2 Stocks You’ll Be Glad You Bought at These Prices

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Last year, the stock market went into a downward spiral, and growth stocks as a group were dragged down more than most. However, savvy investors understand that market headwinds sometimes affect the shares of these types of companies through no fault of their own. And businesses with strong fundamentals can not only weather the storms, but thrive once they pass.

This year, the stock market appears to be recovering. So far in 2023, the S&P 500 is up 7% — a sharp turnaround from the 19.4% drop the market index recorded in 2022. Before their likely rebounds make them too expensive, here are two growth stocks to consider investing in now.

1. Airbnb

When compared to traditional hotel operators, vacation rental leader Airbnb (ABNB 4.02%) stands out because of the unique experiences it provides travelers. Its online platform connects travelers with hosts who want to rent out their homes or other properties. In addition, it has an edge over its rivals because it allows travelers to rent even in unusual locations where most hotel chains don’t choose to do business.

Despite last year’s high inflation, Airbnb had a fantastic 2022. Its revenue increased by 40% to $8.4 billion, thanks to increased travel demand. With $1.9 billion in GAAP net income, it was also Airbnb’s first profitable year.

Its business model can be highly profitable, as evidenced by its first-quarter 2023 results. The company achieved its revenue guidance of $1.8 billion, a 21% increase year over year. GAAP net income of $117 million was up $136 million from the prior-year period’s $19 million net loss.

The flexible and remote-work culture that emerged during the pandemic appears to be still favored. With this in mind, in Q4, Airbnb launched a new initiative called Airbnb-Friendly Apartments to help “long-term renters find apartments that they can part-time host on Airbnb.”

Management stated during the Q1 earnings call that this concept is working well, with the number of buildings increasing from 175 in 30 U.S. markets in Q4 to 250 in Q1. Based on this rapid growth, the company intends to quickly expand the concept to Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

The company is financially secure enough to execute its growth plans. At the end of the quarter, it had $8.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents on the books. It also had $1.6 billion in free cash flow in 2022, a 33% increase from the year-ago quarter.

With yet another strong quarter, the company demonstrated that its story is just getting started. The travel industry is also vulnerable to market risks. However, the rise in travel even during last year’s surge in inflation shows that demand in the space is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. This year, the travel and tourism industry’s revenue could reach $854 billion, according to a Statista study. Given all that, this tech company’s long-term prospects are exciting.

2. CRISPR Therapeutics

CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP 4.53%) has yet to produce a profit. However, that could soon change. A biotech company can become an industry leader with just a few blockbuster drugs.  

In March, CRISPR made headlines when it launched its first product with partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Vertex will be able to use CRISPR’s sophisticated gene-editing technology (CRISPR-Cas9) for its type 1 diabetes (T1D) program thanks to the nonexclusive licensing agreement. Vertex is looking forward to developing “fully differentiated, insulin-producing hypoimmune islet cells for T1D.” 

Vertex paid CRISPR $100 million up front for those rights, and could pay as much as $230 million more in R&D, product, and royalty revenue if it launches a product based on the technology. 

The company has a separate agreement with CRISPR for exa-cel — a gene therapy designed to treat both beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The companies completed regulatory submissions in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States in Q1, resulting in the world’s first approved CRISPR-based therapy. 

If this deal with Vertex is successful, it will encourage other companies to collaborate with CRISPR. The company had no product revenue in the most recent quarter, but it did earn $100 million in collaboration revenue.

CRISPR Therapeutics is working on a few other candidates. If and when these are approved and reach the market, they have the potential to increase its revenue dramatically, which could cause its stock to soar.

Finally, CRISPR ended the quarter with $1.8 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities on the books that it could use to fund future pipeline development.


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