The U.S. is one of the world's largest markets, so it's a big draw for international companies that want to tap American demand. Those able to make a name for themselves in the U.S. can deliver strong financial growth, which tends to boost their stock prices.
Several companies on the cusp of making waves in the U.S. aren't yet widely known by investors, so they offer significant upside potential. Three up-and-comers our Motley Fool contributors believe U.S. investors should get to know are Canadian midstream company Pembina Pipeline (PBA -1.71%), Canadian winter clothing maker Canada Goose (GOOS -0.39%), and Israel-based pharma company UroGen Pharma (URGN 2.33%).
This project could make big waves in the future
Matt DiLallo (Pembina Pipeline): Canadian energy infrastructure company Pembina Pipeline isn't widely known by most U.S. investors, but that could change in the coming months. That's because the company is working toward making a positive final investment decision to build the $10 billion Jordan Cove LNG export facility on the Oregon coast.
Jordan Cove would export up to 7.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, primarily to customers in Asia. It would source the natural gas from production basins in the Rockies, which would move through the associated Pacific Gas Connector Pipeline.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently approved the project and the associated pipeline with strict conditions to reduce its impact on the environment. That marked a big step forward, since regulators initially denied approval due in part to stiff opposition from both environmentalists and landowners. Those against the controversial project will likely continue to fight in hopes of stopping it for good.
Because of that, Pembina Pipeline could make waves as it keeps pushing this project forward. While opposition to Jordan Cove hasn't yet risen to the level of the hotly contested Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from fellow Canadian midstream company TransCanada, it's likely that investors will hear a lot about Pembina in the coming year. The company hopes to give Jordan Cove the green light by November, which would put it on track to start exporting natural gas and generating significant cash flow by 2023. However, opposition to the project could derail those plans and could put some negative pressure on Pembina's stock price, especially if it were to face a legal setback.
Very expensive jackets
Tim Green (Canada Goose): Canadian winter clothing manufacturer Canada Goose is already popular in the U.S., at least among those willing to shell out obscene amounts of money for one of the company's high-quality coats. But Canada Goose doesn't yet have much of a direct retail presence, with just 4 stores in the U.S and 11 stores overall.
Canada Goose plans to open a fifth U.S. store later this year, aimed at introducing more consumers to its premium brand. The new store will be in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, a location chosen because it's a top tourist destination. The store will feature a "cold room," where shoppers can test out the company's products in the environment they're designed for.
Canada Goose is growing fast, posting 50% year-over-year revenue growth in its fiscal third quarter. The company is also exceptionally profitable, not a surprise given the stratospheric price tags on its products. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2019, Canada Goose enjoyed a gross margin of 61.5% and an operating margin of 27.4%.
There are certainly risks for investors. Canada Goose's trendiness could fade, or the next recession could greatly reduce demand for its pricey merchandise. But so far, the brand is only getting more popular.
An under-the-radar pharma company
Maxx Chatsko (UroGen Pharma): Shares of UroGen Pharma have slipped 10% since the start of the year and 34% in the last 12 months, but investors may want to consider that an opportunity rather than a warning sign. The Israel-based pharma company is developing a pipeline of drugs aimed at treating rare, urology-based cancers. Its lead drug candidate, UGN-101, has built an impressive list of accomplishments ahead of an expected marketing approval by U.S. regulators later this year.
UroGen Pharma's lead drug candidate has earned orphan drug status, fast-track designation, and the coveted breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Each designation will help to prioritize its regulatory review and smooth its potential path to market. As if UGN-101 needed any more help, it's delivered impressive results from clinical trials as a potential treatment for low-grade upper-tract urothelial cancer (LG UTUC).
Top-line results from a phase 3 trial showed that 57% of patients who received UGN-101 achieved a complete response, and each individual who cleared that bar remained disease free at the six-month mark. UroGen Pharma expects to complete the submission of a New Drug Application to the FDA in the second half of 2019 and, thanks to its prioritized review, could receive marketing approval in the first half of 2020.
Analysts expect the drug to achieve peak annual sales of more than $500 million. While that's not the blockbuster status (read: at least $1 billion in annual sales) investors like to chase, it's worth noting that UroGen Pharma is valued at just $800 million today. The business likely ended the first quarter of 2019 with well over $200 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities; just hired the former CEO of Novartis Oncology to the same role; and expects phase 2 data for two more promising drug candidates later this year.
Simply put, most investors have probably never heard of UroGen Pharma, but that could change before the end of 2019.