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3 Stocks to Buy in a Heartbeat If There's a Stock Market Crash in 2022

By Parkev Tatevosian, CFA – Dec 21, 2021 at 11:30AM

Key Points

  • Airbnb is arguably a better business now than before the pandemic.
  • Apple's iPhone is capturing new customers for its ecosystem.
  • Amazon's more profitable segments are growing faster.

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Each has an excellent future, and a stock market crash could give investors a chance to buy them at lower prices.

Stock market crashes are nearly impossible to predict with any precision. However, investors can prepare for a crash by setting aside extra cash in their portfolios in anticipation. That way, if there is a market crash, investors have cash on hand and are ready to deploy it in buying excellent stocks at lower prices. 

In that regard, if there is a stock market crash in 2022, Airbnb (ABNB -0.72%), Apple (AAPL 0.70%), and Amazon (AMZN 0.01%) are three stocks you can buy in a heartbeat. Let's look closer at the case for why each stock deserves a spot in your portfolio. 

A family unloading luggage from a car.

Image source: Getty Images.


The worldwide facilitator of travel, Airbnb is steadily recovering from the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. After two years of growth, Airbnb's revenue decreased 30% to $3.4 billion in 2020.

Thankfully, several effective vaccines have been developed against COVID-19, and that's made folks more willing to travel again in 2021. So sales are bouncing back at Airbnb. In its most recent fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, revenue was up 36% over the comparable pre-pandemic quarter in 2019. Even more impressively, net income increased to $834 million in the third quarter, up from $267 million in Q3 of 2019. 

The company is gaining traction in the lucrative travel and resort industry that could be worth over $1 trillion in sales annually. Folks can often find places to stay on Airbnb's platform that are better fitted to their needs compared to hotels, which are less customizable.

Airbnb's stock is trading at a price-to-free-cash-flow ratio of 59 -- its lowest all year -- and a stock market crash could cause it to sell at an even lower price.


Unlike Airbnb, Apple's business has been thriving since the pandemic's onset. The company's products are more valuable to people working, learning, and entertaining themselves at home.

But that's not the only factor driving sales higher for Apple. The tech giant has done a masterful job updating legacy products like the iPhone in a fashion that keeps consumers interested. The most recent iPhone update has increased sales of the product to $192 billion in its latest fiscal year ended Sept. 25, up from $138 billion a year ago.

Apple has proven this capability for years. In the past decade alone, its revenue has grown at a compound annual rate of 12.9%. That's a difficult feat for a company the size of Apple with sales of $366 billion in its fiscal 2021.

What's more, sales of its products are bringing customers into its ecosystem -- and once with Apple, consumers tend to stick around. Indeed, sales from its services segment totaled $54 billion in 2021, and those sales produce a higher profit margin than its products do.

One of the only downsides to Apple's stock is its price. The company is approaching a $3 trillion market cap and is trading at a price-to-free-cash-flow ratio of 31 -- near the highs of the past decade. A stock market crash could alleviate some valuation concerns and allow you to buy Apple stock at a lower price.


Sales at Amazon, the titan of online retailers, have been surging throughout the pandemic. The company stepped up and delivered while hundreds of millions of folks were looking to avoid shopping in person for fear of contracting COVID-19. Indeed, from fiscal 2019 to 2020, Amazon's sales rose by more than $100 billion. The 37.6% increase in year-over-year sales drove operating profits from $14.5 billion to $22.9 billion. Amazon has gained millions of customers during the pandemic, and undoubtedly many of them will stick around long after. 

Interestingly, Amazon's more profitable segments are growing faster than the company overall. In the most recent quarter ended Sept. 30, revenue from its Amazon Web Services segment (which provides cloud computing to businesses) rose 39% year over year to $16.1 billion while the category that includes advertising revenue jumped 49% to $8.1 billion. In fact, since Q2 2020, the ad revenue category has nearly doubled. 

Amazon is riding multiple tailwinds, including increased shopping online as well as greater advertising online. These trends could propel sales growth for several more years. Amazon's stock is not cheap, trading at a price-to-free-cash flow ratio of 239 and a price-to-earnings ratio of 66, but a stock market crash could give investors a chance to buy it at a lower price.

Airbnb, Apple, and Amazon are all excellent businesses with solid prospects over several years. If there's a stock market crash in 2022 that sends these stocks lower, investors should jump at the opportunity to buy them. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Parkev Tatevosian owns Amazon and Apple. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Airbnb, Inc., Amazon, and Apple. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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