The stock market has been on a nice run lately. Since the beginning of November, the S&P 500 is up 12% and the Nasdaq Composite has risen by 15%. These recent market returns may have investors on the lookout for the best stocks to buy right now. The good news is that there are plenty of choices.
Here are three companies that are leaders in their respective markets and have bright futures ahead of them. For investors with as little as $1,000 to put to work in the stock market, each of these stocks is a great choice.
There's no denying that as time goes on the world is going to continue to produce more and more data. For businesses that need to organize and use that data, Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW) stands ready to provide that service. If recent results are any indication, the value proposition Snowflake provides is clear.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2024, ended Sept. 30, 2023, Snowflake grew its product revenue by 34% and increased its largest customers by 52% year over year. With a net revenue retention rate of 135%, Snowflake is also seeing its existing customers increase their spending. Put simply, this metric means Snowflake customers spent 35% more in Q3 than they did in the previous year.
Snowflake is still in hypergrowth mode, so it is not yet profitable as it spends to gain market share. However, it is slowly making progress toward profitability. In fiscal year 2021, non-GAAP (adjusted) operating margin was negative 38%. Management's guidance for the end of the current fiscal year is for operating margin of 7%, a drastic improvement over the past few years. Over the long term, the company expects operating margin to be around 25%.
One of the biggest news stories of 2023 has been artificial intelligence (AI). Companies that develop and produce semiconductors being utilized for AI applications have seen eye-popping results over the course of this year. While those companies get the headlines, ASML (NASDAQ: ASML) remains under the radar, providing an opportunity for investors.
ASML makes the lithography machines that are necessary to produce all semiconductors. It is also the only company in the world that produces the extreme ultraviolet lithography machines necessary to produce the most advanced semiconductors.
In its most recently reported Q3 2023, ASML posted revenue growth of 15% and earnings-per-share growth of 12%. More importantly, the company had net bookings of 2.6 billion euros and a backlog of 35 billion euros. The backlog metric is important because the company will be able to fill orders and keep its revenue afloat even as demand is in a cyclical downturn.
This backlog has allowed ASML to guide for 30% revenue growth for the 2023 fiscal year. The company believes its 2024 revenue growth will also be around 30%. Management said this guidance is on the conservative side, so any improvement in the semiconductor market cycle could result in even better results next year.
If you've ever chatted with customer support using a chat box on a website, or within an app, there's a chance you have used Twilio's (NYSE: TWLO) platform. Specializing in helping companies communicate with their customers, Twilio has had to pivot from growth-at-all-costs to a more profitable business model as the interest rate environment shifted throughout 2023.
Fortunately, Twilio has proven over the last several quarters that it is capable of getting its expenses under control even as its revenue growth slowed. Consider the vast improvement the company has shown just over the last year. In Q2 2022, Twilio had revenue growth of 33% but a net loss of $482 million. In Q3 2023, just one year later, Twilio reported a net loss of $142 million even as revenue growth slowed to just 5%.
Twilio was able to accomplish this through reining in its operating expenses. In Q3 2023, Twilio's operating expenses represented 60% of its revenue, a fast improvement from the year-ago quarter when operating expenses were 93% of revenue. This efficiency has also excited the market, with shares up 56% in 2023.
Should you invest $1,000 in Snowflake right now?
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