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If you've been following the logic of the markets lately, it's telling us a coronavirus vaccine is bad news for tech stocks.
The Dow rallied over 1,000 points on the news that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has announced its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective. But the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 2% on the week.
Many stay-at-home stocks like Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) and Peloton Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ: PTON) stumbled on the news and are down double digits on the hopes of returning to normal life. Zoom plunged over 25% by mid-week.
Many have compared the current run in tech stocks to the dot-com bubble. Excessive speculation on Internet companies drove share prices up until the market peaked in early 2000, and then the whole thing came crumbling down.
I'm here to tell you this is not the case today. Far from it. And it's giving us the opportunity to invest in some of the best tech stocks on the planet for absurd discounts.
The reality is many tech companies are rapidly growing businesses across a wide range of industries, many of which are displacing older technologies and will persist long after we have a vaccine. Trends that had already started before the pandemic have only been accelerated and will continue to do so far into the future.
When I think about the trends, I like to take a step back and think about what companies are creating a fundamental change in how we live our lives and how we do business.
For example, I believe companies like Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY) and DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU) will continue to prosper. Chewy, an online retailer of pet food and other pet-related products whose stock is up almost 200% since the start of the pandemic is taking advantage of a shift in consumer preference. With stores closed across the country, it's understandable why the company has done so well. Even better, now that the economy is opening back up, I can't see why these customers would ever go back to the store.
Why would you want to carry around a 30-pound bag of dog food when you could get it delivered right to your door? With pet owners rarely changing brands, this type of investment makes sense.
It's the same story with DocuSign, a company providing electronic signature services. This company really showed its true colors during the pandemic as anyone signing a mortgage or any kind of legal document needed this. Now as the economy is opening back up, many have realized the convenience of signing online versus pen and paper. No more printing, faxing, or traveling to an office when you can do it all on your phone or computer.
In short, you should look for a lasting effect when investing in tech.
That's why I'm looking at these three tech stocks that are taking over their industries.
These aren't flashes in the pan. And they certainly aren't going away because there's a coronavirus vaccine.
This E-Commerce Stock Is the Amazon of Southeast Asia
Sea Ltd. (NYSE: SE), while not as well-known as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), is currently my favorite e-commerce stock. And just like Amazon, it has its hands in other business as well. It has SeaMoney, a digital wallet and fintech platform, and Garena, one of the fastest-growing gaming companies.
Operating in seven countries in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore) they have access to a huge market with massive potential.
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Right now, I want to focus on its e-commerce business as this industry has been a huge unstoppable trend that's gotten an even bigger boost from the pandemic.
According to a recent Google report, "over a third of 2020's online commerce was generated by new shoppers, of which 8 in 10 intend to continue buying online going forward." This is a truly amazing static and one that is very telling regarding the future of e-commerce.
As I mentioned with Chewy, the ease of something delivered right to your door can't be done with a physical store, and small businesses have found they can expand their market by selling online. That is a big part of the reason we have seen stocks like Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) soar over 300% this year.
This shift has helped Shopee, Sea's e-commerce platform, sell $8 billion worth of goods, driving revenue up 187.7% versus the year prior. This accelerated growth in a market that is not even close to full saturation provides significant opportunity. E-commerce in the region has grown exponentially since 2015, where only $5.5 billion was spent online. We are currently at $62 billion, and by 2025 it's projected to be a $172 billion market, over double what we are at right now.
But that's just one part of Sea's portfolio.
The company is firing on all cylinders and producing great results from its other divisions as well. With video games more popular than ever, its gaming platform has been hitting records. Free Fire recently had over 100 million peak daily active users, and its platform more than doubled its monthly paying users year over year.
Outside of its own games, it also operated a third-party distribution platform and has exclusive licenses to distribute some of the most popular titles in the world, including League of Legends, FIFA Online 3, and Arena of Valor.
All of this has pushed Garena to grow its revenue 61.6% since last year.
Now let's turn to its last segment.
SeaMoney continues to experience strong demand for digital payments and financial services with the rise of the digital economy. Propelled by growth of its Shopee platform and integration with its mobile wallet service, it ended the second quarter with more than 1.6 billion in mobile wallet payments and 15 million quarterly paying users for its mobile wallet services. On top of that, over 45% of Shopee's orders in Indonesia, its largest market, used SeaMoney.
Sea is spending in all the right places and is quickly becoming a top player in e-commerce, fintech, and gaming.
This Top Tech Stock Dominates Big Data
Can you imagine life without being able to search the web? I know I can't, and that is a big part of the reason why Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), has turned into a $1 trillion mammoth.
But while Google has dominated the search box, another company has taken it one step further: Elastic N.V. (NYSE: ESTC).
While Google dominates the web, just imagine everywhere else that data lives and how important it is to find it - searching your cloud storage folder for files and pictures, figuring out what to watch on Netflix, and even finding the closet Uber.
On the enterprise side, large corporations need to search through patents, automotive manufacturers look at engine data, and your company's IT department needs to sift through millions of rows of security logs to protect corporate data.
