High-growth stocks can drive massive returns for investors, as Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) shareholders have found the past couple of years. Since coming public, the stock is up 430%, and the company may only be scratching the surface of its long-term potential.
While returns like Shopify's are hard to come by, three of our contributors think they have picks that could keep pace. Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED), Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA), and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) have a lot of growth ahead, and if they can execute on their growth plans, they could put Shopify's returns to shame.
This industry could be bigger than e-commerce
Neha Chamaria (Canopy Growth): Canopy Growth went public -- on Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange -- about a year later than Shopify, but the stock has already soared more than twice that of Shopify since. That may not sound as surprising when you realize that Canopy is a marijuana company.
Today, Canopy Growth is the world's largest marijuana company in terms of market capitalization. The company has a solid presence in the medical marijuana market and is rapidly expanding its capacity even as it awaits a potential legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada in the near future. Consider: Canopy has 3.7 million square feet of growing capacity projects in progress, compared with the 665,000 square feet of capacity it currently owns.
The growth potential in the pot industry has even made alcohol players sit up and take notice. Some months ago, Canopy Growth sent hopes of marijuana investors soaring when it announced a 9.9% stake sale to beer giant Constellation Brands, making it the first of its kind deal in the marijuana industry.
And now, Canopy Growth is reportedly eyeing a listing on the Nasdaq, which should be a big push to its stock price. Even otherwise, Canopy Growth could continue to dwarf Shopify's returns if industry experts' estimates of double-digit growth in the marijuana industry in the coming years are anything to go by.
Driving off with growth
Rich Duprey (Carvana): Shopify is changing how companies do business, and Carvana is changing how people buy used cars.
Automakers have made the car-buying experience an excruciating one. Carvana seeks to take the pain out of the process by removing arguably the most distasteful part of it: the salesperson. No longer do you have to put up with high-pressure sales tactics, getting cajoled into expensive and unnecessary add-ons, and slippery deal-mongering. Simply call up the tens of thousands of cars on the Carvana website, pick the make, model, and options you want, and make the purchase.
The entire, pain-free experience can be over in as little as 10 minutes from the comfort of your living room. Even better, Carvana will deliver the car to your front door, or if you live near one of its Car Vending Machines -- literally, it's an automat for automobiles -- you can watch your car snake down the eight-story glass building to be delivered at your feet. Did I mention there's a seven-day money-back guarantee, too?
In 2017 the number of cars Carvana sold more than doubled to over 44,000 vehicles while revenue rose by 135% to $858.9 million. While it's still losing money at the moment, Carvana reported that gross profit per unit soared by 50% last year, hitting $1,539 per vehicle, but the fourth quarter showed all those metrics accelerating.
For 2018, the car buying service is looking to double revenue and units sold again, with profit per unit increasing by as much as 40%. It may take some time before it records net profit, but with the growth it's enjoying it should come sooner rather than later.
Travis Hoium (Take-Two Interactive): Companies with return potential like Shopify's need to be riding the growth of an industry (in Shopyify's case, e-commerce) and have optionality in their business model to grow into new markets. Take-Two Interactive is part of a growing video game industry that's still learning how to exploit markets such as mobile and esports, and the company has an opportunity to grow into a number of adjacent markets.
Take-Two's biggest game franchises include Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, and Civilization, which have each built out large fan bases in the gamer community. This foundation of games has created a highly profitable business, but it's the growth opportunities that excite me most.
Take-Two Interactive has focused most of its efforts on developing games for consoles and PCs, leaving the mobile market wide open for the company. The acquisition of Social Point last year could indicate an interest in more mobile games, which could be all incremental revenue for the company.
Esports is another arena that had gone untouched, until recently, by Take-Two Interactive. The summer of 2017 was the first time the company acknowledged the potential of esports, partnering with the NBA to create an esports league based on NBA 2K that will launch in 2018. This puts the company years behind Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Call of Duty World League and Overwatch League, but the popularity of Take-Two Interactive's games may make that head start a moot point. Esports is the kind of growth opportunity I like to see in a stock and could make this a home run for the long term.
A foundation of popular games is something Take-Two Interactive can expand upon, and if it can successfully move into mobile and esports, it should have a long growth trajectory ahead. That's how I think it can become a stock with a Shopify-like return.
With reward comes risk
As with any growth stock, each of these companies has its own risks. Marijuana may run into legal hurdles, auto sales may remain entrenched at the dealership, and video games may not have as bright a future as we think. But with each of these stocks, we think the reward is worth the risk for those looking for big-time returns from their investments.