Nearly any stock has the potential for doubling your money. You just might have to wait a really long time. But are there stocks that could generate total returns of 100% or more without waiting decades for it to happen? Yes.
Three stocks that look like pretty good candidates right now are CannaRoyalty (ORHOF), General Electric (GE -0.20%), and Novavax (NVAX 11.12%). Here's why I think these stocks could double within the next few years.
I have referred to CannaRoyalty as the best under-the-radar marijuana stock I've seen so far. The company is headquartered in Canada but ranks as the largest distributor of legal cannabis products in California. It also markets several of its own brands of cannabis flowers, edibles, and vapes.
CannaRoyalty's market cap currently stands at close to $300 million. That's a high valuation based on the company's low sales over the last 12 months. But CannaRoyalty looks dirt cheap compared to most Canadian marijuana stocks.
There are three reasons why I think CannaRoyalty's share price could double over the next few years. First, California is the largest legal marijuana market in the world, and its total marijuana sales should more than double by 2022 to $7.7 billion. CannaRoyalty will profit from this growth. Second, CannaRoyalty is expanding into Nevada, another high-growth market. Third, I think there's a reasonable chance that the U.S. will revise federal laws to get out of the way of states that have legalized marijuana.
In my view, the first two factors should pave the way for CannaRoyalty's share price to increase steadily and double over a multiyear period. But if the U.S. changes its federal marijuana laws, this is a stock that I could see doubling in a matter of a few weeks.
2. General Electric
General Electric is about as different from CannaRoyalty as you can get. The industrial giant has lost nearly half of its market cap over the last 12 months. GE has continued to reel from problems with its GE Capital financing business and its power business.
With these kinds of serious challenges, GE might look like a disaster that investors would be better off avoiding. However, the company still owns valuable assets and generates a significant cash flow. And the stock looks really inexpensive with shares trading at a little over 12 times expected earnings.
Fellow Fool contributor Adam Levine-Weinberg recently made what I think is a compelling argument why GE could double investors' money over the next few years. Adam noted that GE plans to divest several of its businesses by 2020, including oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, and lighting. The company also intends to sell off some components of its power and GE Capital units.
How does GE slimming down help you double your money? Don't count on GE's share price increasing by 100%. However, as the company distributes the proceeds from its divestitures on top of its current dividend payments and reignites growth at its remaining businesses, especially the GE Aviation unit, it's quite possible that by the early 2020s GE could double an initial investment in the stock made now.
CannaRoyalty and GE already generate revenue by providing products and services to customers. Novavax doesn't. It's a clinical-stage biotech with no product on the market yet. Novavax continues to lose $40 million or more each quarter.
Wall Street analysts' consensus one-year price target for Novavax reflects a 168% premium over the biotech's current price. Can Novavax really generate that kind of massive return so quickly? It's possible.
Novavax's lead pipeline candidate is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine ResVax. The company is evaluating the experimental vaccine in a late-stage clinical study for protecting infants from RSV through maternal immunization during pregnancy. If all goes well with this study, Novavax could file for regulatory approval in early 2020.
Market research firm EvaluatePharma thinks that ResVax is the No. 4 most promising vaccine in development right now with projected annual sales of $668 million if approved. The top experimental vaccine on EvaluatePharma's list also belongs to Novavax -- a combination influenza and RSV vaccine that could become the No. 5 best-selling vaccine in the world by 2024 with projected sales of $1.8 billion.
Double or trouble
There's another common denominator for all three of these stocks, in addition to their potential for doubling: They also come with high levels of risk. The U.S. federal government could crack down on states that have legalized marijuana, crushing CannaRoyalty in the process. GE's efforts to remake itself could flop. Novavax's clinical studies could be unsuccessful.
The bottom line: All three of these companies could run into trouble that might translate to big losses. But for aggressive investors looking to double their money in a relatively short amount of time, I think that CannaRoyalty, GE, and Novavax look like pretty good stocks to make it happen.