The market has been going through a bit of a strange stretch. A number of hot stocks have come crashing back to earth, while value stocks have continued to trade well. The indexes have been holding up near the highs during these big sector rotations, so some of these stocks have done quite well despite the deep pullback in others.
Where does that leave some of the hottest stocks riding the strongest trends?
Like the broad-market view, some have done quite well while others have endured large pullbacks. Others have been experiencing increased volatility, as they’re in economically-sensitive industries. For instance, travel stocks have been volatile, but are riding strong momentum into the summer. Many tech companies are also riding strong secular trends, but have endured a large selloff.
In any regard, these trends and the recent volatility has created opportunities. Let’s look at seven hot stocks riding these trends into the summer.
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
- Boeing (NYSE:BA)
- Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)
- DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG)
- Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN)
- Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG)
- Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
Southwest Airlines (LUV)
As mundane as the airlines can be, it’s foolish not to expect a sharp rebound in traffic. As the vaccination rate continues to climb in the U.S., more and more economies are reopening. Further, more and more people are feeling comfortable enough to go out.
For some, that just means going out to eat at a restaurant again. For others, it’s getting on a plane and taking a trip. We’re seeing the number of travelers climb, too, as the TSA checkpoint tally continues to tick up in the U.S. We don’t know when we’ll return to pre-coronavirus levels, but Southwest Airlines and its peers will be beneficiaries of the return to travel.
In the company’s most recent quarterly report, Southwest generated mixed results. Revenue still slumped 51% vs. a year ago, while it lost less per share than analysts were looking for. However, management told LUV stock investors that it expects to return to breakeven results by June. This gave investors hope that a return to profitability may not be all that far off.
In order for Boeing to benefit from a return to travel, it needs to see its customers — like Southwest for instance — also return to a better state. As the airlines win, so, too, should Boeing.
The company has pushed through a double-whammy of pain. First, its 737-MAX debacle weighed heavily on the stock. At the 2020 peak, Boeing stock was more than 20% below its all-time highs due to issues with its best-selling jet. Then Covid-19 came along, completely disrupting the travel industry and leading to one of the worst years in Boeing’s history.
The plus side to all of this? It’s now in the rearview mirror. Travel is storming back, as pent-up demand continues to drive strong traffic numbers in the second quarter of the year. We can only imagine what the summer and the back half of 2021 is going to look like.
Further, Boeing recently said it’s looking at increasing production of its 737-MAX in the future. That also comes as other aviation agencies give the plane the thumbs up, allowing it to return to safety. Between the two catalysts, we should see multiple years worth of solid growth for Boeing, allowing BA stock to continue its move higher.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN)
Another travel industry seeing a return of traffic? Casinos. Due to that trend, we should see strong results out of Wynn Resorts. The company is considered a top property on the Las Vegas strip, although Wynn also generates considerable revenue in Macau.
Thankfully, that region is also seeing growth.
In February, Macau saw its first month of year-over-year growth in more than a year. It did so again in March. We’re also seeing a strong rebound in Las Vegas traffic, too. The city is expected to see strong volumes over the Memorial Day weekend and that should be a boon for companies like Wynn.
As we push into the second half of 2021, I expect to see these trends improve too. While analysts still expect WYNN stock to lose about $5 a share this year, that’s a considerable improvement from the $19.18 loss per share in 2020. Plus, forecasts also call for revenue to jump more than 105% this year.
In 2022, momentum should remain strong, with estimates calling for almost 50% revenue revenue growth and 130% earnings growth along with a return to profitability.
Penn National Gaming (PENN)
Penn National Gaming is another casino company that should do well. While it may not be considered as high-end as Wynn, Penn’s locations throughout the country should thrive this year in year-over-year comparisons. That’s as consumers look for things to do and have nights out on the town.
That’s going to fuel the company’s growth over the next 12 to to 24 months. Las Vegas just posted its best month in years, highlighting the pent-up demand for the “return to normal” move. While that will move the need for Penn in the short term, the company has other long-term drivers to focus on as well.
Just before Covid-19 hit, Penn made a deal with Barstool Sports, acquiring a 36% stake in the digital media company. It has warrants allowing it to take control of a majority stake in the future, assuming management likes the direction the business is heading.
Not only does this generate revenue, but it can also help fuel traffic toward Penn’s online gaming and sports gambling initiatives. That trend alone is realizing strong secular growth and should continue through the rest of the decade as other states get involved as well.
While analysts expect 50% revenue growth this year, estimates call for sales growth of just 8% in 2022. That could prove conservative if momentum remains strong. PENN stock’s recent dip only provides investors with an even better long-term opportunity.
DraftKings may not have the physical footprint that Wynn or Penn have. However, it has a much bigger footprint in the online gaming and sports gambling markets. Considered a leader among daily fantasy sports games, DraftKings is in a great position.
Like Penn, DKNG stock has endured a painful selloff, falling 46% to the recent low. But also like Penn, that only provides investors with a better opportunity if they are looking for a long-term investment.
The knock here? Expenses. DraftKings can tighten the bootstraps and ease its cash burn rather quickly. We saw that in the early days of Covid-19. However, with the online sports betting market looking like the Wild Wild West, taking market share is key. And to get market share, companies need marketing.
While DraftKings marketing is working — as it continues to garner plenty of market share — it’s not a cheap endeavor.
The plus side of all this is that revenue has been exploding. Forecasts call for almost 90% revenue growth this year to roughly $1.2 billion. Keep in mind, just a few months ago, consensus estimates for this year sat below $600 million.
So while growth is screaming higher, it’s coming at the sacrifice of profits. For some investors, they don’t mind. For others, that’s a problem. But in either case, there’s no denying the trend in this one.
Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG)
Alphabet has to be one of the best investments out there. The company has almost always had solid top- and bottom-line growth and its balance is one of the strongest on Wall Street.
One could argue that it’s failed to fully capitalize some of the bigger trends in streaming video, social media and streaming music. However, it’s hard to knock Alphabet as a business. At $1.6 trillion, it commands a massive market capitalization, but GOOGL stock has a reasonable valuation given its moat and financials.
With a return to growth in the online advertising world, Google is in prime position to benefit. So is YouTube. And it’s also worth mentioning that Google.com and YouTube.com are the top two websites in the world.
Analysts expect revenue to grow 30% this year, alongside 50% earnings growth. All this occurs while Alphabet has $135 billion in cash and equivalents.
Oh, let’s also not forget this has been the best-performing FAANG component this year, over the last six months and over the past year.
Home Depot (HD)
If one thing has been clear before, during and after the pandemic, it’s that consumers want to invest in their homes. Sometimes that’s remodeling a kitchen or getting new floors put in. Other times it’s building an entire structure. Whatever contractors and DIYers are looking for, Home Depot helps them out. That’s clear by the company’s recent quarterly results as well.
Home Depot delivered its fourth straight top- and bottom-line beats. Revenue of $37.5 billion grew almost 33% year over year and — get this — beat expectations by more than $3 billion. Comp-store sales growth of 31% easily beat analysts’ expectations of 20.2% growth, while earnings of $3.86 per share cruised past expectations of $3.02 a share.
All of this points to one thing: Home improvement revenue is booming.
As Home Depot approaches its biggest quarter of the year (Q2), I don’t expect consumers to slow down on their spending. Keep an eye on this one, even though HD stock has been on fire.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held a long position in DKNG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell.