Category Archives: Growth Stocks

This Retailer’s Stock Has Out Performed Amazon Since 2008

On Friday, the government released two economic reports that were emblematic of what’s been happening with the U.S. economy for several months.

To skip all the technical jargon, consumers are quite happy while factories are not. To be more specific, consumer spending remains fairly robust. Folks are out there at the malls buying things at a good clip.

However, the factory sector of the economy isn’t doing so hot. The manufacturing isn’t so much retreating, but it’s not growing either. How long can this divergence last?

That’s the big question, but first, let’s dig into Friday’s news and see what’s going on.

October Retails Beat Estimates

Let’s start with retail sales for October. This report is important because it’s often a good proxy for consumer spending, which makes up about 70% of the U.S. economy.

The report showed an increase of 0.3% in October, which was 0.1% better than expected. Digging down a bit we see that when you exclude sales of vehicles and gasoline (which can be volatile), then retail sales were up 0.1% last month. So far this year, retail sales are up 3.1%. In plain terms, consumers are holding up the economy.

The other report showed a very different story. It said that industrial production fell by 0.8% last month. That’s a big tumble, but there’s an important footnote. Much of that drop was due to the GM strike. Still, even after we exclude auto output, industrial production was down 0.5% in October. Over the last year, industrial production is down 1.1%.

We’re seeing sagging manufacturing and buoyant shoppers. This divergence was recently confirmed by a weak ISM Manufacturing report. Now I have to add an important word about the manufacturing sector.

You’ll often hear someone say that “America doesn’t make anything anymore.” That’s simply not true. In fact, America is a manufacturing powerhouse. The difference is that a lot fewer people are involved in manufacturing.

That’s actually good news because it means that our workers are more productive. That’s why, in times past, you wouldn’t see a shoppers/factories divergence like we see today. That’s because so many shoppers were factory workers.

So, where does the economy stand? The odds of a recession starting soon are very slim. The recent rate cuts from the Fed certainly help. Still, there are concerns that growth is slowing down. The staff at the New York Fed sees Q4 growth of just 0.4%. At the Atlanta Fed, their model points towards the growth of 0.3%. That’s down from 1% just one week ago.

The Federal Reserve has helped restore investor confidence. Just recently, the S&P 500, along with all the other major indexes, hit a new all-time high. Mortgage delinquencies have fallen to their lowest rate in 25 years. Unemployment is near a 50-year low. Also, homebuilding stocks are having a very strong year. You might not have guessed that from the headlines.

Have you spotted the “5G” signal on your phone yet?

Ross Stores Has Topped Earnings for 13 Straight Quarters

So what should investors do? Typically, a good way to play strong consumer spending would be a pure consumer play like Walmart (WMT), but right now, I suggest a different take.

I like shares of Ross Stores (ROST). The deep discounter is due to report earnings again on Thursday, November 21st. Traditionally, Ross likes to give very conservative guidance, which they almost always beat. Sometimes, by a lot.

The October quarter is ROST’s fiscal Q3, and the biggie is Q4 (meaning, November, December, and January). For Q3, Ross said it expects comparable-store sales growth of 1% to 2% for Q3 and Q4. That’s probably a low ball.

Because of the trade war with China, Ross sees Q3 earnings of 92 to 96 cents per share. That’s lower than what the Street had been expecting. I think Ross can beat that. For Q4, the biggie, Ross sees earnings of $1.20 to $1.25 per share. That adds up to a full-year guidance of $4.41 to $4.50 per share. Last year, Ross made $4.26 per share.

Don’t be fooled by the conservative guidance. Ross is a very profitable business. The company has been able to stand and thrive in the age of Amazon. Ross knows its customer base well, and these shoppers enjoy the “treasure hunt” feel when you visit each store. The stock has topped Wall Street’s earnings estimates for the last 13 quarters in a row.

Here’s a fact that would surprise a lot of investors. Since the beginning of 2008, Ross has done better than Amazon (AMZN). Just offering a plain-old bargain can be a great business model. Ross Stores is in a strong position to benefit from the wave of happy shoppers and sad factories.

Have you spotted the “5G” signal on your phone yet?

I’ve seen it pop up a few times in my travels. That tips me off that this technology is getting closer and closer to going nationwide. Once it does, it could transform how we do everything.

That’s why I immediately set out to find the number one 5G stock…

And I believe I found it.

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Get Ready for Cannabis 2.0

ne year ago, on October 17, 2018, Canada legalized marijuana for recreational use.

But that was only the first step.

Now we’re at “Cannabis 2.0.” This comes exactly one year later, on October 17, 2019. Cannabis 2.0 is when Canada will legalize edibles, drinks, vapes, plus a few other categories.

The idea with the Canadian plan was to go about legalization in steps.

The first step of legalization, Cannabis 1.0, unleashed a “green rush” as shares of cannabis stocks soared. The business of getting high was making new highs nearly every day.

Frankly, it got out of hand. The rally soon went bust, and many marijuana stocks tumbled back to earth. Shares of Tilray (TLRY), to use one example, went from $20 to $300.

Then back to $20.

So now that Cannabis 2.0 is here, will we see another explosive rally? My first bit of advice is to slow down. The Canadian law means that on October 17, companies are allowed to file a notice with the government that in 60 days, they’re going to bring new products to the market. (Funny how legalization means bureaucracy and red tape.) So it won’t be until December that anyone can buy anything.

Let’s consider some numbers. Deloitte estimates that the annual market for edibles and alternative cannabis products is worth C$2.7 billion. Of that C2.7 billion, C$1.6 billion is just for edibles, and remember, this is only for Canada.

The key here is breaking down the market. The first wave of legalization was happy news for regular users of marijuana, but the unknown factor is how many occasional users there are.

In addition to that, there could more consumers who have never tried marijuana before due to its illegal status but might be lured in now that it’s legal. There’s been a lot of debate about these so-called “curious” users.

