"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been." - Wayne Gretzky
We Fools love this Gretzky quote because it is so applicable to investing. After all, when buying stocks, your goal should be to own companies that are set to thrive in the future, not just those that succeeded in the past.
So which companies do we believe are currently "skating to where the puck is going to be?" We asked a trio of our investors to weigh in, and they picked Control4 (NASDAQ:CTRL), Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY), Glaukos Corp. (NYSE:GKOS). Below, they explain why.
A smart stock for smart homes
Daniel Miller (Control4): Smart home/business systems specialist Control4 is one of my favorite growth stocks in some time. In fact, it's up roughly 130% since I first touted it as a stock to buy heading into 2017 -- and I still think it has plenty of upside. The company is a leading provider of solutions that enable consumers to control virtually any device in their home or business. Its hubs serve the high-end market: Customers generally use them to connect between 25 to 125 devices, and the professionally installed systems typically run between $1,000 to $50,000.
The good news is that Control4's reach is continuing to expand; its global dealer network jumped from 3,179 during 2013 to more than 5,140 during 2016. And as management estimates its market penetration of U.S. households with more than $150,000 in annual income to be less than 2%, there is immense upside -- a point that becomes especially clear when you consider the way homes are only becoming more and more loaded with connected devices.
The company is coming off a strong second quarter, too. Its Q2 revenue jumped 11% year over year -- pro forma presented as if its Q1 Triad Speakers acquisition was included in prior year results -- to reach $61.4 million. Operating income jumped 47% and operating margin increased 295 basis points to 13.6%. Its adjusted earnings per share reached $0.32, which was well above analysts' average estimate, which had called for $0.23 per share. Further, it ended the quarter with $65 million in cash, no debt, and generated $6.4 million in cash flow from operations.
If investors are looking for a stock to play a rise in connected devices and smart homes, this is a great option with a strong balance sheet, a proven business model, and plenty of upside.
A under-the-radar growth stock long-term investors should dig
Sean Williams (Yamana Gold): Growth-seeking investors who have long time horizons would be smart to not overlook gold and silver mining company Yamana Gold, which despite its $2.75 share price has a respectable $2.6 billion market cap.
Lately, Yamana Gold hasn't given investors much to cheer about. Its share price has been more than halved since July 2016, gold has mostly been range-bound, and the company has consistently missed Wall Street's profit expectations. But Yamana is in the process of a major transformation that looks likely to reward patient investors over the next two to five years.
In 2018, Yamana Gold is set to bring two major gold-producing properties online. Its Cerro Moro mine remains on track and budget to open early next year. Initial projections call for an average output of 150,000 ounces of gold and 7.2 million ounces of silver over the first three years of production. Similarly, the recommissioned C1 Santa Luz site, also expected in 2018, should yield an average of 114,000 ounces of gold per year for about a decade. Beginning in 2019, the Suruca development within the Chapada mine is expected to add up to 60,000 ounces of gold annually to the company's output for a period of four to five years. All told, we're talking about more than 300,000 additional ounces of gold for Yamana within a few years, which will complement organic growth in its flagship Canadian Malartic and El Penon mines. In simpler terms, a 35% to 40% boost in production could be forthcoming between now and 2020.
More importantly, this added production will have a major impact on Yamana's costs, margins, profitability, and other key metrics. It's already one of the lowest-cost gold miners based on all-in sustaining costs, and its numbers are likely to improve with the new production coming online in 2018 and 2019. In fact, Wall Street expects cash flow per share to grow by more than 50% between now and 2020.
The outlook for spot gold is also bright, even with interest rates on the rise. Investment demand for gold has predominantly remained strong, while supply has been constrained by miners' tighter capital expenditure budgets. Also, the specters of a falling dollar and Trump-based uncertainty provide further reasons to expect that spot gold prices could head higher.
All in all, Yamana Gold is an under-the-radar growth stock in the mining industry that could greatly reward farsighted investors.
I clearly see a bright future
Brian Feroldi (Glaukos): About 83 million people worldwide have glaucoma, which is an eye disease that is the second-leading cause of blindness. It's usually caused by the gradual failure of the eye to properly drain itself of fluid. As a result, pressure builds up and damages the sensitive nerves that are necessary for sight.
A few years back, an innovative medical device company called Glaukos launched a product that is designed to solve this problem: a miniature stent that is designed to be inserted into the eye during cataract surgery. Called the iStent, this incredibly small device creates a channel in the eye that aids in the removal of fluid.
The clinical advantages of the iStent have made it a big hit with patients and providers alike. As a result, Glaukos' revenue has grown at least 40% a quarter for 16 quarters in a row. What's more, that huge top-line growth has allowed the company to show margin improvements and even eke out a small profit.
With the massive baby boomer generation heading into their golden years -- when people's odds of developing open-angle glaucoma spike sharply -- demand for the iStent looks poised to continue to soar for years to come. When combined with operating leverage, Wall Street expects Glaukos to grow its bottom-line by more than 120% annually over the next five years. While the stock is priced for growth -- shares are currently trading around 71 times next year's earnings estimates -- if the company can continue to execute, I could easily see its share price rocketing higher from here. That's not a given, but since this innovative company has so much long-term potential, I think that growth-focused investors would be wise to give it a hard look.