When Warren Buffett bought a majority stake in Berkshire Hathaway and become the company's CEO in 1965, the company's stock traded at roughly $19 per share. Today, Berkshire Hathaway's Class A stock trades at roughly $519,500 per share. That means if you were lucky enough to hold a $1,000 stake in Berkshire when Buffett took over and held on to your position, it would now be worth more than $27.3 million.
Buffett is best known as a value investor, but there are also growth-oriented holdings in the Berkshire Hathaway stock portfolio, and the company's incredible track record suggests investors may want to take a close look at which ones the Oracle of Omaha has chosen to put money behind. Read on for a look at two growth stocks in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio that are down big and have the potential to deliver explosive returns.
Buffett has said that it can be difficult to get fair prices on stocks at their initial public offering (IPO), but the Berkshire team obviously saw a special situation with Snowflake (SNOW -4.44%). The investment conglomerate purchased millions of shares of the data-services company's stock at its September 2020 IPO, and the bullish position likely has much to do with the rising importance of data analytics.
Snowflake provides a marketplace for buying and selling data in addition to offering a data-warehousing service that enables companies to access information from separate cloud sources in one place. By analyzing huge swaths of data, businesses and institutions can generate valuable insights that help improve efficiency and unveil new opportunities. The data services company is making it possible for users to more easily access a wider array of information.
The company's customer growth rate makes it clear that organizations view Snowflake's services as essential to their performance and growth. As illustrated in the chart below, Snowflake is adding overall customers and large-value customers at a fantastic clip, with 44% year-over-year growth in total customers.
Momentum on these fronts looks even more encouraging in light of customers' spending trends. Last quarter, customers who were already using the Snowflake platform increased their spending on its services by 78% compared to the prior-year period.
Snowflake stock currently trades down roughly 61% from its peak, but there's a good chance it will bounce back and go on to hit new highs. For growth-focused investors, this is a company that has what it takes to deliver massive wins.
Brazil-based fintech services company StoneCo (STNE 0.42%) has seen its share price plummet roughly 89% from its lifetime high, reached in February 2021. While the company's payment-processing services business has continued to post strong results over the last year, regulatory changes and macroeconomic headwinds have crushed the outlook for its credit and lending business.
Working against StoneCo is the fact that Brazil's government recently implemented new lending standards. This, in conjunction with high levels of inflation, resulted in StoneCo taking significant losses on loans that it had made. To counter this, the company stopped making loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Given that large enterprises will generally have a wider range of opportunities for funding and less need for StoneCo's offerings, these developments have dealt a huge blow to the company's credit business. On the other hand, there is still a promising growth outlook for the payment-processing services StoneCo provides to business customers. And, after precipitous sell-offs, the stock looks attractively valued.
StoneCo posted a record net addition of 378,000 clients in the fourth quarter, bringing its active merchant partner count to 1.8 million. Adjusted total payment volume conducted through the company's platform in the fourth quarter of 2021 increased 55% year over year, hitting $88.7 billion in local currency and $19.2 billion in U.S. dollars
The good news continues for investors, as there is plenty of room for further expansion over the long term. Check out this projection for e-commerce user growth in Latin America and the Caribbean through 2025.
As e-commerce continues to grow in Latin America, so will demand for payment-processing services. Right now, the company's business is mostly concentrated in Brazil, which is the region's largest economy, but there's room for it to continue expanding in other markets as well.
With a market capitalization of roughly $3.2 billion and the company trading at approximately 1.8 times this year's expected sales and 28 times this year's expected earnings, StoneCo stock has a big upside.