For these folks, they probably want to take baby steps first, and that’s why the edibles legalization is so important. For a person who never inhaled (and watched all their friends get stoned in college), trying a gummi bear might be an easy first step.

So what companies are poised to benefit from Cannabis 2.0? At the top of the list, I’d have to put Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC). In many ways, this may be the most impressive marijuana stock.

For starters, the company has an NYSE listing. This is important because many institutional investors may shy away from OTC stocks.

I also like that Canopy’s Tweed brand is closely associated with Snoop Dogg, which is a nice relationship to have.

Canopy also has its eye on the future. The company recently made an interesting deal. Canopy offered to buy Acreage Holding (OTC: ACRGF) for $3.4 billion, but there’s a hitch. The deal won’t close until the U.S. legalizes cannabis for recreational use. The deal has a 90-month window, so all bets are off if legalization doesn’t happen. That’s a smart move.

But the most important reason why I like Canopy, and which brings us back to Cannabis 2.0, is that Canopy has developed a close relationship with Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ). Constellation bought a $4 billion chunk of Canopy stock. This relationship is in the interest of both companies.

Constellation, if you’re not familiar, is a beer and spirits company with a global reach. The company has 9,000 employees and a market cap of $37 billion. Now that cannabis drinks are legal in Canada, it’s nice to have the maker of Corona and Modelo on your side.

This is the perfect partner to have in an effort to reach out to those “curious” consumers. The blue-chip firm could come in handy if Canopy needs to raise a lot of money. The relationship is so close that Canopy recently made the CFO of Constellation Brands its new chairman.

Currently, Canopy has ten production facilities in Canada. That works out to 4.3 million square feet of growing space. Canopy plans to add another 1.3 million square feet. The company also has a hemp production facility in New York state (hemp is legal at the federal level).

This is a good time to give Canopy a close look because the stock was down over the past few months. During the spring, CGC got as high as $52 per share. Lately, it’s been going for less than $20 a piece. That probably cleared out a lot of short-term traders. Cannabis 2.0 could be a major boost for Canopy Growth.

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How to Find Stocks Poised to Skyrocket

Imagine how your life would be different with just a few critical calls in the market.

finding stocks that skyrocket

Source: Shutterstock

Imagine your life if you had bought:

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for 39 cents per share.
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for $1.38 per share
  • Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) for 50 cents per share.

I recommended those stocks at those prices …. and my subscribers collected massive gains.

And I live a comfortable life because of those calls and many many others with similar huge gains.

I didn’t achieve those gains with market timing, or just by getting lucky.

I’m a numbers guy.

I have loved math my entire life and I have used math and technology to help me find the stocks poised to make huge moves in the market.

But I still wasn’t satisfied. I knew that math and technology could lead me to find the stocks that are poised to soar in a much shorter period of time.

We’re talking about moves of 100%, 200% and even 500% in months instead of years.

I’ve been working on this project for years, and now — finally — I’m ready to share it with everyone.

I call this effort Project Mastermind.”

Even just a few years ago, this kind of analysis was more like a dream than reality.

Using modern technology and loads of data, I am able to identify which stocks are ready to skyrocket, and the gains can come in months, not years!

Gains like these can be a retirement game changer. A chance to collect triple digit returns in a short time.

And now, I’m ready to unveil this system to the world.

We all know technology is changing the world around us, and it’s changing the way we invest too.

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The Home Run Stocks Wall Street Doesn’t Want You To Know About

Imagine there’s a stock that’s up nearly 30-fold since 2000 and not a single Wall Street investment analyst follows it.

This investment has crushed just about every hedge fund out there, yet Wall Street is entirely unaware of it.

Worst of all, it’s stock in a company that’s known by many. It’s a favorite of people who work on Wall Street.

The stock I’m talking about is Nathan’s Famous (NATH).

That’s right, the hotdog place. It’s a New York institution. Not only that, it’s a July 4thinstitution. They sponsor the annual July 4thhotdog-eating contest. When you have a moment check out the ESPN video of this year’s contest featuring record-holder Joey Chestnut.

Nathan’s is currently in its 102nd year of business. The hotdog stand was started by a guy named, wait for it, Nathan. In this case, Nathan Handwerker.

Today, there are tons of Nathan’s located across the country, and several locations around the world. (Earlier this year, I was at the location near Manila in the Philippines.)

I bet you didn’t know Nathan’s has also been an astounding winner.

In late 2000, shares of Nathan’s were going for $2.50 apiece. Lately, Nathan’s is going for $70 each. (That’s down from its high of $107.)

Nathan’s is what we call an “Orphan Stock.” That means that it has zero or near-zero analyst coverage.

I love Orphan Stocks. They’re a great place to find overlooked values. Consider a stock like Amazon (AMZN). I love Amazon, and I wish I had bought it years ago, but what new information can I find on the company now?

Amazon is already worth $900 billion. There are 50 firms in Wall Street that follow the stock. The stock basically lives in a glass fishbowl. That’s not the case with Nathan’s which, despite its name, apparently isn’t as famous as I thought.

How can a stock rise so much for so long and no one on Wall Street has ever thought to start covering it? Part of the reason is probably because they don’t bring Wall Street any investment banking business.

That’s more of a plus than a minus. It suggests the company hasn’t entered into any unwise mergers. Or taken on too much debt. Or has been acquired at a poor price. Not needing a banker is hardly a bad thing.

Every earnings season, investors gather to see what companies have beaten expectations and what companies have fallen short. It’s interesting because a company can have a lousy quarter, but as long as it was less lousy than expected, then it can be a good quarter for its stock. Investors are expecting expectations.(awkward sentence) maybe; investors are expecting the stock to meet expectations.

With Nathan’s and other Orphan Stocks, there’s nothing to expect. Why? Because no one follows them. For an investor, that’s another bonus. They don’t have to worry about the Wall Street earnings game.

