Clorox (NYSE:CLX). Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM). Those are some of the stocks that come to mind as winners amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Now, you can also add small-cap Sprout Social (NASDAQ:SPT) stock to that list of stocks to buy.
The $1 billion technology company has seen demand for its cloud-based social media management software solutions remain steady — and it’s even accelerated in some verticals.
That led the company to reporting robust first-quarter numbers in early May, which also included strong second-quarter and full-year guides, and helped power SPT stock to all-time highs.
As of this writing, SPT stock is now up more than 100% from its April lows.
This is more than just a near-term, coronavirus-inspired rally. It’s the beginning of a longer-term uptrend in SPT stock, one wherein shares could rise by more than 450% over the next decade.
As such, don’t just add Sprout Social to your list of coronavirus stocks to buy. Add it to your list of stocks to buy for the next 10 years.
SPT Stock Is a Coronavirus Winner
Sprout Social reported robust first-quarter numbers in early May. These numbers confirmed that this company is a coronavirus winner.
Across the board, Sprout’s first-quarter growth metrics accelerated relative to the fourth quarter of 2019. First-quarter revenues rose 31% year-over-year, versus 26% growth in the previous quarter. Organic revenues rose 41%, versus 37% growth. Annual recurring revenue rose 30%, versus 27% prior. Customer accounts worth more than $10,000 rose 58%, versus 57% prior.
In other words, the Sprout growth narrative actually accelerated amid Covid-19. Sure, those numbers don’t tell the whole story, and there was a 3-week stretch in April and May when Sprout’s demand trends dropped and churn levels rose.
But, that stretch is over, and Sprout’s demand and churn trends are back at accelerated levels.
What’s the implication? Although the global physical economy has been put on hold, the digital economy continues to operate. Because it does, brands are spending more time and money on digital marketing and social media management tools. Sprout, as the market leader in end-to-end social media management software, is consequently sustaining strong demand amid a global economic shutdown.
Going forward, then, Covid-19 risks for Sprout Social are largely mitigated, and SPT stock should outperform the broader market so long as the coronavirus crisis hangs around.
Sprout Social Is a Long-Term Winner Too
Make no mistake. Sprout Social isn’t just a coronavirus winner. It’s a long-term winner, and one of the best stocks to buy for the next 10 years.
The story here is pretty simple.
Everyone is on social media these days. About 3.8 billion people, specifically. Those 3.8 billion people spend a whopping 2.5 hours every day on social media apps.
In other words, the world is addicted to social media. It should be no surprise, then, that social media is becoming much more than just chatting to friends and sharing photos. It’s a product discovery channel now, too. A recent Square (NYSE:SQ) survey found that 75% of U.S. consumers use Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to discover new products, services and brands.
Broadly, then, social media has become an integral part of the customer experience. As an integral part of the customer experience, social media management is turning into a mission-critical component for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
In short, if a business wants to succeed, it needs to be good at social media.
Yet, of the 90 million businesses that are active on social media, only 5% have adopted software to control and optimize their social media presence. Over time, that number will rise to 10%, 20%, 30% and even higher.
In the booming social media management software space, Sprout Social reigns supreme as the best-in-breed provider of the market’s only end-to-end social media management solution which helps businesses control everything from choosing what to post, to tracking how a post did based on engagement metrics.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots. The social media management software space will boom over the next decade, and so will Sprout Social.
There’s Huge Upside Potential Ahead
Fortunately for investors, this decade’s boom in Sprout Social’s business is not priced into SPT stock yet, implying huge upside potential for shares over the next decade.
Sprout Social has just 24,000 customers today. There are 90 million businesses on social media. Even if just a third of those businesses end up deploying social media management software by the end of the decade, then Sprout Social is tapping into less than 0.1% of its addressable market.
Given the huge opportunity here, my long-term model on Sprout Social makes some optimistic assumptions about the company’s growth trajectory over the next 10 years, including:
- Sustained double-digit customer growth to roughly 100,000 total customers by 2030.
- Above 20% revenue growth per year into 2030, for revenues around $1 billion by then.
- Gross margin expansion toward 80%, within management’s range for long-term gross margins.
- Operating margin expansion toward 25%, with positive operating leverage driven by increasing revenue per customer and powerful scalability from Sprout’s software subscription business model.
Under those assumptions, I see Sprout scaling toward $3.50 in earnings per share by 2030. Based on a 35 times forward earnings multiple — which is about the medium-term average for application software stocks — that equates to a 2029 price target for SPT stock of over $120.
That’s up more than 450% from where shares currently trade.
Bottom Line on SPT Stock
Sprout Social stock is a long-term winner. This is a small-cap technology company, with a best-in-breed solution in the social media management software space.
Over the next several years, social media management software will become mission critical. The number of companies deploying social media management software will go from very few today, to everyone by the end of the decade.
As this happens, demand for Sprout’s end-to-end social media management software will soar. Customers, revenues and profits will all roar higher.
So will SPT stock — by maybe 450% or more.
Luke Lango is a Markets Analyst for InvestorPlace. He has been professionally analyzing stocks for several years, previously working at various hedge funds and currently running his own investment fund in San Diego. A Caltech graduate, Luke has consistently been recognized as one of the best stock pickers in the world by various other analysts and platforms, and has developed a reputation for leveraging his technology background to identify growth stocks that deliver outstanding returns. Luke is also the founder of Fantastic, a social discovery company backed by an LA-based internet venture firm. As of this writing, he was long FB and SQ.