Every investor can benefit from growth stocks, particularly for building long-term wealth. They don't all pan out, but the fact is, pretty much every blue chip stalwart out there started out as a small company, competing and disrupting its way to the top. Growth stocks are the kinds of investments that can turn small sums of money into life-changing wealth.
If you're looking to add some growth to your portfolio, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Baozun Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BZUN), and Duluth Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:DLTH) might be exactly what you need. Three Motley Fool contributors write below about why they like these companies, and why they think now is an excellent time for investors to buy.
Take advantage of the market's fears
Jason Hall (Starbucks): Starbucks has been an incredible growth stock for years, delivering regular double-digit earnings growth over its decades of steady expansion. This has paid off handsomely for investors, who have seen the stock price increase an incredible 17,000% since going public decades ago. More recently, however, many investors have become afraid that Starbucks' growth story is coming to an end. Steady weakening of its comps growth -- sales at stores open more than one year -- in the U.S. is viewed by some investors as proof that the best days are in the past. This has been the main reason why Starbucks' stock has fallen some 11% from its recent peak.
And while there's reason to monitor Starbucks slowing comps growth in the U.S., I think savvy investors who look at the bigger picture could do incredibly well to buy now because the growth isn't over. Starbucks is very early in its growth in a market that management regularly says will be even bigger: China. At the same time, its Roastery and Reserve store concepts are starting to pay off both in the U.S. and abroad, along with expanded food and beverage choices to grow sales across day parts. Add it all up, and I see opportunity rather than weakness.
While the market frets over slowing U.S. comps growth, I expect Starbucks will continue to deliver double-digit earnings growth for many more years to come. Factor in the chance to buy shares for 19 times earnings and a PEG ratio of 1.1, and Starbucks should be near the top of growth investors' buy lists.
Ride momentum in Chinese e-commerce
Keith Noonan (Baozun): Baozun stock is riding high, with shares having gained roughly 200% over the last year and 25% since publishing its fourth-quarter earnings results on March 5. That kind of rapid growth is sometimes cause for concern, but the company's big valuation gains do not appear to be unwarranted.
The Chinese e-commerce platform has been consistently delivering strong growth and appears to have a long runway for expanding sales and earnings. Sales for the December-ended quarter climbed 23% year over year, net income rose 139%, and the total volume of sales conducted through the company's platform jumped 75%. In light of the momentum for China's e-commerce industry and some key initiatives within the company, Baozun stands a good chance of keeping its impressive growth streak alive.
China's total e-commerce spending totaled roughly $1.1 trillion last year, making the country the world's largest market for online retail. It's not even close to reaching its full potential, however. PricewaterhouseCoopers expects that e-commerce's share of China's total retail market will rise from 17% in 2017 to 25% in 2025, and there's a huge long-term growth opportunity as the country's middle class continues to grow in size and per-capita wealth.
These are the types of trends that retail brands are understandably eager to cash in on, but it's not that simple. Government regulations mean that businesses can't simply set up shop in China, but companies selling their wares on Baozun's platform presents eligible businesses with a simple, time-and-cost effective work around. The company already counts Nike, Microsoft, and Tapestry among its brand partners, and it's steadily growing its client base -- having added 19 new business partners across its last fiscal year.
With sales on track to grow at an impressive clip and profitability likely to improve as the company shifts toward a less-cost-intensive business model, Baozun is a growth stock that still has plenty of upside.
Daniel Miller (Duluth Trading): You might recognize the brand Duluth Trading from its unique and entertaining advertising, but the growth story is still in its early stages. For those who aren't familiar, Duluth is a fast-growing lifestyle brand offering consumers high quality, solution-based casual and workwear for both men and women.
At a time when Duluth's revenue has been flying higher, its share price has come back down to the ground amid general retail pessimism and cautious guidance. However, Duluth doesn't suffer from many of the same issues brick-and-mortar retailers do. Duluth has already figured out the direct to consumer business, with its direct segment generating 71% of fourth-quarter 2017 net sales -- the direct segment includes e-commerce (88%) and Catalog (12%) -- with brick-and-mortar retail generating 29%.
While management has its e-commerce business rolling, that doesn't mean it lacks a retail store growth story. The company just opened its 33rd store, located in West Fargo, North Dakota, full of consumer engagement ranging from a ribbon cutting ceremony to lumberjack shows in order to present its lifestyle apparel products. In addition to simply expanding its retail footprint, it also has organic roads to growth, such as expanding its women's business (23% of sales in 2017) and broadening the assortment of men's product categories.
As it stands, management has already identified roughly 100 locations with attractive customer and population density metrics for Duluth store openings, and it anticipates opening 15 stores in 2018. Duluth will need to continue increasing its digital and television advertising to keep expanding its brand awareness while expanding its online and retail presence at a profitable rate -- if it can achieve that, the growth story is enticing for investors.