Markets

Where to Invest $1,000 Right Now

If you held a $1,000 position in Microsoft stock 10 years ago, your stake would be worth more than $17,000 based on the company's dividend-adjusted return. A $1,000 investment in Amazon held across the last decade would have yielded even better results and now be worth roughly $19,000. Time can be an investor's greatest advantage in the market, and even big-name companies that are already well-established can deliver explosive returns when given the chance to thrive.

With volatility recently roiling valuations for technology stocks, now could be a great time to build positions in companies that are primed to be long-term winners. Read on for a look at two industry leaders that could deliver stellar stock returns for investors.

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Image source: Getty Images.

1. Airbnb

The recent sell-off for tech stocks has erased most of the gains that Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) stock posted after the company's blockbuster third-quarter earnings results. The stock trades down roughly 14% from the six-month high that it hit on Nov. 16, but the recent pullback appears to be entirely driven by broader-market trends rather than any company-specific developments. As far as the short-term rental specialist's business outlook goes, things have never looked better.

The company posted revenue growth of roughly 67% year over year in Q3, and sales were 36% higher than in the pre-pandemic Q3 of 2019. Despite some ongoing pandemic-related headwinds, Airbnb posted best-ever revenue for a quarter. Net income also surged 280% year over year to reach a record $834 million, and it seems clear that the business has a long runway for continued sales and earnings expansion.

The travel and hospitality industries look poised for strong growth over the long term, and Airbnb is positioned to lead the charge. The company is rolling out a wide range of new features to improve the overall experience for guests and hosts, and it's also rapidly expanding into local events-booking space. Between its accommodations and events-booking segments, the company sees a total annual addressable market of roughly $3.4 trillion, and favorable trends could push its addressable market above that already massive level.

Work-from-home and digital-nomad trends are changing the way that people live, and Airbnb's services are facilitating the shift. While the office-style work setup isn't going to completely disappear overnight, traditional employment dynamics have shifted considerably in pandemic times. Remote-work setups and gig-based labor are opening up new chances to travel and enjoy short-term living flexibility, and Airbnb will play a significant role in this shift and benefit from its progression.

Airbnb is a company that's built to win the future, and the stock will likely deliver fantastic returns for patient investors.

2. Activision Blizzard

It's been a disappointing year for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) shareholders. After posting strong growth driven by the success of its free-to-play titles in 2020, the company's share price is now down roughly 34% across 2021's trading.

Activision Blizzard's share price is also down roughly 42% from its 52-week high, but Wall Street analysts see the stock making a recovery in the not-too-distant future. The average analyst target, as polled by MarketBeat, has the stock reaching roughly $97 per share over the next year, suggesting roughly 60% upside based on current prices.

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Image source: Getty Images.

The company has been facing what could be described as a perfect storm of challenges lately. Explosive year-over-year growth has been harder to come by due to 2020's blockbuster performance, and changes made by Apple and Alphabet to mobile data tracking have narrowed the company's in-game advertising growth opportunities. A sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the company by the state of California, company culture issues, and the departure of some key personnel have also added extra elements of uncertainty.

Activision Blizzard recently sold off stock after the gaming company paired its third-quarter earnings release with news that it was delaying two of its major upcoming releases. Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 had been slated to release in 2022, but it now looks like they'll be pushed to 2023. That means that the company's performance next year will be softer than many investors and analysts had anticipated, and it's not surprising that the company's valuation has taken a hit.

On the other hand, Activision Blizzard stock looks quite cheap, trading at roughly 16 times this year's expected earnings. The company still has some of the best development studios in the industry, a top-tier collection of franchise properties, and decades of experience marketing and sustaining hit series. Delays for key games have dampened the publisher's near-term outlook, but these titles will likely be successful when they hit the market, and Activision Blizzard's myriad strengths should help the stock recover and reach new heights.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Keith Noonan owns shares of Activision Blizzard and Airbnb, Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Airbnb, Inc., Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. 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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