If you find yourself looking nervously at the latest stock market news wondering if another crash or correction is imminent, you’re definitely not alone. But as a long-term investor, it’s important to remember that short-term market developments shouldn’t change your overall investing goals, strategy, or thesis.
What you should be doing right now is shoring up your nest egg and adjusting your portfolio to better withstand the next market downturn, whenever it might come. If your emergency fund is already up to snuff and you have some extra cash to beef up your portfolio, here are two growth stocks to consider buying before the next correction.
Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) recorded remarkable growth in 2020. Its revenues nearly doubled, and the total number of virtual healthcare visits completed on its platform increased by 156% from the prior year.
At the height of the pandemic — as hundreds of millions of people around the world were confined to their homes for extended periods, and doctor’s appointments and medical procedures were regularly postponed — patients and providers alike turned to digital healthcare solutions. But, as the U.S. and some other countries slowly transition back toward more normal conditions, the demand for quality virtual healthcare isn’t going away.
As the largest telehealth platform in the world, Teladoc is meeting the lion’s share of this ever-growing demand. And Grand View Research estimates that the global telemedicine industry will achieve a whopping $298.9 billion valuation by 2028.
Teladoc’s acquisition of virtual care platform InTouch Health in July and its merger with fellow telehealth giant Livongo in October solidified its leadership in this market. Its services meet an array of needs, from general healthcare to mental health solutions. And on May 11, Teladoc announced that it was launching myStrength Complete, “an integrated mental health service providing personalized, targeted care to consumers in a single, comprehensive experience.”
The company’s rapid expansions of its business and its service offerings are also driving notable balance sheet growth. In the first quarter of 2021, the company reported that visits on its platform were up 56% year over year, and its revenues surged by a robust 151% to $453.7 million.
Management expects to significantly exceed that top-line result in the second quarter, with projections for revenues of between $495 million and $505 million. They’re also projecting that Teladoc will hit around $2 billion in total revenues for the full year. The healthcare industry has historically shown great resilience through times of market downturn, and the demand for Teladoc’s services in an increasingly virtual society are unlikely to wane even if the market does fall again in the near future. Some analysts agree, suggesting 104% upside is left for the stock. If you’re a long-term investor searching for a high-growth play that can weather market storms, Teladoc looks too good to pass up.
Another market that has experienced accelerated growth over the past year and that’s primed for additional rapid expansion is digital payments. The global digital payments industry is on track to hit a valuation of nearly $176 billion by 2026, according to analysts at Research and Markets.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), already a notable leader in this highly lucrative space, is being propelled by those tailwinds, and 2020, was its most robust year of growth since its founding. Net revenues increased by 22% while operating income and earnings per share (EPS) surged by 21% and 71%, respectively.
The company’s record-setting growth has continued into 2021, with what management called the “strongest first quarter results in PayPal’s history.” Total payment volume shot up 46% from the year-ago period, and that it added 14.5 million net new active accounts to its platform. Moreover, net revenues surged by nearly 30% year over year in Q1, while operating income and EPS skyrocketed by 162% and 1,200%, respectively.
PayPal is also continuing to widen the gap between its debt position and its liquidity. At the end of the first quarter, the company had about $9 billion in debt on its balance sheet, while its total cash, cash equivalents, and investments came to $19 billion.
Management forecasts that PayPal can increase its revenues by 20% in 2021, and analysts project that it will generate a similar average annual earnings growth rate over the next five years. The digital payments sector has shown itself to be remarkably bulletproof in a variety of market environments, and the use of cashless payment solutions has only increased since the pandemic began. If you’re keen to invest in the fintech revolution but don’t want to expose your portfolio to excess volatility in the event of a market downturn, PayPal offers an attractive mixture of growth, value, and stability that could fuel decades’ worth of returns.
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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