For most of us, $10,000 is a lot of money and putting that much into hand-picked stocks could seem risky. Therefore, if $10,000 is a meaningful investment for your diversified portfolio, be sure to invest it only in safer companies.
Three companies that I believe fill the bill are Axon Enterprise (AXON -0.34%), Planet Fitness (PLNT 2.13%), and Crocs (CROX 0.87%). I think it's reasonable to assume all three of these companies will still be in business and doing well 10 years from now.
Just as $10,000 is a relative number, so too is the term "fortune." But I can tell you that even achieving the stock market's average return over time can yield a meaningful return. And I believe returns from Axon, Planet Fitness, and Crocs can surpass the stock market average.
Axon is locking in future revenue
Axon's mission includes making public spaces safer, reducing social conflicts, and improving the justice system. Over the past 10 years, the company's revenue is up over 800%. But given the breadth of its mission and the ongoing issues that exist in our world, Axon still has a long ways to grow over the next 10 years.
A lot can happen in a decade. But that's why I like putting Axon in this discussion. The company partners with law enforcement agencies to provide Tasers, body cameras, and time-saving, record-keeping software. And the business is constructed with the long view in mind.
According to Axon's management, roughly one-third of its top 100 contracts in the second quarter of 2022 were signed for a decade or longer. More than 100 new deals in Q2 were for at least five years. Given how mission-critical its services are and how long its deal are, I feel confident in Axon's long-term prospects.
In Q2, nearly 29% of Axon's revenue came from Axon Cloud, an impressive portion of the business. And herein lies the icing on Axon's growth cake: Axon Cloud is making up a larger and larger percentage of revenue. And in Q2, the company locked in a six-year deal with Microsoft's Azure for hosting. This means it has long-term cost control for this growing part of the business, which could boost profits in future years.
Finally, Axon's future contracted revenue was up 63% year over year in Q2 whereas Q2 revenue was only up 31%. In other words, the company's future looks better than recent results would have you believe -- and recent results were quite good. At this rate, I see no reason why Axon couldn't triple its revenue or more over the next decade, which would likely lead to outsized stock performance over this time.
Competitors floundered. Planet Fitness strengthened.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the entire world. Gym closures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus made the last couple of years exceptionally challenging for gym chains, and several went bankrupt as a result.
Statistically speaking, another global pandemic is unlikely to happen in the next 10 years. And having endured COVID-19 to this point, I can't imagine any other issue derailing Planet Fitness in the coming decade. Indeed, in contrast to the competition, this growth stock is stronger than ever.
As of the second quarter of 2022, Planet Fitness has more locations (2,324) and members (16.5 million) than ever, leading to record quarterly revenue of $224 million. And the health of the business has management refocused on long-term growth and shareholder returns.
Regarding long-term growth, Planet Fitness' management is targeting 4,000 locations in the U.S. -- a more than 70% increase from its gym base today. It's already opened 70 new locations in 2022 and its development pipeline is reaccelerating after a pandemic pause, so there's plenty of opportunity domestically. But an international expansion opportunity also exists, as evidenced by its latest deal in May to open 25 locations in New Zealand.
Regarding shareholder returns, Planet Fitness' management is starting to repurchase shares again, buying back $44.3 million in Q2 alone. This is significant considering stock-based compensation is only $5.6 million so far for all of 2022 -- in other words, the share count is going down, increasing existing shareholders' ownership stake in the business.
Over the next decade, Planet Fitness' revenue growth, profit growth, and focus on shareholder returns can lead to big stock gains. In my opinion, this stock won't be flashy but instead a quiet compounder -- yet, a powerful one all the same.
Crocs has big goals ahead
Crocs President and CEO Andrew Rees took over the CEO position in June 2017. And since then, the company's revenue has nearly tripled, profitability has soared, and its stock is crushing the market. I believe that's the context needed to digest Crocs' growth plans.
Crocs is shooting for $5 billion in revenue in 2026. Compared to $2.3 billion in revenue in 2021, this plan for a 17% compound annual growth rate sounds ambitious. But it may not be as hard as it seems. In February, Crocs acquired fellow shoe company Heydude, a company roughly a quarter its size. Therefore, some of its growth will be inorganic.
The real story here is Crocs' ability to generate free cash flow (FCF). Consider that as of the second quarter of 2022, 37% of the brand's sales were digital as were nearly 32% of sales from Heydude. This high (and growing) percentage of online sales gives Crocs the ability to stay more asset-light than many competitors (it only has 368 company-owned stores worldwide). And it allows the company to cut out middle parties by selling directly to the consumer. through the first two quarters of 2022, 42% of Crocs brand's sales were direct to consumer, a strategy it hopes to replicate with Heydude.
By 2026, Crocs' management expects to generate over $1 billion in annual FCF. The company did spend $2.5 billion to acquire Heydude. So it will take time refortifying the balance sheet in coming quarters. But consider that management spent $1 billion on share repurchases in 2021 alone. Assuming it generated $1 billion in annual FCF starting in 2026, it could have $5 billion in cumulative FCF through 2031 even without additional growth -- a lot of ammo for future buybacks.
For perspective, $5 billion exceeds the total value of Crocs stock today and clearly suggests fortune-building upside if management executes on its vision. And going back to the context I provided earlier, management's track record over the past five years gives me great hope for the next decade.
See you in 2032
I have no idea what the stock market or these three stocks will do over the next year or so. There's a very good chance shares of Axon, Planet Fitness, and Crocs could all trade lower and even underperform the market for a period of time. However, over a decade, I believe business results will drive stock performance -- and that these businesses will grow and perform well. Accordingly, I own shares in Axon, Planet Fitness, and Crocs and intend to keep holding as long as their respective businesses remain fundamentally on track.