Investors must feel like they have whiplash. They went from the pandemic market crash to extraordinary gains in late 2020 and early 2021 then into a stubborn bear market, all within just a couple of years. For those hoping to get back on a more even growth trajectory, now might just be a terrific time to refocus on companies that offer unique value to portfolios. Companies operating in secular growth industries, managing excellent execution, and working hard to return capital to shareholders are solid places to start.

Analog Devices (ADI 1.29%) and The Trade Desk (TTD 1.61%) fit the bill and could outpace the market and provide peace of mind. Here's why these two stocks are all-stars in the making.

1. Demand and profits reward Analog Devices' shareholders

Semiconductors, or "chips," are vital to the economy. If you checked your phone, drove a car, visited the doctor, or went to work today, you very likely used dozens of them and may not even know it. Their importance was easy to see during the recent chip shortage. New vehicles sat on manufacturers' lots for months waiting for them, and prices for new and used autos skyrocketed. 

While super-advanced digital chips get most of the attention, analog chips (which measure real-world data like speed or temperature) are just as critical. This demand meant $12 billion in revenue on 64% growth for Analog Devices in fiscal 2022. Analog Devices stock provided shareholders with over 350% in total returns over the last decade, and signs point to many more lucrative years.

Analog Devices is highly profitable, with fiscal 2022 operating profit and free cash flow margins of 49% and 32%, respectively. Speaking of free cash flow, management has pledged to return 100% of it to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks. As shown below, the dividend has grown for years, making it an excellent pick for dividend-growth investors.

Chart showing ADI's dividend rising since 2005.

ADI Dividend data by YCharts

Analog Devices is a healthy bet to weather a recession since it only relies on the volatile consumer market for 13% of sales. The vast majority of its sales are to industrial and automotive companies. This lesser-known chipmaker makes a compelling case for long-term investment. 

2. The Trade Desk: Targeting an $800 billion industry

The days of advertising just on broadcast television or print are ending. The rise of connected television (CTV), online video, and web or mobile display ads means advertisers need an omnichannel (a fancy word for advertising on several mediums) campaign to reach consumers. They also need a targeted approach, data to measure effectiveness and a user-friendly platform -- which is precisely what The Trade Desk provides.

CTV, which encompasses streaming platforms like Netflix or Walt Disney's Disney+, is The Trade Desk's most significant growth opportunity. The company anticipates that advertisers will continue to shift dollars away from cable and toward streaming. The Trade Desk's recent results are fantastic, as sales have more than tripled over the last four fiscal years, as shown below.

Chart showing The Trade Desk's revenue rising since 2018.

Data source: The Trade Desk. Chart by author.

The international market is also fertile ground since it only accounts for about 10% of current sales.

Unlike ADI, The Trade Desk does not pay dividends or have significant GAAP profits yet, so it is most appropriate for investors with a long timeline who don't mind moderate risk. Global advertising spending is estimated at over $800 billion in 2022, and the shift to digital is here. The ad-tech industry is blossoming, and The Trade Desk could be a massive long-term winner.