When discussing success stories in the retail industry, Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) probably comes to mind. Dollar Tree has seen its shares soar by nearly 390% over the trailing 10-year period (and roughly 5,000% since March 1995) as its efforts to focus on low-cost products have struck a chord with consumers who are still looking for good deals following the Great Recession.
However, Dollar Tree isn't the first growth stock to have success, nor will it be the last. We asked three of our Foolish investors to name a growth stock that they believe has a chance to soar more than Dollar Tree has. Rising to the top of the list were drugmaker Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT), smart home solutions provider Control4 (NASDAQ:CTRL), and home beverage carbonation system retailer SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA).
This drugmaker may offer a breakthrough liver-disease treatment
Sean Williams (Intercept Pharmaceuticals): While it could be incredibly difficult to match Dollar Tree's roughly 390% return over the past decade, let alone its 5,000% return since March 1995, one company that I suspect has a decent shot at potentially quintupling in value over the next decade is Intercept Pharmaceuticals.
Intercept is a company this Fool has trumpeted more than once, and it's all because of the potential behind Ocaliva, the company's only Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy. Currently, Ocaliva is approved to treat primary biliary cholangitis, but this is an indication that'll likely generate only a few hundred million in revenue at its peak. The real crown jewel rests with the phase 3 REGENERATE trial involving Ocaliva for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.
NASH is a liver disease that's expected to become the leading cause of liver transplants next decade. It's also a disease that impacts between 2% and 5% of the adult population in this country, leading to liver fibrosis, liver cancer, and potentially even death. There are no approved therapies to treat NASH, suggesting that a first-in-class therapy could possibly rake in billions of dollars annually, if effective.
The promise of Ocaliva comes entirely from the company's phase 2b FLINT trial. In that trial, nearly half of all patients (45%) showed a two-point or greater reduction in the NAFLD Activity Score compared to 21% for the control arm, and 35% of Ocaliva patients demonstrated a mean score benefit in fibrosis, compared with just 19% for the control arm. If Ocaliva can generate a statistically significant improvement in mean score benefit for fibrosis, it could easily become the go-to NASH therapy.
Most drug developers wind up being valued at multiple times their peak sales. In Ocaliva's case, the most bullish pundits have suggested sales could hit $9 billion on an annual basis. Putting just a conservative three times multiple on that figure would give Intercept about 800% upside from its current level. That may not be Dollar Tree-esque, but it'd be one heck of a return for long-term investors.
A smart stock for smart homes
Daniel Miller (Control4): The Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the most commonly used buzzwords over the past few years, but the truth is this story is just getting started. At its simplest, IoT is simply an internet connection between everyday things such as homes, phones, watches, and security systems, among many other products. But one section of the IoT smart homes, is just getting started, and Control4 has carved out a premium position.
At first glance, it's difficult to understand the competitors and their respective positions. Companies such as Amazon.com have mostly done business with one or two connected devices in the home with a do-it-yourself mindset. ADT is more of a managed service, with installation and a monthly subscription. Those two segments generally deal with less than 10 connected devices in the home and for less than $1,000 when it's all said and done. Control4, on the other hand, is a pro-installed and premium solution designed for more than 25 devices and typically costing between $1,000 and $50,000.
That means Control4 is going for a premium consumer, typically U.S. households that generate more than $150,000 in annual income. And with only about 1.4% of market penetration, it has a long runway for growth as more households begin to connect everyday devices. One favorable factor for investors to consider is that growth should come easier for Control4 because it has an open software platform and ecosystem that's interoperable with over 10,600 third-party products, including Echo from Amazon and Nest smart-home products from Alphabet. Control4 isn't for investors unwilling to take on risk, but the company has positioned itself on the premium side of a market poised to explode in the coming decades. It also has no debt and continues to grow its top line quickly. This could easily be a great growth stock going forward.
Get thirsty for profits
Demitri Kalogeropoulos (SodaStream): SodaStream shares have already more than doubled over the past year -- but I see room for additional gains ahead for long-term investors.
The at-home carbonated-beverage maker returned to sales growth in 2016, after posting two brutal years of declines. Management's risky strategic shift away from a soda focus and into a sparkling-water branding appears to have worked. SodaStream sold 22% more machine kits over the critical holiday quarter last year than it did in 2015.
Better yet, the company's manufacturing reorganization, given urgency by the revenue collapse, has left it with a significantly lower cost burden. Operating expenses amounted to 40% of sales last year, compared with 44% in 2012. Couple that trend with rising average selling prices on its machines, and it's no surprise that net income is at a record high even though SodaStream's sales base is still 15% below the peak it set in 2013.
CEO Daniel Birnbaum and his executive team are aiming to soak up market share this year, especially in the U.S. geography, by improving the product's presentation at retailers and scaling up their most effective advertising campaigns. "Consumers are responding positively to our messaging," Birnbaum told investors back in February, "around health and wellness, convenience, and the environment."
These shifts helped the company grow canister refill sales by 12% in the first quarter of 2017 to mark SodaStream's fastest rate of consumption gains in years. And with the product, market share, and manufacturing trends now all pointing in the right direction, it looks as if this business is just at the start of its growth rebound.