If you're a shareholder of chipmaker Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), you're probably not complaining. Shares are up 124% over the trailing five-year period, with the company maintaining a dominant market share lead in the stagnant personal-computing market, and making inroads in the fast-growing cloud-computing space.
However, you could be doing better. We asked three of our Foolish investors for a company they believed could outperform Intel moving forward. Their responses included precious-metals miner First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG), global banking giant JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and cloud-based commerce platform Shopify (NYSE:SHOP).
Few stocks offer this kind of luster
Sean Williams (First Majestic Silver): Trying to top the performance of chipmaker Intel is a difficult feat, but the closest mining company to a silver pure-play, First Majestic Silver, would be one stock that could do it.
According to an earlier-year analysis by Bank of Montreal, First Majestic can expect about 70% of its revenue in 2017 to come from the production of silver. That's higher than any other mining company in the industry, considering that many have diversified their production portfolios by focusing on gold. By contrast, First Majestic gets about 18% of revenue from gold, with the remaining 12% from a combination of lead and zinc.
At the heart of First Majestic's production are six operating mines in Mexico that it fully owns. No streaming contracts needed here! The company is counting on expansion within its existing mines to help drive growth. These projects include the commissioning of a roasting circuit at La Encantada in 2018, which should add about 1.5 million ounces of silver per year, along with the decision to boost processing at La Guitarra to 1,000 tons per day. La Guitarra currently delivers daily mill throughput of 400 tons per day, but it has proven and probable reserves of 9.1 million silver ounces and 49,000 gold ounces that's enticing First Majestic to boost its processing capacity.
In addition to organic expansion, the company has two late-stage projects, Plomosas and La Luz, that should be pivotal in nearly doubling the company's annual silver output. Within the next two to four years, First Majestic is aiming to push its silver production from a little over 10 million ounces a year to approximately 20 million ounces. All the while, its operating costs should decline as production ramps up.
Lastly, there's a bullish case for physical silver with the Federal Reserve taking its sweet time raising interest rates (higher interest rates make precious metals with no yields, like silver, less attractive), and the gold-to-silver ratio soaring. Traditionally, when the gold-to-silver ratio crosses 50, silver is perceived to be the better investment of the two metals. At last check, this ratio stood at nearly 76-to-1.
With strong forecasted production growth, the expectation of shrinking all-in sustaining costs, and a positive outlook for physical silver, First Majestic may be ready to soar.
This bank has more room to run
Jordan Wathen (JPMorgan Chase): Don't let its size fool you. JPMorgan Chase is still finding a way to grow its earnings power at an impressive clip.
Now the largest bank by assets, JPMorgan reported that its average deposits in its consumer bank jumped 9% year over year. Average deposits reported under the corporate and investment bank jumped 11%. In all, deposits on a period-end basis rose 5%, and earnings per share rose 11% year over year.
The bank holding company's third-quarter deposit growth was especially impressive when you consider that it already had about 11% of all deposits at all commercial banks at the start of the year. JPMorgan is a fast-growing bank working off a very big base.
Investors who want to amplify their returns can look to JPMorgan Chase Warrants, each of which currently entitles shareholders to buy 1.01 shares of the bank for $41.83 each. These warrants effectively magnify the gain or loss on JPMorgan shares by about 1.66 times. Thus ,a 10% gain in the share price would result in a 16% gain in the warrants.
The warrants expire on Oct. 28, 2018, so investors who want to hold for the long term will have to exercise them before expiration. But given JPMorgan's impressive ramp-up in deposits and earnings, I think they're a very attractive way to invest in one of America's best-performing megabanks.
A fast-growing e-commerce platform
Keith Noonan (Shopify): Shopify is a high-risk investment with an appeal based on high-reward potential. If you're looking for returns that can match what Intel delivered over the past several decades, that's par for the course.
The e-commerce platform has been under the microscope following a scathing report from Citron Research and is be having some trouble escaping from that shadow. The company recently delivered another quarter of impressive growth, but shares took a dive following a fresh round of criticism from Citron. That could be an opportunity for long-term investors.
Shopify's sales for the quarter were up 72% year over year, and the company recorded its first period of adjusted profitability. Subscription revenue climbed 79% on the strength of new customer additions. Its merchant solutions segment, which mostly consists of payment processing fees, grew 79% as the total volume of goods sold on the platform increased 69% to reach $6.4 billion. While I think there is some validity to charges that Shopify should be more transparent about its customer churn rate and revise some of its marketing practices, its growth trajectory points to a solid underlying product that still has lots of room to scale.
E-commerce still has huge growth ahead, and Shopify appears to be in position to facilitate and benefit from momentum in online selling. Investors are paying a premium for that potential even after recent sell-offs, but I think the upside is worth it for risk-tolerant investors who are willing to weather volatility.
Jordan Wathen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.