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As we are now in the 10th year of a bull market that has continued to churn forward with impressive momentum, investors have begun to ask if now is the right time to be making a bet on companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The recent boom in e-commerce has shaped the way the world thinks about buying items that would otherwise be purchased in traditional brick-and-mortar locations, and as the impetus for such change, the temptation to buy shares of Amazon directly can be quite compelling for any investor looking to invest where future opportunity lies.
That being said, risks related to elevated valuation multiples and the fact that so much future growth has been priced into the company’s current stock price have some considering other ways to play the e-commerce revolution, which may be less tethered to the actual operational risk of specific firms.
One company that stands to benefit greatly from the global shift toward e-commerce is Canadian company Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS). Cascades is most often associated with its tissue paper segment, although the company has a very strong and growing container board business, most of which is made from recycled fibre.
Container board is certainly nothing to jump up and down about, and selling commodity goods, companies like Cascades have certainly had their fair share of commodity-related volatility of late. As noted by fellow Fool contributor Ryan Goldsman last year, the company pays a small dividend and is not immune to competitive forces — reasons many income-oriented investors may cite as enough to steer clear of this name.
For investors looking for growth, however, Cascades makes a compelling case as a real juggernaut in this space, provided some of the near- to medium-term catalysts play out as expected. With container board being the key input for boxes of all shapes and sizes, feeding the e-commerce space as a core supplier is something investors should perk up about, given the scale of growth in this sector and the ability of companies like Cascades to take advantage of improving economics in this industry.
Besides obvious sector-specific long-term catalysts that should take Cascades higher in the long run, another medium-term catalyst investors should be aware of relates to the specifics of Cascades business model (i.e., the fact that Cascades has a particular focus on recycled fibre as a key input). Recycled fibre prices have been on the downslope of late, meaning Cascades has been able to improve margins given the ability of the company to simultaneously raise prices due to the favourable supply and demand landscape the company finds itself in.
In addition to CargoJet Inc. (TSX:CJT), a company I have cited as another great way to play the “Amazon Revolution,” Cascades should be top of every Canadian investor’s list when looking at this space.
Stay Foolish, my friends.
He isn't alone in his investment strategy - fellow billionaire Elon Musk has also bet well over a hundred million in the exact same space.
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Fool contributor Chris MacDonald has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.