New investors with long time horizons tend to gravitate to growth stocks. With the ability to take risks and hold a long time, investors can build considerable wealth over decades.
Some may start with an amount like $10,000. While that does not sound like a massive fortune, it can help build significant wealth if investors buy early in a stock's growth phase. This could be the case if investing in Sea Limited (NYSE: SE), SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ: SOFI), and Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS).
Given the makeup of Sea Limited, one might assume it is the Southeast Asian version of Amazon or MercadoLibre. Nonetheless, being an e-commerce-driven conglomerate has not led to the growth of its counterparts in other parts of the world.
Admittedly, its e-commerce division Shopee and fintech segment Sea Money have recorded massive growth. In the second quarter of 2023, each of these parts of the company increased revenue yearly by 21% and 53%, respectively.
Unfortunately, the company's overall revenue of $3.1 billion in Q2 rose by only 5%. This occurred because its Garena gaming segment experienced a 41% revenue decline. Sea Limited has struggled to gain any traction in gaming beyond its battle royale game Free Fire, which was no longer the most downloaded game after 2021.
However, India is about to lift the ban on Free Fire that it imposed in 2022. And after a post-pandemic slump, gaming is beginning to make a comeback, a factor that could bode well for the lagging Garena division.
Moreover, after losing money last year, Sea posted a positive net income for the previous three quarters. Furthermore, the forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 22 could make the stock an excellent bargain. Between its rising income potential and a low valuation, Sea Limited is likely an excellent choice for allocating at least part of a $10,000 investment budget.
Since the pandemic, SoFi Technologies made acquisitions such as Galileo and Technisys with the goal of becoming the "AWS (Amazon Web Services) of fintech." This approach has brought the company almost 7 million members, 47% more than last year. These members hold about 10 million of its financial products, a rise of about 45% over the previous year.
However, the recovery that could bring about its next bull market relates to its original business, student loan refinancing. With the resumption of student loan payments, student loan originations came in at $919 million for the third quarter, a 101% yearly increase. Hence, it will likely surprise few that SoFi reported its 10th consecutive quarter of record revenue in Q3, bringing in $537 million in revenue, a 27% increase.
Moreover, SoFi reported a net loss of $267 million, a massive increase in losses. Still, $247 million of that loss came from a goodwill impairment, a non-cash expense. Thus, SoFi's march toward profitability continues.
Amid its improvements, SoFi stock is up about 55% in 2023. Additionally, its price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of around 4 is not far above historical lows. As it gains more customers and its student loan business resumes activity, SoFi appears poised to benefit those who deploy capital in this stock.
Organizations will continue needing security suites like the ones cybersecurity company Zscaler offers.
Its specialty is zero-trust security. This approach assumes every entrant into a network is potentially a threat. It identifies legitimate users with factors such as one's device or location. The level of access will also depend on one's rank in the company, which can likely mitigate the damage in case of a breach.
Zscaler released its initial zero-trust product in 2016, giving it a first-mover advantage. This approach helped it grow to more than 2,600 customers who spend $100,000 yearly on Zscaler products.
Thanks to that success, revenue of $443 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 (ended July 31) grew 43% year over year. The net loss for that period fell to $31 million, versus $98 million in the year-ago quarter.
Indeed, cloud adoption has slowed. Amazon, the largest cloud company, experienced yearly revenue growth falling to 12% versus 27% a year ago. This may have disappointed investors to the point that stock has not moved significantly higher in 2023.
Nonetheless, Allied Market Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% for zero-trust cybersecurity. If that's correct, Zscaler's growth should return.
Moreover, analysts expect it to turn a profit soon. This places its forward P/E at 70, a reasonable level given the magnitude of Zscaler's growth. With its P/S ratio of 14 near historical lows, investors should consider buying Zscaler during what is probably a temporary slump.
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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. Will Healy has positions in MercadoLibre, Sea Limited, SoFi Technologies, and Zscaler. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, MercadoLibre, Sea Limited, and Zscaler. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.