Over the last month alone, the Nasdaq-100 technology index has gained nearly 13%. It's on the cusp of clawing its way out of bear market territory, where it has spent much of 2022, as investors navigated soaring inflation and rising interest rates.
Evidence continues to mount suggesting the recent 40-year-high inflation numbers have peaked, including July's Consumer Price Index (CPI), which came in softer than expected earlier this week. It has reignited investors' appetites for growth stocks, which tend to perform better when interest rates are falling and the economy is on an upswing.
One growth stock worth buying right now is Workiva (WK -0.21%), the developer of a leading data unification platform that plays an important role in over 5,000 organizations. It's a company of the future and some of its opportunities are still in their infancy. Since the stock remains down 53% from its all-time high, it might be a great time to get involved.
Workiva ties organizations together
The way employees work is rapidly changing, and this was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More people are working from home either full-time or under hybrid arrangements, which is enabled by rapidly growing technologies like cloud computing. Most software services are now delivered in the cloud, which allows workers to access their jobs from almost anywhere in the world.
But this has also created challenges because companies often require dozens of applications to run day-to-day operations. That means managers constantly need to track workflow and aggregate data across all of them to monitor progress. That's the problem Workiva aims to solve with its flagship platform.
Thanks to integrations with dozens of major service providers, companies can now pull data from almost any platform they like and aggregate it neatly into one single dashboard. It means management has visibility unlike never before and can rely on the data because it's pulled directly from the source, rather than copied and input into a third-party application.
Workiva can integrate with a range of applications including cloud-based file-storage platforms from Microsoft and Alphabet's Google, plus systems of record from the likes of Salesforce and Oracle.
Once data is aggregated from those platforms, Workiva provides hundreds of reporting templates that are particularly useful for public companies that file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example. But it recently entered a new reporting segment for companies that wish to track their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) progress.
ESG is a brand new opportunity
The corporate sector is under an increasing amount of pressure to answer to stakeholders regarding their impacts beyond their financial results. ESG offers a framework to do that. While it's still a relatively new concept, such reporting is slowly being mandated for the largest organizations in places like the United Kingdom.
Workiva provides a range of tools to cover all ESG-reporting needs. Companies can select a framework to suit the metrics they want to track, create a strategy, collect data, and generate reports while always remaining audit ready.
The ESG data market could be a $5 billion annual opportunity by 2025, and Workiva is positioning itself to lead the way. Considering the company expects to generate up to $536 million in revenue during 2022, it suggests there's plenty of room for growth ahead.
Workiva has added more customers, and they're spending more money
As has been the case for the last few years, Workiva's growth is being driven by its highest-spending customers. As of the second quarter of 2022, the company had 5,381 total customers with 194 of them falling in its top category with $300,000 in annual spend.
A further 642 customers are spending at least $150,000 per year, which was Workiva's fastest-growing category at 28% year over year. This suggests large organizations might be deriving the most benefit from Workiva's tools, which makes sense as they need to manage more employees and are more likely to track ESG initiatives.
Workiva isn't a profitable company just yet as it's still investing in growth to ensure it captures as many customers as possible, especially in new segments like ESG. In fact, it could lose up to $103.5 million for the 2022 full year. But it has over $428 million in cash, equivalents, and marketable securities on its balance sheet so it can afford to operate at this pace for a few more years before curbing its expenditure.
Workiva's stock price is down 53% from its all-time high of $173.24 and its price-to-sales ratio of 8 is near the lowest level since mid-2020 -- down by more than half from its peak set last year.
This presents an opportunity to buy a unique, under-the-radar stock at a steep discount, thanks primarily to external economic factors and not anything the company necessarily did wrong.