The stock market has been trampled on recently, and you don't have to look far to see why. Inflation has rocketed to 40-year highs, the Fed has begun its string of interest rate hikes in response, and a host of macroeconomic concerns have been intensified by the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Fast-growing technology stocks, particularly those that are unprofitable and not yet cash flow positive, have taken the biggest blow. Investors continue to seek refuge in value stocks and safer assets to protect them from the high degree of uncertainty that is spooking the market today.
The ongoing correction has created some promising opportunities to acquire shares of several companies at modest valuations. One of those companies, UiPath (PATH -0.38%), has watched its share price nosedive 80% over a one-year span, a dramatic collapse compared to the S&P 500's negative 3% return in the same timeframe.
UiPath is a robotic process automation (RPA) tool that provides solutions for businesses to automate routine office activities. In its own words, the company "makes software robots so people don't have to be robots." With a long runway for growth, the company could rapidly expand and generate fortunes for those willing to ride out near-term headwinds.
So, is it time to purchase shares of UiPath?
Making headway financially
In spite of what its share price pattern suggests, the RPA company is in stable condition. In its fiscal year 2022 (which ended Jan. 31), total sales soared 47% year over year to $892.3 million, and the company posted a positive adjusted earnings per share of $0.08. With 10,100 customers globally, its annual renewal run-rate (ARR) climbed 59% to $925 million, and clients generating more than $100,000 in ARR rose 49% to 1,493.
Due primarily to economic impacts in Russia and foreign exchange headwinds, growth is expected to notably slow this upcoming year. Consequently, analysts are modeling UiPath's top line to increase 21% to $1.08 billion, and adjusted earnings are forecast to retreat to a loss of $0.02.
Investors shouldn't fret, though: Not only is growth above 20% still valid, the company's long-term commercial prospects also remain unchanged. Plus, its $1.8 billion in cash and negligible debt of $50 million give the company immense financial flexibility.
Early stages of the growth story
Perhaps the most intriguing element of UiPath's investment thesis is its long runway for growth. According to Precedence Research, the global robotic process automation market is forecast to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 30% through 2030. Management estimates its addressable market to be $60 billion, implying that UiPath has only captured about 2% of its revenue opportunity up to this point.
If the company can seize 10% of that addressable market, it would generate annual sales of $6 billion, 572% higher than its revenue in fiscal year 2022. So UiPath is just beginning to scratch the surface of what could be massive secular growth. And given that the stock is trading below 8 times sales and approaching 52-week lows, investors have a strong margin of safety.
Should you buy UiPath today?
There's a lot to like about UiPath at the moment. Apart from its impressive growth, diminishing valuation, and enormous addressable market, the company is a founder-led business. Daniel Dines, who started the company in 2005, is the CEO today. In all, insiders own a 21% stake in the RPA stock, a clear signal that management's priorities are aligned with those of its shareholders.
Short-term headwinds and broader negative sentiment could govern its share price for the foreseeable future, but the emerging leader in RPA might be a major winner in the long run. Patient investors seeking a wonderful growth play should buy UiPath today.