A lot has changed since the beginning of the year. A global pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies across the entire globe for about the last nine months.
For investors looking strictly at the stock market’s returns year to date, though, there’s not much evidence to show the severity of the pandemic. After all, the S&P/TSX Composite Index is down just 5% since the beginning of the year.
The market may be down just 5%, but at one point it had dropped 35% in just over one month when Canada went through its first major wave of COVID-19 cases.
There’s no question that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the Canadian economy. In the short term, it’s created a high level of uncertainty, which could potentially cause investors to make rash decisions with their investments. Over the long term, though, we’re still very unaware of what the lasting impacts might be.
Even though we’ve only been living with this virus for less than a year, we’re beginning to see certain trends develop as a result. I’ve reviewed two companies that I believe are more likely to see growth rates accelerate, rather than decelerate, as a result of this pandemic.
Lightspeed (TSX:LSPD)(NYSE:LSPD) has been a public company for just over a year and a half. And it’s been a volatile ride for investors to say the least. For those that have been confident enough to hold through the tough times, Lightspeed has been an excellent investment.
Since going public in March of 2019, Lightspeed stock has grown by 125%, which has easily outpaced the broader Canadian market. For investors fortunate enough to have picked up Lightspeed shares at the end of March of this year, they’ve seen growth of more than 200%.
Many tech executives have come out over the past several months stating one way or another how the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the digitization of businesses across the globe. If this theory holds up, Lightspeed will likely see growth rates accelerate as a result of the digitization.
The tech company that was once known primarily as a point-of-sale provider is now a one-stop shop for small- and medium-sized businesses. Lightspeed has been aggressively re-investing in the business over the past several years, and it’s already beginning to show through the breadth of services that the tech company now offers.
Trading at a price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 33, shares of Lightspeed are by no means cheap. But for long-term investors looking to add a high-quality growth company to their portfolio, this stock deserves serious consideration.
Another trend caused by the pandemic has been a relatively abrupt shift towards remote working. The virus forced many employees across Canada to set up a home office for an indefinite amount of time while provinces enforced social-distancing policies.
Even if an eventual vaccine allows employees to once again work 40 hours a week inside an office building, it’s very possible that after getting used to working remotely, many employees may not be willing to completely ditch their new home office.
Pandemic or no pandemic, Docebo (TSX:DCBO) is a stock with plenty of growth still left in the tank. But if there are a significant amount of employees that continue to work remotely, even as office buildings re-open, Docebo could see growth rates accelerate as a result.
The tech company specializes in providing cloud-based learning platforms to train employees, partners, and customers. The company already has a global footprint, servicing customers in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Along with many other public Canadian companies, Docebo saw its stock price take a major hit in March earlier this year. But since the beginning of April, shares have surged more than 250%.
Similar to Lightspeed, Docebo shares are far from cheap. The tech stock trades at a P/S ratio of 27 today.
Foolish bottom line
There may be lots of uncertainty today in the stock market, but that doesn’t mean Canadians shouldn’t be putting their cash to work. Certain companies may not make it through this pandemic, as we have seen already, but others will come out of this even stronger.
I believe that both Lightspeed and Docebo have many more years of double-digit growth ahead of them. If you’re looking to add some growth to your portfolio, this is a great place to start.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Nicholas Dobroruka owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.