Since the stock market bottom during the Great Recession in 2009, tech growth stocks were the driving force on Wall Street. Historically low lending rates combined with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program created a plentiful pool of cheap capital that growth-oriented businesses used to fuel expansion.
Yet that came to an abrupt end almost exactly one year ago, and today technology is a lagging sector, down 30% so far this year. While a lot of the wreckage is due to the collapse in speculative plays, many otherwise solid tech companies whose runway for growth remains undiminished have also been pulled down.
No one knows if we’ve reached a bottom or if there is plenty of air still beneath stocks to fall through, but savvy investors know that significant losses in the broader market create prime conditions for patient investors to make a fortune. Market declines are always followed by bull market rallies and represent an excellent time to pounce, as long as you don’t need the money to pay bills or for an emergency.
With a lot of tech bargains to be found, the following pair of growth stocks have the tools needed to make you richer in October and beyond.
Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -13.87%) is one of the largest producers of semiconductors in the world, and it has been able to sidestep much of the chip shortage plaguing the rest of the industry. Last year revenue grew an incredible 68% to hit $16.4 billion, which allowed it to further strip away share from archrival Intel (NASDAQ: INTC).
That’s because AMD doesn’t make its own chips as Intel does, but rather depends on companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and GlobalFoundries to make them for it. And due to it being such a large purchaser of chips, it’s been able to secure its supply chain. It also has a narrow focus on smaller, more advanced chips, which just so happen to be higher-margin ones.
Halfway through 2022, sales were running 70% ahead of last year, but despite an admittedly ugly third-quarter earnings preannouncement after the market closed yesterday, AMD still looks well situated for the future.
While the market sent its stock tumbling after the news, it really shouldn’t have been such a surprise. We knew consumer spending might be soft and that’s what the report showed: PC sales were less than expected and client segment revenue was weak. But AMD’s enterprise class customers continue to buy, and the chips for data centers and embedded products that are used by the telecom industry continue to show significant strength.
AMD’s stock price was falling before the preannouncement, and the new drop brings the stock to an even more compelling level. The stock is down 58% year to date as I write this, and Wall Street will likely be reconfiguring its 12-month consensus price target, which had been $127 per share with a Street high target of $200 per share, a huge jump from where it’s trading near $60.
With a strong sales tailwind behind its most important business segments, leadership in both central processing units and the graphics market, and with it gaining share in data centers and servers where there is effectively a duopoly, Advanced Micro Devices remains a good long-term pick for your portfolio. There’s a lot of weakness now, but patient investors could find its current price a bargain.
Considering the Nasdaq 100 Tech Sector index is down 36% year to date, Duolingo‘s (DUOL -5.55%) 8% drop isn’t so bad. Wall Street’s outlook, however, is a little more muted than it is for AMD, with “only” a 35% gain forecast over the next year at the high end. However, Duolingo might be able to put those estimates to shame.
Duolingo, of course, is the education tech stock that exploded in popularity during the pandemic lockdown period as bored people stuck at home took up learning a second language on their mobile phones. The app is free to download and all of its content is freely available to use, as long as you don’t mind looking at an ad along the way. Its freemium model allows for an ad-free experience with in-game enhancements for just a few dollars a month.
Game? Well, yes. Duolingo has gamified the language learning process and provides rewards and encouragement as you unlock language proficiency achievements. So popular is Duolingo that it became the top education app during the lockdown and remains so today, according to SimilarWeb, putting it ahead of more established rivals such as Chegg and Rosetta Stone.
Duolingo has 49.5 million monthly active users, up 31% from last year, with paid subscribers hitting 3.3 million. Revenue in the second quarter soared 50% to $88.4 million, and management expects full-year revenue to hit $364 million at the midpoint of its guidance, up 45% year over year.
While the market may be concerned about advertising demand in a recession, subscriptions make up almost 75% of revenue while ads account for less than 13%. Duolingo is also looking to expand into new verticals, and its tests are recognized as proof of proficiency at over 3,000 institutions for international student admissions. It generated some $8 million in revenue from English tests last quarter.
Because of its freemium business model, Duolingo has the potential to expand its paying subscriber base and its advertising business, allowing it to grow into Wall Street’s expectations and beyond.
Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. The Motley Fool recommends Chegg and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $57.50 calls on Intel and short January 2023 $57.50 puts on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.