Have you ever heard of Atrion (ATRI)? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Atrion is a medical products company based in Dallas. Even though they’re small ($1.5 billion market cap), they’re active in some very niche markets like soft contact lens disinfection cases. Ever wonder who makes valves for life vests? There’s a good chance it’s Atrion. I particularly like that Atrion has wide operating margins.

Thirty years ago, you could have picked up one share of ATRI for $6. Recently, the stock got up to $927 per share. A few weeks ago, Atrion boosted its dividend by 15%.

Now I’m going to ask you a straightforward question: Guess how many firms on Wall Street cover Atrion? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same as Nathan’s.

That’s right. Zero.

Let’s also remember how hard the financial crises blew through Wall Street. The big houses simply don’t have the big research departments that they used to. The budgets have been cut back. As a result, there are lots of companies that get no analyst coverage.

Many Orphan Stocks have been orphaned for good reasons; they’re not very good. But if you look closely, there are many incredible orphan stocks like Nathan’s Famous and Atrion.

With fewer eyes watching, it’s easier to find overlooked gems. Make sure there are some Orphan Stocks in your portfolio.

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3 Small Caps That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock

When it comes to tech stocks, most investors think bigger is better. They believe the FANGs or dot-com survivors such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Cisco(NASDAQ:CSCO) are the way to go in the sector. And there is some truth to that feeling. After all, these giants still produce billions in revenues, cash flows and profits. Heck, some of these giant tech stocks even pay hefty dividends these days.

However, bigger may not be better. This is especially true when it comes to tech stocks.

The truth is, the big boys aren’t the always the ones dominating their respective technology subsectors. In fact, there are many small- and mid-cap tech stocks that are the leaders. Moreover, they offer a bigger opportunity to find above-average growth in both revenues and profits. And they are able to grow their share prices much faster than the bigger tech stocks as well. After all, doubling a $1 billion market cap is much easier than a $1 trillion one.

For investors, the reality is, going small in the technology sector could be really smart and pay-off over the long haul. And these three small-cap tech stocks are the ones to buy.

Domo Inc (DOMO)


Source: Shutterstock

Market-Cap: $989 million

There’s no secret that cloud computing is huge these days as Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms have become the rage with businesses. The problem is, there’s just so many of these firms. How do you analyze data from your Salesforce (NASDAQ:CRM) applications and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS services at the same time.

The answer is small-cap tech stock Domo (NASDAQ:DOMO).

Recently IPO’d unicorn tech-stock DOMO provides analytic data solutions for the cloud. The best part is that it isn’t trying to compete with the big tech names, but ties them together to provide customers the ability to get to the big picture. This strategy seems to be working, DOMO has more than 1,500 customers. And those customers are spending some big bucks for the firm’s tech. Last quarter, billings at Domo rose 35% year-over-year and total revenues grew by 31%.

Analysts expect that DOMO will continue to see continued success as more firms look to query their data across various platforms. And as the linkage between these platforms, the firm should be able to score additional customers and increase its offerings to existing ones. And yet, the firm still has only a $1 billion market cap. That leaves it plenty of room for capital appreciation.

Box (BOX)

Will Box Stock Be Bought Out… or Run Out?

Market-Cap: $2.82 billion

The collaborative workplace is here. Managing documents, products and other content across various locations and workers is now the norm for many businesses. Cloud computing specialist Box(NASDAQ:BOX) is facilitating that trend.

BOX offers a variety of apps and programs designed to help businesses facilitate collaboration and storage of everything from emails to jpg files. The idea is that work can flow between customers and employees of the firm — all on a secure network/platform. Enterprise seems to be keen on the idea — with BOX courting major customers like General Electric (NYSE:GE) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN). As a result, BOX has experienced some torrid growth over its history. Since 2016, the firm has experienced a 23% compound annual growth rate in its revenues. Moreover, the firm has posted positive cash flows for the last five quarters.

And the gains can keep coming. BOX is currently working to score more contracts with the Federal Government to help with record safe-keeping and digitizing the government’s workload.

Now could be the best time to strike on BOX shares. Poor guidance outlook — thanks to the length of time it takes to score those government contracts — has pushed down shares. But with a huge customer base as well as overall long-term growth, BOX seems poised to win and be one of the best tech stocks around.

Etsy Inc (ETSY)

etsy stock

Source: Meaghan O’Malley via Flickr (Modified)

Market-cap: $7.58 billion

Brand recognition is key when it comes to internet properties. And when it comes to hand-made, art and one-of-one objects, Etsy(NASDAQ:ETSY) is the leader. This even Amazon hasn’t been able to compete in this arena.

And it turns out, that brand is worth a lot.

ETSY has now seen its eighth consecutive quarter revenue growth. And while that revenue growth did slip a bit last quarter, this shouldn’t worry investors. Partly because Etsy’s profits and margins have actually increased. The reason is that ETSY doesn’t store inventory, it just serves as middle-man to facilitate transactions between craftspeople and buyers. And its moat and brand-name make it the go-to website to do that.

Additionally, ETSY has been adding additional services to its menu of options. This includes promotion for sellers, facilitating transactions/personalized website design via its Pattern initiatives and more. As ETSY leans more on these products, revenues should once again resume and continue their pace of growth.

In the end, ETSY has positioned itself to be one of the top online merchants and tech stocks. With a market cap of only $7.5 billion, there’s plenty of potential down the road — even buyout potential.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt was long AMZN.

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So the 3D Hype Is Over? Yes, But Not for Everyone

A great area to find investment opportunities is places where the Wall Street hype machine went crazy and then the bubble burst. I’ll give you a great example.

After the dot-com bubble burst, shares of Amazon plunged 95%. People thought the entire industry went bust when in reality, only the shady start-ups went under.

A current example is 3D printing, or, to use the more formal name, additive manufacturing. In 2013, valuations here went bonkers. We were told that a 3D printer would soon be in every home. Then in 2015, the bubble finally burst.

Now, if anything, we’re at the other extreme. Some folks who should know better think the field is dead. Well, they’re wrong. The long-term growth story for additive manufacturing is alive and well. The difference is that the industry has shifted its priorities to industrial and medical applications.

