Those who had hoped cryptocurrencies might provide a hedge against the twists and turns of the stock market have mostly been met with disappointment lately. These investments might still be a good fit for some investors’ portfolios. But if you are looking to build a basket of holdings that can stand the test of time — and generate profitable returns in the process — you don’t have to invest in crypto.
Let’s take a look instead at three growth-oriented stocks you may want to consider adding to your portfolio in the near future.
1. Intuitive Surgical
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG -3.85%) leads the way in the vast, multi-billion-dollar surgical robotics industry, commanding an approximate market share of 80%. The success of its da Vinci Surgical System, which has been used in millions of minimally invasive procedures around the globe since it was first cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000, has enabled the company to build a strong track record of financial growth and a highly profitable business.
Over the past five years alone, the company has increased its annual revenue by 82%. And during that same trailing five-year period, it grew its annual net income by a whopping 154%.
The pandemic, and the lingering effects it continues to have on different parts of the world, have affected Intuitive Surgical’s performance in recent quarterly reports, simply because these dynamics have resulted in fewer surgical procedures being performed than usual. However, these elements won’t be permanent, and the company has already shown strong signs that it’s staying the course.
In the first half of 2022, Intuitive Surgical’s revenue grew 9% year over year to surpass $3 billion. Its net income, while down on a year-over-year basis, still came to more than $673 million for the six-month period. The company also has tons of cash on its balance sheet, $8.2 billion as of last count.
And in the most recent quarter, Intuitive Surgical reported that 14% more da Vinci procedures were performed globally than in the year-ago period, while its installed base of surgical systems was 13% higher at the end of that three-month stretch than in the year before.
Although the stock is trading down at the moment, in line with the behavior we’ve seen from other growth-oriented stocks, its business remains strong. Plus, the headwinds it’s facing aren’t specific to the business but to the industry in which it operates. Long-term buy-and-hold investors may want to use this opportunity to snatch up this healthcare stock while it’s heavily discounted.
2. Ulta Beauty
If you’re worried about what changing developments in consumer spending might mean for a company like Ulta Beauty (ULTA -1.17%)if a recession occurs, it’s worth noting that the beauty industry has a rather fascinating history when it comes to dealing with a difficult or even recessionary economic environment. While the past can’t be used to predict the future, beauty spending has traditionally remained fairly strong even when people tighten their belts on other purchases during a period of economic slowdown.
There are a number of potential reasons commonly cited as the impetuses for this divergence in consumer spending patterns. For one, while the beauty industry is hardly immune to the effect of inflation, prices in this industry tend to rise at a far slower clip than in other product sectors. In addition, there’s something known as the “lipstick effect” that has been witnessed in past recessions, which essentially refers to the idea that even when money is tight, people will still want to spend on smaller indulgences like beauty products.
According to a report from IBISWorld, Ulta Beauty accounts for nearly 30% of all revenue generated in the Beauty, Cosmetics, & Fragrance Stores industry. To give context, this market is currently valued at nearly $30 billion in the U.S. alone. As for the broader beauty and personal care market, it hit a global valuation of $534 billion this year.
Over the trailing five-year period, Ulta Beauty has grown its annual revenue and net income by respective amounts of 47% and 78%. Meanwhile, the stock has delivered a total return of 109% for investors in that period, compared to the S&P 500’s return of 53%.
And in the most recent quarter, Ulta Beauty beat Wall Street’s expectations on all counts. Not only was revenue up 17% year over year, but its bottom line increased nearly 18% while diluted earnings per share jumped 25%.
Looking beyond the possibility of a recession, Ulta Beauty’s strong market foothold and robust track record of financial growth make it a worthwhile investment to consider for the long haul.
3. Match Group
When it comes to the world of dating apps, few companies compete with the market dominance and brand authority that Match Group (MTCH -6.68%) continues to wield.
According to a survey that the company conducted in July 2021, approximately 60% of all relationships that are initiated online involve one of Match Group’s brands. Not only is the company’s well-known product Tinder the most downloaded dating app on the face of the planet, but Match Group boasts a paying user count of more than 16 million individuals worldwide across its various brands.
The U.S. dating app market hit nearly $6 billion in revenue in 2021, and about half of that was generated by Match Group. It should come as no surprise that Match Group remains the market leader in the dating app space.
The Tinder app captures more than a 32% share of the U.S. dating app market. When you roll other Match Group products into the mix, including Hinge, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, and Match, that brings the company’s slice of the U.S. dating app market alone to roughly 65%.
In the most recent quarter, Match Group reported that total revenue jumped 12% from the year-ago period, while payers across its various platforms and revenue per payer increased by respective amounts of 10% and 3%. Direct revenue from Tinder jumped 13% year over year, while revenue generated from Match Group’s other brands popped by 12%.
While investors may have shied away because of some near-term hurdles — among them, currency fluctuations, weaker performance from Tinder, and less-than-stellar guidance — the company’s robust market leadership and diverse brands should eventually pave a strong path ahead.