Many high-growth tech stocks crashed over the past six months as rising interest rates drove investors toward more conservative investments. That steep sell-off has been alarming, but investors who shun all tech stocks could miss out on some big long-term gains once the market stabilizes.

In anticipation of that stabilization, let's take a closer look at three high-growth tech stocks -- Airbnb (ABNB 1.55%), Adyen (ADYE.Y 0.32%), and Palo Alto Networks (PANW 3.14%) -- that deserve to be bought without any hesitation, even in this challenging market. 

An investor checks investments on a trading screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Airbnb

Airbnb struggled during the pandemic, but its growth is accelerating as people start to travel again in a post-lockdown world. It's also resistant to inflation because budget-conscious travelers are likely to select cheaper Airbnb rentals over traditional hotels.

Airbnb's revenue declined 30% during the pandemic but soared 77% to $6 billion in 2021 as those headwinds waned. Its number of booked nights and experiences increased 56% to 300.6 million last year, while its gross booking value (GBV) surged 96% to $46.9 billion.

In the first quarter of 2022, its revenue increased 70% year over year to $1.5 billion, its booked nights and experiences rose 59% to 102.1 million, and its GBV jumped 67% to $17.2 billion. It expects its revenue to rise 56%-64% in the second quarter, even as it faces headwinds from the Russo-Ukrainian war, and analysts expect 38% growth for the full year.

Airbnb's net loss narrowed from $4.6 billion in 2020 to $352 million in 2021, as its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) improved from negative-$251 million to positive-$1.6 billion.

In the first quarter of 2022, it narrowed its net loss to just $19 million and posted a positive adjusted EBITDA of $229 million. Analysts expect its adjusted EBITDA to rise 52% this year.

Based on those estimates, Airbnb trades at nine times this year's sales and 32 times its adjusted EBITDA. Its stock isn't cheap, but its strengths justify its premium valuations.

2 Adyen

Adyen is a Dutch fintech company that provides a backend software platform for digital payment and analytics services. Its platform can be integrated with in-store and online payment systems with a few lines of code, which allows businesses to accept over 250 payment methods -- including credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, and payment apps. It works behind the scenes and doesn't provide any consumer-facing apps. 

Adyen's revenue rose 28% to 684.2 million euros ($712.4 million) in 2020, as its processed volume increased 27% to 303.6 billion euros ($316.1 billion). During the pandemic, its slower brick-and-mortar sales partly offset its stronger e-commerce sales.

But in 2021, those headwinds faded away -- and its revenue grew 46% to 1 billion euros ($1.04 billion) as its processed volume rose 70% to 516 billion euros ($537.3 billion). Analysts expect Adyen's revenue to rise 38% to 1.39 billion euros ($1.45 billion) this year as the year-over-year comparisons normalize.

Adyen is consistently profitable, but it usually gauges its growth in EBITDA terms. Its EBITDA rose 27% to 402.5 million euros ($419.1 million) in 2020, and it grew 57% to 630 million euros ($656 million) -- which expanded its EBITDA margin from 59% to 63%.

Analysts expect its EBITDA to grow 40% to 881 million euros ($917.3 million) this year, which would boost its EBITDA margin to 64%. Adyen's stock isn't cheap, at 30 times this year's sales and 48 times its EBITDA, but its flexible business model and strong growth rates support those high valuations.

3. Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company that provides next-gen firewall appliances, cloud-based security services, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered threat detection tools. It initially only provided on-site appliances, but it's aggressively expanded its cloud-based and AI platforms -- which it calls its "next-gen security" (NGS) services -- through big acquisitions over the past several years.

Palo Alto's revenue rose 18% to $3.4 billion in fiscal 2020, which ended in July of the calendar year, as its billings climbed 23% to $4.3 billion. In fiscal 2021, its revenue grew 25% to $4.3 billion as its billings rose 27% to $5.5 billion. The pandemic didn't meaningfully affect its business, and it remains naturally insulated from inflationary headwinds.

For fiscal 2022, Palo Alto expects its revenue to grow 27%-29% and for its billings to increase 25%-26%. It attributes that consistent growth to the expansion of its NGS business, which accounted for 29% of its annual recurring revenues (ARR) on a trailing 12-month basis in its latest quarter -- compared with just 19% at the end of fiscal 2020. 

Palo Alto's net loss widened from $267 million in fiscal 2020 to $499 million in fiscal 2021, but its adjusted net income -- which excludes its stock-based compensation and acquisition-related expenses -- rose 27% to $614 million. It expects its adjusted earnings to grow 18%-19% for the full year.

Palo Alto might look a bit pricey at 52 times forward earnings and nine times this year's sales, but it remains one of my favorite long-term plays on the growing cybersecurity market.