As the calendar flips to July, the year is halfway over. While 2022 has been an abysmal year for the stock market, I'm still optimistic about a few companies.
Nvidia makes graphics processing units (GPUs) that process computations quickly and efficiently. Whether it's artificial intelligence (AI), gaming systems, or self-driving cars, Nvidia has a solution for it.
Even though Nvidia is nearly a $400 billion company, it still grew its revenue by 46% year over year (YOY) during its fiscal year 2023 first quarter (ending May 1). That's impressive growth for its size. But even more impressive is that its largest segment, data centers, grew 83% YOY despite supply constraints.
The second-largest division, gaming, still saw 31% growth. However, one under-the-radar consideration is cryptocurrency mining. The same GPUs used for gaming are also used to mine crypto, and with crashing crypto prices, miners aren't rushing to buy new equipment. This downfall could affect demand, but management doesn't have a line of sight to the impact.
Still, management estimated sales would rise about 25% in Q2. The data center opportunity is massive, and gaming will provide continual growth, as gamers are always looking to gain an edge over their opponents. Crypto demand will rise and fall. Nvidia has already dealt with one cycle back in 2019 and this time won't have the inventory problems that harmed it then.
As Nvidia returns to a cheaper valuation range, I'm a buyer of the stock. At 29 times trailing and 26 times future earnings, Nvidia isn't the cheapest stock in the stock market, but this price is reasonable for the market opportunity.
Nvidia's stock looks like a great buy in the second half of 2022, but you may need to ride out some headline-induced panic as crypto demand evaporates.
Cyberattacks have ramped up in the last few years, and businesses are starting to wake up to the dangers. In 2021, the average data breach cost was $4.24 million, including the cost of the breach, lost business, and fixing the problem. As the economy tightens, what better way to avoid this expense than to bulk up cybersecurity?
That's where CrowdStrike comes in. The company provides endpoint security software that secures network access points like a phone or laptop. While the subscription isn't cheap, Forrester Research found the software pays for itself in under three months and has a three-year return on investment of 403%. That stat alone makes CrowdStrike a no-brainer business addition.
This value proposition is echoed by CrowdStrike's rapidly rising customer count, as it grew 57% YOY to 17,945 customers during its fiscal year 2023 Q1 (ending April 30). Furthermore, it has captured 15 of the top 20 U.S. banks and just over half of the Fortune 500. Thousands of businesses have recognized CrowdStrike's software, so investors should take note.
Because CrowdStrike is a subscription service, each of these customers continually renews their service or risk being exposed to attacks. Annual recurring revenue reached $1.92 billion in Q1, which was up 61% YOY. Additionally, existing customers expand their spending as the relationship grows, with the average customer spending $124 this quarter for every $100 they spent last year.
CrowdStrike is also free cash flow positive with a 32% margin during Q1.
There's a lot of enthusiasm about CrowdStrike's business, so it makes sense that the stock may be expensive. At 84 times free cash flow, it is about twice as expensive as Nvidia's stock. However, CrowdStrike's massive $126 billion future market opportunity spurs this enthusiasm.
Cyberattacks aren't slowing down, and the importance of cybersecurity software will continue to rise. CrowdStrike is my top pick in this space, and investors should take advantage of this stock, which is down 40% from its all-time high.
The reality is that 2022 may not provide the returns investors are looking for. However, the depressed stock prices give investors great chances to purchase fantastic companies much cheaper than they could just a year ago. Nvidia and CrowdStrike are excellent buys, but it may be a few years before their market outperformance is meaningful.