The stock market just completed its worst first half in 50 years -- but as bad as that seems, it's good news if you have at least 10 years until retirement. Many high-quality companies have stocks being traded at steep discounts compared to what they're worth.
If it were my money, I would be looking at companies that are still posting solid growth in revenue. That's a surefire signal that those companies are continuing to build intrinsic value for investors, even if it's not immediately reflected by the market.
1. Activision Blizzard
Activision is one of the largest video game makers in the world, with $8.3 billion in revenue. The company's games include World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and the mobile game Candy Crush, among many others. Across all titles, Activision had 372 million monthly active users in the first quarter.
Activision is arguably one of the best stocks to own across the entire market. The reason is that the shares currently trade at $79.79 -- a steep discount to the $95 per share price Microsoft is paying to buy the whole company in an all-cash deal worth $68 billion.
Initially, investors were skeptical that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has shown greater efforts to keep a tight leash on big tech, would approve the deal. That explains the discount between Activision's trading price and the buyout offer, but it's increasingly likely the FTC will give the green light.
Recently, an analyst with MoffettNathanson upgraded Activision stock to a buy. Even Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has built a $5 billion position in the game maker, a strong vote of confidence that Microsoft's $68 billion offer won't be denied.
The acquisition is expected to be completed during Microsoft's fiscal 2023, which ends in June. When it closes, Activision shareholders will receive $95 per share, representing a return of 18% over the current share price.
If anything, Activision stock is a good choice to hedge against a further decline in the markets.
Adobe is famous for bringing the PDF file format into the mainstream and is one of the largest software companies in the world. It provides productivity and creative software for students, graphics designers, video editors, and others.
Adobe has delivered very consistent growth for years. It has doubled revenue over the last five years to $16 billion. Despite the weakening economy in the first quarter, Adobe delivered solid revenue growth of 14% year over year. Management reported strong performance in core products, with growing momentum in new product categories.
Investors should invest in Adobe because of the long-term societal trends working in its favor. The growth of social media, especially the growing popularity of video platforms like Alphabet's YouTube, is giving rise to the creator economy. There are an estimated 50 million people in the world that consider themselves content creators, with more than 2 million making content professionally.
The growth of digital media is a massive opportunity for Adobe and is the key reason why the company continues to post more growth.
A consistent, high-growth business ultimately deserves a premium valuation, so Adobe stock is not cheap. It trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 36, but with shares down 30% year-to-date, this is a quality stock worth buying on the dip.
Salesforce is another top software-as-a-service stock worth making a core holding in any investor's portfolio. In the first quarter, Salesforce posted revenue growth of 24% year over year, which is consistent with its operating history. Over the last year, the company generated $5.7 billion in free cash flow on $28 billion in revenue.
Salesforce is the No.1 customer relationship management (CRM) provider. Companies use the company's software to manage sales, marketing, e-commerce, and communication across their workforce. Companies love it because it's cloud-based and sold as a subscription, so there are no installation requirements or difficulty in getting up and running.
The stock has delivered multi-bagger returns to shareholders over the last 20 years. It has led the CRM market for nine consecutive years and is still gaining market share, according to the International Data Corp.
The stock has always looked expensive, but the market dip is handing investors a great opportunity to add this top performer to their nest eggs. The stock has historically traded close to 10 times trailing sales but now trades at a price-to-sales ratio of just 6.2.
The first-quarter update shows the business still growing and building a lead on the competition. Don't let the market downturn discourage you from starting a position in this quality growth stock.