For the past five weeks, new and tenured investors have been given a reminder that stock market corrections and crashes are a normal part of investing. The peak 10% decline in the S&P 500 in January represents its first double-digit drop since March 2020. Then again, it's the 39th double-digit drop for the index since the beginning of 1950.
Although corrections can be scary, primarily because they feed off investors' emotions, they're a perfect opportunity to buy into high-quality companies at a discount. There are currently five game-changing growth stocks down 58% to as much as 88% that look to be screaming buys as the market corrects lower.
Nio: 63% below its 52-week high
There's little question that electric vehicles (EVs) will be one of the fastest and most sustainable growth trends throughout the decade. The problem is that electric car stocks have been priced at nosebleed valuations. But as a result of this correction, China-based Nio (NIO -2.77%) appears ripe for the picking.
Even with semiconductor chip shortages representing an industrywide issue, Nio's annual run-rate output increased to approximately 130,000 EVs in November and December, before decelerating slightly in January. Given management's recent precedent for meeting production expansion goals, the expectation is for Nio to increase its annual run-rate to 600,000 EVs by years' end. This'll be accomplished by producing more of the company's existing line of EVs, as well as introducing a trio of new vehicles. With approximately $6.8 billion in cash on hand, Nio has more than enough capital to boost capacity and innovate.
Aside from operating in the No. 1 global market for autos (China), Nio's out-of-the-box thinking deserves credit for what should be resounding future success. In August 2020, the company launched its battery-as-a-service (BaaS) program. Buyers enrolled in BaaS receive a discount on the initial purchase price of the EV, as well as the ability to charge, swap, or upgrade batteries in the futures. As for Nio, it generates high-margin recurring revenue with BaaS and keeps early buyers loyal to the brand.
PubMatic: 66% below its 52-week high
Just because a company sports a small-cap valuation doesn't mean it's not a game-changer. Cloud-based programmatic ad platform PubMatic (PUBM -2.81%) is a perfect example of a beaten-down growth stock worth buying hand over fist.
PubMatic is what's known as a sell-side provider in the programmatic ad space. In plainer terms, this means it uses machine-learning algorithms to optimize the selling and placement of ads for its clients -- the publishers selling their display space. Interestingly, PubMatic's platform doesn't always choose the ad that'll pay the most. Rather, it's always trying to put relevant messages in front of users. This way, advertisers remain happy and the company's clients (the publishers) can benefit from improved ad-pricing power over time.
The real lure for investors is the ongoing shift of ad dollars away from print and toward digital channels. PubMatic expects global digital ad spend to grow by 10% annually through mid-decade. Yet, PubMatic has consistently more than doubled compared to the forecast industry growth rate. PubMatic's tie-ins with over-the-top and connected TV programmatic ads have been especially helpful in lifting the company's sales and generating recurring profits.
Novavax: 73% below its 52-week high
Biotech stock Novavax (NVAX -2.07%) is another growth stock that's been pummeled but is now a screaming buy. Shares are 73% off their 52-week high, with the latest market correction really hammering companies focused on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines.
What makes Novavax so intriguing is the vaccine efficacy (VE) tied to its COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373. The two large-scale studies conducted by Novavax yielded VEs of 89.7% in the U.K. and 90.4% in the U.S./Mexico trial. This makes NVX-CoV2373 one of only three COVID-19 vaccines to have reached the elusive 90% VE barrier. Though VE isn't everything when it comes to the overall success of a COVID-19 vaccine, it's the headline number people often use to decide which vaccine to take. In other words, Novavax has a path to become one of the world's leading COVID-19 vaccine suppliers.
The company should also benefit from the mutability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and its innovative drug platform. With multiple variants of the disease emerging over the past year, it's likely that COVID-19 will become an endemic illness. This means Novavax has an opportunity to generate billions of dollars in recurring revenue via booster shots, variant-specific vaccines, and even combination vaccines against both influenza and COVID-19. Based on these catalysts, investors would be hard-pressed to find a cheaper biotech stock on a forward-earnings basis.
GrowGeneration: 88% below its 52-week high
For those of you with an above-average risk tolerance, retail hydroponic and organic gardening chain GrowGeneration (GRWG -4.11%) has the look of a stock that's a screaming buy. The market correction has helped push shares 88% below their one-year high.
GrowGen, as the company is more commonly known, has been hurt by a number of factors. It's been absorbing higher costs associated with inflation hitting a 40-year peak. The company is also contending with the costs of integrating multiple acquisitions. GrowGen has 63 operating locations in 13 states, a number of which have been acquired via dealmaking in recent years.
However, there's no denying the long-term opportunity for the cannabis industry in the U.S., or the likelihood that the federal government will eventually legalize marijuana. While GrowGeneration's stores are designed to help a multitude of plant growers, its hydroponic solutions are geared toward indoor/commercial cannabis farming. Between 2021 and 2026, cannabis-focused analytics firm BDSA foresees U.S. pot sales doubling to $62.1 billion.
With the company also building its online presence and promoting a handful of proprietary brands in an effort to boost margins, it seems to be just a matter of time before shares rebound.
Sea Limited: 58% below its 52-week high
A fifth growth stock that's a screaming buy as the market corrects lower is Singapore-based Sea Limited (SE). Shares have retraced 58% from their high despite red-hot sales growth from all three of the company's operating segments.
The only segment currently generating positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) is its digital gaming operations. Mobile game Free Fire continues to be a global hit. Out of the 729 million people playing one of Sea's mobile games in the third quarter, a whopping 12.8% were paying users. That's considerably higher than the average pay-to-play conversion rate of around 2%.
Sea is also witnessing rapid growth from its digital financial services segment. More than 39 million people were using the company's mobile digital wallet during the third quarter. Since the company is focused on emerging markets, these underbanked regions are perfect for democratizing access to financial services via mobile wallets.
But it's the company e-commerce segment, Shopee, which draws the most buzz. Sea had $16.8 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) transacted on its platform in the third quarter. That's more than the $10 billion in GMV transacted in all of 2018. That's how quickly this e-commerce division is growing -- and it's all the more reason to add Sea to your portfolio.