So what exactly is additive manufacturing? I’ll make it simple—it’s the process of making something by building it one layer at a time.

The first step is to create a design. This is typically done using computer aided design, or CAD software.

The software translates the design into a layer-by-layer framework for the additive manufacturing machine to follow. This is sent to the 3D printer which begins creating the object immediately.

There are some key benefits. With traditional manufacturing, the entire supply chain can take months and require an investment of millions of dollars that can only be recouped by high-volume production. With additive manufacturing, many of those intermediate steps are simply removed.

Manufacturing something additively also makes it possible to use different materials on the inside and outside. For example, making something that has high conductivity but that is also abrasion-resistant is no problem. With conventional manufacturing, this can be a big headache.

Additive manufacturing also makes it easier to create small amounts of something. Hearing aids, for example, which are customized for each person, could be almost entirely additively manufactured.

3D Printing Body Parts?

In the future, bioprinters will use human cells from the patients themselves as the “ink” in order to create living body parts.  Sounds freaky? Sure.

We’re still years away from that, but when that day does arrive, it will offer the prospect of immunologically compatible replacement parts for humans. Here in the U.S. alone, about 900,000 deaths annually occur because of a shortage of organs for ailing patients.

According to the research firm Gartner, medical 3D printing will have a market value of $1.2 billion by 2020. 3D printing in medicine has already evolved from making relatively simple prosthetics to printing a silicon prototype of a functioning human heart. 3D printing can also be used to speed up surgical procedures and produce cheaper versions of required surgical tools.

In 2015, the FDA approved the first 3D printed drug used to treat epilepsy. Elderly patients in need of a hip or knee replacement could benefit from 3D printing of specialty implants. Particularly, as the process is more exact, these patients would avoid the second or third procedure to replace traditional, less-effective implants.

Materialise Is Leading the Way

The best 3D printing stock to own now is the Belgium-based firm, Materialise (MTLS). What got my attention is Materialise’s complete and automated software solutions and certified 3D printing services.

Materialise’s business isn’t something to dream of in the future. They’re already working on 3D printing solutions in dozens of different industries, and they’re currently working with firms like Hyundai, Toyota, HP, Airbus, Volvo, BASF, Stryker and Microsoft.

Consider some numbers. In the auto sector, 3D printing is estimated to grow at 34% per year. In healthcare, it’s expected to be 23% per year. By 2021, 75% of all commercial or military will contain a 3D-printed engine or airframe.

In March, Materialise became the first company ever to get FDA clearance for software for 3D printing anatomical models for diagnostic use. The software is a tool that makes it possible to convert patient medical image data, such as CT scans, to 3D models.

This is a game-changer. It will allow for the creation of patient-specific diagnostic models which doctors can use for three-dimensional and tangible examination of scan data, potentially revealing affected areas that may have been missed using traditional 2D medical images.

The medical community is enthusiastically welcoming this advancement. Sixteen of the top 20 hospitals in the U.S., as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, are using Materialise Mimics software as a medical 3D printing strategy.

Patient-specific 3D printed models are becoming increasingly common for pre-surgical planning procedures. Gartner writes that by 2021, “25% of surgeons will practice on 3D-printed models of the patient prior to surgery.”

The next step for Materialise may be receiving clearance for the tools to create actual 3D-printed implants, stents and other medical devices. If it jumps that hurdle, the company may then have a significant lead on other device manufacturers that have received FDA approval for individual devices and product categories, as it could potentially apply the clearance to a complete host of 3D-printed components at once.

This is also a good time to add shares of Materialize since they’re off the peak from earlier this year.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon

Winning the Cloud War Is Not the Best Reason to Buy Amazon Stock
Source: Shutterstock

[Editor’s note: This story was previously published in February 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been one of the more impressive stocks of the past 25 years. In fact, AMZN now has returned well over 100,000% from its initial public offering (IPO) price of $18 ($1.50 adjusted for the company’s subsequent stock splits). A large part of the returns has come from two factors.

First, Amazon has vastly expanded its reach. What originally was just an online bookseller now has its hands in everything from cloud computing to online media to groceries, and its shadow is even larger.

Amazon’s buyout of Whole Foods rattled the retail market. Similarly, its entry into healthcare by buying PillPack (as well as its healthcare partnership with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM))sent ripples through the healthcare sector.

In response, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) teamed up with Kroger (NYSE:KR) to “build the grocery store of the future,” and earlier this year announced a partnership with Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) to fend off Amazon.

Second, as a stock, AMZN has managed the feat of keeping a growth stock valuation for over two decades. I’ve long argued that investors can’t focus solely on the company’s high price-earnings (P/E) ratio to value Amazon stock. But however an investor might view the current multiple, the market has assigned a substantial premium to AMZN stock for over 20 years now, and there’s no sign of that ending any time soon.

It’s an impressive combination, and one that’s likely impossible, or close, to duplicate. But these five stocks have the potential to at least replicate parts of the Amazon formula. All five have years, if not decades, of growth ahead. New market opportunities abound. And while I’m not predicting that any will rise 100,000% — or 1,000% — these five stocks do have the potential for impressive long-term gains.

5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Square (SQ)

Source: Chris Harrison via Flickr (Modified)

Square (SQ)

Admittedly, I personally am not the biggest fan of Square (NYSE:SQ) stock. I like Square as a company, but I continue to question just how much growth is priced into SQ already.

Of course, skeptics like myself have done little to dent the steady rise in AMZN stock. And valuation aside, there’s a clear case for Square to follow an Amazon-like expansion of its business. Instinet analyst Dan Dolev has compared Square to Amazon and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGLNASDAQ:GOOG), citing its ability to expand from its current payment-processing base:

“In 10 years, Square is likely to be a very different company helped by accelerating share gains from payment peers and relentless disruption of services like payroll and human resources.”

