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Tech Sell-Off: 2 Unstoppable Stocks to Buy Right Now

By Trevor Jennewine – Nov 13, 2021 at 6:30AM

Key Points

  • Sell-offs can be buying opportunities for long-term investors.
  • Latch specializes in smart lock technology that has enjoyed a great deal of "stickiness."
  • Roku was a pioneer in the streaming industry, and it's still holding on to early mover advantages.

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Technological progress is inevitable, and both of these companies should benefit.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett once gave the advice to be "fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful." That sentiment strikes at a curious aspect of human psychology: People tend to overreact to both good and bad news.

For instance, shares of Latch (LTCH -3.26%) have fallen 33% year-to-date due to supply chain headwinds, and shares of Roku (ROKU -3.64%) have dropped 27% due to slowing viewer engagement. But neither situation is that surprising, given the impact of the pandemic, and both situations should resolve eventually. In the meantime, investors should consider buying a few shares at a discount. 

Person using wall-mounted smart home device.

Image source: Getty Images

1. Latch

Latch is a smart lock company. Its software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, LatchOS, powers a variety of hardware devices, including door-mounted access controls, intercoms, and cameras. This ecosystem collectively modernizes the entry experience, making it possible for tenants to unlock doors, grant access to visitors, and control smart home devices with the Latch mobile app.

Likewise, Latch technology allows building staff to control access permissions remotely, a benefit that could cut expenses by $100 to $300 per apartment per year, according to management. Latch also believes that smart locks create a premium experience, which could also boost revenue by $200 to $500 per apartment per year.

One of the great things about this business is its stickiness. Once Latch's hardware is installed, it would be very inconvenient to rip it out and switch vendors. More importantly, the company's comprehensive smart-building platform -- including hardware, software, and services -- sets it apart in a highly fragmented industry. To that end, Latch has never lost a single customer.

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Latch reported revenue of $11.2 million, up 120% year over year. And total bookings hit $96 million, up 181%, implying strong future sales growth. On a less optimistic note, its net loss widened to $34 million -- but given Latch's perfect customer retention, I believe the company will reach profitability as its business scales.

On that note, Latch has plenty of room to grow. Cumulative home unit bookings comprised less than 1% of all U.S. apartments at the end of 2020. But more than 10% of all newly constructed apartments in the country now feature Latch smart locks, and Latch recently expanded its platform into commercial office spaces.

That's why this stock looks like a smart long-term investment. And with its share price sitting well below its all-time high due to near-term headwinds, now is a good time to buy.

Young adults gathered on a couch, watching TV.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Roku

Roku is the world's most popular smart TV operating system. Its platform connects viewers with streaming content, both paid and ad-supported, allowing people to access and manage all of their services from a single location. To that end, Roku remains the only operating system purpose-built for TV. Rivals like Amazon Fire TV rely on a modified version of Android, a mobile operating system. Generally speaking, Roku's approach creates a smoother viewing experience for users.

To reinforce that advantage, Roku is investing aggressively in original content. The company has released 53 Roku Originals so far this year, and the results have been encouraging. Roku saw record streaming following the initial launch of original content in May, and streaming hours rose 21% year over year to 18 billion in the third quarter, even as traditional TV viewing time fell 19% among viewers 18 to 49 years old. Roku also announced its first original feature-length film: Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas.

So while growth certainly slowed compared to last year, Roku is still moving in the right direction, and traditional TV is still becoming less relevant to advertisers. As a result, Roku's financial performance has been impressive. Active accounts rose 23% in the third quarter, reaching 56.4 million, and monetized video ad impressions grew even faster, nearly doubling compared to the prior year. That drove revenue of $680 million, up 51%. And Roku posted a GAAP profit of $0.48 per diluted share, up 433%.

Going forward, the ride may be bumpy, but Roku remains well positioned to create value for shareholders. The Roku brand name has become synonymous with a high-quality viewer experience (at a reasonable price). And its original content strategy should accelerate the flywheel that drives its business, bringing more viewers (and therefore more advertisers) to the platform. And with the share price well-below its high, now is good time to buy this stock.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Trevor Jennewine owns shares of Amazon and Roku. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Latch, Inc., and Roku. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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