There's no shortage of compelling American stocks for investors to keep an eye on, but focusing on domestic companies to the complete exclusion of all others could cause you to miss out on some interesting opportunities. We put together a panel of Motley Fool contributors and asked each member to spotlight a non-domestic company that you're likely to start hearing more about soon. Read on to see what e-commerce company MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), marijuana innovator Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), and video game developer CD Projekt are up to and why you could be seeing a lot more from these names in the near future.
Bienvenidos ... MercadoLibre
Rich Smith (MercadoLibre): "Bienvenidos a MercadoLibre" is the first thing you see when you google the name of the "South American eBay." But while MercadoLibre does substantial business in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere in Central and South America, with the exception of a small classifieds business covering Floridian real estate, most American consumers haven't yet had the opportunity to "welcome" MercadoLibre to their wallets yet.
I think that's going to change.
Between Amazon, eBay, Overstock, and their peers, America is at no risk of running out of homegrown e-commerce providers. And yet, China's Alibaba found the American market so irresistible that it came here anyway, and Alibaba.com now maintains an English-language website for selling directly to U.S. consumers. With 57.5 million Americans of Hispanic origin living in the U.S. today, I think MercadoLibre will eventually follow suit, attracted both by the potential of selling foodstuffs and other goods from "back home" to American immigrants, as well as by the ability to use its MercadoPago payments service as a means for repatriating monies from these immigrants to family members back home.
When -- not if -- MercadoLibre arrives in America, I expect most U.S. shoppers would use the site to buy authentic imported foodstuffs from south of the border, cutting out retail middlemen. For investors, though, San Francisco-based brokerage house BTIG believes that MercadoPago offers the greater opportunity, potentially dwarfing the value of the commerce site itself as it evolves into a "Latin American PayPal."
If you agree with that belief, here's the best news of all: You don't have to wait for MercadoLibre to begin selling in America to buy it. MercadoLibre is listed on the Nasdaq already today.
Hemp is on the way
Demitri Kalogeropoulos (Canopy Growth): Now that the new Farm Bill has passed Congress, cannabis giant Canopy Growth is targeting a potentially huge market in the U.S. Sure, its expansion will be more limited than in its home market of Canada, where legalized marijuana is opening the door to recreational consumption of the high-inducing plant. The new U.S. regulations only allow for the cultivation of hemp and for the manufacture of products using cannabidiol, which comes from the hemp plant. Neither of these products contain levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, that people associate with marijuana consumption.
Still, the company sees opportunity from the law's passage. "Canopy Growth will participate in the American market now that there is a federally permissible path to the market," executives said in a recent press release.
For now, Canopy Growth will likely aim to become a leading hemp grower in the country while doing its best to use its partnership with Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) to build a dominant position in the emerging Canadian market. But as is usual for this space, investors might want to watch for potentially important updates to the U.S. strategy in the weeks to come. "More details will follow in the New Year," Canopy Growth promised in late December.
A fast-growing game developer you haven't heard of
Keith Noonan (CD Projekt): Even with some recent pullback for stocks like Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, the video game industry has generally delivered strong returns for investors over the last five years -- but there's a good chance you haven't heard about one of its best performers. CD Projekt is a game developer, publisher, and digital-distribution platform operator based in Poland, and its stock has been a standout performer on the Warsaw stock exchange. Shares have climbed more than 50% over the last year and more than 750% over the last half-decade, putting the company's market capitalization north of $3.5 billion.
CD Projekt runs a video game distribution platform and has scored big hits with entries in its own role-playing game franchise, The Witcher -- which has helped the company rapidly expand its sales. Now CD Projekt is looking to deliver more rapid growth through the launch of a new video game franchise. The developer's upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the world's most anticipated upcoming entertainment releases and appears to be on track for big financial success when it's ready for release.
The game is expected to launch late this year or early in 2020, and one Polish industry analyst estimates that the game will go on to sell 19 million copies in its first quarter on the market. That's a lofty target, but there's a lot of excitement surrounding the release, and the game could help take CD Projekt to the next level if it winds up being a high-quality product.