With the major indexes hitting yet another set of new all-time highs over the past month, some investors are getting jittery, wondering how much higher things can go. Yet even in this market, there are stocks out that are only just getting their bearings and still have room to move up from here.
We asked three Motley Fool contributors to identify a growth stock that they think investors should consider buying in June. Read on to find out why those Fools think Centennial Resource Development (NASDAQ:CDEV), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), and Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE:PGEM) could run higher.
This oil growth stock is just getting started
Matt DiLallo (Centennial Resource Development): When oil industry veteran Mark Papa retired from EOG Resources in 2013, both the sector and his company were riding high. Under his leadership, EOG Resources amassed some of the best shale resources in the country, which enabled it to ride the wave of triple-digit oil prices and become the fastest-growing large-cap oil company in America. However, shortly after he retired, oil prices crashed, which Papa saw not as a challenge but as an opportunity of a lifetime. That's why he came out of retirement to join energy-focused private-equity company Riverstone as a partner, which ultimately led to the creation of Centennial Resource Development.
Since launching Centennial Resource Development last year, Papa and his team have amassed an 88,000 net acre position in the red-hot Permian Basin that he intends to use as a springboard for future growth. In fact, the company's current plan is to grow its net production from the 5,757 barrels of oil per day it produced last year up to an average of 60,000 barrels per day by 2020. What's worth noting about that forecast is that Centennial can achieve that remarkable growth rate at current oil prices and with its existing resources. Further, it doesn't intend use debt to fuel growth since one of the pillars of its 2020 game plan is to "maintain one of the lowest net debt positions of all U.S. E&P companies." Meanwhile, there's ample upside if oil prices rise or if the company makes additional acquisitions.
That said, Centennial's goal isn't to grow production just for the sake of becoming bigger. Instead, its primary objective is to deliver the best equity performance of any U.S. mid-cap E&P company through 2020, which it believes it can achieve by using the latest technology and innovation in drilling high-return Permian wells. That focus on growing to create value could make investors a boatload money in the years ahead.
A poster child for personalized medicine
Keith Speights (Vertex Pharmaceuticals): If you pay attention to healthcare at all, you've likely heard a lot over the past couple of years about personalized medicine, sometimes referred to as precision medicine. In a nutshell, those terms refer to treatments that are tailored specifically to an individual, typically by using the patient's genetic profile.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals could serve as a poster child for personalized medicine. Just look at the biotech's first approved drug. In 2012, Vertex won U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Kalydeco in treating cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. But that approval wasn't for all CF patients. Instead, it was only for those patients ages 6 years and older with the specific G551D mutation in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR) gene. That's personalized medicine.
Over the years, Vertex gained more approvals for Kalydeco in treating patients with other gene mutations. The company also got the thumbs-up for a newer CF drug, Orkambi. And yet another powerful drug could be on the way: Vertex reported great results from two late-stage clinical studies of a combination of tezacaftor and Kalydeco in March. The company plans to file for regulatory approval in the third quarter.
No other company even comes close to matching what Vertex is doing in treating CF. The stock has seen phenomenal growth so far in 2017 -- and I think we're only seeing the early stages of what's in store. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is arguably one of the three best stocks in personalized medicine. It just might be the best stock in this game-changing area of drug development.
Ready to build future growth
Rich Duprey (Ply Gem Holdings): While the housing market continues to emit conflicting signals about whether it's gaining ground or not, building products supplier Ply Gem Holdings is exhibiting strength ahead of the industry.
Its first-quarter report showed sales were up 5% due to higher demand, with losses narrowing substantially year over year from $27 million to $3 million, and it's anticipating business will improve markedly in its seasonally important second and third quarters. Ply Gem says that based on estimates of 5% to 10% growth in U.S. single-family housing starts, and 3% to 5% growth in the U.S. big-ticket repair and remodel market, it was able to reaffirm its guidance for full year adjusted EBITDA in the range of $250 to $265 million, a near 10% gain from 2016.
Analysts expect Ply Gem to grow earnings at a 21% rate annually for the next five years, and though its stock is up 10% from where it sat a year ago -- and more than 35% from its 52-week low -- the building supplier still trades at a significant discount of 11 times earnings and 10 times next year's estimates. When coupled with analysts' projections that puts its price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio at a very attractive 0.5. Across most metrics, in fact, Ply Gem looks cheap. It goes off at just a fraction of its sales and at less than 11 times free cash flow.
There are risks of course. While home sales notched their highest level in 10 years last month , the National Association of Realtors pending home sales index (which forecasts future sales) fell 1.3% in April, the second straight month it was down. Yet Ply Gem is still looking for the remodeling market to rise, so if home sales do fall, renovations could pick up part of the slack. This is one stock for investors watch in June and beyond.