Admittedly, the word "unstoppable" doesn't seem to describe many tech stocks in their current state. The S&P 500 has flirted with bear market territory as some promising tech names lost more than three-fourths of their value.
Still, many of these growth tech stocks continue to suffer even as their businesses make dramatic improvements. But investors tend to eventually catch on to compelling growth stories, and advancements could eventually take stocks like Shopify (SHOP -0.98%), Bill.com Holdings (BILL 2.03%), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -0.25%) much higher.
The e-commerce platform positioned to make a dramatic comeback
However, upon closer examination, investors may find that Shopify does not just beat the competition; it transcends it. Competitors such as Wix and WooCommerce, the global market leader according to Datanyze, are mere software platforms.
Shopify does not limit itself to such an identity, and it proved that by launching the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN). The company also spent $2.1 billion to acquire Deliverr, a move that should improve its inventory management and logistics capabilities.
Indeed, the SFN takes it into a capital-intensive, low-profit business outside the software industry, a bridge most competitors will not directly cross. However, this move is genius since aspiring e-retailers who may need the SFN's services have little choice but to choose Shopify.
Shopify's unique approach to e-commerce support helped it generate $2.5 billion in revenue in the first half of 2022, 19% more than the same period in 2021. Nonetheless, Shopify's purchase of Deliverr and other business investments increased non-GAAP operating expenses during the period. This led to a $13 million non-GAAP loss in the first two quarters of 2022, well below the non-GAAP profit of $539 million in the first half of 2021.
Admittedly, the continued investments in itself could weigh on profits for the foreseeable future. However, analysts forecast 19% revenue growth this year and 23% in 2023, indicating that Shopify will continue to transcend the competition.
Moreover, the falling stock price has taken the price-to-sales (P/S) ratio to 9. While this is well above Wix at a 3 P/S ratio, its competitive lead may make the extra expense worthwhile when considering the heavily discounted stock price.
A mission-critical SaaS stock for small businesses
Justin Pope (Bill.com Holdings): Numerous technology companies have grown cautious about the economy, but Bill.com seems to be holding up well. The company recently closed out its fiscal 2022 year, ended June 30, and released revenue guidance for the upcoming four quarters. Bill.com is coming off a year where growth exploded, growing 169% over the prior fiscal year because of its $2.5 billion acquisition of Divvy last June.
Management's fiscal 2023 guidance calls for 49% to 52% revenue growth, which puts growth back in line with its pre-Divvy growth rate despite growing from a much larger $642 million base:
Bill.com's robust growth comes from its mission-critical role for small and medium businesses. Its software-as-a-service product helps businesses streamline their bookkeeping and other back-of-the-office operations. Small companies often have a small number of people devoted to performing these tasks, which can be a big job; you might have different spreadsheets or applications with various functions that don't talk to each other.
Bill.com's software syncs and organizes these operations, enabling people to do something like pay an invoice and have everything throughout the business updated in real-time. The company grew its customer base by 30% year over year in the quarter ended June 30 and now has 158,000 using its software.
Wall Street thinks highly of the company, awarding the stock a price-to-sales ratio (P/S) of 27, one of the more expensive valuations you'll find in this market, though it did trade as high as roughly 100 last year. The company isn't generating free cash flow, but it burned just $33 million over the past year while sitting on about $1 billion in net cash (cash minus debt). There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, which gives the company a long-term path to sustainable growth.
If you're looking for high growth, AMD has it in spades
Jake Lerch (Advanced Micro Devices): When I think of ultra-growth stocks that can't be stopped, one name comes to mind: Advanced Micro Devices.
A decade ago, AMD was a mess. Revenue was declining; shares traded for less than $4. Enter Lisa Su, who was named CEO in 2014. Since then, AMD has been a veritable growth powerhouse. Under Su's leadership, the company has undergone a transformation that can be best understood by looking at its revenue growth chart.
It took some time for Su to implement her vision, including diversifying AMD's business away from its legacy personal computing business. However, after quarterly revenue bottomed out in 2016, below $1 billion, the company has turned a corner. In its most recent quarter (the three months ended June 25), AMD recorded a staggering $6.6 billion in revenue. Year-over-year quarterly revenue growth now stands at a remarkable 70% -- driven by a staggering 83% growth rate for AMD's data center segment.
The data center's robust sales come from AMD's Epyc server processors. These are the chips that power many cloud servers that have become so important to the modern internet infrastructure. What's more, Microsoft uses AMD's Instinct and MI200 accelerators in its Azure servers, one of the biggest drivers of growth for the tech giant.
Despite its incredible revenue growth, AMD has endured a tough 2022. Shares are down 36%. Investors looking to add some growth would be smart to pounce on this growth powerhouse while it's out of favor.