Markets

Is Twilio Stock a Buy?

Cloud-based communications technologist Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) found plenty of fresh business under the lockdown policies of early 2020. The stock has more than tripled from the market bottom in March and today trades roughly 10% below Twilio's all-time highs.

Is there any fuel left in Twilio's tank? Let's have a look.

A smiling young businessman shouts and fist-pumps while looking at his tablet.

Image source: Getty Images.

What does Twilio do?

Twilio's services fit perfectly in a more automated business world. The company powers the communication tools found in many other companies' core products, ranging from Airbnb's booking services and SurveyMonkey's mobile surveys to 1-800-Flowers' customer service and MDLive's remote doctors' appointments. The company brings years of experience and advanced networking technology to the development teams behind these business-critical apps.

How well did Twilio's services resonate with potential clients in the COVID-19 era? The first-quarter 2020 numbers don't lie: Twilio's sales jumped 57% higher to $365 million, and diluted earnings per share rose by a penny to $0.06 per share year over year. Analysts were expecting a net loss on just $332 million in top-line revenues. Share prices surged more than 40% that day alone.

What's next for Twilio

Twilio's research and development (R&D) and marketing budgets are rising even faster than its sales. Twilio is reinvesting every available penny of extra cash into promoting even faster growth in the future:

TWLO Revenue (TTM) Chart

TWLO Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

Shareholders love that strategy. Twilio is pushing the pedal to the metal in order to capture a massive growth opportunity.

"As Twilio continues to grow, we want to leverage the benefits of scale," CFO Khozema Shipchandler said in Twilio's first-quarter earnings call. "Additionally, with more than $1.8 billion in cash and cash equivalents in the balance sheet, we feel we are in a position of strength to manage the business through this pandemic and come out stronger on the other side."

This company is unprofitable by design, which makes the shares look expensive in light of sky-high or nonexistent price-to-whatever ratios. Twilio's stock is skyrocketing because the company is doing everything right at an important juncture in the history of user-friendly software development.

High-growth investing isn't for the faint of heart, and the road ahead may be bumpy. But today's all-time highs could be tomorrow's fond memories of a low entry price. Twilio is a fantastic long-term buy for patient investors.

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Anders Bylund owns shares of Twilio. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twilio. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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