2 IPO Stocks From the Class of 2021 to Buy Before They Soar – The Motley Fool

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After back-to-back record-setting years, the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) has effectively ground to a halt in 2022. Worse yet, many of the companies that went public over the past couple of years are currently sitting well below their IPO price. In fact, of the 400 companies that took the traditional IPO path last year, just 12% are currently trading above their IPO prices. 
What caused this swift and harsh paradigm shift? A perfect storm that included high valuations, surging market volatility, and the onset of a bear market, which conspired to bring down the majority of the class of 2021.
With so many stocks trading below their IPO prices, it isn’t surprising that some worthwhile companies have gotten caught up in the sell-off. Let’s look at two recently minted businesses that could soar once the market comes to its senses.
The dream of every entrepreneur is to make it big. The harsh reality is that selling goods in other countries comes with a laundry list of issues and complexities that overwhelm the knowledge and experience of your average merchant.
That’s where Global-E Online (GLBE 3.94%) comes in. Its platform helps simplify many of the problems that accompany international and cross-border sales. The company interacts with prospective customers in their native languages, handles local payment methods and currency translation, ensures compliance with local regulations, and handles the intricacies of duties and customs.
Global-E Online does its job so well that it attracted an equity investment from e-commerce giant Shopify, which currently holds an 8.7% stake in the company, with the option to increase its holdings. 
Furthermore, Global-E Online isn’t sitting idly by. It continues to fortify its position as the leader in cross-border retail. Earlier this year, it acquired Flow Commerce to strengthen its platform for emerging brands. Additionally, in early June, the company hammered out a deal with Pitney Bowes to acquire Borderfree, its cross-border e-commerce solutions business. 
Business is booming. In the first quarter, Global-E Online generated revenue that grew 65% year over year, bucking the trend of an e-commerce slowdown. At the same time, gross merchandise volume (GMV) surged 71%, fueling its adjusted gross profit, which soared 94%. This helps to illustrate that as the business scales, net income could explode, though the company isn’t yet profitable. Investors can take comfort in the fact that while its operating cash flow is still negative, it cut its cash burn by 66% year over year in the most recent quarter. 
That could be just the beginning. Global-E Online produced revenue of $1.45 billion in 2021. To put that in context, the global cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) market clocked in at $764 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.2%, topping $6.2 trillion by 2030. This gives Global-E Online a massive total addressable market (TAM) and ongoing secular tailwinds to fuel its rise. 
If you’ve never heard of Portillo’s (PTLO 1.77%), you’re likely not from Chicago. The company specializes in “iconic, craveable street food,” including all-American favorites such as Chicago-style hot dogs and sausages, Italian beef sandwiches, chopped salads, burgers, crinkle-cut fries, homemade chocolate cake, and milkshakes.  
Growing from a single trailer dubbed “The Dog House” in 1963, Portillo’s combination of fast-casual and quick-service concepts and enthusiastic staff, has diners coming back for more. Even in states where Portillo’s doesn’t have a location, fans have food shipped directly to their homes. The company has a net promoter score of 56 — anything above 50 is considered excellent. 
It isn’t just diners who rave about Portillo’s, as its employee-first culture produces a turnover rate that’s roughly 25% lower than the industry average. In turns out that happy employees are also better for the business, resulting in improved labor productivity, better order accuracy, and ultimately higher guest satisfaction.
Industry publication QSR Magazine notes that at $6.9 million per restaurant, Portillo’s boasts the highest average unit volume (AUV) — or sales per restaurant — of any of the highest-grossing quick-service restaurants in the U.S. This includes such well-known rivals as privately held Chick-fil-A and WhataBurger, at $5 million and $3.2 million, respectively, and Chipotle Mexican Grill at $2.2 million. 
These industry-leading unit-level economics have fueled impressive financial results. In the first quarter, Portillo’s revenue grew 14.6% year over year, driven higher by same-store sales that climbed 8.2%, keeping the company profitable — even against the backdrop of higher commodity prices and wage inflation. Management said in a statement that while it expect commodity prices to pressure its result in 2022, “we do not believe they will have a material impact to our long-term growth and profitability.” 
Portillo’s has its sights set on bigger things. While the company currently operates just 70 locations in nine states, it continues to add new restaurants at a measured pace, with plans to grow to as many as 600 locations in the U.S. over the next 25 years. 
It’s still very early days for Portillo’s, but given its industry-leading sales and customer and employee satisfaction, this fast-casual chain is one to buy before the stock soars.
Danny Vena has positions in Chipotle Mexican Grill, Global-e Online Ltd., Portillo’s Inc., and Shopify and has the following options: long January 2023 $1,140 calls on Shopify and long January 2023 $1,160 calls on Shopify. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill, Global-e Online Ltd., and Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $1,140 calls on Shopify and short January 2023 $1,160 calls on Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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