Just as Amazon used books to expand into ecommerce, and then ecommerce to expand into other areas, Square can do the same with its payment business. The small business space is ripe for disruption, as out own Josh Enomoto points out. Integrating payments into payroll, HR, and other offerings would dramatically expand Square’s addressable market – and lead to a potential decade or more of exceptional growth.

Again, I do question whether that growth is priced in, with SQ trading 60% higher than this time last year. But if (again, like AMZN) Square stock can combine a high multiple with consistent, impressive, expansion, it has the path to create substantial value for shareholders over the next five to 10 years.

Bad Optics Are Creating an Opportunity in Stock

Source: Daniel Cukier via Flickr (JD)

In China, (NASDAQ:JD) is the company closest to following Amazon’s model. While rival Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) gets most of the attention, it’s that truly should be called the Amazon of China.

Like Amazon (and unlike Alibaba), holds inventory and is investing in a cutting-edge supply chain. It, too, is expanding into brick-and-mortar grocery, like Amazon did with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. A partnership with Walmart (NYSE:WMT) should further help its off-line ambitions. is even cautiously entering the finance industry.

At the moment, however, JD stock is going in the exact opposite direction of AMZN. The stock has seen a slow recovery after last year’s brutal plunge as the trade war and the arrest of the company’s CEO killed all its gains. So have mixed earnings reports and a Chinese bear market.

Clearly, there are myriad risks here, although so far this year has corked its way well out of the doldrums of 2018. AMZN saw a few pullbacks over the years as well. And while JD may never rise to the scale of Amazon or even out-compete Alibaba, at its current valuation it doesn’t have to.

As investor confidence returns, JD has a path to enormous upside. The long-term strategy still seems intact, and likely the closest in the market to that of Amazon.

Recent Weakness in Shopify Stock Is Turning Into an Opportunity

Source: Shopify via Flickr

Shopify (SHOP)

Ecommerce provider Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) probably doesn’t have quite the same opportunity for expansion as Square. And it, too, has a hefty valuation, along with a continuing bear raid from short-seller Citron Research.

But I’ve remained bullish on the SHOP story, even though valuation is a question mark. Shopify is dominant in its market of offering turnkey ecommerce services to small businesses. That’s exactly where consumer preferences are headed: small and unique over large and bland. And because of offerings like Shopify (and Amazon Web Services), those small to mid-sized businesses can compete with the giants.

Meanwhile, Shopify does have the potential to expand its reach. Just 29% of revenue comes from overseas, a proportion that should grow over time. It’s moving toward capturing larger customers as well through its “Plus” program, picking up Ford (NYSE:F) as one key client.

The development of an ecosystem for suppliers and the addition of new technologies (like virtual reality) give Shopify the ability to offer more value to customers and to take more revenue for itself.

Like SQ, SHOP is dearly priced and still climbing this year. SHOP has put on 42% since the beginning of the year. But both companies have an opportunity to grow into their valuations. And considering long runways for Shopify’s adjacent markets, it should keep a high multiple for some time to come. As a stock, if not quite as a company, SHOP has a real chance to follow the AMZN formula for long-term upside.

5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Roku (ROKU)

Source: Shutterstock

Roku (ROKU)

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) might have the best chance of any company in the U.S. market to follow Amazon’s strategic playbook. The ROKU stock price is a concern. But perhaps even more so than Square, Roku now isn’t what Roku is going to be in ten years.

The hardware business is a loss leader, but one that allows Roku to serve as the gateway to content for millions of customers. As the company pointed out after recent earnings, it’s already the third-largest distributor of content in the U.S. The Roku Channel is seeing increasing viewership. It’s already up to more than 27 million viewers!

The company offers pinpoint targeting of advertisements without the messy data problems afflicting Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

Roku is becoming increasingly embedded in TVs, though a deal between Amazon and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) raised some fears about those software efforts going forward, and Disney’s new streaming service could be an issue.

It has a plan to roll out home entertainment offerings like speakers and soundbars, creating a long-sought integrated experience. It could even, as it grows, look to develop or acquire content itself, positioning Roku not as just a conduit to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) but a rival.

The bull case for Roku stock is that its players are like Amazon’s books not a great business on their own, but a way to garner customers and get a foot in the door of the exceedingly valuable media business.

What Roku does now that it has entered will determine the fate of ROKU stock. But the amount of options and still a somewhat modest market cap (under $5 billion) mean that betting on its strategy could be a lucrative play.

Workday (WDAY)

Source: Workday

Workday (WDAY)

Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) is starting to look like the enterprise software version of Amazon. Its core HR product has driven huge gains in WDAY stock, which now has a $36 billion market cap. But Workday is just getting started.

The company previously announced that it would buy Adaptive Insights to build out its financial planning capabilities. It has already rolled out analytics and PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offerings that add billions to its addressable market.

Here, too, valuation looks stretched, to say the least, but the story here still looks attractive. Workday is never going to be as famous as Amazon, or as large. But if its strategy works, it will be as important to, and as embedded with, its corporate customers as Amazon is with its consumers.

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Source: Investor Place

Why Walmart Stock Will Rally to $115 In 2019

Pros and Cons to Buying Walmart Stock Ahead of the Holidays
Source: Shutterstock

Shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) rose on Feb. 19, after the big-box retailer reported fourth-quarter numbers that largely topped expectations. Management also doubled down on a healthy fiscal 2020 guide that implies continued strength across the entire business. Walmart stock traded more than 3% higher in response to the news.

Why Walmart Stock Will Rally to $115 In 2019

Source: Shutterstock

This rally has legs to keep going.

In the big picture, Walmart has rapidly transformed itself into an omnichannel retailer that is more than holding its own in the top retail dog fight with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Many of the company’s new growth initiatives, including e-commerce enhancements and product expansions, are still in their early innings and will continue to drive healthy growth over the next several years. Plus, the company’s acquisition of Flipkart puts Walmart front and center of the world’s hottest and fastest growing consumer retail market.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about Walmart stock in the long run. Current fundamentals imply that Walmart can and will continue to grow revenues and profits at a healthy rate over the next several years. If so, then that means Walmart stock has runway to $115 in calendar 2019.

