Most stocks have seen price drops over the past few months, and many are down quite a bit. Fintech stocks, however, have been downright brutalized. The Global X FinTech ETF is now priced 57% below its October high and remains within striking distance of new 52-week lows.
As unsettling as this lousy performance may be, veteran investors know these big pullbacks often present great buying opportunities. To this end, here's a rundown of three beaten-down fintech stocks you can step into here and now and hold onto forever.
1. PayPal Holdings
It's an oldie but a goodie. In fact, PayPal Holdings (PYPL 1.39%) could be considered the original dedicated-fintech company, paving the way for an entire industry's existence. Although it was spun off into a publicly traded entity back in 2015, the platform was actually launched as a company called Confinity back in 1998, changed its name to the moniker we're all familiar with in 2001, went public in 2002, and that same year was acquired by eBay to help its then-young online auction site get going in earnest.
Little did anybody know then that the world would be ready for so many more digital ways to deal with money now.
Those other digital ways to deal with money are, of course, the key reasons PayPal shares are down by 75% for the past 12 months. Between cryptocurrency wallets, credit card companies stepping up their payment games, and the launches of several all-encompassing banking apps, it's become clear this company will have to fight fiercely to maintain its lead in the payment space.
What's largely being overlooked here, however, is that the PayPal name is still one of the best-known brands in the business and the biggest in its category. AI marketing company Slintel says PayPal accounts for roughly one-third of the payment-management market, while B2B sales specialist Datanyze reports that PayPal accounts for more than half of the total digital payment options offered by the world's e-commerce sites. No rival even comes close.
It's tough to dethrone a market leader.
With all that being said, one of the chief reasons PayPal shares have been falling out of favor of late is now unraveling. That's cryptocurrency. With popular cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum now down 67% and 74% (respectively) just since November's highs, the cryptocurrency's viability as an alternative means of making payments is now deeply in question. PayPal's fiat currency-based platform is back in vogue.
2. SoFi Technologies
SoFi Technologies' (SOFI 0.12%) roots are in the student loan market. But, the company has evolved into so much more. Investing, online banking, insurance, credit cards, and mortgage lending are all now part of its repertoire. It's no stretch to call it a one-stop-shop for consumers looking to consolidate their finances. To this end, nearly 4 million people are now SoFi customers.
This headcount still only scratches the surface of the opportunity at hand, though. The Education Data Initiative reports that more than 40 million people in the United States currently owe an average of more than $36,000 on federal student loans. And that figure's even higher for the typical private student loan; many people will need help handling the debt load.
In the meantime, anywhere between 6 million and 14 million mortgage loans are made every year (depending on interest rates and economic conditions), according to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are also on the order of 260 million adults living in the United States; most will need banking services from somewhere, and more than half own stocks in one way or another, according to Gallup.
The point is, there's plenty of business to be won in all the markets SoFi is in. As consumers' comfort with online banking grows, so will the company's top and bottom lines. In this vein, analysts are forecasting revenue growth of 47% this year to be followed by growth of 38% next year, likely cutting the company's per-share loss of $1 to a loss of only $0.26 during that two-year stretch.
This growth outlook couldn't prevent the stock from falling more than 70% from November's highs. The scope of the sell-off, however, is arguably overdone.
3. Upstart Holdings
If you've been following the Upstart story, you probably know last week's 18% plunge caps off what's become more than a 90% rout since -- you guessed it -- November, when most fintech stocks and many technology stocks started losing lots of ground. Last week's setback is largely linked to the company's preliminary second-quarter results. Upstart is now looking for revenue of around $228 million versus its previous guidance of between $295 million and $305 million and versus analysts' consensus of nearly $298 million. Income projections were similarly dialed back. The recent sharp rise in interest rates and the prospect of a recession are prompting many lenders to start playing defense in a variety of ways.
What lenders are apt to figure out sooner rather than later, though, is that they still need what Upstart brings to the table, regardless of the economic backdrop. Indeed, they may need it now more than they ever have.
Simply put, Upstart Holdings offers would-be lenders a means of determining a borrower's creditworthiness that's superior to traditional ratings from credit bureaus. Rather than simplifying an individual to a formulaic numerical score, Upstart uses an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to determine how likely it is that person can and will repay borrowed money.
And the approach certainly works better than the alternative. Upstart's AI-based system results in 75% fewer defaults than most major U.S. banks experience using the traditional loan-approval method. Put another way, Upstart's approach allows for 173% more approvals without any additional loan losses, using the industry's standard credit-rating method. It's just going to take some time for lenders to fully come around to the idea.