Ready or not, Wall Street is in correction mode. The peak double-digit percentage slide that the benchmark S&P 500 and technology-dependent Nasdaq Composite endured in January marked the biggest correction in both indexes since the coronavirus crash of March 2020.
But where there's fear and anxiety, there's often opportunity. Long-term investors who put their money to work in high-quality stocks during market corrections are usually rewarded handsomely over time.
Best of all, with most online brokerages eliminating commission fees and minimum deposit requirements, any amount of money -- even $1,000 -- becomes the perfect amount to put to work during a correction.
If you have $1,000 ready to invest, which won't be needed to pay bills or cover emergencies, these are some of the smartest stocks you can buy as the market corrects lower.
One of the smartest moves investors can make during a correction is to buy best-of-breed stocks in high-growth trends. That's why cybersecurity stock CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 6.34%) is such a no-brainer buy as the market corrects lower.
Regardless of the size of the business or the state of the U.S. or global economy, cybersecurity has evolved into a basic necessity for companies with an online/cloud presence. It's been especially important in the wake of the pandemic, which has businesses increasingly shifting their data into the cloud.
The cloud-native Falcon platform is what makes CrowdStrike tick. Being built in the cloud, and reliant on artificial intelligence, Falcon is often more effective at protecting end users than on-premises solutions. Even though CrowdStrike's cybersecurity solutions aren't the cheapest, they can be the most cost-effective considering the superior level of data protection provided by Falcon.
What really stands out about this company is just how successfully it's grown its subscriber count and built up its relationships with existing clients. In less than five years, CrowdStrike's total subscriber count has grown from 450 to 14,687, with the percentage of clients purchasing four or more cloud-module subscriptions skyrocketing from 9% to 68%. Because cybersecurity subscription services boast high margins, the company has already achieved its long-term adjusted subscription gross margin despite being in the early innings of its growth.
Innovative Industrial Properties
IIP, as the company is more commonly known, has a very straightforward operating model. It seeks to acquire medical marijuana cultivating and processing facilities in U.S. states where it's legal, and leases these assets out for long periods of time. While the bulk of the company's growth does come from acquisitions, it has built-in annual rental hikes and management fees that do provide a modest revenue boost each year.
The company ended 2021 with 103 properties spanning 19 states in its portfolio. Most impressively, 100% of its 7.7 million square feet of rentable space (some of which is still under development) is fully leased. Although IIP didn't provide its weighted-average lease-length metric following a 27-property purchase in December, the previous 76 properties had a weighted-average lease length of 16.7 years. Put another way, IIP is sitting on a gold mine of consistent cash flow.
Innovative Industrial Properties has also done an excellent job of funneling new business in with its sale-leaseback program. With cannabis being illegal at the U.S. federal level, access to basic financial services can be hit-and-miss for pot companies. IIP has stepped in to purchase facilities for cash, then immediately leased these properties back to the seller. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement in that cannabis companies receive the cash they need, and IIP lands long-term tenants.
Beaten-down digital manufacturer Proto Labs (PRLB 0.91%) is yet another smart stock investors can scoop up as the broader market moves lower.
Proto Labs, which provides custom prototypes and on-demand production to a variety of industries and sectors, was swept up in the 3D printing craze last decade. Investors expected 3D printing to become the next great investing trend, but it soon fizzled out when it became apparent that these machines required constant innovation and development.
However, Proto Labs isn't quite like most 3D printing companies. Instead of continuously innovating and selling its machines to businesses, it offers its technology as a service. Enterprise customers tell Proto Labs what they need, be it a prototype or a certain number of parts produced, and Proto Labs quickly fulfills the order with the aid of 3D printing, CNC machining, or injection molding. Without the high overhead costs of constant innovation, Proto Labs should be able to generate consistently higher margins than companies just angling to sell 3D printers.
What's more, Proto Labs is in far better shape now than it was in 2013, when it was also trading at $50 a share. In 2013, Proto Labs generated $126 million in sales and $0.98 in earnings per share. This year, it's expected to bring in $521 million in sales and $1.64 in estimated per-share earnings. In other words, it's a bargain now with sustained low double-digit growth potential.
A final smart stock to buy with $1,000 as the market corrects lower is radio-frequency (RF) systems supplier Qorvo (QRVO 1.31%).
It's no secret that the main growth thesis for Qorvo is the ongoing rollout of 5G wireless infrastructure in the U.S. and globally. It's been a decade since wireless download speeds were meaningfully improved, which means consumers and businesses are going to be eager to upgrade their devices, including smartphones, to take advantage of these faster download speeds. Since Qorvo supplies many of the top smartphone producers with components, this product replacement cycle can deliver sustained growth in the company's core revenue-producing segment through at least mid-decade.
However, there are intriguing opportunities for Qorvo beyond smartphones. For example, next-gen vehicles and light-electric vehicles are an enormous long-term opportunity for the company. Qorvo currently supplies wireless connectivity solutions via advanced antennas in next-gen vehicles, and can even help connect vehicles to the cloud. It offers intelligent motor controllers for battery-powered bicycles and scooters as well.
Of the four smart buys mentioned on this list, Qorvo is unquestionably the value stock of the bunch. With a forward-year price-to-earnings ratio below 10 and a sales growth rate hovering around the double digits, it has the appearance of a no-brainer buy.