From Jan. 1, 2019, till mid-November 2021, Shopify(NYSE: SHOP) stock took the market by storm with an 11-fold return thanks to its booming e-commerce business, rapid revenue growth, and massive total addressable market. But like many once red-hot tech stocks, Shopify is down a staggering 80% from its all-time high.
The company's 10-for-1 stock split, which should execute on June 28, will make it easier to own the stock. However, it doesn't change the investment thesis for Shopify as a company, which remains a compelling -- albeit high-risk, high-reward -- opportunity even after its sell-off.
Although many leading e-commerce stocks are down big over the last 18 months, some investors may be more interested in picks-and-shovels names with stable business models that can outlast a prolonged downturn. United Parcel Service(NYSE: UPS), Global-e Online(NASDAQ: GLBE), and Zebra Technologies(NASDAQ: ZBRA) stand out as three long-term winners. Here's why.
UPS is a layup in the e-commerce space
Daniel Foelber (UPS): Companies like Shopify and Etsy are exciting and could very well outperform the broader e-commerce industry over time. But for many investors, UPS may be a better buy.
The company underpins the domestic and global shipping industry. Amazon may dominate e-commerce. But there's been increasing investment by retailers like Walmart and Target over the years, which are taking more of their business online and using carriers like UPS. Similarly, consumer electronic companies like Apple are doing many more online orders.
Aside from existing companies doing more online sales, there's also the growing shift of small businesses taking their sales online. UPS is "merchant agnostic," so to speak. It benefits from the general trend of higher business-to-consumer and business-to-business shipping needs -- making it a catch-all way to invest in the e-commerce industry.
Best of all, UPS has a 3.6% dividend yield and a price to earnings ratio of 14.3 -- which provides a good source of passive income at a great value. With an impeccable management team and an incredibly efficient business model, UPS stock appeals to income and value investors alike.
For retailers, this solutions company offers a world of difference
Scott Levine (Global-e Online): With fears of a global recession rattling many people's nerves, many investors may not feel like now's the best time to go shopping for an e-commerce stock. But keeping one's feelings in check is one of the best strategies for successful investing. In fact, one of Warren Buffett's most familiar bits of wisdom is to be greedy when others are fearful, and if it's good enough for the Oracle of Omaha, it's good enough for me. That's why Global-e Online seems particularly appealing at the moment.
Unlike companies with a regional e-commerce focus like Coupang and MercadoLibre, Global-e is less concerned about international borders. On its website, for example, it characterizes itself as helping to make "selling internationally as simple as selling domestically." With its industry-leading platform, Global-e helps more than 650 retailers connect to customers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Making a $100 million investment in further solidifying its prowess, Global-e announced this week that it has reached an agreement with Pitney Bowes to acquire Borderfree, an e-commerce solutions business that helps retailers gain a foothold in new markets by assisting with compliance and regulations processing in more than 200 countries and territories.
Thanks to the concerns of a global economic downturn reducing customers' e-commerce demand, Global-e's stocks have taken a hit in 2022. Shares have fallen more than 69% year to date. But to completely forsake an investment in Global-e because of near-term challenges seems unwise at best. The growth of e-commerce is hardly a flash in the pan, and Global-e is well-positioned to benefit as customers increasingly embrace online shopping.
Down more than 50% in 2022, it's time to take a look at Zebra Technologies
Lee Samaha(Zebra Technologies): It hasn't been an easy year for this automatic identification and data capture company. While management maintained its full-year sales (adjusted net sales to rise 3% to 7%) on its first-quarter earnings call in April, it cut its full-year profit margin guidance due to "increased premium freight and supply chain costs from global pressures."
Unfortunately, there's little the company can do about rising freight costs and component supplies (notably from Asia). That said, the issues may prove temporary. So instead, investors should focus on the future drivers of the company's growth potential, one of which is driven by e-commerce.
Zebra makes data capture equipment, such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, and RFID readers. Its two largest end markets are retail and e-commerce, and transportation and logistics. The trend toward omnichannel retail is an obvious driver of end demand, as is the growing need for warehousing and logistic solutions for e-commerce fulfillment.
Simply put, there's never been a greater need to monitor and manage inventory and deliveries accurately than there is now. These trends will persist long after the supply chain issues pressuring Zebra's earnings in 2022 have disappeared. There's little doubt that Zebra will face cost pressures in the second quarter too, but with the stock being aggressively sold off, it's time to start looking at the longer-term perspective here.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Foelber has positions in Walmart Inc. Lee Samaha has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Scott Levine has positions in Coupang, Inc. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Apple, Coupang, Inc., Etsy, Global-e Online Ltd., MercadoLibre, Shopify, Target, and Zebra Technologies. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $1,140 calls on Shopify, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $1,160 calls on Shopify, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.