Wall Street's rallying again, so it's not a shock to see nearly 700 stocks on the major U.S. exchanges hitting new 52-week highs. Investors are winning these days, and that means many likely and unlikely stocks notching fresh high-water marks.
Beyond Meat (BYND -6.37%), Disney (DIS -0.65%), and Copart (CPRT -1.14%) are some of the more surprising names among the hundreds of stocks hitting all-time highs. Let's see what's driving these three stocks higher.
The hottest initial public offering (IPO) this year isn't a tech or biotech stock. Beyond Meat has now more than quintupled for the lucky investors who got in on last month's debutante at its $25 IPO price. The distributor of plant-based burgers and other alternative-meat products is an unlikely six-bagger here, and it's probably a head-scratcher to pro and amateur investors who figured the stock was overvalued when it popped on its first day of trading. The stock has gone on to roughly triple since its initial pop. The stock's thin float and the escalating number of shorts keep squeezing the shares higher.
Beyond Meat does trade at a sky-high valuation. It's fetching more than 80 times trailing revenue, and it's still not profitable. The bullish counterargument is that you don't find too many food companies checking in with the kind of growth that Beyond Meat is generating as its product expands into more grocery stores and restaurants looking to add plant-based entrees to their menus. Revenue soared 215% in its first quarter as a public company, and guidance calls for a still beefy 140% increase for all of 2019.
Walt Disney Co.
It may not seem surprising to find Disney on top of the world these days. It's the studio behind this year's three highest-grossing films, and its industry-leading theme parks are setting up what should be another year of record attendance. There's buzz surrounding its aggressive push into streaming with November's launch of Disney+.
Disney is cool again with investors, but it's not firing on all cylinders. Cord-cutters continue to weigh on ESPN and its other cable properties, and you have to go all the way to fiscal 2004 to find the last time that the media giant posted double-digit annual revenue growth.
Selling salvage and clean title vehicles through auctions to dealers, exporters, and companies just looking to make the most of the scrap may not seem like a dynamic business, but Copart continues to click. Three quarters into Copart's latest fiscal year, this is shaping up to be the fourth year in a row of double-digit growth.
Its latest quarter was another beauty. Revenue rose 16% and reported earnings shot 56% higher. The bottom-line surge was largely the result of sandbagged results the prior year on Hurricane Harvey-related hits, but even on an adjusted basis the $0.66 a share it earned was well ahead of both the $0.52 a share it posted a year earlier and the $0.62 a share that analysts were targeting. There is always growth and investing success to be found in surprising places.