Growth stocks performed exceptionally well in the past decade, partly due to a favorable interest rate environment in the U.S. But with authorities hiking interest rates -- not to mention inflation, geopolitical tensions, and other marketwide problems -- growth stocks have gotten hammered recently. Fortunately, these challenges are likely temporary.

For long-term investors, the market downturn is an excellent opportunity to go shopping for shares of solid companies on sale. Here are two excellent options: Veeva Systems (VEEV 1.10%) and Visa (V 0.87%). Here's the rundown.

Chart showing the prices of Veeva Systems and Visa lower than the S&P 500 since late 2021.

VEEV data by YCharts

1. Veeva Systems

Veeva Systems' performance over the trailing 12-month period substantially lags that of the market. The company partly owes this to its rich valuation metrics. Veeva's forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is 52.4, even after the beating it took over the past year. For context, the average forward P/E ratio of the healthcare industry is 15.6. Pricey-looking stocks tend to be more volatile when marketwide worries strike.

With that said, Veeva Systems' business is still performing well. The company's cloud-based solutions to regulatory compliance that targets the life sciences industry remain in relatively high demand. Even amid economic problems, the development of essential products such as innovative drugs and diagnostic tests continues.

In its latest update -- for the first quarter of its fiscal 2023, which ended on April 30 -- Veeva showed some encouraging progress.

Revenue during the quarter jumped by 16% year over year to $505.1 million. The company's adjusted net income rose by 9% to $159.8 million. Veeva is well on its way to achieving its goal of $3 billion in revenue by 2025. But investors should see beyond this point. There are plenty more opportunities in the massive $2.2 trillion (and growing) life sciences industry.

Furthermore, Veeva Systems' business benefits from high switching costs. For its customers, jumping ship would mean severe business disruption, since they rely on these cloud-based solutions to help them comply with stringent regulatory guidelines and bring their products to market. Veeva Systems has expanded into other highly regulated areas, including the cosmetics industry. While the company may continue to face short-term headwinds, the long-term view remains intact, and those who stick with Veeva Systems will be handsomely rewarded down the line.

2. Visa

Visa is one of the leading payment networks in the world. One of the great things about this company's business is its seeming omnipresence. Visa is undoubtedly a highly recognizable brand -- thanks in large part to the fact that it has few direct competitors; its only notable peer is Mastercard. Visa collects a fee every time a customer uses a card that bears its name to make a purchase, whether in a traditional brick-and-mortar store or online.

That means the company's revenue is tied to payment volume, a metric that dropped in the past couple of years due to pandemic-related dynamics. However, payment volume now seems to be on the rebound, and Visa is benefiting. During the third quarter of its fiscal 2022, which ended on June 30, Visa's revenue jumped by 19% year over year to $7.3 billion. That was on the back of a 12% increase in payment volume.

Visa's adjusted net income came in at $4.2 billion, 29% higher than the year-ago period.

Visa isn't out of the woods just yet. We are still facing some economic uncertainty. A recession could be on its way. If we officially enter recession territory, it seems plausible that payment volume will drop, thereby harming Visa's business again. But none of these are good enough reasons to stay away from the company.

Higher consumer spending and the ongoing switch to digital payments will both be powerful tailwinds that should help propel Visa's revenue and earnings forward. According to some estimates, digital payments will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15.1% through 2028. 

Meanwhile, Visa's payment network benefits from the flywheel effect -- that is, the value of the company's service increases as more people use it. The more that customers plug into Visa's networks, the more it attracts merchants, and vice versa. That's why the company will almost certainly maintain its duopoly with Mastercard for a long time -- and deliver excellent returns to investors in the process.