My older daughter Jordan couldn’t have picked a better time to get out of college.
Actually, she already has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Portland, which she attended as a Presidential Scholar.
But at the end of June, she will complete her master’s degree in Operations Technology Management, a field that deals heavily with logistics and supply chain management.
Having degrees in both finance and technology should give her a jump start in her job search, which she is now pursuing in earnest.
Here’s the thing. My wife and I are feeling pretty good about Jordan’s prospects. She already had a company touch bases with her last fall to see if she would be interested in joining the firm.
It’s easy to see why they wanted to get a head start.
With an unemployment rate of just 3.8%, the U.S. jobs market is the best we’ve seen since 1969.
Most investors would greet that as good news for stocks, and pretty much leave it at that.
But we’re not most investors.
We see the value in digging beneath the headlines to find great tech plays that can really line our pockets.
And today, I’m going to reveal a savvy leader in the growth field of employment tech. And I’ll show you five reasons while it will continue to crush the overall market…
A Big Challenge
Jordan’s timing couldn’t be better. And I have to say it was smart of her to combine finance and technology degrees for a career in the Bay Area.
This literally is the best place on earth for the intersection of those two fields. Case in point – Silicon Valley has backed hundreds of very successful tech leaders that have created trillions in wealth.
The flip side of Jordan’s equation, on the other hand, is a bit daunting.
Employers today find themselves in a fierce battle to attract, promote and retain the best workers. Literally, it’s the biggest challenge they have faced in 50 years.
That’s where Paycom Software Inc. (NYSE:PAYC) comes in. The company ranks as a leader in providing human capital management (HCM) software.
Paycom delivers this as a cloud-based platform that employers use for everything from payroll and performance reviews to tracking how they comply with government mandates to the hiring process itself.
That makes it a twofer… a play on the surging job market, but also the long-term shift among employers to cloud-based management systems that save them time and money.
With that in mind, let’s run it through my five rules for finding market-crushing tech leaders.
Take a look:
Tech Wealth Rule No. 1: Great companies have great operations. These are well run firms with top-notch leaders.
As a CEO, Chad Richison is in an elite class. He founded the company in 1998, and has served as its CEO ever since, taking it public five years ago this week. It’s rare to see a founder run a tech firm for so long, which is a testament to his skills.
Along the way, he became a billionaire, with Forbes estimating his net worth last October at $1.3 billion. But that was before the value of his Paycom shares rose another 36%.
Make no mistake, this is a very well run firm. It has operating margins of nearly 31%, and has a 44.5% return on stockholders equity. And insiders own nearly 18% of the stock, another big plus because it aligns their interests with ours.
Tech Wealth Rule No. 2: Separate the signal from the noise. To create real wealth, you have to ignore the hype and find companies that have rock-solid fundamentals.
This is one of those growth stocks that got hammered last fall when the market started selling off. At the time, Wall Street feared that job growth would suffer and hurt Paycom, a stock that led the broader retreat and fell by nearly 32%.
That sure turned out to be a false alarm. The market rebounded on Dec. 24, and the bellwether S&P 500 has jumped by 23.6% since then.
While that’s a great return for the broad market, it just can’t compare with PAYC. Over the same period, the stock is up more than 69.2%, beating the overall market by 193%.
Tech Wealth Rule No. 3: Ride the unstoppable trends. Look for stocks in red-hot sectors because they offer the best chance for life-changing gains.
Turns out, Paycom scores very highly here as well. And it’s not just about the current jobs climate. The firm is focused on clients with 50 to 2,000 workers, the market with the most active hiring over the long haul.
Even before the U.S. racked up the huge employment breakthroughs, employers have been moving to a software model that improves efficiency, measures performance and gives them tools to retain the best workers.
Now, as with Paycom, when it comes to riding the unstoppable trends, you’ll also want to look closely at what’s been happening lately with 5G wireless technology.
Don’t know if you seen this or not, but Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) just announced it’ll be launching a 5G phone. This is really big. In fact, once investors learned Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq:QCOM) will be providing the microchips inside Apple’s 5G iPhone, its stock immediately surged 23%.
New developments like this are moving the market, and certain companies are seeing massive spikes in their share price.
Right now, there are hundreds of 5G firms vying for what analysts expect will be a $12 trillion space thanks to 5G.
But we’ve found a single company that could be a future household name on the back of this technology.
Tech Wealth Rule No. 4: Focus on growth. Companies that have the strongest growth rates almost always offer the highest stock returns.
Paycom grew sales in its most recent quarter by 32%. That means it’s moving at a rate that is nearly 10 times faster than the overall U.S. economy.
To be sure, fourth quarter sales for Paycom were a little less than my projected 34% three-year average. I’m not concerned though because most companies have swings on a quarterly basis. And as things go, the drop was barely a blip.
The company reports earnings on April 30, so we’ll get a very timely report card that will tell us if the company’s performance falls in line with my long-term forecast.
Tech Wealth Rule No. 5: Target stocks that can double your money
This is where we look at the firm’s earnings growth, and see how long it will take to double profits. By doing that we can figure out how long, on average, it should take for the stock to roughly double.
We have a real winner on our hands with this metric. After pouring through the financials in detail, I’m projecting that earnings per share will grow at an average 36% a year.
I believe this is a very conservative forecast. See, over the past three years, the firm has had grown per-share profits by 86%. I cut that by more than 50% just to be cautious – first-quarter earnings are expected to be up by 18% compared with their scorching growth in the year-ago quarter.
Now we use what I call my doubling calculator. Mathematicians call it the Rule of 72. Let’s divide the compound profit growth rate of 36% into the number 72.
We find that it should double in almost exactly two years. With an $11 billion market cap, the stock trades at roughly $188.
This is one of those stocks where it really pays to go beyond the daily headlines and look for hidden ways to profit from our huge jobs boom.
But it won’t stop there. Paycom is the kind of well-run firm that will keep building shareholder value and stock profits for many years to come.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson