Why McDonald’s Is One of the 3 Best E-commerce Stocks to Buy for 2018
When it comes to retail—from clothing to groceries—it’s impossible to discount the Amazon effect. “You have to accept the thesis that technology is just going to disrupt everything,” says Katie Koch, global head of client portfolio management and business strategy for fundamental equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Instead, experts recommend seeking out the Amazon equivalent in other industries.
For online travel bookings, Priceline (PCLN) may come the closest. The company gets as much as 88% of its more than $10 billion in gross profits from Europe, where it beat its peers to the punch in establishing hotel relationships. That leaves Priceline a lot of room to conquer the rest of the world, says Greg Dunn, manager of the Thornburg International Growth Fund. “I think there’s still room on a global basis for more and more bookings to happen online,” he says. Priceline is expected to grow revenue 17% this year, a pace Dunn believes will largely continue for the foreseeable future.
Technological innovations are also shaking up a historically low-tech industry: fast food. Larry Puglia, manager of the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund, owns Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands (YUM) along with McDonald’s (MCD), both consistent dividend payers, for just this reason. Following in the footsteps of rival Domino’s, whose stock soared after it introduced digital ordering, Pizza Hut now allows people to order pies on Facebook and Twitter or by asking “Alexa,” the Amazon Echo home assistant. In October the company promised to deliver pizzas as much as 15 degrees hotter, by transporting them in new pouches made of the same thermal insulation found in ski jackets. Innovation needn’t be “esoteric,” Puglia adds: “If you find a way to get a warm pizza with the cheese still melted more quickly,” he adds, “that is a use of technology to drive more value.”
McDonald’s, for its part, is in the process of installing digital self-order kiosks in all of its restaurants. Combined with its new nationwide mobile ordering app, the initiatives are driving an acceleration in same-store sales, which investors hope will in turn boost earnings.
Here are more of our picks for 2018:
- All-Tech Investing: The 31 Best Stocks to Buy for 2018 Instead of Apple or Tesla
- 4 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2018—Instead of Buying Bitcoin
- The 5 Best Fintech Stocks to Buy for 2018
- The 6 Best Stocks to Buy for 2018 Before Robots Take Your Job
- The 5 Best Emerging Markets Stocks for 2018: How to Buy the Amazon and Google of China
- The 4 Best Biotech and Health Care Stocks to Buy for 2018
A version of this article appears in the Dec. 15, 2017 issue of Fortune, as part of the article “Investor’s Guide 2018 — Stocks and Funds: The All-Tech Portfolio.”