Search exists anywhere there is data, and we live in a time where data is exploding. Ninety percent of the world's data was created in the last two years alone. It is no wonder search is such a big opportunity.
Elastic, founded in 2012 as a search company, builds self-managed and SaaS offerings for search, logging, security, and analytics. The company develops the open source Elastic Stack, which includes Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash.
What gets me most excited about Elastic is looking at its customer list. EBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), Wikipedia, Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER), Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT), Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), and thousands of other companies with widespread use cases all use its technology.
Search has moved beyond Google and simply typing text into a box.
Uber and Lyft use search to match locations and drivers, and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) uses it for real-time analytics. Just imagine Walmart sells over 150 bananas a second. With Elastic, it can track and analyze billions in sales at once, something Google only does for itself.
As data grows, so do the opportunities. Elastic continues to see double-digit growth with last quarter seeing 44% revenue growth. The number of customers keeps growing as well, and it now has over 12,000 subscription customers and over 600 customers with annual contract value of more than $100,000.
One statistic that stands out to me is its 130% net expansion rate. When this number is over 100%, it means that growth from existing customers offsets any losses. In other words, its current base is growing spend.
While Elastic had started with just search, it has expanded into new markets such as observability, where it can provide solutions for enterprises to log, analyze, and observe events. This is just one example of how it can expand its user base.
Data will continue to grow, and the need for search and companies like Elastic will become more and more important.
The Best Tech Stock to Buy Now
Today, almost everyone is watching content over the Internet. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has almost 200 million subscribers, Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) has 43 million monthly active users, and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), which launched Disney+ less than one year ago, already has 60.5 million signed up.
But I'm not interested in the company providing the content or platform - I'm looking at this from a completely different angle.
One company that I see profiting no matter who has the most subscribers is Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD).
It's amazing how much time we actually spend watching advertisements. Roughly 20% of the time you spend watching TV is commercials, and companies are spending a lot of money to get there. This is a prime market and a major reason why advertisers are spending an average of $5 million per ad during the super bowl.
On TV alone, $230 billion is spent on advertising according to IDC.
That's why it makes sense to target a company essential to video advertising as streaming services grow.
Audiences are increasingly accessing content via connected TV (CTV) platforms like Apple TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast, and there is no slowing down from here.
And with that, those ad dollars going to traditional TV are shifting to connected TV and the online video market.
Right now, we have the opportunity to participate in an industry facing its largest disruptive event ever. Just like Google helped shift advertising online and Facebook helped shift spending to social media, we now have the shift from traditional TV advertising to connected TV and video.
This is where Trade Desk comes in. It operates a platform for purchasing ads in a digital format with a focus on CTV and video. Being platform-neutral, it works with all the media companies, which means it can serve ads on any CTV services, whether it be on Disney's Hulu or NBCUniversal's Peacock.
With millions of viewers already accessing their content on CTV versus clicking through channels on an old cable box, advertising dollars are following close behind.
In Q3 2020, despite the impact from the pandemic, connected TV advertisers spend was up over 100% year over year for Trade Desk, a huge acceleration over the last year.
The Trade Desk has proven the value of CTV advertising, and advertisers are now flocking to the service in fear of missing out. Seven billion dollars a year is already being spent on CTV, and while this is only a small fraction of the $230 billion, this just means we have the chance to get in early. The industry is still in its infancy, and with Trade Desk valued at less than $40 billion, there is a lot more room to run.
There is a fundamental shift happening in how TV is being watched, and Trade Desk is capturing the new CTV market with its massive reach. It has access to over 80 million households and 120 million CTV devices. While sales growth did slow during the first two quarters of the year for its overall business due to the pandemic, that proved to only be a small bump in a road as it accesses the huge digital advertising addressable market. Even through the slower overall growth, it has managed to stay profitable and has been every quarter for the last seven years.
Three Stocks Even Better Than TTD
Chief Investment Strategist Shah Gilani just held his first-ever stock-picking lightning round event - running through more than 50 stocks to tell you if they are stocks to buy or stocks to sell.
Dozens are overpriced and overhyped - you should ditch them ASAP.
But Shah says THESE three stocks are "screaming buys."
All three are trading at a discount... they're under-the-radar companies most people haven't even heard of... and they have massive tailwinds ready to send their share prices into the stratosphere.
To get the company names, tickers, and price targets for Shah's picks, go here now.
About the Author
Alex Kagin is the Director of Technology Investing Research at Money Map Press. He has spent the last decade working in equity research, most recently with Energy Capital Research Group (ECRG), where he led technology stock research along with working as part of a team developing a customizable financial data platform for securities analysis.
Prior to joining ECRG, Alex spent 8 years at DeMatteo Research, a boutique primary research firm and broker-dealer servicing the institutional investment community. He managed the Tech, Media, and Telecom vertical where he spent time connecting with hundreds of tech executives and hedge funds to get the pulse of the market.
Alex has a B.S. in Economics from American University and previously held Series 7 and 63 security licenses.