs of improvement from a year ago. Revenue of more than $17 billion for the period ending July 3 grew at a staggering rate of 45% year over year as the company's Parks, Experiences and Products segment quadrupled in revenue to $4.3 billion. The number of Disney+ subscribers also more than doubled to 116 million.

Although that's still well shy of Netflix's tally of 209 million subscribers, the company is quickly bridging the gap. Disney+ only launched in November 2019, while Netflix's streaming service has been around for nearly 15 years. 

Disney is a stock that you can own forever. Its strong brand is known all around the world and that gives it a significant advantage over any competitors. But, as with Curaleaf, my concerns lie with the stock's current price, which could limit potential returns.

Today, Disney's stock trades at more than 68 times its future earnings, above Netflix's already high multiple of 58. And although many analysts remain bullish that Disney can rise by at least another 15%, that's not a huge return given the risk and potential for rising COVID-19 cases to derail the company's recovery. Plus, there are other growth stocks that could be better buys right now

And that's why although I'm bullish on Disney over the long term, I would wait for more of a drop in its share price before buying it.

David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ayr Wellness, Jushi Holdings, Netflix, Trulieve Cannabis Corp., and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Curaleaf Stock Quote
$6.57 (-0.83%) $0.06
Walt Disney Stock Quote
Walt Disney
$97.37 (-0.51%) $0.50
Netflix Stock Quote
$316.42 (3.56%) $10.89
Trulieve Cannabis Stock Quote
Trulieve Cannabis
$12.80 (-0.70%) $0.09
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. Stock Quote
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.
Ayr Wellness Stock Quote
Ayr Wellness
$2.69 (-2.78%) $0.08
Jushi Holdings Stock Quote
Jushi Holdings
$1.92 (-4.48%) $0.09

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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