As such, buyers here won’t be disappointed. The rally in Walmart stock is far from over.

Fourth-Quarter Earnings Underscore Enduring Strengths

When it comes to retail, two things matter most: price and convenience. Those two things never stop mattering most, either. Consumers always want low prices. They also always want high convenience. Thus, so long as a retailer dominates on price and convenience, that retailer will succeed.

Walmart has been the poster child for low prices and high convenience for a long time. But, Amazon (and e-commerce in general) threatened Walmart’s dominance in those categories by making things cheaper, and by allowing consumers to buy those things from their computers or phones. Walmart naturally lost market share.

But, over the past several quarters, Walmart has adapted. They’ve slashed prices and built out a robust e-commerce business that includes things like “buy online, pick up in store”. As such, Walmart has regained a shared dominance with Amazon on the price and convenience fronts, and Walmart’s numbers have consequently improved.

In the fourth quarter, comparable sales rose 4.2%. That’s a strong mark for any retailer, especially one of Walmart’s size. On a two-year stack basis, comparable sales rose nearly 7%, and that’s the best mark in nine years for Walmart. Traffic growth is positive. Ticket growth is positive. E-commerce growth is red hot. On top of all that, margins are rising, too, for the first time in a long while, as improved top-line results are allowing for expense leverage.

Overall, through developing a robust omnichannel business, Walmart has regained dominance on the price and convenience fronts, and in so doing, has recharged growth throughout the whole business.

Walmart Stock Has More Upside Left

At current levels, Walmart stock has room to move higher over the next several months as revenues and margins move higher, too.

In fiscal 2019, comparable sales rose 3.6%, the best comp mark in years for this company. Next year, comparable sales growth is expected to slow, but not by much (2.75%). Also, revenue growth is expected to remain stable at a multi-year high of 3%-plus. Digital sales growth is guided to remain north of 30%. Margins are expected to move higher, too, excluding one-offs.

In sum, the growth narrative at Walmart is simply getting better. This is turning back into a low single-digit revenue and comparable sales growth narrative with gradually improving margins. Established market growth will inevitably slow over the next several years as current growth initiatives mature. But, such slowing growth will likely be offset by a developing market ramp, especially in India.

As such, Walmart will remain a low single-digit revenue growth company with gradually improving margins for the foreseeable future. Under those modeling assumptions, $7.80 in earnings-per-share seems achievable by fiscal 2025. Based on a historically average 20 forward multiple, that equates to a fiscal 2024 price target of $156. Discounted back by 8% per year (2 points below my average 10% discount rate to account for the yield), that equates to a fiscal 2020 price target for Walmart stock of roughly $115.

Bottom Line on WMT Stock

Walmart has regained its dominance on the price and convenience fronts. So long as Walmart maintains this dominance, the numbers will remain good, and the stock will head higher. Under reasonable growth assumptions, Walmart stock should move towards $115 over the next twelve months.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long WMT and AMZN.

Source: Investor Place

7 Strong Buy Stocks With Over 20% Upside

The 7 Best Long-Term Stocks for 2019 and Beyond
Source: Shutterstock

The general consensus: this rally has more room to run. And these are the “strong buy” stocks that are primed to outperform. With this article, I wanted to highlight stocks that fit the double whammy of 1) a bullish outlook from the Street and 2) serious upside potential left. That’s vital when it comes to raking in the profits.

So to find these stocks, I used TipRanks’ Stock Screener. I set the following filters: a “strong buy” consensus from the best-performing analysts and upside potential of over 20% from the current share price to the average analyst price target. Then it’s just a question of sitting back and letting the screener work its magic.

Well, almost. From the filtered stocks, I selected the ones that look the most compelling right now. And then I took a closer look at what the analysts have to say right now.

Let’s dive in to see if these top-notch stocks deserve a place in your portfolio:

Strong Buy Stocks: Turtle Beach (HEAR)

Source: Shutterstock

Strong Buy Stocks: Turtle Beach (HEAR)

San Diego-based audio tech stock Turtle Beach (NASDAQ:HEAR) is making waves in the gaming world. Its market-leading headsets can be used for everything from Xbox One to tablets.

The company has just pre-announced strong earnings results for the fourth quarter. That’s down to continued share gain driving better-than-expected sales.

Revenue of $109 million-$111 million smashed prior guidance of $94 million. Similarly, adjusted EBITDA of approx $23 million-$25 million easily beats the previously guided $21 million.

“We believe the popularity of Battle Royale video games remains a tailwind for Turtle Beach due to their inherent requirement for team-based communication” says Oppenheimer’s Andrew Uerkwitz (Track Record & Ratings).

He believes Turtle Beach has multiple long-term tailwinds, including expansion of online multiplayer games, video game streaming and e-sports. Moreover, the recent surge in sales allows the company to significantly improve its balance sheet and invest in new products and new markets.

Strong Buy Stocks: Alibaba (BABA)

Source: Shutterstock

Alibaba (BABA)

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) looks appealing right now.

Trading at about 6x price-to-sales and about 19x EV/EBITDA on calendar year 2019 estimates with around 30% 3-year CAGRs through 2021, even on investment-depressed margins, the fundamental valuation looks attractive.

“Though Macros remain a big unknown, we view BABA’s Fundamental Risk/Reward as very compelling here” writes RBC’s Mark Mahaney (Track Record & Ratings).

Why? He explains: “Core China Commerce Comps ease into next year, including the Customer Management segment of China Retail that could further improve from recommendation feed changes.”

And in the near-term, investors can gain confidence in the improving profit growth from Alibaba’s core marketplace EBITA.

That’s thanks to continued investment in strategic initiatives (, Lazada, New Retail and Cainiao) to improve their TAM and business moats. With a $210 price target, Mahaney is forecasting upside potential of 24%.

