Given a long enough period of time, any investment could double your money. That said, it is possible to accelerate the timeframe and get there quickly by picking stocks that have significant near-term upside potential. Three stocks that we think could do just that are Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS -0.79%), Energen (EGN), and Axon Enterprise (AXON -0.74%).

Hope you're not afraid of heights...

Rich Smith (Kratos Defense): Let's face facts: Any stock has the potential to "double your money." The question is how long you want to wait for that to happen. At the S&P 500's 10% long-term growth rate, an average stock should double in about seven years. Lower-quality stocks might take a bit longer; better-quality stocks could grow a bit faster.

A hand grabbing money that's falling from the sky.

Image source: Getty Images.

To double your money quickly, though, you kind of need to bet on a moonshot. That's what Kratos Defense & Security is.

At its core, Kratos Defense today is a maker of high-tech electronics and low-tech target drones for the U.S. military. What makes this company a potential double is its plan to evolve beyond these core businesses, and become a maker of high-tech, remotely operated combat drones -- big, jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicles that will be fast enough to keep up with the Air Force's F-16s and F-35s, and big enough to carry significant weapons loads themselves.

Kratos is well on its way to developing these drones for the military, and in fact has several models undergoing testing already. There can be no assurance that the Pentagon will ultimately decide to buy large quantities of Kratos's combat drones. But if it does decide to do so, then Kratos could begin booking revenues of as much as $3 million per drone sold, sell hundreds of drones per year, and potentially double or even triple its current $700 million-ish revenue run rate.

If and when that happens, I think it's a safe bet the stock will double, too.

Similar resources for half the price

Matt DiLallo (Energen): The Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico has turned out to be a gold mine for the U.S. oil industry. Oil and gas so saturate the rocks underneath the region that companies can earn exceptionally high returns drilling new wells, even at lower oil prices. That has enabled those focused on the area to unleash a torrent of new oil and gas production in recent years.

That rapidly rising output has been like rocket fuel for the stock prices of many drillers, which have outperformed the stock market despite a brutally tough oil market. That said, not all of them have gotten caught up in this wave, with Energen's stock slumping double digits over the past three years, even though it's growing production at a brisk pace. Because of that, its valuation has fallen well behind red-hot rival Diamondback Energy (FANG -0.77%), which has similar metrics:

Permian Driller

Enterprise Value

Production Rate

Core Permian Acreage Position

Remaining Economic Drilling Locations at $50 Oil

Diamondback Energy

$14.7 billion

85,000 BOE/D




$6.3 billion

81,300 BOE/D



Data source: Diamondback Energy and Energen. BOE/D = barrels of oil equivalent per day.

That chart suggests Energen could be more than 50% undervalued compared to Diamondback and other premium-priced peers. It's an undeserved discount considering Energen has grown output at a 19% compound annual rate over the past five years, and like Diamondback still has plenty left in the tank. Because of that, its stock could quickly play catch-up in the coming years if oil prices keep heading higher, since that should send its profitability skyward, which could cause investors to begin bidding up its relatively cheap stock closer to that of its rival.

Ride the body camera wave

Travis Hoium (Axon Enterprise): Tasers and body cameras are a booming business for Axon Enterprise, and the company is only now beginning to exploit its opportunity. Tasers are a steady business for the company, but body cameras are growing exponentially, and that's where the opportunity is for investors. 

In the first nine months of 2017, revenue in software and sensors, which includes body cameras and cloud services, was up 88.8% to $79.0 million. That's critical because gross margin in the services segment was a whopping 77%, and contracts for those services are often five years in length. The most common service is an subscription, which is where officers offload body camera footage after a shift. 

This is a great growth business because Axon Enterprise continues to add functionality to its services. A records management system will be launched this year, and the company has invested in artificial intelligence technology that allows officers and prosecutors to search footage more easily. 

As law enforcement agencies adopt body cameras and their services become part of an everyday routine, a lock-in effect will start to take place, making Axon's products very sticky. And Axon's large market share means it'll have the money to research and develop specific tools needed by law enforcement. That'll strengthen the company's already large market share and make an initial 5-year contract into -- potentially -- lifetime customers. 

I think Axon Enterprise's stock can double because it's riding a growing market, building a high-margin services business, and developing products that will lock in customers for years, or decades, to come. That's the formula for a very profitable business, and it's why I'm betting on Axon Enterprise's future.