Why Wait for a Crash to Invest? These 3 Top Stocks Are Already Down More Than 40%

If you’re waiting for the broader stock market to plunge so you can go bargain-hunting, you may want to put your shopping shoes on now. Some top-quality stocks are already down by 30%, 40%, or even more from their all-time highs. 

Case in point: Shares of Zillow Group (NASDAQ:ZG) (NASDAQ:Z), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), and Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) are all trading at least 40% below their recent highs. These markdowns aren’t likely to last long.

A rubber stamp reading 40% off.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Zillow Group

Real estate is hot, but the leading online portal for residential housing has gone cold. As of the close on Tuesday (when it delivered its latest quarterly report), Zillow shares had fallen 42% from the peak they hit three months ago.

Revenue rose 8% in the first quarter, but that followed back-to-back quarters of double-digit percentage declines. 

If you would have expected Zillow to be holding up a lot better in this climate, the good news is that it’s doing just fine. What’s dragging its performance down is its home-flipping segment. Zillow’s iBuyer business lets folks sell their homes to the real estate giant through its Zillow Offers platform. The company can cash out sellers quickly, and because the site is so popular — with 221 million monthly active unique users — it doesn’t have a problem finding buyers quickly, too. 

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But Zillow intentionally scaled back its iBuyer dealings during the pandemic, and that segment’s revenues declined 9% through the first three months of this year. Now, it’s starting to ramp the operation back up. The rest of Zillow is rocking.  Revenues from its flagship internet, media, and technology segment rose 35% for the quarter. Its nascent mortgage segment is growing even faster. 

Housing is a seller’s market right now. That’s not welcome news for buyers, but it’s great for Zillow. Real estate agents are paying up to make sure their listings get noticed on the platform, and the rapid turnover of properties is keeping more people glued to the app.

2. Baidu

China’s leading search engine operator is starting to turn the corner, but you might not recognize that if all you were looking at was its stock chart or its latest financial results. Baidu’s share price has plunged 44% since peaking in February. Revenue rose a mere 5% in the fourth quarter, but that was actually the third straight period of accelerating top-line growth.

We’ll get a taste of how things are going when Baidu unveils its first-quarter numbers in two weeks. They should be impressive. Analysts are predicting a 31% increase in revenue for the period with earnings per share growing even faster.

Beyond search, Baidu is a leader in artificial intelligence. It’s raising the bar in self-driving car technology, and the company — which once seemed to be tethered to the world of the PC — now has a vibrant mobile ecosystem in place. The stock is also cheap, trading for a little more than 19 times this year’s projected earnings and 16 times next year’s target. Baidu has trounced Wall Street’s quarterly profit targets by at least double-digit percentages over the past year, so at some point down the road, investors may look back at today’s prices as offering an even better bargain valuation than they currently appear to.

3. Teladoc

Another stock that peaked in February is Teladoc, and it has seen the biggest drop of these three with a 49% belly flop. The popular telehealth provider released its first-quarter report last week, and it wasn’t bad at all. 

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Revenue soared 151% in the period. The Livongo Health acquisition helped pad results, but it still clocked in with strong organic growth from its namesake virtual healthcare platform. Total visits and sessions provided more than doubled year over year. 

There are two things holding Teladoc back, and neither one is as problematic as one would think for a company whose stock has nearly been cut in half in less than three months.

First, because Teladoc exploded in popularity during the pandemic, when it offered a safer alternative to in-person doctor visits, there’s an assumption that the momentum will go the other way as more people get vaccinated and fears about COVID-19 recede. That bearish view ignores that Teladoc was already growing rapidly before the pandemic. Moreover, millions of people have gotten used to using Teladoc as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional medical consultations, and it’s hard to imagine them abandoning it. 

The other knock on Teladoc is that telehealth competition will heat up in the near future. This isn’t a bad thing either. There will be plenty of new opportunities for all the players in this space to enjoy. And the fact that other companies are putting more weight into their own telehealth solutions would also seem to go against the first knock on Teladoc, in that those investments validate the business model. 

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Zillow, Baidu, and Teladoc are on sale. Don’t wait too long before going shopping.

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.


View more information: https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/05/06/why-wait-for-a-crash-to-invest-these-3-top-stocks/

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