NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has been one of the best stocks on the market the last few years, rising 205% over the past year and 820% over the last three years alone. You may have missed out, but every once in a while these kinds of game changing stocks pop up for investors.
We asked a few of our investors for the stock they think could have NVIDIA-like returns and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER) made the top of the list. Here's why we like them so much.
A stock left for dead
Tim Green (Fitbit): There's more than one way for a stock to post incredible returns. NVIDIA has soared thanks to every part of its business growing like gangbusters, along with a heaping tablespoon of pie-in-the-sky expectations involving artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. Fitbit stock, if it follows suit, will rise not because the company is wildly successful, but because it doesn't fail.
Fitbit stock has been decimated since the fitness wearables company went public in 2015, down nearly 90% from its peak. Revenue has tumbled, profits have turned into losses, and a reportedly troubled smartwatch project may not be the savior the company desperately needs. After a hiring binge throughout its time as a public company, Fitbit was forced to reverse course and lay off employees earlier this year.
With the stock down so much, and with expectations so low, any positive development could send the stock soaring. One thing helping the cause is Fitbit's balance sheet. At the end of the latest quarter, Fitbit had $725 in cash and no debt. Backing out the net cash, the market is valuing Fitbit's business at roughly $600 million. The company expects to produce at least $1.5 billion of revenue in 2017, although a substantial loss is also expected.
Fitbit needs to return to growth and profitability for the stock to have any chance of recovering. But if the company can exceed the beaten-down expectations of the market, a big gain for patient investors isn't out of the question.
A rare gem
Cory Renauer (Omeros Corporation): This biotech has a rare disease drug in development that could render its stock chart into the shape of a hockey stick. The candidate, tentatively named OMS721, throws a wrench in the works of a complex series of steps that can lead to the uncontrolled destruction of tiny blood vessels. The normal function of this component of the immune system removes foreign particles. Among a small group of patients with rare genetic conditions, though, uncontrolled activation of the complement system leads to life threatening clots within tiny blood vessels throughout the body.
There is a treatment available for one of these genetic conditions, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), called Soliris from Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately for aHUS patients it often causes headaches, diarrhea, and has been known to increase the risk of dangerous infections. Despite Soliris' drawbacks, it raked in a stunning $2.6 billion last year, and it stands to reason that a more tolerable treatment for inherited complement system disorders could top this figure.
Omeros Corporation's stock price has more than doubled this year, as the company dropped hints an ongoing clinical trial with aHUS patients designed to support an FDA application could succeed. A relative lack of side effects compared to Soliris could make a potential new drug launch incredibly successful, provided it earns FDA approval. If OMS721 becomes half as successful as Soliris, this company's market cap of just $965 million would probably swell to several times its current size.
Perhaps my favorite feature of this biotech is that it already has a growing source of revenue to fund OMS721's clinical trials. The company markets a pupil dilator called Omidria, and it's becoming increasingly popular among eye surgeons that perform millions of cataract removals and lens replacement surgeries each year. Omidria's ability to reduce complications has sent its sales surging to a level could make Omeros a profitable company this year, which could limit losses if an unexpected snafu causes OMS721 to fizzle.
The overlooked auto giant
Travis Hoium (General Motors): I'm going with an outside the box pick here, but let me explain why General Motors will be a great stock for investors long-term, just like Nvidia.
GM is an extremely profitable company because of its core automotive operations. It's a leader in the lucrative truck and SUV market, something that's churning out cash today. And the stock trades at a price/earnings multiple below 6.
And GM is arguably doing more than any other company to build the autonomous fleets that will drive the future of transportation. Its Cruise Automation division is developing self-driving technology and if you watch its YouTube channel the results are pretty impressive and the all-electric Chevy Bolt has at least 180 autonomous vehicles in testing across the country. On top of Cruise Automation, GM owns a 9% stake in Lyft, the ride hailing company, giving it a lot of optionality in the autonomous driving future.
On top of being a leader in autonomy and ride sharing, GM beat Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 to market when the Chevy Bolt hit the streets late last year. According to InsideEVs, GM has already sold 7,592 Bolts in the U.S. and is ramping up production each month.
With a profitable foundation and a strategic position that puts it ahead of most competitors in EVs, autonomous driving, and ride sharing, GM is well positioned for the future. And shares are trading at such a low multiple that the stock could double and it could still be considered a value stock. Long-term, GM is a stock that could put Nvidia's returns to shame.