The past few months have been tough for investors. The S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.03%) now sits 20% below its early-January high, and certainly seems like it could move even lower before all is said and done.
Don't be too quick to draw long-term conclusions based on this short-term movement, though. The weakness will end sooner or later, and likely sooner. Then when the market starts to recover, it's apt to be led by the most beaten-down growth names that investors bailed out of when they took their eyes off of the long-term stories.
Here's a rundown of three such growth stocks that will almost certainly end up soaring soon enough, and doing so for a while.
If you want a single stock to blame for recent marketwide weakness, Amazon (AMZN 0.23%) is a fair prospect. Shares of the e-commerce giant are down 35% from their late-March high, and 42% below their November peak, setting a bearish tone for a bunch of other tickers. Indeed, the stock's just a few bucks away from making yet another new 52-week low.
Shareholders are mostly spooked by the company's rising costs, particularly shipping and personnel expenses. While Amazon's online retailing revenue during the first quarter of the year was healthy enough, its e-commerce operations actually slipped out of the black and into the red. And given that inflation has lingered (if not worsened) in the meantime, the stock's continued slide since those results were posted in April isn't terribly surprising.
But Amazon is no longer an online shopping platform that also happens to dabble in other areas like cloud computing and advertising. Cloud computing and advertising are not only its fastest-growing businesses, but became its top moneymakers several years ago. Of last year's operating income of $24.9 billion, $18.5 billion -- or nearly three-fourths of it -- was generated by Amazon Web Services. In a similar vein, the company is finally disclosing how much ad revenue it's been raking in, reporting $31 billion worth of advertising sales last year alone. While we don't know how profitable this particular business is, we do know that margins on digital revenue tend to be very high simply because there are no manufacturing or shipping costs incurred.
Investors clearly aren't impressed. As time marches on and the market sees how Amazon's advertising and cloud computing operations are growing at a double-digit clip, though, investors are going to care less and less if its e-commerce operations are turning a profit or not.
Admittedly, Pinterest (PINS -0.36%) was and still is something of an oddity within the social media world. Rather than written messages posted on an individual's own page for the rest of the world to see, Pinterest users simply organize pictures, websites, and ideas by "pinning" them to dedicated topical pages, which are then shared with other like-minded users. So there's not a lot of "social" to it at first glance.
Never mind the fact that the company itself hasn't seemed too terribly interested in monetizing the platform by optimizing the ads that occasionally appear among a user's pins in their digital pinboard.
As it turns out, however, this lower-key, interest-driven platform has plenty of appeal. A little over 433 million people visited the site at least once per month during the first quarter of this year, and while that's down from its active headcount from the same quarter a year earlier, bear in mind that the world was still largely in lockdown made due to COVID-19 as of early 2021. Broadly speaking, Pinterest's user base has been growing, and continues to do so.
Perhaps more important than that, however, is that the company is finally getting serious about generating revenue. Its average revenue per user during the first quarter of this year grew 28% year-over-year to $1.33, extending a slow, steady uptrend that reflects a variety of subtle growth initiatives. Analysts believe total sales should grow a little more than 16% this year before accelerating to nearly 22% next year, lifting profits by a similar degree.
The stock's 76% slide over the course of the past 12 months suggests most investors don't see it happening, literally and figuratively -- and that seems reinforced by news that CEO Ben Silbermann would be stepping down. The steep sell-off, though, ultimately translates into opportunity, particularly in light of the fact that new CEO Bill Ready has plenty of relevant experience thanks to stints with PayPal and Alphabet.
Finally, add Monster Beverage (MNST 0.33%) to your list of stocks that could soar -- not because it's due for a rebound, but because it's proven it can stand up to even the toughest of headwinds. Unlike most other tickers, Monster shares are within easy reach of record highs hit in August of last year, and are up for this year so far.
Thank fatigued, caffeine-craving consumers. While people might forego a trip to the mall or think twice before just going for a drive while gas prices are still hovering near $5 a gallon, the pick-me-up that a Monster-branded energy drink offers is something of a must-have; the company is also behind NOS, Full Throttle, and Predator, just to name a few brands, some of which are aimed at athletes looking to rehydrate.
Whatever its target markets are, the company seems to be finding them. Sales are on pace to grow nearly 16% this year, and while it too is facing inflation, Monster Beverage is handling it. This year's projected per-share profit of $2.70 is still better than last year's $2.57, and by next year this year's cost challenges should be completely contained. Analysts are calling for 2023 earnings of $3.23 per share, buoyed by nearly an 11% uptick of its top line.
And there's plenty more growth in the cards for a player like Monster. Mordor Intelligence says the energy drinks market will likely grow by more than 9% per year through 2027. Monster Beverage, however, not only already has well-recognized brand names in the business, but can leverage its existing reach to win more than its fair share of the industry's growth.