If you're worried about the market's next inevitable sell-off, you might be interested in stocks that have already taken big hits. Shares of LivePerson (LPSN -4.69%), Twitter (TWTR), and Chewy (CHWY -3.84%) are all trading at least 40% below their February highs.
All three companies are still posting impressive double-digit top-line growth, but Mr. Market can be a finicky beast. Let's take a closer look to see how a provider of chat support, a leading social networking platform operator, and an online retailer of pet supplies fell out of favor, and why they can bounce back.
If you're on a website and you see a prompt asking if you'd like to open a chat window for support, you may be seeing LivePerson in action. It's not the only provider of online chat support, but it's a platform that is gaining momentum as revenue growth is accelerating for the fifth consecutive year.
Like an experienced waiter at a restaurant, there's an art to knowing when to step in, and LivePerson is a master at knowing when frustration levels are rising in a quest for answers or a shopping cart is about to be abandoned. The company is good at what it does, and it shows. When it posted revenue growth in its latest quarter, it was the sixth straight period of year-over-year growth of at least 25%.
Obviously, LivePerson isn't doing so well or it wouldn't be on this list, and its stock is down 45% from the all-time high it hit in February. The stock slipped following its latest earnings report, as revenue dipped sequentially and it warned of a larger loss than expected for the current quarter.
LivePerson will be fine. The platform keeps getting better, and it's not about the bottom line as it invests in conversational artificial intelligence and voice tech to keep it on the leading edge of chat support. The stock is just cheap with the shares trading below $40 for the first time in more than 19 months.
Monday was pretty wild for Twitter investors. The stock opened 10% higher after CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he would be stepping down, only to somehow give back all of those gains to wind up in the red by the closing bell. The stock is now 43% below its February peak as of Monday's close.
I was an early adopter on Twitter. It's how I got the @Market handle. But I rarely posted, and was generally frustrated with the character limits on posts and the general noise. I've changed my tune in recent months, and it's the one social platform that I'm using more now than I did before the pandemic.
I'm not alone. Twitter has 211 million monetizable daily active users as of its latest quarter, up 13% over the past year. It's getting better about making money off the free service, as ad revenue has exploded 41% over the past year. I also think that Dorsey's decision to step down is a positive development. I'm a fan of Dorsey, and feel that he wrote one of the classiest resignation memos that you will ever see from a co-founder. However, Twitter is at the point where fresh thinking will help pick up the pace to take the platform to the next level.
One of the biggest surprises in 2021 (to me, at least) is how poorly pet stocks are doing. With pet adoptions surging last year as the pandemic turned us into homebodies, I figured we would be seeing years of growth and gains for the leaders in pet supplies. The humanization of pets is a real trend, as we're spoiling our furry friends and treating them like members of the family. All of the puppies and kittens that were taken in last year should lead to at least a decade of healthy consumer spending. But it hasn't worked out that way.
Chewy is the top dog, if you will, in dedicated pet supplies e-commerce. It's efficient, customer-focused, and the kind of company you expect to thrive in this climate. Business is growing. Sales rose 27% in its fiscal second quarter, fueled by a 21% increase in clients. But the stock is now 43% below where it was when it topped out in February. Most of the leading pet stocks are trading sharply lower these days.
Analysts were holding out for stronger top-line growth, and Chewy posted a slightly larger loss than Wall Street was modeling. Guidance also forced analysts to pare back their outlooks, as well as their stock price targets. Chewy reports fresh financials next week, and hopefully its bark is better than its bite.