Bear markets are a great time to buy if you're a long-term investor. With the market punishing stocks indiscriminately, there are deals to be had for those with the patience to wait out elevated volatility. Buying (and holding) during times like 2022 is easier said than done, but the payoff can be substantial once the bear market gives way to the next bull market.
If you have $50,000 (or another sizable chunk of change to put to work), I think Alphabet (GOOGL 1.01%) (GOOG 1.15%), Nvidia (NVDA -2.85%), Block (SQ -1.92%), Twilio (TWLO -0.76%), and Crocs (CROX 0.11%) are compelling stocks to buy right now. Here's why I'm bullish.
Alphabet: A boring name with serious market-beating potential
I like big old boring Google parent Alphabet. If you're looking for a company to start building a portfolio around, Alphabet is about as good as it gets. It's benefiting from multiple secular growth trends (digital ads, online video content consumption via YouTube, and cloud computing via Google Cloud), so this should be a steady growth story for many years.
Alphabet is also highly profitable, exactly the type of stock that should rebound quickly from the current bear market. Inflation and interest rates are on the rise, but Google's profit margins provide plenty of cushion. So does $125 billion in net cash and short-term investments, which Alphabet is using to repurchase shares.
Working from a position of technological and financial strength also gives Alphabet the ability to invest in things like its Waymo subsidiary. Self-driving cars could reshape the global economy, and Waymo is a leader in this bleeding-edge technology. Trading for just 22 times trailing-12-month free cash flow, Alphabet is a value right now -- especially when considering its long-term potential.
Nvidia: The top platform for building AI
I believe Nvidia will be the next business to join the trillion-dollar club: that exclusive group of stocks (Alphabet included) with a market cap of at least $1 trillion. Currently valued at $445 billion, the semiconductor giant is already almost halfway there.
Nvidia's GPUs, historically the realm of high-end video game PCs, are finding use in data centers creating and running artificial intelligence software. AI is in the early stages of deployment, just now reaching that convergence of usefulness and affordability that makes it compelling for industries of all sorts. Building on its lead here, Nvidia has launched new chip types outside of GPUs to address other parts of the modern business data center.
If its impressive hardware weren't enough, Nvidia is also early on in developing a cloud-based software business too. AI software won't only help Nvidia sustain its growth momentum but could also lift profit margins higher as well. This is a premium-priced stock at 57 times trailing 12-month free cash flow, but this is a great company to buy and hold for the next decade if you're looking for a way to bet on the AI industry.
Block: A depressed fintech name with international potential
Block (formerly Square) was a high-flying financial technology leader just a year ago. Now, it trades for just over seven times enterprise value (just over $35 billion as of this writing) to trailing-12-month gross profit ($4.75 billion). The market is feeling particularly ho-hum on Block.
The punishment isn't completely unwarranted. Block is trying to develop the Bitcoin blockchain network, and it isn't clear if Bitcoin will ever have a future as a means of enabling transactions on the internet. It also paid a pretty penny for buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay early this year, and it will take time to see if the combined fintechs are worth more together than they would have been on their own.
Personally, though, I like Block's plan of attack with Afterpay. Block needs a way to connect its Square merchant services ecosystem with the more consumer-facing Cash App. Afterpay could act as the rails between the two and create a truly two-sided network that keeps merchants and individuals highly engaged -- and makes Block more profitable over time. And at 39 times trailing-12-month free cash flow, Block's growth potential looks severely underappreciated right now.
Twilio: Communications head for the cloud
The pandemic accelerated large organizations' migration to the cloud, which was especially apparent with cloud-based communications tools. Zoom Video Communications got all the early attention, but Twilio has been the more enduring growth story as Zoom's expansion has decelerated.
Twilio's secret is it has a wide range of tools available for businesses to integrate into their operations -- from text and email to website chatbots to internet-based phone and video calling. Twilio's latest efforts have been to add customer data analytics to its platform, helping businesses understand when and how to stay in touch with customers.
Twilio thinks it can sustain about a 30% organic growth rate (which excludes acquisitions) for the foreseeable future. The only problem is that Twilio hasn't generated a profit yet. This is partially by design as the company spends heavily to maximize its rate of expansion, but a rising interest rate environment doesn't look favorably on stocks like this.
Nevertheless, Twilio expects to generate adjusted operating profit by 2023 and currently trades for a meager 3.6 times enterprise value to trailing-12-month revenue. If the business continues to grow at a rapid pace and reaches profitability next year, there is a lot of upside here.
Crocs: Get a top-trending brand among young generations for a steal
To mix up the tech-heavy stock list above, I also really like Crocs stock right now. Yes, Crocs, the maker of the goofy foam clogs. Whether or not you like them, this is a popular brand among young people. Crocs ranked in the top 10 shoe brands among Generation Z (early 20-somethings), according to Piper Sandler's "Taking Stock With Teens" Spring 2022 report. And seemingly out of nowhere came Hey Dude, also now a Top 10 shoe brand among teens according to Piper Sandler's report. Hey Dude is the casual shoe brand Crocs just acquired.
Crocs' comfy kicks are growing fast (sales have more than doubled over the last three years), but the stock has been beaten down some 55% so far in 2022. Inflation is hurting profits in the short term, and Crocs had to take on significant debt to purchase Hey Dude. The company reported nearly $2.9 billion in debt at the end of the first quarter.
But if Crocs can maintain its shoe industry-best operating profit margin and keep growing, this stock is a deep value. It trades for just 5.97 times current year expected earnings. If you're looking for a bet on a resilient consumer, Crocs could create lots of rewards for the present risks right now. I'm a buyer.