Finding growth stocks is easy -- any stock screener can do that with the click of a button. However, finding high-quality stocks that can deliver double-digit growth and return potential for years to come -- that's far more challenging. It requires putting your nose to the grindstone and weeding out the companies that don't belong.
With this in mind, we asked three of our Foolish contributors to name a stock that they believe has double-digit return potential. Coming to the forefront were precious-metals miner Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY), open-source software solutions provider Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), and automotive electronic, powertrain, and safety components manufacturer Delphi Automotive (NYSE:DLPH).
Finding double-digit growth in one of the oldest industries on the planet
Sean Williams (Yamana Gold): Who said you had to look at tech or biotech stocks to find double-digit growth potential? I firmly believe you could find solid long-term growth in one of the oldest industries on the planet: mining. Primarily, I'm digging North and South American gold, silver, and copper miner Yamana Gold.
Yamana's first-quarter earnings report left a lot to be desired for Wall Street. Even though Yamana was able to capture a higher realized price for its precious metals on a year-over-year basis, revenue rose by less than 1% in the first quarter to $403.5 million (mainly a result of declining gold and silver production). It wound up producing a net loss of $0.01 per share, which was worse than the Street's expectations and well below its $0.04-per-share year-ago profit.
How on earth does this poor quarter translate into double-digit growth? Simple. Yamana has a number of ongoing developments set to begin commercial production over the next two years. This should boost its output and in short order help lower its costs even further. For those who may not be aware, Yamana's silver and copper help offset its gold-mining costs.
The two biggest increases in production will come from Cerro Moro and C1 Santa Luz, which is part of its Brio Gold subsidiary. Cerro Moro is expected to begin its initial production in the second quarter of 2018, with average output of 150,000 ounces of gold and 7.2 million ounces of silver over the first three years. Life-of-mine production is estimated to be 130,000 ounces of gold and 6.4 million ounces of silver per year. As for the recommissioning of C1 Santa Luz, Yamana is expected to see average annual production of 114,000 ounces of gold over its 10-year mine life, with an average of 130,000 ounces of gold forecast over the first seven years. It's also due back on line in 2018.
Furthermore, beginning in 2019, the Suruca development within the Chapada mine is expected to yield between 45,000 ounces and 60,000 ounces of gold per year for up to five years.
All of this added production is expected to catapult Yamana's annual cash flow per share by 50% within three years, and quintuple its potential profits. That's a recipe for a substantially higher share price if precious-metal prices continue to cooperate.
Red Hat is red hot -- for the long run
Anders Bylund (Red Hat): Linux and open-source software vendor Red Hat is more than just a likely source of double-digit returns in 2017. It's a strong candidate to deliver steady returns for many years to come, including a large number of double-digit jumps.
Red Hat shares have been delivering exactly that for a while.
The stock doesn't always rise, year in and year out. But the inevitable dips are followed by larger gains. For example, Red Hat investors suffered a 9% negative return in 2008 and a blood-chilling 37% plunge in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, the stock roared back with gains of 139% and 48%, respectively.
The average annual return on Red Hat shares over the last five years was 10.7%. That's actually the lowest five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the last sevenyears. On several occasions, Red Hat investors have enjoyed CAGR returns of 20% or more.
Looking ahead, I see no reason why Red Hat's rock-steady returns should slow down anytime soon. The opposite, in fact.
The company runs a lightweight, disruptive business model with a sharp focus on high-growth markets. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is already a big name in enterprise computing circles. Going forward, Red Hat is establishing itself as a leader in the emerging OpenStack market while also providing top-notch security solutions for the Internet of Things.
Red Hat's top-line sales growth is accelerating while earnings have skyrocketed in recent quarters. Share prices may have seen solid gains over the long term, but they have some catching up to do right now.
Daniel Miller (Delphi Automotive): When you think of stocks that have the potential to double, during either the short term or the long term, chances are you wouldn't start your research within the industrials sector. That's what makes this a sly and somewhat surprising pick, as Delphi Automotive also operates in the highly capital-intensive automotive industry. Savvy investors shouldn't count this company out to double up for two reasons.
If you remember only a couple of weeks ago, Delphi's stock price surged 11% higher after the company announced it would divest its powertrain group in a tax-free spinoff for its shareholders. It's the most recent divestiture of many in the past few years, but after the dust settles, it sets investors up to have a more lucrative automotive supplier that's focused almost entirely on electronic components and systems, and the development of driverless vehicle technology.
And then wouldn't you know it, on Tuesday Delphi doubled down with another move savvy investors can appreciate: It announced it would join BMW's self-driving car program. That means Delphi, BMW, as well as Mobileye, which was recently acquired by Intel, will all be working to create fully driverless vehicle technology. This is a very smart move, in my opinion.
Not only has Delphi made it abundantly clear this month it's repositioning itself as a pure play into driverless vehicle technology, but it's booked a partnership with Mobileye and Intel that should set the stage for it to become a leader in developing the systems. If Delphi executes on its strategy, it can easily ride the coming megatrend of driverless vehicle technology to double-digit gains for investors.
Anders Bylund owns shares of Intel and Red Hat. Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. Sean Williams has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BMW and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.