Strong Buy Stocks: Cigna Corp (CI)

Source: Shutterstock

Cigna Corp (CI)

Health insurance giant Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) has a strong track record of growth in recent years. However it has traditionally traded at a discount to its peers.

At the end of 2018, Cigna received the regulatory approval for buying Express Scripts, the last major standalone pharmacy benefit manager (PBM).

Although there are both positives and negatives from the Express Scripts deal, ultimately it should pay strong long-term returns for shareholders. That’s thanks to a compelling opportunity to cross-sell its services, as well as a more equity-friendly capital structure.

“Overall, Cigna’s traditionally conservative management team continues to project robust growth from the ESRX deal, but we believe the stock still does not reflect the significant upside” reflects Oppenheimer’s Michael Wiederhorn (Track Record & Ratings).

“As a result, we maintain our Outperform rating and would continue to be buyers.” Indeed his $254 price target indicates shares can surge 32%.

Strong Buy Stocks: Marathon Petroleum (MPC)

Source: Shutterstock

Marathon Petroleum (MPC)

Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) is the largest refiner in the U.S., with over 3 million barrels per day of capacity across 16 refineries. On top of that it also has a network of nearly 4,000 company-owned retail stations.

Marathon recently snapped up Andeavor for a whopping $23 billion last year. In Q4 2018, MPC realized $160 million of synergies from the ANDV transaction. And that’s just the beginning. The company reiterated its goal of $600 million of synergies by the end of 2019 and $1.4 billion by the end of 2021.

“In our opinion, Marathon’s retail business, Speedway, is the most attractive retail franchise in our coverage universe, and the extension of the Speedway model to the acquired ANDV stores could provide meaningful upside” cheers RBC Capital’s Brad Heffern (Track Record & Ratings).

Overall, all four analysts covering the stock are bullish. Their $92 average analyst price target works out at 43% upside from the current share price.

Strong Buy Stocks: Amarin Corp (AMRN)

Source: Amarin

Amarin Corp (AMRN)

Year-to-date, Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) stock is up nearly 20% due to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) buyout chatter. According to rumors, the pharma giant is interested in making a bid for the fish oil drug maker. This would enable Pfizer to get its hands on Amarin’s fish-oil medication Vascepa.

This drug is the first Pure EPA prescription Omega-3 clinically proven to lower very high triglycerides without raising bad cholesterol.

Going forward, can the stock keep up the good times? Or should investors be cautious? Cantor Fitzgerald’s Louise Chen (Track Record & Ratings) has surveyed 50 physicians regarding Vascepa.

Following the survey she writes: “The results underscore our belief that the market opportunity is underappreciated. Therefore, we are reiterating our OW rating and 12-mo. PT of $35 ahead of what we expect to be an acceleration in the uptake of Vascepa in 2019+.”

In particular, the recent REDUCE-IT study positions Vascepa to be the first drug to cost-effectively help address cardiovascular risk beyond cholesterol management. Bear in mind that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death among Americans, with around 800,000 deaths every year.

All five analysts covering AMRN rate the stock a buy. They see (on average) upside of over 70% for share prices over the next 12 months.

Strong Buy Stocks: Teladoc Health (TDOC)

Source: MayApps207 via WikiMedia

Teladoc Health (TDOC)

Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE:TDOC) is the most widely used telehealth provider in the U.S., offering doctor services at any time 24/7/365, to resolve common medical issues via phone or online video chat.

Now that Teladoc has moved past its affair scandal (with the CFO resigning at the beginning of the year) the company once again looks like a very attractive investing proposition.

According to Premier, 4.3M, or 18%, of emergency department visits by chronically ill patients that could have been avoided, but instead cost the system $8.3 billion.

Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland (Track Record & Ratings) tells investors this data point “attests to the need for increased access to care at lower costs, which can be addressed by telemedicine.” The analyst’s buy rating comes with an $88 price target (32% upside potential).

Similarly, Oppenheimer’s Mohan Naidu (Track Record & Ratings) writes “With an estimated annual $57B total addressable market (with Best Doctors) and low current penetration (estimated 0.2%), we believe there is significant runway for growth in telehealth.”

He expects increased membership and awareness to drive top-line growth for Teladoc from current levels.

Strong Buy Stocks: Lumentum (LITE)

Lumentum (LITE)

Optics maker Lumentum Holdings (NASDAQ:LITE) has had a challenging time recently. But it is not the end of the road. Far from it. In fact the Street is very upbeat about the company’s outlook. This “strong buy” stock has received seven recent buy ratings. The average price target of $64 indicates 40% upside potential.

Let’s start at the beginning. Shares dipped after the company reported disappointing fiscal Q2 results. However while the company’s datacom and 3D sensing segments are struggling, telecom and commercial lasers are really showing muscle right now.

Telecom in particular is booming: “Lumetum’s ROADM sales increased 110% y/y and 29% q/q in 2QFY19, and now are likely ~$90mn per quarter” notes MKM Partners’ Michael Genovese (Track Record & Ratings). “The company is sold out of ROADMs, and is still adding capacity at customers’ request. ROADM demand is also strong in the U.S. and EMEA.”

Plus there is hope for datacom and 3D sensing. First the company is trying to launch new products to resume Datacom business growth. And secondly, new Android wins could help make up for the Apple shortfall.

“We believe Lumentum’s 3D sensing business is on track, with potentially more design wins from the Android market in the March quarter” says Rosenblatt’s Jun Zhang. 

Source: Investor Place

6 Stocks Set for Monster Growth in 2019

Source: Shutterstock

[Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on November 2018. It has since been republished to reflect changes in upside potential.]

Although stocks have experienced a rough ride in 2018, some stocks still have a big chance to shine through 2019. The best stocks to buy now go above and beyond the normal growth prospects. While looking for these kinds of investments, I examined six of the best stocks to invest in, all with huge upside potential and support from the Street’s top analysts.

The best way to find these stocks is with TipRanks’ Top Analyst Stocks tool.

