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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the perpetual "one that got away." You always hear investors say something along the lines of, "Well, if only I'd grabbed it at its IPO" or "If I got in in the late 1990s, I'd be loaded now..."
The company is up more than 172,400% since its debut. Last April, Jeff Bezos famously shared a letter from a couple who bought their son two shares in the late 1990s and held on for a six-figure profit.
Here's the beautiful thing about tech stocks: Lightning can most definitely strike twice.
I'm looking at one of Latin America's biggest e-commerce success stories right now, and I see almost eerie parallels to Amazon. It's made my readers nearly 200% in gains since I first brought it to their attention, and now I'm going "big" with the story.
I think everyone needs to own this company - pronto...
This Latin American Giant Squashed Forecasts
Buenos Aires, Argentina-based Mercadolibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) reported that sales in the June quarter came in at $1.7 billion. That amounted to a double from the year-ago period and handily beat Wall Street predictions.
The knock-the-leather-off-the-ball performance is starting to give Mercado Libre a well-deserved reputation as the "Amazon of Latin America."
E-commerce is taking off in Latin America in a big way, and that is a big advantage for this leading player already operating in 18 countries.
According to Statista, the region already has some 300 million digital customers, with a projected 20% growth by 2025 boosting that number to around 360 million.
And on top of that, online retail is projected to almost double to $160 billion by 2025.
Call them bears or pessimists or whatever you like, but some folks point to the (true) fact that Latin America lags other emerging markets when it comes to e-commerce adoption. There's no point trying to dance around that, but unlike the bears, I see that as truly vast headroom - space to grow.
Besides, COVID-19 has hit Latin America just as hard or harder than it's hit the rest of the world.
With the increased reliance on e-commerce because of the pandemic, the struggles to meet this crisis have shown the whole world just how important these online services can be. The situation isn't a bit different from when Amazon sales skyrocketed during the peak of the disease in the United States.
The two companies are even more similar than that...
Similar Beginnings, Different Trajectories
Like Hewlett Packard, Google, Apple, Amazon, and a lot of other American tech juggernauts from Silicon Valley, Mercado Libre started from humble beginnings - a garage, of all places.
Whereas Amazon and Apple launched into a dynamic, practically booming U.S. economy, Mercado Libre launched in Buenos Aires in 1999, at a time when the Argentinean economy was for all intents and purposes a basket-case.
Nevertheless, the company was able to turn a profit by 2006, raking in $52 million in revenue and $1.1 million net income. By 2007, Mercado Libre had its IPO, which raised an additional $289 million.
Since its origin, the firm has created a diverse business model, focusing on increasing e-commerce revenue. The "Marketplace," or Mercado, is the main source of traffic and income with additional business units related to finance, logistics, payment, advertising, and software services.
Today, the site gets up to 668 million monthly visits in Latin America; Amazon draws measly 169 million monthly visits in the region.
I see Mercado Libre continuing to expand and set record-breaking numbers within the company. Its most recent quarterly report shows active users jumping 47%, amounting to 75.9 million.
And as I just mentioned, the company does more than just provide an online market for buyers and sellers to connect.
The firm is a regional fintech leader - a business "ace in the hole" in a region where faith in cash money can be, shall we say, shaky. Its fintech division is going full-tilt. Sales from financial technology services jumped 89% to $560.4 million last year.
Mercado Libre's fintech businesses enable users to make contactless payments - a big plus during the pandemic. It also allows them to pay utility bills, make peer-to-peer transactions, pay for transportation tickets, and much more.
American fintech firms are beginning to take notice - and do what they can for a piece of Mercado Libre's action. PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is a major backer.
In 2019, PayPal invested $750 million into Mercado Libre. The investment helped raise a total of $2 billion for the firm as part of a secondary offering.
Mercado Libre used the influx of cash to further expand the company's operations and infrastructure.
And I don't expect to see its growth easing anytime soon.
Look for This Stock to Double
Latin America in general is well-situated for success; its 635 million people are going online at a brisk pace, with one of the fastest-growing Internet penetration rates in the world. Mercado Libre is only going to move from strength to strength here.
Analysts expect sales in the current quarter to climb another 70% from the year-ago quarter. Even better, adjusted earnings are expected to quadruple.
That's why I'm enthusiastically recommending this stock to the widest possible audience. Since I first told my readers about it on July 5, 2019, folks following along have had the chance to pocket 195% or more in gains, crushing the S&P 500's gain over the same time frame.
Based on its current growth rate, I believe the firm can double earnings once again in as little as three years, and likely much sooner. The share price could double from here within the next 12 months.
The skittish market is handing us a great MELI entry point right now, too; the stock is down a little less than 10% over the past five sessions, which gives investors a rare bargain.
But there's probably not much time to move on the other stock I'm recommending right now.
This company has been on a 1,147% tear over the past year, but it still costs around $2 this week. But I happen to know the company is looking to list its shares on a major U.S. exchange, an event that could happen virtually any day now. A successful listing could send the $2 stock on another 1,147% run over the next 12 months, handing investors a shot at what could ultimately be a $20 stock when all's said and done. Here's what you need to know...
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.