Patience has once again paid off for investors. Following the quickest decline of at least 30% in the history of the benchmark S&P 500 (it took roughly a month to shed a third of its value), the widely followed index has galloped higher by 91% over the trailing 15 months.
Although a number of high-growth companies that were previously off the radar have delivered big gains to investors, it’s brand-name stocks that are predominantly leading this charge. Just because a company is well-known doesn’t mean its growth rate is slowing, or that it can’t generate investors a boatload of money for its shareholders.
If long-term investors remain patient with the following trio of brand-name stocks, they could very well see a $100,000 investment transform into $1 million.
It may not be as synonymous with payments as Visa or Mastercard are, but fintech stock Square (NYSE:SQ) has quickly become a household name in finance. The crazy thing is that, even after seeing its shares climb 900% over the trailing four years, Square still offers the potential to turn a $100,000 investment into $1 million.
Most folks are probably familiar with Square for its highly successful seller ecosystem. This segment provides point-of-sale devices, loans, analytics, and other tools to help merchants succeed. In the seven years leading up to the pandemic, the gross payment volume (GPV) conducted on Square’s network grew by an average of 49% per year to hit $106.2 billion. Based on the $33.1 billion in GPV registered in the first quarter of 2021, it looks to be on its way to easily topping $130 billion in GPV this year.
Although greater adoption of Square’s seller ecosystem tools is helping boost GPV, what’s particularly notable about this segment is that it’s being used by bigger merchants. The percentage of GPV derived from sellers with at least $125,000 in annualized GPV has grown from 52% in Q1 2019 to 61% in the latest quarter. Since this is a merchant fee-driven operating segment, bigger businesses have the potential to really push gross profit higher.
However, Square’s big-time growth driver is peer-to-peer digital payments platform Cash App. In a three-year stretch, the number of monthly active users more than quintupled to 36 million. To boot, each of these users was generating $41 in gross profit. Comparatively, it’s costing less than $5 to bring in new monthly active users.
The great thing about Cash App is it’s allowing Square to generate revenue in a variety of ways. It can collect merchant fees, benefit from expedited bank transfers, and is seeing a huge revenue boost from people using the platform to invest. In particular, Bitcoin exchange has pumped up the company’s revenue growth and driven new users to the platform.
Suffice it to say, patient investors in Square may well become millionaires.
Another brand-name stock that has all the tools necessary to turn a $100,000 investment into $1 million is stay-and-hosting platform Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB). Unlike Square, Airbnb isn’t profitable yet. However, it has the potential to completely transform the multitrillion-dollar hotel and travel industry.
As you can imagine, Airbnb’s 2020 was a year to forget. With the pandemic raging worldwide, bookings were down across the board. What you might not realize, though, is how quickly Airbnb was growing prior to the pandemic (primarily because it wasn’t even a publicly traded company until December 2020). Between 2016 and 2019, the number of bookings on Airbnb’s platform catapulted from 52 million to 272 million.
What’s more, Airbnb has been achieving this booking growth with “only” 4 million hosts globally. There are more than 130 million households in the U.S., and probably over 1 billion worldwide. Once homeowners realize the cash flow that could be generated from utilizing their property for hosting, Airbnb’s pool of available rentals should soar.
Additionally, Airbnb isn’t solely focused on disrupting the traditional hotel model. It’s also aiming to be a force once travelers reach their destination. The company’s Experiences segment seeks out local experts to lead travelers on adventures. This segment is still in its very early stages of growth, but is likely to create those “unforgettable moments” that lead users back to the Airbnb booking platform over and over.
With its sales expected to more than triple to $10.5 billion by 2024, Airbnb looks to be well on its way to becoming a leader in the travel industry.
Don’t let its $225 billion market cap fool you. If cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software company salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) continues to grow at its current pace, it’ll have little issue turning a $100,000 investment into $1 million over time.
Without getting overly technical, CRM software can be used by any consumer-facing businesses to oversee their client base. It allows for real-time information logging, product and service issue resolution, and can offer predictive analyses of what new products or services existing clients might want to buy. Global CRM software sales have been growing annually by a double-digit percentage, and should continue to do so for many years to come.
If you’re wondering where salesforce fits into this, it’s sitting on the top rung of the ladder. According to IDC, salesforce controlled an estimated 19.8% of global market revenue share in the first half of 2020. Even with a number of new entrants into the cloud-based CRM space, salesforce has nearly four times the share of its next-closest competitor, Oracle.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has also overseen a number of smart acquisitions that have either expanded the company’s service offerings or helped it appeal to a broader base of enterprise customers. At the moment, salesforce is in the process of acquiring Slack Technologies for what was announced as a $27.7 billion cash-and-stock deal. Though it’ll add a new dimension to salesforce’s revenue stream, the real value of Slack’s cloud-based enterprise communications platform is to allow salesforce to cross-sell to the small-and-medium-sized businesses that utilize Slack.
Despite its megacap size, Benioff has his company on track to grow sales from $21.3 billion in fiscal 2021 to at least $50 billion by fiscal 2026. If this growth pace keeps up, salesforce can be a brand-name millionaire-maker.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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