Soaring rates of inflation, combined with high valuations, have caused significant damage to several growth stocks recently. But while this these dips have led to some opportunities to buy, there are others where I feel the recent dips signal larger problems. Here’s one US growth stock I’d buy right now, and another I’m leaving on the sidelines.
70% revenue growth
MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) has impressed me repeatedly to the extent that it now makes up the second largest position in my portfolio. But while the MercadoLibre share price has managed to rise 24% over the last year, it has fallen over 13% over the past three months. I feel this dip makes this an excellent time to buy.
For one, the Latin American e-commerce company is seeing huge growth rates. This was shown in its recent Q3 trading update, where it recorded net revenues of $1.9bn, a 73% year-on-year rise. The company also maintained its profitability, reaching net income of over $95m, significantly higher than the $15m recorded in the same period last year. While this still places the company on a very high price-to-earnings ratio of over 200, the firm is prioritising growth over profits, and therefore, I expect that profits are likely to continue rising over the next few years. This is a very good sign in any growth stock.
I’m also impressed by the company’s diverse revenue streams. Indeed, while the bulk of revenues come from the e-commerce business, MercadoLibre has a growing fintech service, known as Mercado Pago. In the third quarter, fintech revenues increased over 60% year-on-year to reach $632m. This should continue to supplement the very successful e-commerce business. I feel that this helps differentiate MercadoLibre from other e-commerce companies.
There are risks with it, however. For example, with a price-to-sales ratio of over 12, the stock isn’t cheap, and high growth is already factored in. The high rate of inflation will also cause issues, especially as MercadoLibre has a lot of debt. Despite these issues, its potential is too difficult to ignore, and therefore, I may buy more.
A ‘growth’ stock with limited growth
The Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) share price has suffered considerably over the past year, falling 33%. This has mainly been due to a series of disappointing trading updates. For example, in the recent Q3 update, it posted revenues of $106.4m, just a 13% rise from the same period last year. Gross profit margins also decreased from 27% to 21.6%, primarily due to increased transportation costs and higher warehousing costs. This also led to a larger-than-expected loss of $54.8m.
This had led to fears from some analysts that the company is “reaching market saturation faster than expected”. This isn’t a good sign for any growth stock. It also led to several brokers cutting their price targets for the stock. In fact, JP Morgan has recently implied that it has a 36% downside.
Of course, there’s potential that the stock can rebound. This is especially true given that the global market for plant-based foods could see fivefold growth by 2030. But at the moment, Beyond Meat seems to be falling behind competitors. Therefore, I’ll wait for a further dip, or a change in the company’s fortunes before buying.
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Stuart Blair owns shares in MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Beyond Meat, Inc. and MercadoLibre. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.