3 Growth Stocks for 2014

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When we invest in stocks, we obviously want them to grow. Thus, seeking "growth stocks" for 2014 (and beyond) might seem like a no-brainer kind of thing to do. Growth stocks are often contrasted with "value stocks," which are deemed significantly undervalued, and both camps have their fans. They don't have to be two separate camps, though. It's possible to find companies that are posting strong growth numbers while also being attractively valued.

Here are some growth stocks for 2014 that sport price-to-earnings ratios below their five-year averages, suggesting that they have more room to run.

National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV  )
National Oilwell Varco is a powerhouse in the energy industry, in part because of savvy acquisitions and an effective growth strategy. It supplies oil and gas companies with nearly everything they need throughout the exploration and production processes. It faces good kinds of problems, such as trying to meet demand and deal with a huge and growing backlog, recently topping $15 billion for capital equipment orders. It's spinning off its lower-margin oilfield production equipment distribution business, to focus on higher-margin work.

Over the past three years, National Oilwell Varco's revenue has averaged annual growth of 21.7%, while earnings have averaged 12.4%. Better still, these growth rates have been trending up. National Oilwell Varco's recent P/E ratio has been around 14, roughly equal to its five-year average. But its forward-looking P/E, based on next year's earnings, is just 11. That's an attractive price to pay for a powerful growth stock in 2014. It offers a 1.3% dividend yield, too.

Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS  )
Cirrus Logic has been a major supplier to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , which has been both good and bad, delivering profits but also leaving the company vulnerable because of its dependence on the Cupertino giant. (The stock took a 10% hit when fewer of its components than expected were found in the new iPad Air.) Some worry about shrinking margins for Cirrus Logic, too, in part because of Apple's lower-priced offerings such as the iPhone 5c. Cirrus has been lining up other customers, though, and also operating in other realms, such as LED light power controllers. With some incandescent light bulbs being phased out, some see LED lighting's future as bright. Meanwhile, there are signs that Apple's business is doing well (China, anyone?), which can keep Cirrus among the growth stocks in 2014.

Over the past three years, Cirrus Logic's revenue has averaged annual growth of 35%. Earnings have averaged just 5.1%, but over the past year, they jumped by more than 50%. Cirrus Logic's recent P/E ratio has been around 9, well below its five-year average of 16.7. Its forward-looking P/E, based on next year's earnings, is even more compelling, at 7.5. That makes Cirrus Logic an attractive growth stock for 2014.

Trinity Industries (NYSE: TRN  )
Trinity Industries gets most of its earnings from making rail cars and is benefiting as our economy recovers and interest grows in railroad transportation, as it's more cost-effective than trucking. The energy industry is increasingly using rails, for example, with some 234,000 freight cars transporting 167 million barrels of oil last year. Bulls like Trinity Industries' diversification, as it is also involved in railcar leasing, barge manufacturing, construction services, and more. It's even a major wind-tower maker. In its third quarter, Trinity Industries posted record earnings, up 58% over year-ago levels, with revenue up 22% and a railcar order backlog of more than $5 billion -- a sum that exceeds the company's market capitalization! Analysts at Stifel recently upgraded the stock to a "buy," citing strong fundamentals and growing railcar production.

Over the past three years, Trinity Industries' revenue has averaged annual growth of 22.6%, while earnings have averaged 65.5%. Trinity's recent P/E ratio has been around 14, above its five-year average of 12. But its forward-looking P/E, based on next year's earnings, is a mere 10. That makes it a tempting contender among growth stocks for 2014. Trinity offers a 1.1% dividend yield as well, with its dividend raised by double-digit percentages in recent years -- and fully 36% in 2013.

If you're seeking growth stocks, 2014 is a year that offers plenty of them, and many are attractively priced as well.

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Selena Maranjian

Selena Maranjian has been writing for the Fool since 1996 and covers basic investing and personal finance topics. She also prepares the Fool's syndicated newspaper column and has written or co-written a number of Fool books. For more financial and non-financial fare (as well as silly things), follow her on Twitter...

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9/2/2015 4:00 PM
AAPL $112.34 Up +4.62 +4.29%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
CRUS $29.44 Up +0.45 +1.55%
Cirrus Logic CAPS Rating: ****
NOV $40.86 Down -0.49 -1.19%
National Oilwell V… CAPS Rating: *****
TRN $26.26 Up +0.13 +0.50%
Trinity Industries… CAPS Rating: *****