S&P 500 Bear Market: 2 Top Growth Stocks to Buy and Hold Through the Downturn

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Inflation hit a fresh 40-year high in May, according to the U.S. Labor Department. That news has renewed concerns about the Federal Reserve’s ability to tame rapidly rising prices. If the central bank is too heavy-handed in its response, it could inadvertently tip the economy into a recession.

The S&P 500 is now down 21% from its high, which puts the popular index in bear market territory. Unfortunately, downturns like the current one are unavoidable, but there is a silver lining. The S&P 500 has weathered 10 bear markets since 1950, and they have all ended in a bull rally that erases all losses and pushes the market to new highs.

With that in mind, now looks like a good time to put money into stocks, and CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 1.39%) and Globant (GLOB 2.80%) are ripe for the picking. Here’s why.

1. CrowdStrike Holdings

The CrowdStrike brand has become synonymous with best-in-class cybersecurity. Its cloud-based software suite comprises 22 different modules, ranging from endpoint and cloud security to identity protection and managed services. Thanks to its cloud-native architecture, CrowdStrike can crowdsource a tremendous amount of data from its ecosystem of protected devices. Using that information, its platform leans on artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent cyberattacks.

Last year, CrowdStrike continued to dominate the endpoint (device) security vertical, growing its market share four percentage points to 14.4%, according to the International Data Corp. That brand authority has helped the company capitalize on the dramatic rise in cybercrime activity in recent years, a trend fueled by cloud adoption and the growing number of connected devices.

Not surprisingly, the company delivered another solid financial performance over the last year. CrowdStrike grew its customer base by 57% to 17,945, and 71% of those customers now use four or more modules, up from 64% last year. That means management is successfully executing on its land-and-expand growth strategy. In turn, revenue skyrocketed 64% to $1.6 billion, and free cash flow climbed 49% to $481 million.

Notably, CrowdStrike’s leadership has spread beyond the endpoint security market. Last year, the company was also recognized as the leader in managed detection and response, a service that allows companies to outsource their cybersecurity needs to CrowdStrike’s experts. That is particularly noteworthy as the cybersecurity industry is currently plagued by 3.5 million unfilled jobs. In other words, with demand for talent so high, many companies may not have the resources to defend themselves.

More broadly, CrowdStrike puts its market opportunity at $58 billion in 2022, but management says its product pipeline could take that figure to $126 billion by 2025. That puts the company in front of a long runway for growth and leaves plenty of upside for shareholders. That’s why this stock is worth buying, despite a somewhat pricey valuation of 21.6 times sales.

2. Globant

Globant specializes in consulting, product design, and software engineering. The company helps its clients keep pace with technology, overhaul outdated systems, and capitalize on new market opportunities. Globant breaks its portfolio into 34 studios, or areas of deep expertise, that include trendy technologies like data and AI, digital sales and marketing, and blockchain.

To further distinguish itself, Globant supplements its services with internally built platforms, such as AI-powered tools for coding, quality assurance, and cultural optimization. Its broad expertise has helped the company win customers like Alphabet‘s Google, Walt Disney, and Electronic Arts.

More broadly, Globant saw its customer base increase 39% to 1,195 over the past year, and the number of customers that spent over $1 million grew even more quickly, rising 48% to 206. That means the company is forging lasting relationships with big spenders. As a result, Globant’s revenue soared 60% to $1.4 billion, and earnings climbed 69% to $2.62 per diluted share in the past year.

Currently, Globant puts its addressable market at $155 billion, but that figure should rise as companies continue to invest in digital transformation. Likewise, Globant is also growing its portfolio of services. It recently debuted Metaverse Studio, a suite of tools that help clients create content and build a presence in virtual worlds. Of course, the metaverse is a very nascent industry, but it’s good to see the company staying up with the latest trends.

Currently, Globant trades at 5.3 times sales, a good deal cheaper than its five-year average of 6.8 times sales. Given the company’s strong financial performance and sizable market, now looks like a good time to start a position in this growth stock.