The Biggest Winners of the Year

While the market crashed, these stocks climbed. But can these stocks continue to soar into next year?

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This last year has seen a lot of companies flounder under the pressure of the pandemic. Businesses have closed for good and entire industries have reported loss after loss. But it hasn’t been the case for every business. There are some top stocks that actually saw the pandemic give a rise in business. But it has many questioning: is it sustainable?

There are two industries that became the biggest winners of 2020 — a year that, frankly, stunk. What it could mean is that investors will continue seeing these industries thrive well into 2021 and beyond.

Tech

Of course, the tech industry became the first obvious winner of 2020. The pandemic had many working from home — some businesses, for the first time ever. While many theorized that remote work would become the future, no one could have predicted it would happen pretty much overnight. Suddenly businesses needed to figure out how to get employees set up at home and keep data safe.

On top of this, there were the businesses that had brick-and-mortar stores, but no online presence. This became a huge issue, as it was either get a website or close up shop. This isn’t an easy request. Creating a website can be extremely expensive, so for local businesses, it looked like there would be no choice.

However, that’s where companies like Lightspeed POS (TSX:LSPD)(NYSE:LSPD) saw an opportunity. The company provided a free trial to businesses in retail, restaurants, and e-commerce. It saw an incredible jump in revenue, and this has continued as the company acquired ShopKeep recently and expanded in the United States. Its latest quarter saw a 62% increase year over year in revenue, with shares at all-time highs after growing 103% year to date.

It’s companies like Lightspeed that you’ll want to continue watching for a drop in share price to pick up in bulk. The new remote industry is here to stay, and businesses now see it as a necessity to have an online presence. So, Lightspeed should continue to see strong growth for years to come.

Healthcare

But it’s not just the tech industry that’s seen a boost. The healthcare industry is a sector that desperately needed investment. The pandemic proved just how much. Even today, hospitals and healthcare facilities are at max capacity, needing more ways to keep patients safe and healthy and to prevent another pandemic from bringing the world to a halt.

This is why telehealth companies swamped the healthcare industry. If there’s one place you didn’t want to go, it’s to a hospital or even a doctor’s office during the pandemic. But telehealth companies gave you another option: to see a professional from the safety of your own home.

But it’s not just to talk to a physician any more. The pandemic has also shown that we need to take care of our mental health. Now, companies like CloudMD Software & Services (TSXV:DOC) provide everyone from nurses and physicians to mental health experts, addiction specialists, practically any healthcare provider needed. The company continues to make acquisitions to allow patients to be safe, but take care of their health as well.

CloudMD recently saw an increase in revenue of 55% year over year, making several acquisitions that should continue bringing in record revenue for the next year at least. If there’s an industry that should continue to thrive through the pandemic and beyond, it has to be healthcare and top stocks like CloudMD.

Bottom line

While no one wishes the pandemic was happening, it’s a good idea to take stock at the end of the year and see what could keep your finances safe. The tech and health industry are two areas that should continue to see growth for years, if not decades. Lightspeed and CloudMD are two top stocks that could keep your portfolio safe as the world continues to change.

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 Amy Legate-Wolfe owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.

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