Forget Amazon: These Unstoppable Stocks Are Better Buys

The king of e-commerce is still a powerhouse to be sure, but that doesn't necessarily make it your best growth investment option at this time. Read More...

The king of e-commerce is still a powerhouse to be sure, but that doesn’t necessarily make it your best growth investment option at this time.

You’re, of course, familiar with e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN 0.58%). It’s one of the world’s biggest companies (as measured by market cap), while its stock is one of the market’s best-performing equities since the company went public back in 1997, up nearly 250,000% from that point. You may even be a shareholder.

As the adage goes, though, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Although Amazon stock’s historical performance is nothing less than incredible, there are more promising prospects for the foreseeable future. Here’s a closer look at three of these better bets.


Don’t panic if you already own a stake in Amazon. It’s still a powerhouse company. You’ll be fine.

If you have some idle cash you’re ready to put to work with some new stock picks, though, consider stepping into the Amazon of China. That’s Alibaba (BABA 2.12%), the parent company of China’s e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao.

Any investor keeping tabs on China in general — and Alibaba in particular — likely knows the past few years have been tough. China’s economy has been struggling due to the lingering impact of extended COVID-19 lockdowns. And Alibaba itself has been mired in internal challenges. It’s teased the idea of divesting its cloud computing and logistics arms, for instance, suggesting the company doesn’t have a great deal of faith that it can make either one as viable as it would like them to be.

Both spinoffs have been canceled in the meantime, though, with the company saying it will instead invest time and resources to make both of them better profit centers. The indecision tacitly suggests that Alibaba isn’t actually sure what it should do; it may be doing something it doesn’t actually want to do.

However, some important details are being overlooked amid all the corporate drama. That is, China’s economy is seemingly on the mend. The country’s consumer prices grew for a third straight month in April, while producer prices fell again, suggesting consumer demand is perking up.

Underscoring this argument is March’s 3.1% year-over-year growth in China’s retail sales on top of the hefty 10.6% retail-spending surge in March of last year. This progress is being made against the backdrop of the nation’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.3%, accelerating from Q4’s growth pace of 5.2%, making China one of the few countries to see its economy pick up steam during the three-month stretch.

Alibaba stock plunged this week anyway after its first-quarter revenue fell short of expectations. Just keep things in perspective. Last quarter’s top line was still up 7% year over year. That’s respectable for a company amid multiple overhauls. The stock’s stumble is a buying opportunity.

Dutch Bros

When you think of coffee houses, you most likely think of coffee titan Starbucks. And rightfully so. There are nearly 39,000 Starbucks locales peppered across the planet, with roughly 16,600 of these stores found within the United States. It’s tough not to come across one when you’re out and about.

An up-and-coming coffee rival called Dutch Bros (BROS -2.86%), however, should have Starbucks’ management looking over its shoulders.

Dutch Bros is a distinctly different concept. Whereas the posh and polished feel of the typical Starbucks location was highly marketable during the early 2000s and then again in the 2000-teens, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a shift that was already underway even before the contagion took hold. That is, increasingly more consumers are now less interested in form and formality and are more interested in functional, casual experiences.

That’s Dutch Bros, to be sure. It only operates coffee and beverage drive-thrus, and anyone who’s visited one readily recognizes that each stand has its own personality reflecting the individual people working there. As the company says of itself, “We may sell coffee, but we’re in the relationship business.”

The thing is, the numbers and data suggest this is precisely what America’s consumers increasingly want. Last quarter’s top line was up 39% year over year, largely thanks to the 45 new stores opened during its fiscal first quarter ending in March. This only brings the store count up to 876 locations, far fewer than Starbucks’ footprint. However, for Dutch Bros, the company’s long-term target of 4,000 drive-thrus is certainly an achievable goal. The stock should reflect this growth as it’s achieved.


Last but not least, add DraftKings (DKNG -1.69%) to your list of unstoppable stocks that are better buys than Amazon at this time. Simply put, DraftKings is a sports-betting stock. In states where it’s legal to do so, its app and website allow consumers to place various wagers on a wide range of sporting events.

It’s not a brand-new business but is a relatively young and immature industry. The U.S. Supreme Court lifted the federal sports-betting ban in just 2018. Any such wagering before then was illegal, except in a handful of states. Even then, it was highly restricted. Although it’s no longer federally prohibited, not every state permits it yet, and the ones that do aren’t necessarily on board with mobile or internet-based sports betting.

The legalization movement is gaining traction, though. That’s why Goldman Sachs believes the country’s current yearly sports-betting handle (the total amount of money people wager) of around $10 billion could eventually swell to $45 billion. Market researcher Imarc further fleshes out the industry’s prospective future by suggesting it will grow at an annualized pace of more than 12% through 2032.

DraftKings is already clearly showing it’s capable of capitalizing on this opportunity, too. Last year’s top line was up 66% year over year, nearly halving the company’s operating loss. Analysts are calling for comparable growth all the way through 2027, with a swing to a profit in the cards as soon as next year.

See, not only do more legalization and more adoption obviously help, but DraftKings also becomes more fiscally efficient the longer it operates within a state and retains a customer. An acquired bettor tends to become profitable between the second and third year they’re a DraftKings user.

Given that much of its customer base has not yet been around that long — but soon will be — don’t be surprised to see profit growth dramatically outpace revenue growth from here. This, of course, creates a tailwind for the stock, which has been performing quite well of late anyway. The lull since March makes for an attractive entry point.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Goldman Sachs Group, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Alibaba Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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