Get Smart: Looking to Grow Your Portfolio? Your Insider’s Look at Exciting Investment Opportunities

In last week’s edition of Get Smart, my colleague Chin wrote about the race for artificial intelligence (AI) dominance with a handful of large companies such as Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) setting the pace.

But investing in AI is not for everyone. 

As investors, we are still spoilt for choice with a large universe of stocks to select from. A great place to begin is the US markets with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ offering a myriad of opportunities.

Let us dive in to identify other interesting growth areas and stocks that you can add to your buy watchlist.

The boom in the e-commerce and payment space

Although the pandemic was a trying time for everyone, it did create a strong tailwind for the e-commerce and payments space as many people jumped online to transact.

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), an e-commerce platform that helps entrepreneurs set up shop and transact with customers, saw its revenue jump 25.5% year on year to US$1.7 billion for the third quarter of 2023 (3Q 2023).

Similarly, Mercadolibre (NASDAQ: MELI), the largest e-commerce firm in Latin America, also reported robust growth.

For 3Q 2023, the e-commerce cum payments business saw its gross merchandise volume shoot up nearly 32% year on year to US$11.4 billion, with total revenue surging nearly 40% year on year to US$3.8 billion over the same period.

Total payment volume (TPV) on its Mercado Pago platform also rose 47% year on year to over US$47 billion.

Speaking of the payments space, market leaders Visa (NYSE: V) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) are seeing a strong recovery as economies open up and people engage in renewed bouts of revenge spending.

For Visa, its revenue for its fiscal 2023 ending 30 September 2023 rose 11.4% year on year to US$32.7 billion.

Mastercard saw its revenue for the first nine months of 2023 (9M 2023) increase by 13% year on year to US$18.6 billion.

Smaller payment players such as PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) also enjoyed decent growth.

TPV grew 15% year on year to US$387.7 billion for 3Q 2023 while PayPal’s revenue improved by 8% year on year to US$7.4 billion.

Block (NYSE: SQ), a fintech platform, reported a 21% year on year increase in gross profit to US$1.9 billion.

Brick-and-mortar retail still going strong

Aside from the online space, you may be surprised to learn that brick-and-mortar shops are also doing well.

Lululemon Athletics (NASDAQ: LULU), a company that sells a variety of yoga and running apparel and footwear, announced a sparkling set of results for the first half of fiscal 2023 (1H FY2023) ending 31 July 2023.

Revenue climbed 20.9% year on year to US$4.2 billion while net profit leapt 31.8% year on year to US$632 million.

Lululemon has a Power of Three x2 growth strategy in place to double the revenue of the business from US$6.25 billion in fiscal 2021 to US$12.5 billion by fiscal 2026 through product innovation and market expansion.

Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) is the largest rural retailer in the US with nearly 2,200 stores in 49 states as of 30 September 2023.

For 9M 2023, the retailer’s revenue increased by 6.8% year on year to US$10.9 billion while its net profit improved by 5.1% year on year to US$859.3 million.

Tasty returns from restaurant operators

And if you are feeling a bit peckish, you can turn your attention to restaurant operators posting healthy growth numbers.

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), a global coffee chain with 38,000 stores worldwide, reported a sparkling set of earnings for its fiscal 2023 ending October 1, 2023.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, Starbucks revenue increased by 11.6% year on year to US$36 billion with net profit jumping 25.7% year on year to US$4.1 billion.

Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), one of the largest pizza chains in the world, saw its revenue dip by 2.2% year on year to US$3.1 billion for 9M 2023.

Net profit, however, increased by 23.1% year on year to US$ 361.8 million for the same period.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), a chain of Mexican-themed restaurants, reported a 14% year on year increase in revenue to US$7.4 billion for 9M 2023 with net profit surging by 40.2% year on year to US$946.7 million.

And let’s not forget Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING).

The chicken wings specialist with more than 2,500 locations worldwide announced a 31.8% year on year rise in revenue to US$333 million for 9M 2023 with net profit improving by 45.3% year on year at US$51.4 million.

Get Smart: A myriad of choices

I could go on, but I think you get the point by now.

There are a myriad of choices out there in the US market if you are gunning for growth.

By including some of these names in your portfolio, you can see their value increasing steadily, thereby helping you to achieve your dream retirement.

The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is upon us, and it has never been more important to understand its progress. We’ve just released an urgent Special Free Report that explores all the opportunities and dangers of AI. Discover the steps you must take to prepare your portfolio for the inevitable AI boom. Click here to download the complimentary report now.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Visa, Mastercard, Tractor Supply Company, Starbucks, and PayPal.

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