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2 Innovative Growth Stocks to Buy Hand Over Fist This Decade

By Anthony Di Pizio – Dec 22, 2021 at 9:44AM

Key Points

  • Carvana has grown its yearly car sales 2,403% over the last five years.
  • Sea Limited has been doubling its revenue each year since 2018, and its beaten down stock looks like a good value.
  • Technology is often the top performing stock market sector, so when sell-offs occur, it can be wise to take advantage.

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The recent tech sell-off presents a great opportunity for investors to buy some quality stocks if you take a long-term approach.

Over the last five years, the tech-centric Nasdaq-100 index has returned 177% compared to the broader S&P 500's 104%. It highlights how quickly tech companies can grow versus those in traditional sectors, and investors' clear preference for them. 

But despite technology stocks leading the way for most of 2021, they're ending the year in retreat. News about earlier-than-expected interest rate increases and renewed coronavirus fears have triggered some portfolio shuffling among investors.

But setting your sights on 2030 is a great antidote to this short-term noise, especially if you manage to grab high-quality stocks at a discount during the present sell-off. Here are two names to put on your list.

A couple sitting at home on their computer, buying a used car online.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. The case for Carvana

When it comes to innovation, solving big problems results in big rewards. Most consumers are familiar with buying a vehicle, mostly because the process hasn't really changed in decades. You visit a dealer's lot, and what's on display is typically what's available. But Carvana (CVNA 12.20%) is leveraging digital technology to bring its car inventory to its customers, as opposed to the other way around.

Through the Carvana app, users can browse the company's entire stock of used vehicles and make purchases sight unseen with delivery available to most places in America. Alternatively, customers can test drive or pick up a vehicle from one of Carvana's 28 physical "vending machines" -- they can drop off their trade-in there, too.

But the company has advanced its digital approach far beyond the sales process. In order to maintain an inventory of vehicles that consumers actually want, Carvana uses machine learning algorithms to monitor used car auctions, which helps it identify the hottest sellers and therefore the cars it should be holding. 

The company has grown at a rapid pace, selling 384,393 cars on a trailing-12-month basis as of the third quarter. During the equivalent 12-month period in 2016, it sold just 15,353 cars. In other words, Carvana has grown its sales volume 25-fold in just the last five years. It's a testament to the ability of technology to scale even the most logistically challenging business models.

With scale comes profitability, at least on a gross basis. In the third quarter, Carvana's gross profit per unit was up 15% year over year to $4,672, though this figure was helped by rising used car prices across the board, thanks to supply chain issues and new car shortages.

The company is now the second-largest used vehicle dealer in the U.S., and the pace with which it's growing suggests its sights should be set on the top spot going forward. With Carvana stock down 40% from its all-time high, the time to add it to your portfolio is now.

A happy family sitting on the couch viewing a tablet device.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. The case for Sea Limited

In the broad and diverse digital economy, Sea Limited operates in three fast-growing segments. In the company's two largest -- digital entertainment and e-commerce -- it's dominating.

Sea Limited's digital entertainment business is underpinned by Garena, its mobile gaming brand, which is responsible for the Free Fire battle royale game that has generated over one billion downloads globally since launching in 2017. This year, it hit an all-time high 150 million daily active users, and it's currently the top grossing action game in both Apple and Alphabet's app stores.

The company's e-commerce app, Shopee, is also the leader in its market, regularly featuring within the top two apps by several metrics in the Google Play store in Asian and Latin American markets. Shopee runs a unique hybrid business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer model, and it's the driver of Sea Limited's e-commerce operation.

Slightly less notable is the company's payments segment, but with 39 million users and growing, it won't be long until it makes meaningful contributions to total revenue. Overall, the diverse set of businesses is on track to generate over 800% sales growth since 2018.



2021 (Estimate)



$1.05 billion

$9.49 billion


Data source: Sea Limited, Yahoo! Finance. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

After hitting a high of $372 per share back in October, Sea Limited stock has declined 39% amid the broad tech sell-off. It now trades at a price-to-sales multiple of 12 based on expected 2021 revenue, but if the company meets analysts' estimates for $14.2 billion of revenue next year, that multiple shrinks to just 8.9.

That's a steep discount to just two short months ago, and with a long-term view, Sea Limited could be one of the best performers in a balanced stock portfolio by the end of this decade.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Anthony Di Pizio has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Carvana Co., and Sea Limited. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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