Timing the market may be a great strategy for investors who can reliably pull it off. The problem is, there is no such investor. No one can accurately and consistently predict precisely when a stock or the broader market will bottom out. That's why trying to do so is a waste of time.
Instead, investors should purchase shares of robust companies that can deliver solid returns over the long run, especially when these companies are encountering challenging times on the stock market and can be purchased at a discount. Let's look at two candidates to consider: Netflix (NFLX -0.31%) and Pinterest (PINS 0.94%).
The video streaming market is saturated. It's difficult to keep up with the number of companies competing in this industry, and the situation is proving challenging even for Netflix, the longtime established streaming giant. Investors have punished its stock as the tech company lost subscribers and struggled with password sharing issues, meaningfully affecting revenue.
However, Netflix has several tricks up its sleeve. The company is fine-tuning its idea to introduce an ad-supported subscription option to attract price-sensitive customers. This could help the company deal with password sharing. Some analysts estimate that Netflix could generate up to $8.5 billion in ad revenue by 2025. A cheaper plan option could also help attract new paying users onto the platform.
Netflix will, of course, continue to pump out valuable content to keep its users glued to their screens. One of the company's key advantages is the data it collects on viewing habits, allowing it to steer its content production efforts. An important question for Netflix is whether there remains room to grow in streaming, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes, both in terms of television viewing time and subscriptions.
In July, streaming viewing time topped cable for the first time, according to data from analytics company Nielsen. Streaming accounted for 34.8% of total time compared with cable's 34.4%. Netflix was the leader in streaming with 8% of viewing time. Streaming has been gaining ground over cable for a while, and it likely won't stop. Note that the industry has reached more penetration in countries such as the U.S. and other developed nations.
Netflix reported about 221 million paying subscribers in the second quarter. This number is far less than half of the 800 million that was reached at the peak of pay television (outside of China). These factors strongly point to Netflix still having plenty of room to run, despite the bloodbath it endured this year.
Pinterest differentiates itself from other social media platforms as its users focus less on divisive issues. Rather than politics, Pinterest is a place to find inspiration to fuel one's creative endeavors. Thanks to the extensive database of Pins (picturesque bookmarks of sorts), users on the platforms can find dozens of ideas on how to redecorate their homes, exciting fashion trends, new recipes to try, and much more.
It's not surprising that Pinterest's user base grew substantially during the early days of the pandemic as people were homebound. The company has struggled in this department lately, which is one of the main reasons its shares are down. Pinterest makes money through ads on its platform, and it isn't surprising that businesses would be concerned by the dropping number of users on its website.
That's alongside the economic headwinds such as inflation that may be impacting ad spending.
The good news is that Pinterest managed to stop the bleeding on user loss, at least for now. The company's monthly active users (MAUs) have stayed at 433 million for the past two quarters. True, that figure still declined on a year-over-year basis, but it's important to note that it also dropped sequentially between the second and fourth quarters of 2021.
Meanwhile, Pinterest is managing to increase revenue thanks to its growing average revenue per user (ARPU). In the second quarter, the company's ARPU jumped by 17% year over year to $1.54. Pinterest's total revenue came in at $666 million, 9% higher than the year-ago period. Coronavirus-related dynamics aside, Pinterest's MAUs have been on an upward trend for a while. A bust of sorts followed the pandemic boost, but in the long run, I expect things to stabilize for the tech giant in this area.
At the same time, it is making a push within e-commerce, which could help it further monetize its platform. While Pinterest remains down for the year, and substantially so, the company's future is still bright. That's why it's worth it to scoop up its shares while they are still well in the red.