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Remote work stocks had a massive run in 2020 as pandemic lockdowns set in and as much as 50% of the U.S. workforce left risky offices to work from home.
Stocks saw 633% gains... 77% gains... 84% gains.
Of course, in late 2020, with three coronavirus vaccines on the horizon, investors decided "it's just a fad" and dumped the one-time outperformers at whatever price they could get.
Now, the thing about markets is they're always forward-looking; you buy a stock, you buy a piece of future earnings.
But the market's not always right, and the "Sell" calls on a lot of these stocks were, well, premature. In fact, looking forward myself, I see bigger gains than ever for a couple of these stocks, but there's only one I want to own right now...
Turns Out Working from Home Isn't a Fad After All
Jittery investors who played every COVID impact on the markets for all it was worth saw the COVID vaccines as a sign that everything was going to go back to normal; all the changes the pandemic brought would be undone.
But of course, now we know that's not true. About half the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, to be sure, but that means a little less than half isn't. Several states are seeing surges of the delta variant coronavirus that are as bad or worse than anything they went through in 2020.
Offices are filling up again, but at a small fraction of pre-pandemic occupancy. Big companies - America's business leaders like Apple, Google, and Facebook - who had mid-September return-to-work dates penciled in are now postponing those dates indefinitely, despite the fact that lots of these companies operate in places with high vaccine uptake.
And then there are those who just don't want to go back to the office full-time, who've gotten comfortable working from home - or the beach.
Polls conducted this summer show a whopping 87% of respondents want to be able to continue to have the option to work remotely, even after the pandemic subsides.
And 33% of those polled said they did not want to work for an employer that required them to be onsite full-time. Half of them expressed their willingness to find a new employer if their current one doesn't extend their current work from home policy.
COVID is going to end, one way or another, but a lot of folks who've had a taste of this new lifestyle seem to like it, and if companies want to keep them, they're going to have to continue to invest in work-from-home technologies.
Judging from the price action we're seeing in the market's biggest, most well-known work-from-home stocks, the market hasn't figured out what employees and their bosses already have, which gives us an opportunity to own some of the best plays at a discount too good to pass up.
It might feel like 2020 all over again making this recommendation, but the profits will more than make up for it.
Everyone Loves to Hate the Best Play Here
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) flew mighty high during the depths of the pandemic; that was that the 633% gainer I mentioned earlier.
As a platform, I don't know anyone that loves Zoom. It's okay working one-on-one, but add more than two people and it can get weird. Sometimes you're looking at a black screen trying to gauge the reaction of your colleagues, there's often an annoying lag that causes people to start talking over one another, making "Oh. No, you go ahead" the most popular business buzzwords right now, and we've all seen the video of that poor lawyer who had to appear via Zoom in front of a judge while he was morphed into a cat.
But most of us need Zoom, and for investors, that's what really counts. The stock got absolutely clobbered in late 2020 and early 2021 as speculators pocketed profits in anticipation of an outcome we didn't exactly get. The stock has lost nearly 50% of its value since October 2020. The company saw 54% revenue growth, year-on-year, last quarter and its quarterly margins are incredible - 74% gross profit margins and 28% operating margins.
During the Zoom lovefest of 2020, a lot of bears pointed at Zoom's massive free (non-paying) user base as a reason to be skeptical of the stock, but those fears haven't really been validated. The company is looking at 325% sales growth for 2021. Its trailing 12-month P/E ratio seems high at 57.55, but it's actually lower than the software industry average.
I don't think this "sale" is going to last much longer, either. Another "COVID winter" is coming, during which I think the market's going to fall in love with ZM all over again. Own it before that happens.
The clock is ticking on a few stocks, in fact. I know one EV company - not a big-cap, by any stretch, but a small, $2 company - that's looking to go public on a major United States stock exchange right now. It could be listed any day now. The thing is, this firm just had an 1,147% run over the past year, and a big U.S. listing means that incredible performance could potentially repeat itself. Not $5, $10, or even $15, but it could hit well over $20 per share, netting another 1,147% or better gain over the next year. Take a look at this, and decide if you're in or out.
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About the Author
Andrew Keene is a globally known trader and a renowned expert on all things options.
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