As the founder, CEO, and lead portfolio manager for ARK Invest, Cathie Wood is one busy person. Wood has excelled in each of these roles, and was named the best stock picker in 2020 by Bloomberg News. Last year, Ark’s flagship ARK Innovation ETF trounced the greater market by posting a mind-boggling 148% return.
A return to the mean was always likely, and ARK Innovation is slightly in the red year to date and down 20% from highs established in February. Investors have rotated to value stocks like banks and energy, and sold disruptive technology stocks Wood favors.
However, that hasn’t changed Wood’s long-term focus, and she’s doubled down on many names. Here are three growth stocks from her portfolio down 25% (or more) from their 52-week highs that are positioned for long-term success.
Spotify’s brilliant podcasting move will pay off
Shares of Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) are down 38% from year-to-date highs, most recently due to sluggish monthly active user growth in the second quarter. Like many of the investments in Wood’s portfolio, Spotify was considered a pandemic stock and benefited from the work-from-home shift — shares doubled in 2020. Spotify stock might have taken a breather this year, but the financials point to continued success.
Spotify is well on the way to eliminating its biggest weakness. The unit economics of the music industry are difficult and competitive, particularly among Spotify’s 210 million ad-supported monthly active users (MAUs) as it competes against free radio and outlets like Apple Music. During the second quarter, it was weakness in MAU growth that sent shares tumbling.
Despite slightly missing MAU figures, Spotify continues to be effective at converting users into more lucrative paying subscribers. The company reported a 20% year-over-year increase in subscribers last quarter, at the top end of management’s expectations. This helped the company post $2.75 billion in revenue, higher than analyst expectations of $2.23 billion.
Much of the growth can be credited to Spotify’s recent moves into podcasting. Last year Spotify signed podcaster Joe Rogan to a massive $100 million contract and followed that up this year with a $60 million deal with Alexandra Cooper of “Call Her Daddy.”
For Spotify, podcasting packs a one-two punch: In addition to boosting subscribers, the unit economics of podcasting are more favorable than music over the long term. There’s no wonder the area is red-hot with both Apple and Netflix racing to build out their capability. In the short run, they’re unlikely to compete with Spotify, and it’s likely Cathie Wood knows that.
Zillow Group could revolutionize the homebuying process
Shares of real-estate-focused website Zillow Group (NASDAQ:ZG) (NASDAQ:Z) have been cut in half since February. That’s a significant change in fortunes; the company advanced nearly 200% last year as the pandemic unpredictably boosted home sales and prices. The housing market is beginning to return to normal, as sales of new homes fell to a pandemic-era low in June.
Despite the recent setback, Zillow remains primed for long-term growth by continuing to disrupt a trillion-dollar industry. In an era of e-commerce and on-demand transactions, the homebuying process is a relic of yesteryear. Homebuying is not only time-consuming, it’s full of middlemen that can take as much as 10% of the transaction cost!
Zillow started as a database but continues to move deeper into the transactional process by incorporating valuation, financing, and agent referral functionality. In 2019, the company took its most aggressive move to disrupt the market completely by launching Zillow Offers, an iBuying program through which the company transacts with homebuyers and sellers directly.
The company has competition in the space from Redfin and Opendoor Technologies, but iBuying will not be a winner-take-all market, and Zillow’s massive user database and history will allow the company to win significant share. iBuying could disrupt a trillion-dollar industry, and Zillow will be one of the major winners.
Etsy’s acquisitions position it for geographical and Gen Z success
Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) shares are down 25% from 52-week highs established in March. Like Spotify, the most recent catalyst was second-quarter earnings. Although the company beat analyst expectations for revenue and earnings, analysts were concerned with slowing user growth and forward guidance.
The company guided for third-quarter revenue of $513 million at the midpoint, lower than analyst forecasts of $528 million. Additionally, new buyer growth decelerated from last-year’s pandemic mania, although habitual buyers (six or more purchase days and $200 in yearly spend) continue to grow at a rapid clip.
There are reasons to be excited about Etsy’s path forward due to its recent acquisitions. First, the company has acquired Depop, the Gen Z-friendly apparel resale app. This category is expected to double to nearly $80 billion by 2025.
Additionally, the company acquired the “Etsy of Brazil,” Elo7. This gives Etsy a foothold in the Latin American e-commerce market that is expected to triple in value by 2025. Investors might not like the results in the short term, but the company is positioning itself for long-term success.
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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