Why? Well, the tool reveals all stocks with strong buy ratings from Wall Street’s best-performing analysts. You can then sort the stocks by upside potential to pinpoint compelling investing opportunities.

At the same time, I was careful to avoid stocks that have big upside potential simply because share prices have crashed recently. Check the price movement over the last three months to be sure shares are moving in the right direction.

With that being said, let’s get straight down into taking a closer look at these six stocks to buy now — all of which I believe look undervalued.

Stocks to Buy Now: Cloudera (CLDR)

Source: JD Hancock via Flickr

Cloudera (CLDR)

Big-Data cruncher Cloudera (NYSE:CLDR) has upside potential of 50% say the Street’s top analysts! Currently, the stock is trading at $13.04 but analysts see it hitting $19.40 in the coming months. The stock has experienced some volatility this year, but it is now in a very promising setup. Indeed, year-to-date, Cloudera has surged 20%.

Jack Andrews, a five-star analyst from Needham, upgraded Cloudera to a “buy” rating at $31.

We can see from TipRanks that this “Strong Buy” stock has a lot of Street support. Indeed, in the last three months, CLDR has received five buy ratings.

Stocks to Buy Now: Dave & Busters (PLAY)

Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Dave & Busters (PLAY)

The hybrid game arcade and restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s Entertainment (NASDAQ:PLAY) scored a rebound this year, but more upside is to come. Specifically, analysts expect 26% from the current share price — all the way from $50.53 to $63.67.

Maxim Group’s Stephen Anderson is slightly more bullish than consensus — he believes the stock can soar to $64. Even though the stock has experienced some short-term sales volatility, he says that valuation remains very compelling.

Ealier, Anderson described PLAY stock as “deeply inexpensive relative to Casual Dining Peers” and ultimately: “Our core thesis on PLAY, which is comprised of; (1) high-margin entertainment revenue growth; (2) robust unit expansion; and (3) longer-term comp growth of at least 2%, remains intact.” PLAY should also benefit big-time from the upcoming tax reform.

In the last three months, PLAY has received an impressive eight consecutive buy ratings. As a result, the stock has a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus. Out of these ratings, five come from best-performing analysts.

Stocks to Buy Now: CBS Corp (CBS)

Source: NASA Blueshift via Flickr

CBS Corp (CBS)

Media stock CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) can climb nearly 31% in the next 12 months, say top analysts. This would see the stock trading at nearly $65 versus the current share price near $50.

A few months ago, Imperial Capital’s David Miller reiterated his “buy” rating. This was accompanied by a very bullish $76 price target. Miller expressed positivity in the outlook following strong fundamentals from “positive initiatives” put in place by the former CEO.

Previously, Benchmark’s Daniel Kurnos said, “that the demise of Network ad revenues is greatly exaggerated.” He even says that this bearish talk is overshadowing “the positive traction CBS is seeing in its ancillary revenue streams.” The underlying business model is very strong and “the pressure on the media sector has created a buying opportunity for the content leader.”

Meanwhile, out of 14 recent ratings on CBS, nine are buys. This means that in the last three months only five analysts have published hold ratings on the stock.

Stocks to Buy Now: Neurocrine (NBIX)

Source: Shutterstock

Neurocrine (NBIX)

Neurocrine Biosciences’ (NASDAQ:NBIX) top analysts believe this biopharma still has serious growth potential left to run in 2019. Specifically, the Street sees NBIX rising from $88.48 to $104.71, or near-20% upside.

The Street is buzzing about Neurocrine’s Ingrezza drug. This is the first FDA-approved treatment for adults with tardive dyskinesia (TD). A side effect of antipsychotic medication, TD is a disorder that leads to unintended muscle movements. Stifel analyst Paul Matteis is very optimistic, reiterating his recommendation with a price target at $115.

Encouragingly, the stock has received no less than 12 buy ratings from analysts in the last three months. Six out of the 12 of these buy ratings are from top-performing analysts.

Stocks to Buy Now: Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI)

Source: Shutterstock

Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI)

Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) is one of the U.S.’s largest and most diversified television station operators. SBGI stock has had a rough 2018, but top analysts see strong upside potential ahead.

Benchmark Capital previously named SBGI as one of its Best Ideas for 1H18. Five-star Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos says “We see SBGI as one of the best values in the entire media landscape.” He is now eyeing $39 as a potential price target, a double-digit gain from its current perch of $31.11.

According to Kurnos, Sinclair has multiple upcoming catalysts over the next six months. This includes the pending mega-deal between Sinclair and Tribune. Sinclair is currently waiting for regulatory approval for the $3.9 billion takeover that would give Sinclair control of 233 TV stations.

Top analysts are united in their bullish take on this strong buy stock. In the last three months, four analysts have published buy ratings on Sinclair.

Stocks to Buy Now: Laureate Education (LAUR)

Source: Shutterstock

Laureate Education (LAUR)

Laureate Education (NASDAQ:LAUR) is the largest network of for-profit higher education institutions. This Baltimore-based stock owns and operates over 200 programs (on campus and online) in over 29 countries. Analysts believe impressive upside is on the way. Currently, this is still a relatively cheap stock to buy at just $15.91.

Barrington analyst Alexander Paris, just today, reiterated his “buy” rating on LAUR stock at $20, meaning upside of 25%!

Previously, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Shlomo Rosenbaum notes that Chile’s election result is a “material positive” for Laureate. He says new President Sebastian Pinera is less likely to support legislation for free post-secondary education — the prospect of which has dampened prices to date. Rosenbaum currently has a $19 price target on the stock.

Overall, Laureate certainly has the Street’s seal of approval. The stock has scored three top analyst buy ratings recently. This includes a bullish call from one of TipRanks’ Top 20 analysts for 2017, BMO Capital’s Jeffrey Silber.

TipRanks offers investors the latest insight into eight different sectors by tracking the activity of 4,500 analysts, 5,000 financial bloggers and even 37,000 corporate insiders. As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Source: Investors Alley