Stocks that can generate life-changing returns on capital aren't exactly commonplace. In fact, the rare few that do offer explosive levels of growth are generally of the high-risk variety.
But if you're comfortable with high-risk investments and are looking for equities that could potentially crush the broader markets, our contributors think that Amarin Corp. (NASDAQ:AMRN), Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER), and Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) are worth checking out. Read on to find out why.
This under-the-radar biotech may have a legit franchise-level drug
George Budwell (Amarin Corp.): Some investors have taken a rather strong liking to the small-cap biotech Amarin Corp. lately, presumably because of the growing market share of its cholesterol-lowering fish oil pill, Vascepa. Vascepa's sales, after all, jumped by around 59% to $129 million in the last year, and the drug's momentum is expected to continue this year with yet another 27% rise in annual sales to up to $165 million. The point is that Amarin's shares are only trading at a forward price-to-sales ratio of about 5, which is fairly cheap for a revenue-generating biotech company.
Longer-term, though, this stock has some truly awesome growth potential that could make early shareholders a lot of money. The basic story is that Vascepa's cardiovascular outcomes trial called REDUCE-IT is nearing an important clinical update in the latter half of this year. This trial, if positive, could cause Vascepa's sales to grow exponentially in the coming years, and perhaps even exceed the $2 billion mark sometime within the next decade.
The big picture issue is that Amarin may have a legitimate franchise-level drug on its hands, and that opens up several other value-creating opportunities down the road. In short, the company could boost its product portfolio by buying another biotech, build out a proper clinical pipeline, or plow its growing free cash flows into a shareholder rewards program.
Of course, these value-building activities are predicated upon a positive readout for REDUCE-IT. But Amarin's risk-to-reward profile is arguably compelling enough to warrant a deeper dive by investors searching for unusual growth opportunities.
Building a biotech empire
Cory Renauer (Omeros Corporation): Investors looking for a stock with huge upside potential will want to take a closer look at this biotech. Like many of its small-cap peers, Omeros has new drug candidates with blockbuster potential. What makes this gem stand out from the crowd, though, is a growing revenue stream to fund their development.
Omeros launched Omidria years ago a few years ago into a highly specialized ophthalmic niche where it's steadily been gaining popularity. Last year, Omidria sales surged 212% over the previous year to $41.6 million, and it has plenty of room to run. The pupil-dilating drug assists eye surgeons performing cataract removals and lens replacements. Around 4 million of these procedures are performed in the U.S. each year, which strongly suggests Omidria has only scratched the surface of its peak sales potential.
While its commercial-stage drug is exciting on its own, the revenue it generates will fund development of a very interesting pipeline. The candidate furthest along is OMS721 for the treatment of several rare diseases, including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Currently, the only available treatment for this life-threatening condition is Soliris, a drug that generated $2.8 billion in sales for Alexion Pharmaceuticals last year.
At recent prices, Omeros is a biotech bargain with a market cap of just $618 million. I think Omidria's potential alone justifies this price, which is a bit like getting its clinical-stage assets for free.
Of course, Omeros stock could fall if OMS721 fails to impress, or Omidria's sales trajectory levels off. With a bit of luck, though, this stock has what it takes to make investors rich.
Energy tollbooths for the modern age
Chuck Saletta (Enbridge): Canadian energy pipeline giant Enbridge is setting itself up to potentially create substantial wealth for its shareholders over time. Thanks in part to its recent acquisition of U.S. pipeline company Spectra Energy, Enbridge expects to be able to increase its dividend by 10% to 12% each year between now and 2024.
Enbridge's current dividend is 0.583 Canadian dollars per share per quarter, which converts to $0.44 in U.S. dollars. At its publicly projected growth rate, that dividend will be somewhere between $0.85 and $0.96 per share per quarter by 2024. Assuming its yield remains around 4.2%, that implies a share price somewhere between $81 and $92 per share in 2024. With a recent price around $41, the company has a legitimate chance of doubling in value over the next seven years, just by executing its publicly declared plans.
Add to those potential gains dividends that are expected to total between $19.95 and $21.45 per share between 2017 and 2024, and an investor's total return could easily top 150% by then.
Two factors give Enbridge the confidence to predict its business that far out. First, it's essentially in the energy tollbooth business. Most of its revenue comes from shipping energy around. It gets paid on the volume of energy it moves, rather than the price that energy fetches, insulating it from many of the crazy swings in commodity prices.
Second, the recent merger with Spectra makes Enbridge the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. That gives it better scale to lower its overhead costs on things like financing, maintenance, and capital equipment purchases. The merger also gives it opportunities to wring synergy savings out of the combined entity, which is a key driver behind its projected dividend growth.
Enbridge may not provide the world's fastest path to investment wealth, but it certainly has one of the most straightforward paths to potential longer-term value creation for investors.