When a company's stock price soars, it usually means it has generated a substantial amount of value for shareholders. But for newer investors, particularly those deploying small amounts of money, a stock price in the hundreds or thousands of dollars can make it feel inaccessible.
That's often why large companies execute stock splits. This increase the number of their shares in circulation, which brings down the stock price in equal proportion, making it more cost-effective for small investors to own. It has become a popular move in 2022. And while a split isn't a reason to buy a particular stock on its own, the companies that have recently shrunk their price per share happen to be worth owning for other reasons.
Here are two of the best picks among this year's splitters, and they're both trading at an attractive discount to their all-time highs thanks to the broader bear market in the tech sector.
1. Palo Alto Networks
As far as dips go, Palo Alto Networks' (PANW 0.36%) is relatively shallow. Its stock is down just 11.8% from its all-time high, and it's actually in the green for 2022 to the tune of 3.7%. It's in stark contrast to the broader tech sector with many individual stocks having their valuations slashed in half (or more).
Palo Alto Networks is outperforming for a reason. It's a world-leading cybersecurity company that's ranked at the top of its field across 11 different categories, and it serves thousands of large organizations. In fact, the company has amassed 1,240 business customers spending at least $1 million per year on its products and services.
Palo Alto recently reported its financial results for fiscal 2022 (ended July 31), where it generated $5.5 billion in revenue, a robust 29% jump compared to fiscal 2021. But the company's remaining performance obligations grew by an even greater 40% to $8.2 billion, which signals that revenue growth could be set for an acceleration in the future.
The cybersecurity industry is on the cusp of a major growth phase as more companies shift their operations online using cloud technology. This significantly increases the attack surface, which prompts the need for far more advanced protection than ever before. One estimate by Cybersecurity Ventures suggests global spending on cybersecurity could top $1.75 trillion between 2021 and 2025, which is a major tailwind for a company like Palo Alto Networks.
Palo Alto stock will undergo a 3-for-1 split on Sept. 14, which means the number of its shares in circulation will triple and, as a result, its stock price will shrink by two-thirds from $564 today to $188. It won't add any value to the company itself, and therefore it's not a reason to buy in. However, of the 36 Wall Street analysts covering Palo Alto stock, 29 gave the company the highest-possible buy rating with not a single one recommending selling.
The dip in this stock is shallow, but it might still be a great time to buy for the long term.
As the fourth-largest publicly listed company in the world with a $1.3 trillion market valuation, e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN 0.64%) needs little introduction. But it received some extra attention this year for its 20-for-1 stock split back in June. Prior to the adjustment, it would have cost investors $2,447 to buy a single share in Amazon, which was prohibitive for many smaller investors. Thanks to the split, that cost has come down to around $133 as of this writing.
Again, the move adds no value at all to Amazon as a company, so instead investors should focus on its incredible business, which continues to expand into new territory. This is no longer just an e-commerce brand, even though that segment still drives the majority of its revenue. Amazon is now the leader in cloud services, it has a red-hot advertising segment, and it gives investors exposure to the electric vehicle industry thanks to its stake in up-and-coming producer Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN).
Advertising might be Amazon's most exciting emerging segment, at least in the short term. It has generated $33.9 billion in revenue over the last four quarters, and it's driven by the company's flagship website amazon.com, which attracted 2.5 billion hits in July 2022. But the Prime streaming platform might be the next frontier for Amazon's ad business. It just invested $1 billion developing the new hotly anticipated series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and, although reviews were mixed, its premiere drew 25 million viewers -- a new record for the Prime service.
Plus, with the rights to other valuable assets like the NFL's Thursday Night Football, that momentum should keep rolling into the end of 2022.
Overall, analysts are betting Amazon's revenue could top $521 billion for the whole of 2022, marking the first time ever it crosses the half-a-trillion-dollar threshold. It's the ultimate stock to own in the modern economy for its diverse revenue streams and relentless focus on innovation. Since it's currently down 29% from its all-time high, now might be the time to start building a position.