The only constant is change, especially within the technology industry. In the digital age, older companies find themselves disrupted time and time again by newer players focused on building for the future. If you can find such disruptive companies and hold them for the long term, the rewards can be massive. Amazon and Netflix are just two examples.
Below are three other technology stocks today that are building the future and could be great buys for the long term.
1. Spotify: The future of audio
Spotify Technology(NYSE: SPOT) came onto the scene over a decade ago with its revolutionary music streaming technology. Since then, companies from all over the globe have copied its model, but Spotify still retains its lead with approximately 30% market share of music streaming subscriptions around the world.
Now, the company is working on its next technological step forward: becoming a global audio platform. What does this mean? A few things. First, instead of just offering music on its platform, Spotify has expanded to offer podcasts and audiobooks for its users. This has increased engagement, which should correlate to the value Spotify is providing its users.
To make money, Spotify is launching tons of new tools for its creators, including personalized subscription models, advertising, and a la carte purchases. It also has a discovery promotional platform that music labels and artists are using to promote their work on Spotify, which brings in extremely high-margin revenue for the company.
These new monetization opportunities will help Spotify continue growing at a fast clip financially. Since it went public in 2017, annual gross profit is up 217%, hitting $3 billion in 2022. If it can grow by 200% again over the next five years due to all of these new revenue streams, it will be generating $9 billion in gross profit in 2027. It's unclear how much of these gross profit dollars will flow through to the bottom line, but with its current market capitalization of $24.5 billion, I think shareholders will do well owning Spotify stock over the long haul.
2. Match Group: The future of dating
Whether your friends like to admit or not, many romantic relationships start through online portals. Match Group(NASDAQ: MTCH) is by far the leader in this space, generating over 50% of industry revenue in 2022. With popular mobile applications like Tinder and Hinge alongside legacy websites like Match.com and OkCupid, Match Group is one of the few scaled players in the online dating space.
The online dating party is just getting started, too. Less than half of eligible singles in North America and Europe have tried online dating and only 18% have tried it in the Asia Pacific region. Over time, expect more and more relationships to be formed through dating apps, monetized through subscriptions, promotions, and a la carte tools.
Match Group has gone through a slight rough patch in 2022 with an executive transition and stagnating performance at Tinder. It also faced major foreign exchange headwinds with the U.S. dollar rising in value last year, making its international revenue contribution weak.
However, new management is locked in on fixing the small problems at Tinder and sees the application getting back to strong, double-digit growth by the end of this year. Plus, it is unlikely the U.S. dollar will appreciate at record rates again in 2023.
At a market cap of just $10.5 billion and with around $1 billion in free cash flow set to be generated this year, Match Group stock looks like a bargain at these prices.
3. Autodesk: The future of construction and engineering
My last pick is building the future of the construction and engineering markets. Autodesk(NASDAQ: ADSK) has been one of the dominant software providers in these markets for decades, starting all the way back with its AutoCAD product in the 1980s. Now, Autodesk is bringing the construction and engineering fields into the digital age.
First, it continues to grow the usage of Revit, its 3D design program for architects that helps manage complex design projects with much more efficiency than paper tools. Second -- and more importantly for investors this decade -- Autodesk is building out its industry software suites into connected cloud platforms to bring even more digitization to its clients.
These include products like Fusion 360, which seamlessly connects all parts of the manufacturing and engineering supply chain; and the Autodesk Construction Cloud, which allows all workers across construction projects to communicate and update documents from any internet-connected device. Steady growth from all these software tools along with price increases means Autodesk can grow its revenue at a 10% clip for the foreseeable future, which is what management is guiding for over the long term.
Today, Autodesk trades at a market cap of $45 billion. Last year, it generated $2 billion in free cash flow, giving it a price-to-free-cash-flow ratio of 25. From my seat, this looks cheap for a business set to grow revenue at more than 10% a year this decade.
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John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Brett Schafer has positions in Amazon.com, Autodesk, Match Group, and Spotify Technology. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon.com, Autodesk, Match Group, Netflix, and Spotify Technology. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.