Cathie Wood isn't afraid to go fishing in the rain. The CEO and co-founder of ARK Invest was buying stocks on Thursday during the market deluge. She's had a rough run since a highly rewarding 2020 for her family of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You have to respect someone that's still looking to buy falling growth stocks when the market is at its worst.
What was she buying this time? Wood added to her existing stakes in Shopify (SHOP 2.69%), Roku (ROKU 2.69%), and Sea Limited (SE -0.59%) on Thursday. Let's see what she may be seeing in these former market darlings that have fallen on hard times.
Announcing a stock split doesn't guarantee that a stock will pop. Shares of Shopify plummeted 37% last month, despite announcing plans for a 10-for-1 split. Like many high-profile growth stocks, shares of the popular e-commerce platform provider have had a rough run in the market.
April was bad, and May isn't shaping up to be any better. The stock plummeted 15% on Thursday after a disappointing financial report. Revenue decelerated through the first three months of this year, clocking in with a mere 22% year-over-year advance. Rising costs obliterated the bottom line; earnings came in 71% below what analysts were targeting.
The tailwinds that helped Shopify deliver jaw-dropping growth until recently weren't going to last forever. However, this week's surprising shortfall on both ends of the income statement is both problematic and opportunistic. The financial update wasn't encouraging, but the stock now finds itself 77% below where it was at its November peak. The forward-thinking e-commerce solution that lets merchants of all sizes easily sell their wares across emerging social media platforms and their own digital storefront hasn't lost its relevancy. Shopify should recover from this setback.
Another company that has shed nearly 80% of its peak value but is still growing is Roku. The pioneer of video streaming on TV is a leading in an expanding niche. There were 61.3 million homes leaning on Roku by the end of March, and these are active accounts in every sense of the term. The average account is streaming nearly 3.8 hours a day on the platform.
We've seen Roku's audience and total hours streamed grow 14% over the past year, silencing bearish arguments that folks will turn off their TVs and enjoy the great outdoors as the COVID-19 landscape improves following the vaccinations introduced last year. Advertisers also know that Roku consumers are worth reaching. Average revenue per user is up 34% over the past year.
Supply chain issues have slowed the production of its dongles, but Roku has enough deals in place with smart TV manufacturers to be the factory installed operating system of choice for many leading brands. After breaking through with a profit last year, analysts don't see a return to positive net income until 2024. It's not an ideal situation, but as long as Roku's audience keeps growing -- and those cradling the Roku remote controls keep watching -- the stock should eventually get back on track.
Some companies are lucky to dominate one niche, but Sea Limited is a giant in three important industries. The Singapore-based speedster is a major player in e-commerce, online gaming, and fintech.
It's not firing on all cylinders right now. It sees direct entertainment bookings -- basically its gaming arm -- declining sharply this year. It's been a challenging year for the online gaming market, particularly in Asia. However, its now larger e-commerce segment is expected to see its revenue soar 76%. Its smaller fintech division is expected to see its top line climb 155% this year.
Growth will slow at Sea Limited this year from the 106% year-over-year burst it posted the last time it reported quarterly results. Sea Limited will have a financial update in two weeks. Analysts see revenue growth slowing to a 37% clip this year and a 35% pace in 2023, but that's still respectable for a company of Sea Limited's size.
Shopify, Roku, and Sea Limited have all seen their shares fall by at least 77% since peaking last year. Yet they continue to be strong growth stocks, delivering healthy year-over-year growth right now. Cathie Wood may be on to something here.