Investing in companies with high and sustainable earnings growth can be one of the most effective ways to generate long-term capital appreciation for your portfolio. Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) , SodaStream International (NASDAQ: SODA ) and Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS ) have delivered substantial growth for investors over time. Even better, these companies have the potential to sustain earnings growth above 20% in the coming five years.
Chipotle is hot and spicy
Chipotle Mexican Grill has been one of the most successful growth stories in the restaurant business over the last several years. The fast-casual category is outgrowing traditional fast-food operators as consumers prefer to pay a few extra bucks for superior ingredients and a better experience, and Chipotle is a growth leader in that profitable niche.
The company's "food with integrity" approach to Mexican cuisine is generating mouthwatering results for investors. Chipotle has increased earnings per share at 32.7% annually over the last five years, and Wall Street analysts are forecasting an average earnings growth rate of 21.4% over the next five years. This kind of growth is not easy to produce in the restaurant business, but Chipotle is no average restaurant chain by any means.
Chipotle has only 1,539 restaurants as of the last quarter, still a small player when compared to the more than 34,500 stores owned by fast-food giant McDonald's. International markets are practically untapped; Chipotle has only 14 international locations, and that represents a huge opportunity if the company can replicate at least partially on a global scale the same kind of success it's achieving in the U.S.
SodaStream can pop up
SodaStream is trying to change the way we consume sodas via its innovative home beverage carbonation systems. This is no easy task at all considering that the company is competing against much bigger players like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, but SodaStream has many advantages over traditional soft drink companies.
SodaStream offers a convenient alternative for those who don't want to carry and store many bottles of soda. This is not only about personal comfort; bottles and cans produce considerable environmental damage as well. Just as important, SodaStream offers much lower costs and more flexibility when it comes to flavors and calorie content than traditional soda alternatives.
The company has been truly firing on all cylinders lately, SodaStream has delivered earnings-per-share growth of 55.9% annually over the last five years, and sales have increased at 38.4% per year over that period. Wall Street analysts are on average forecasting a compounded average growth rate above 27% per year in the coming five years.
Investors felt disappointed as the company reported lower-than-expected flavor sales during the last quarter, but management attributed the weakness to vendor inventory reductions as opposed to weak customer demand. The company is still selling plenty of machines and carbonators, so management could have a valid point in terms of demand health.
The stock looks attractively valued considering its long-term growth opportunities, so SodaStream could offer material upside potential from current levels, especially if flavor sales accelerate in the coming quarters.
Michael Kors is in fashion
Fashion can be a fickle and competitive business, but it can also be enormously profitable for well-managed companies positioned on the right side of the trend. Michael Kors operates in the affordable-luxury segment, selling handbags, shoes and accessories through three different channels: retail stores, wholesale, and licensing agreements.
Business has been booming lately for this aspirational brand: Kors has increased sales at an amazing 47.5% annually over the last five years, and earnings per share have grown at an even faster 51.1% per year over the same period. Analysts are on average forecasting an annual earnings growth rate of 25.2% for the company in the next five years, which doesn't sound excessive at all considering recent performance and long-term opportunities.
Even if the current economic environment is being tough on most fashion retailers, Michael Kors remains hotter than ever. The company delivered a blowout earnings report for the third quarter of the year, with revenues growing by 38.9% and earnings per share increasing by 44.9% to $0.71 per share.
The company has only 352 stores and abundant room for expansion, both in the U.S. and in international markets. As long as management continues delivering the right merchandise to is affluent clients, there is no reason for a slowdown in this trendy growth company.
Growth can be enormously valuable for investors in the long term. Leaving short-term fluctuations aside, stock prices tend to reflect the growing value of a business as years go by. Chipotle, SodaStream, and Michael Kors are well positioned to increase earnings per share at more than 20% annually over the coming five years, so the three companies deserve some consideration from investors looking to invest in exciting growth opportunities.
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