If I’d Bought $1,000 Worth of SoFi Stock at the Start of 2023, Here’s How Much I Would Have Today

SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ: SOFI) has found a lot of success by disrupting the banking industry. Its all-digital offerings resonate with a younger, more affluent demographic.

This fintech stock is finally catching on with investors as well. If I’d bought $1,000 worth of SoFi shares at the start of 2023, I’d be sitting on a gain of 76% right now (as of Feb. 21). A similar investment in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index would have climbed by 49%.

Let’s take a closer look at this innovative financial enterprise.

What macroeconomic headwinds?

Once the Federal Reserve started hiking interest rates a couple of years ago, most businesses started to register slower growth as the economy wasn’t as robust anymore. SoFi wasn’t immune to the unfavorable backdrop, and its growth did slow.

But the digital banking business is still registering impressive gains. In 2023, revenue soared 35% to $2.1 billion, with the company expanding its customer base by 44%. There are now 7.5 million people who use a SoFi product or service, up from 1.9 million just three years ago. That ridiculous growth clearly demonstrates that the business is taking market share from industry incumbents.

What really stood out in the company’s most recent report was the fact that SoFi’s deposit base went from $7.3 billion to $18.6 billion during the course of the last 12 months, a 155% jump. This time period included the regional banking crisis, which caused a lot of worry about the safety of banking institutions. Depositors want peace of mind.

SoFi started to offer expanded FDIC insurance with coverage of up to $2 million. And perhaps even more impressive, SoFi’s savings account offers a yield of 4.6%. This undoubtedly helps the company stand out when attracting deposits that can be used to fuel loan growth.

Is SoFi stock a buy?

It’s not a surprise that investors always seem to be enamored with companies that are posting fast growth. However, shareholders should also want to see financial soundness, namely positive earnings. Just like management forecast, SoFi was able to generate net income of $48 million in the fourth quarter last year.

I view this as a huge milestone. Not only does SoFi stand out from the many money-losing growth tech stocks, but it’s a sign that the business is now on a sustainable path. This seriously reduces financial risk, in my opinion.

Of course, the ideal situation is to see consistent and growing profits. Executives explicitly said that by 2026 they expect SoFi to report earnings per share of between $0.55 and $0.80. After that year, they believe EPS can rise at an annualized pace of 20% to 25%, which would be fantastic.

In addition to an improving bottom line, SoFi has some competitive advantages working in its favor. This is a well-regarded brand in the cutthroat financial services industry. Banking products can be viewed as commoditized offerings, but SoFi stands out because of the ease of use of its platform. It’s all about providing a superior experience.

Targeting a higher-income and digitally savvy customer group has propelled the business, and should continue to do so. Banks are able to benefit from high switching costs once they develop and maintain relationships with their customers and it becomes onerous and/or expensive for them to switch to a new bank. As the financials needs of SoFi’s members become more complex as they age over time, it creates a lucrative opportunity to cross-sell and introduce new features.

At a price-to-sales ratio of 3.7, I think the shares make for a smart buying opportunity today. While the possible return over the next 14 or so months likely won’t resemble the impressive gain since the start of 2023, investors should be rewarded over the long term.

Should you invest $1,000 in SoFi Technologies right now?

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Neil Patel and his clients have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

If I’d Bought $1,000 Worth of SoFi Stock at the Start of 2023, Here’s How Much I Would Have Today was originally published by The Motley Fool

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