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2 Beaten-Down Growth Stocks to Buy Now as Fed Pivot Hopes Surge

Published 12/14/2022, 11:16 AM
Updated 11/14/2023, 07:35 AM
  • The Nasdaq is up 11.6% from its mid-October bear-market low.
  • Several beaten-down high-growth tech stocks have staged impressive recoveries off their recent 52-week troughs.
  • I recommend buying DocuSign and Okta as receding inflation fears fuel hopes of a near-term Fed policy pivot.

The Nasdaq Composite has rallied strongly since falling to a more than two-year low last month, with the tech-heavy index now up roughly 12% from its October 13 trough. Recent gains have been driven by signs that inflation may have peaked, fueling hopes the Federal Reserve will become less aggressive on interest rate hikes in the months ahead.

Nasdaq Composite Daily Chart

Taking that into account, I expect shares of e-signature software specialist DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) and cybersecurity company Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) to extend their recovery as investors pile back into beaten-down growth names following the year-long selloff.

Despite near-term challenges, both tech companies still offer further upside and have plenty of room to grow their respective businesses, given the robust demand outlook for their innovative tools and services, making them solid long-term investments.

1. DocuSign

  • *Year-To-Date Performance: -61.9%
  • *Percentage From ATH: -81.5%
  • *Market Cap: $11.6 billion

DocuSign has enjoyed a strong rebound since seeing its stock drop below $40 to reach the lowest level since January 2019 on Nov. 9, running about 46% higher in less than five weeks. However, shares of the beaten-down San Francisco, California-based software-as-a-service company - which soared throughout the pandemic amid the shift to the work-from-home environment - remain down 61.9% year-to-date and 81.5% below the August 2021 all-time high.

DOCU Daily Chart

In my view, DocuSign could finally see shares bottom following their brutal selloff thanks to receding concern over the company’s long-term growth prospects under the leadership of new CEO Allan Thygesen.

The former Google marketing executive, who replaced former CEO Dan Springer in late September, has already made progress on the e-signature company’s turnaround efforts.

Despite the challenging operating environment, the digital signature software specialist delivered third-quarter earnings and revenue, which crushed consensus expectations earlier this month.

Total revenue came in at $645.5 million, rising 18% year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $624.1 million, an increase of 18% y-o-y, while professional services and other revenue was $21.4 million, an increase of 27% y-o-y.

DOCU Billings and Revenue

In a sign that bodes well for the future, billings - a key sales growth metric - totaled $659.4 million, up 17% from a year earlier. DocuSign said that clients with annual contract values of greater than $300,000 grew roughly 24% from the year-ago period to 1,052, reflecting robust demand for its e-signature software tools from large enterprises.

Unsurprisingly, the average fair value for DocuSign’s stock on InvestingPro according to several valuation models - including P/E multiples - implies a 17% upside from the current market value over the next 12 months.

DOCU Fair Value

Source: Investing.com

2. Okta

  • *Year-To-Date Performance: -68.5%
  • *Percentage From ATH: -76%
  • *Market Cap: $11.2 billion

Similarly to DocuSign, Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) has seen its stock drop 68.5% amid a worsening macro backdrop of higher interest rates, soaring inflation, and recession fears.

Even as OKTA stock remains down sharply for the year, shares have rebounded significantly since falling to a four-year trough of $44.12 in early November, rising almost 60%. At current levels, the San Francisco, California-based tech firm - which is still 76% away from its record peak of $294 touched in February 2021 - has a market cap of $11.2 billion.

OKTA Daily Chart

In a sign of how well the security-software maker’s business has performed in recent months, Okta reported Q3 financial results that blew past Wall Street’s earnings and revenue estimates on Nov. 30. It also provided an upbeat outlook for the months ahead as it makes progress toward a return to profitability.

Total revenue jumped 37% year-over-year to a record $481 million thanks to strong demand from large enterprises for its cloud-based identity and access management software. Subscription revenue was $466 million, up 38% y-o-y, while total calculated billings were $532 million, an increase of 37% y-o-y.

Okta Total Revenue Growth YoY

The identity-and-access management specialist counted over 17,000 organizations worldwide as customers at the end of Q3, rising 22% from the year-ago period. Additionally, Okta now has 3,740 clients generating $100,000 in annual revenue, increasing 32% from 2,825 customers reported in the same quarter last year.

Widely considered the leader in the fast-growing identity and access management space, Okta is a solid pick going forward, in my opinion, as it looks to be one of the main beneficiaries of the continuing growth in cybersecurity spending amid the current geopolitical backdrop.

Indeed, 33 out of 34 analysts surveyed by Investing.com rate OKTA stock either as ‘buy’ or ‘neutral,’ reflecting a bullish recommendation. Among those surveyed, shares had roughly 12% upside potential based on Tuesday’s closing price.OKTA Consensus Estimates

Source: Investing.com

Likewise, the quantitative models in InvestingPro point to a gain of 17.1% in OKTA stock over the next 12 months, bringing shares closer to their fair value of $82.40.

OKTA Fair Value

Source: Investing.com

Disclosure: At the time of writing, Jesse is long on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq via the SPDR Dow ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ). He is also long on the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE:XLK).

The views discussed in this article are solely the opinion of the author and should not be taken as investment advice.

Latest comments

Fed pivot? Well, I guess I now know I can skip over Mr. Cohen's articles from now on.
i don't understand is app
Fed pivot hopes....there is no logic to that notion for all of 2022 and will be the case for 2023. If the pivot were to materialize, growth stocks will be the last place you will want to be.
Both San Francisco based. Hmmm, only opportunity on the west coast? I think not.
I don't understand this app
OCTA is about to hit resistance. Wait for the pullback.
OKTA. sorrow
docu is up 50 percent in 2 weeks I would never buy something up 50 percent 2 weeks
Tell me you're addicted to low rates and cheap money 🤨
fed isn't going to pivot any time soon. rate hikes may be at the upper limit but QT isn't stopping anytime soon. expect growth to be volatile over the next 2 years while liquidity is drained. also docu is terrible stock. if one was the buy growth, should be one of the more profitable growth names
Thanks for the article 👍
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