2022 was a dismal year for some investors, with several growth stocks getting battered left, right, and center. However, things seem to have taken a turn for the better as we come to the end of 2023. With a better-than-expected real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate and cooling inflation in the third quarter, many growth stocks are seeing a strong recovery in share prices.
In such an environment, it makes sense for investors to consider picking up shares in growth stocks that are riding solid secular trends such as streaming, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Here’s why these three stocks fit the bill and can help you generate wealth in 2024 and beyond.
A global leader in the smart TV operating system market, Roku (ROKU -0.63%) is a major beneficiary of the accelerated pace of cord-cutting. According to a Kagan US Consumer Insights survey, 35% of U.S. households have dropped their pay TV subscriptions, an increase in the past year of 8 percentage points. These viewers have been shifting to more economical streaming services, driving demand for Roku’s streaming hardware devices and connected TV (CTV) operating systems, which are licensed to television manufacturers. Not surprisingly, Roku reported a solid 16% year-over-year increase in active accounts to 75.8 million in the third quarter.
While Roku is more famous for its streaming hardware devices, the majority of its revenue (over 86% in the third quarter) comes from the platform segment, primarily generated through advertising and content distribution for streaming partners. Multiple content partnerships and the right mix of original and licensed content on its free, ad-supported Roku channel have helped the company improve user engagement on its platform and attract new viewers. This, in turn, appeals to even more advertisers, which further provides more leverage with new streaming partners. This flywheel effect has made the company an obvious pick for long-term retail investors.
A pioneer in robotic process automation (RPA), UiPath (PATH 26.72%) may not be a favorite AI stock now. Yet, for several years, the company has been leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms to help organizations automate, scale, and simplify a range of repetitive and low-skill activities through the use of low-code and no-code interfaces. In June 2023, the company introduced new generative AI and specialized AI capabilities to its business automation platform, giving clients access to several third-party large language models as well as to improved document understanding and communication mining solutions.
Thanks to the strength and ease of use of UiPath’s platform, the company ended the second quarter of its fiscal 2024 in July with a 10,890-strong customer base. The company’s strategy to attract customers who have a higher propensity to spend is also bearing fruit. In the second quarter, the number of customers who contributed over $1 million in annual recurring revenue rose by 30% year over year to 254. UiPath has also been quite successful in its land-and-expand strategy (which involves securing a new client and then cross-selling or upselling it products and services), as is evident from its dollar-based net retention rate of 121%.
The global RPA market is estimated to grow annually at a solid compound annual growth rate of 40%, from $3 billion in 2023 to $31 billion in 2030. With its market-leading position, UiPath seems well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.
After falling out of Wall Street’s favor for the past few months, video gaming company Roblox (RBLX 2.90%) seems to be making a comeback. Famous for enabling gamers to create and host games in their virtual worlds, the company is well positioned to target the rapidly expanding metaverse market opportunity — estimated to surge from $82 billion in 2023 to over $936 billion in 2030.
Even if the metaverse opportunity does not result in revenue in the short term, Roblox’s core business is strong. The company is seeing solid improvement in user engagement, as evidenced by a 20% year-over-year jump in the number of daily active users to 70 million and a 20% year-over-year rise in total hours of engagement to 16 billion in the third quarter. Since only around 20% of the company’s user base is paying subscribers, there is huge monetization potential for the company. There is also significant scope for the company to increase advertising revenue, considering its large and engaged customer base.
Roblox also posted an impressive positive free cash flow of $59.5 million in the third quarter, a dramatic improvement from the outflow of $67.7 million in the same quarter of the previous year.
Roblox has been leveraging AI technologies to effectively monitor playing on its platform, which is intended to help increase safety and improve user experience while controlling costs. As the gaming industry continues to embrace AI, game publishers will be able to launch many more creative, realistic, and engaging games at lower costs. All these improvements will benefit Roblox and its ability to make money from users. Considering the huge growth potential in this market, this may be a good time to consider buying Roblox’s shares.
Manali Bhade has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Roblox, Roku, and UiPath. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.