With stocks tanking the most in recent months on Monday, it may not be a perfect background to discuss growth stocks. However, the selloff– triggered in part by the weaker than expected growth figures in China – has only made Internet information stocks such as Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE), Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE), and OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN) more attractive.
Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) offers a network of consumer-focused websites for real estate search, finance, moving and home enthusiasts. Apart from generating revenues from business listings, the company’s other revenue stream is its lead management software for real estate agents and brokers. The company’s revenues grew 11.5 percent to $52.7 million in the 3 months ending December 31, 2012 which is an indication of its strong market standing. However, profitability came under pressure as net income dropped to $1.59 million from $3.98 million. This had a predictable impact on the stock price which has been on a decline lately. It has lost nearly 11 percent from its 52 week high levels seen in March-end. However, there is a strong case for this zero-debt company and stock which fundamentally mimics the performance of the housing sector. With US housing gradually coming out of woods, Move stands to benefit as more people look to own homes or move to bigger ones.
Majority of US population as potential market
Florida based online aggregator of personal finance content Bankrate Inc (NYSE:RATE) presents a strong case of future growth. The company offers actionable set of information on more than 300 financial products including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. In a sense, a wide majority of US population forms addressable market of the company. Thus, the company’s current market capitalization of $1.35 billion offers further upside. Its current price earnings ratio of 44.5 may appear a bit too high but the metrics falls to 19.6 for the next 12 months in a strong indication of improved profitability in future. Although financial performance in recent quarters has been disappointing at best, the stock price has come down adequately to reflect it. The drop in recent quarters appears to be a blessing in disguise and offers an excellent entry point to investors. The fact that its fundamentals are in place was further highlighted by a ‘Buy’ rating from Stifel on Friday which saw the stock zooming over 12 percent.
OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN) is another Internet stock which is available at lower levels after dropping 8 percent over the last month or so. The company provides restaurant reservation solutions primarily in all 50 states in the US in addition to Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Despite the recent pullback, which appears nothing more than a technical correction, the stock is up 34 percent over the year. This has been made possible by a series of encouraging financial performance quarter after quarter which helps in keeping some sanity in valuations. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2012, OpenTable had a 15.8 percent increase in top line while profits grew 11.2 percent. This was the fourth straight year of swelling revenues and profits. Although its forward price earnings ratio of 25 is not really cheap, this is probably the lowest in recent months for this debt-free company.
Since traditional valuation techniques don’t capture key aspects of these growth companies, prospective investments in these stocks carry a bit of ‘leap of faith’. This is bound to happen as some of these companies e.g. OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN) are not excelling in traditional markets but are creating new markets altogether. Overall, the stocks represent some of the best names around to participate in the emerging economy.