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3 Top Growth Stocks to Buy Right Now

By Todd Campbell, Travis Hoium, and Maxx Chatsko – Oct 27, 2018 at 6:36PM

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Buying shares in these growing companies while the market's tumbling could pay off for investors.

If the stock market's recent tumble has you searching for new ideas to add to your portfolio, you might want to consider Atlassian Corporation (TEAM 2.98%), A.O. Smith Corp. (AOS 13.67%), and Wynn Resorts (WYNN 4.31%). These three companies intrigue our Motley Fool contributors for different reasons, but each could be providing investors with an excellent buy opportunity following recent drops in their share price.

Read on to find out how Atlassian's cashing in on collaboration, why A.O. Smith's exposure to China isn't as risky as it may seem, and what Wynn Resorts is doing to bolster its financials and kick-start interest in its shares.

The keys to collaboration

Todd Campbell (Atlassian): Employees are increasingly working remotely and global expansion means employees who still work in traditional offices have to coordinate efforts across time zones. Connecting workers so that they can maximize their productivity is key for any business, and for that reason, I think Atlassian is a great growth stock to add to long-haul portfolios.

A man pointing upward in front of a wooden sculpture of an upwardly ascending arrow.


Atlassian is a cloud-based collaboration software company that sells a suite of solutions globally. It's run by its cost-conscious founders, Michael Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, who still own more than 50% of Atlassian.

Instead of spending money on a traditional sales team, it plows its cash back into research and development. In fact, R&D spending was more than double marketing and sales spending last fiscal year. This has kept costs in check while also allowing it to maintain a lead in what's become a competitive market. It's a strategy that's paid off. Sales last quarter were $267 million, up 37% year over year, gross margin was 86%, and operating income was $63 million.

Atlassian already works with 131,684 customers, up from 65,673 two years ago, but it's targeting the "Fortune 500,000," so there's still room to grow. For the full fiscal year, it's guiding for sales of up to $1.18 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $0.78. By comparison, revenue was $874 million and adjusted earnings were $0.49 last fiscal year.

Despite its growth and beating earnings estimates in each of the past four quarters, Atlassian's shares tumbled following its quarterly update last week. Admittedly, the company's shares aren't cheap (its forward price-to-earnings ratio is 74), but I think its growth opportunity justifies a premium, and that makes this a growth stock worth buying on sale.

Trade concerns are overblown

Maxx Chatsko (A.O. Smith): The boring business of selling high-quality water heaters, commercial water boilers, and other home air and water products has been very good to shareholders of A.O. Smith over the years. The stock's total return (share performance plus dividends) has absolutely trounced that of the S&P 500 and most other stocks on the market.

That's what makes 2018 so unusual: The ultra-dependable growth stock is down 22% year to date, with most of that coming in the last month. There hasn't been any company-specific news for investors to worry about, so this appears to be a case of Wall Street worrying over the potential impact on the business from the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China.

It makes sense on the surface. The lion's share of the company's incredible growth in recent years has come from its leading market position in China, where annual sales eclipsed $1 billion for the first time ever in 2017. And since steel prices have been caught up in the trade spat, A.O. Smith has witnessed a slight increase in material costs this year.

But investors who dig a little deeper might discover that the growth stock's slide doesn't add up. The business appears to be firing on all cylinders this year. The company owns a new manufacturing facility in China, which means it can produce more (and perhaps all) of its regional demand from within the region, therefore skirting tariffs altogether. Unless there's nonpublic news on the horizon that will throw a wrench into everything and caused the stock to suddenly collapse in September, shares of A.O. Smith might be worth a spot in any portfolio.

Three sevens on a slot machine.


A value stock in gaming

Travis Hoium (Wynn Resorts): One of the best growth stories in the gaming industry today is Wynn Resorts, but the company can't seem to get much love from the market. Wynn has been gaining market share in Macau and performing consistently in Las Vegas, generating about $500 million in property EBITDA (a proxy for cash flow from a resort) each year. The growth in 2019 will come from Encore Boston Harbor, the company's $2.5 billion resort that's expected to open midyear. 

Based on MGM Resorts' casino near Washington, D.C., and nearby Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts, it wouldn't be surprising to see Encore Boston Harbor generate over $1 billion of revenue and between $200 million and $400 million of property EBITDA in its first year. The property will be uniquely located near downtown Boston and could become a hub for conventions and well-heeled travelers to the area. 

What's great about Wynn Resorts' stock today is that it's very cheap compared to recent years. You can see above that it's trading with an enterprise value-to-EBITDA ratio of just 15.2 times, below its average of the last three years, and that doesn't include any contribution from the Boston resort or continued improved operations at Wynn Palace. Add in the 2.8% dividend yield and this is a gaming stock that's a great value for investors. 

Maxx Chatsko has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Todd Campbell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may have positions in the companies mentioned. Travis Hoium owns shares of Wynn Resorts. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Atlassian. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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