You're not alone if you've set a $1 million goal for your retirement fund. How long it takes you to reach that ultimate goal will depend on various factors, including the companies you buy, the amount of capital you invest into them, and your holding period for those stocks.
If you're looking for stocks with supercharged growth potential that could significantly multiply an initial investment over the next decade and beyond, here are two companies to consider adding to your investment portfolio as you build your retirement strategy.
Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) has continued to grow its business in a challenging economic environment. While the pet care industry certainly has vulnerabilities in the event of economic difficulty, it is more resilient than others in the sense that people will continue to spend money on their pets in a wide range of macro conditions.
The interesting thing about Chewy's business is that it derives growth from many different aspects of pet spending. Beyond the thousands of products from well-known and smaller labels that pet owners can purchase on its platform, it sells its own branded products (including a line of pet supplements), operates an online pet pharmacy and a pet telehealth service, and even sells a selection of pet health insurance plans.
In addition to the diverse selection of growth catalysts that can drive its business forward over the long term, Chewy is also making aggressive efforts to scale back costs and optimize operational efficiency. A key aspect of this strategy is its network of automated fulfillment centers. Chewy has three in operation at the time of this writing and intends to open a fourth in the next few months, while it's in the process of closing down two of its older, non-automated fulfillment centers.
In 2022, Chewy reported net sales of $10 billion -- a 14% jump from the prior year. Net income totaled $50 million for the 12-month period, the company's first full year of GAAP profitability on record. A key continued driver of its growth is Autoship sales, which surged 18% in the final quarter and full year. Looking at 2022 as a whole, Autoship sales comprised 73% of Chewy's top-line total at more than $7 billion.
The company closed out the year with 20.4 million active customers on its platform. Even if a recession curbs pet spending in the short term, this is a business that is well-positioned to benefit from steady and fluctuating outlay by pet owners. Investors may want to take a second look at this business given the potential of its long-term growth trajectory.
Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST) is all about changing the face of what lending looks like, and who can access loans. For decades now, the FICO score has been the gold standard lenders have used to approve (or not approve) consumer loan applications. While the FICO score is certainly one important factor that can indicate creditworthiness, the reality is that less than half of Americans have access to prime credit, even though four out of five have never defaulted on a credit obligation.
Upstart's platform uses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to comb through over 1,000 data points, including an applicant's FICO score, to make a more accurate and wide-ranging assessment of their creditworthiness. This proprietary platform has enabled people who have been left out of the lending market to access credit. And internal Upstart studies show that its model has resulted in 53% fewer defaults at the same approval rate as traditional U.S. banks. Upstart relies on institutional partners to fund the majority of its loans, and it offers a range of lending products, from small business loans to auto loans to personal loans.
So you might be wondering: Why has Upstart's stock cratered 80% over the last year? Fewer institutional investors are buying Upstart's loans because the cost of doing so has skyrocketed in the current interest rate environment. Upstart's platform is also approving fewer loans given the risk factors present in the current market, which -- while painful now -- means its model is working as it's supposed to.
Not only are 82% of Upstart's loans automated without any human intervention, but as of the end of 2022, its proprietary model had improved more in the prior seven months than in the entire 30 months before that. Revenue is down, and the company is currently unprofitable given the decline in loans being funded and the fact that its platform is green-lighting fewer loans.
However, Upstart is aggressively growing its network of lenders, with its base of credit union and bank partners skyrocketing 120% in the final quarter of 2022, compared to the prior-year period. The company approved more than 12,000 small-dollar loans (which includes loan amounts ranging from $200 to $2,500) in the final three months of 2022, and 88% of these loans were completely automated.
If you have confidence in the power of Upstart's automated model, as the increasing number of lenders joining its network indicates, and its ability to change the face of the multi-trillion-dollar lending market, this fintech could be a worthy contender for a long-term investor's well-diversified portfolio.
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