3 Growth Stocks With More Potential Than Any Cryptocurrency – The Motley Fool

While many investors may still find crypto a viable addition to a well-diversified basket of stocks, you don't have to put cash into this high-risk class of investments in order to build a portfolio that stands up to the test of time. Even though stocks have been through their fair share of turmoil over the last 12 to 18 months, companies with promising businesses and paths forward to growth over the next five to 10 years abound.

If you have cash to invest in growth stocks right now -- money that you don't need for bills and other expenses in the foreseeable future and can instead let grow in your portfolio -- here are three names to consider the next time you go stock shopping.

Teladoc Health (TDOC 0.77%)isn't getting points from some investors if you look at its share price alone, but the trajectory of this telehealth business still looks promising even though growth has slowed from its pandemic heights.

Expecting pandemic-level growth to continue indefinitely would not have been realistic. While Teladoc has had to contend with some tough responses from investors partly because of a series of multibillion-dollar impairment charges it took on last year to write down the value of its pandemic acquisition of Livongo, those blistering losses (which were non-cash ones, I might add) appear to be receding slowly but surely.

The company ended the most recent quarter with more than 90 million members using its virtual services, which span from general medicine to dermatology to chronic condition management to mental healthcare. Teladoc serves a broad swath of customers -- from over half of the Fortune 500 to hospitals and health systems to individual healthcare consumers.

Revenue totaled $660 million for the latest three-month period, a solid 8% increase from one year ago. This was driven by an 8% growth in access fee revenue, such as those paid by employers so their workers can access Teladoc's services, and 10% growth in other revenue. The company's domestic revenue was up 7% from one year ago, but its international revenue popped by a whopping 17% on a year-over-year basis.

On the profitability front, Teladoc generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to the tune of $89 million in the third quarter of 2023, a 73% hike from one year ago. The company also brought in free cash flow of $68 million for the three-month period. This doesn't even come close to looking like the story of a dying company.

Improvements to the bottom line are there, and Teladoc is growing its cash position and witnessing a steady uptick in revenue as its wide range of virtual health services continues to draw members from around the world. These are all good signs for the business moving forward, and patient investors may want to take note.

Etsy (ETSY 2.79%) is one of many e-commerce businesses that has had to contend with a challenging spending environment as fears of a recession remain ongoing and consumer belts remain tight.

Still, that isn't so much an issue to do with the underlying business itself as the environment in which it is operating right now. In the second quarter, Etsy -- which offers handmade and vintage items on its site -- reported gross merchandise sales (GMS) of $3 billion. That's down slightly from the same period in the prior year but up roughly 12% from three years ago. Consolidated revenue totaled about $630 million for the three-month period, up 8% from one year ago.

The Etsy marketplace, which accounts for most revenue and profits generated by the Etsy family of brands, achieved positive GMS growth on a year-over-year basis in May, June, and July, breaking the pattern of a series of months of negative year-over-year comparisons. It's also worth noting that as of the end of the second quarter, GMS per active buyer hit $128, a 28% increase from the same quarter in pre-pandemic 2019.

The company is also proving that even in this environment, it can retain consumer dollars and keep buyers coming back for more. New and reactivated buyers on the Etsy marketplace were up 7% year over year in the second quarter of 2023, while repeat buyers jumped an incredible 140% when compared to that cohort of shoppers four years ago. Etsy also brought in a net profit of more than $136 million in the first six months of 2023.

Over the long run, Etsy could still have plenty of growth to tap into as a leader in a unique niche of the wider e-commerce industry with its focus on specialty, vintage, and handmade goods. Long-term investors can snag a piece of the action.

Fiverr (FVRR 11.03%) got the attention of many investors earlier in the pandemic amid the work-from-home revolution. Although a difficult macro environment means businesses are spending less on talent in general, whether hiring full-time or freelance workers, that doesn't mean that this company is down for the count.

On the contrary, the company operates one of the world's leading platforms that connects freelancers with clients ranging from large public companies to mom-and-pop businesses to individual customers. Although Fiverr hasn't witnessed the explosive growth that it did during the pandemic of late, that doesn't mean the story is over for this business.

In fact, Fiverr has capitalized on the growth trajectory of its business as well as the freelance economy in the last few years to expand its platform's reach and set itself up for competitive growth over the long term. It just launched an AI-powered matching service called Fiverr Neo and introduced new services like Fiverr Business Solutions to help larger organizations connect with freelancers.

The company had 4.2 million active buyers using its platform as of the end of the second quarter. While that was flat on a year-over-year basis, that figure represented a 33% increase from the same quarter three years ago in 2020.

Average spending per buyer on Fiverr in the second quarter was $265, representing just 2% growth from a year ago but 44% growth from three years ago. Also important to note is Fiverr's steady uptick in its take rate of transactions. In the second quarter of 2020, that take rate was 27%. Now, it's just shy of 31%. Fiverr generated more than $32 million in net cash from operating activities in the first half of 2023.

This business is slowly but surely shaping up its financials, and as the macro environment improves with time, it looks well positioned to benefit from a recovery in dollars spent by businesses of all sizes.

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3 Growth Stocks With More Potential Than Any Cryptocurrency - The Motley Fool

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