With the potential for another big government stimulus package and investors worried about inflation and rising asset prices, lots of people are looking for smart places to put their money right now. Volatility stemming from coronavirus vaccine complications and the GameStop situation kicking off short-squeeze mania has made the outlook more complicated, and the S&P 500 index has now slipped into negative territory on the year.
However, there are still great stocks on the market with big room for growth, and consistent investors with a steady approach should be able to seize opportunities created by the uncertainty. With that in mind, read on for a look at three hot stocks that could deliver huge returns for shareholders over the long term.
1. Fiverr International
If you were starting a small business and wanted a logo made quickly and inexpensively, there’s a good chance you could find someone willing to do it on Fiverr International (NYSE:FVRR). The company operates an online gig-labor market place, allowing freelance workers to connect with potential clients, and it’s on track to benefit from what could be one of this century’s most significant economic shifts — the rise of the gig economy.
A growing number of jobs are being done on a freelance or contract-work basis, representing a move away from traditional employment structures. In many cases, this pivot winds up saving employers big money and can also grant added project flexibility.
As the company’s name suggests, much of the pitch for Fiverr’s platform has been focused around affordability. However, it’s a young company that’s already posting fantastic growth, and should be able to keep winning at different ends of the gig-labor pricing market. Fiverr’s sales soared 88% year over year in the third quarter, and it looks primed for more hot growth as it attracts new users and explores opportunities to get larger businesses on board.
Fiverr has a market capitalization of roughly $7.25 billion and is still a relatively young company. Charting its trajectory involves some speculation, but the company’s strengths in the gig economy could be parlayed into new growth opportunities if this promising market continues on its current track. Growth for the gig economy is just getting started, and Fiverr stands out as a top stock in the space.
China is the world’s largest e-commerce market, and online retail in the country continues to grow at a rapid clip. The Chinese economy also bounced back from coronavirus-related challenges faster than any other major economy. It was the only major economy to post growth in 2020, and The World Bank projects that the country’s GDP will expand at a brisk 7.9% in 2021.
With that kind of trajectory, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that companies from all over the world are looking to China’s e-commerce market as a core part of their growth strategies. Baozun (NASDAQ:BZUN) is a Shanghai-based company that’s helping many large Western brands thrive in the Middle Kingdom.
The company provides e-commerce website creation tools and a bevy of other support services that includes marketing, customer service, warehousing, and shipping. Companies including Microsoft, Nike, and PVH‘s Calvin Klein turn to Baozun for help with their business in China, and it has room for big growth if it can continue to bring new clients on board and benefit from rapid expansion for the country’s economy.
Baozun stock price has surged roughly 20% over the last month on news that it had taken a 4% ownership position in iClick and would be partnering with the data and marketing software company to bring new features to brand partners. Even after the recent rally, Baozun stock price trades down 38% from the high it reached in 2018, and it looks cheaply valued trading at roughly 24 times this year’s expected earnings.
3. Lumen Technologies
Lumen Technologies (NYSE:LUMN) is a company that didn’t fully participate in the post-March crash recovery. The company’s share price trades down roughly 25% from its 52-week high despite recent positive momentum, and shares for this telecommunications player on a turnaround mission continue to look undervalued.
Lumen’s core internet services have faced waning pricing power and tightening demand amid competition, and landline phone service continues to be a shrinking market. A heavy debt load combined with a challenging competitive environment prompted the company to slash its dividend last year, and the cut still seems to be weighing on the minds of the market. Investors shouldn’t fixate on it.
With shares trading at less than nine times this year’s expected earnings and sporting an 8.1% dividend yield, Lumen is trading at non-prohibitive multiples and still packs a hefty payout. The cost of covering the company’s forward dividend distribution comes in at just 39% of free cash flow over the trailing 12-month period. That’s a level that suggests the dividend is safely covered and that the company should have room to pay down debt and fund its turnaround initiatives.
Low earnings multiples and a big dividend might not mean much if Lumen’s business was on an irreversible decline, but the company has some promising avenues back to growth. The company is aiming to refocus its business by pivoting to high-performance, high-margin fiber internet and pursuing some supplementary initiatives, including edge computing and Internet of Things services.
With the stock looking cheap and sporting a big yield, shares could deliver big returns for patient investors if the business can execute.
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.