There's a certain satisfaction that happens when a stock doubles, giving investors confirmation that their hard work in finding the right stock has produced results. Yet it can be difficult to find those elusive double-baggers, unless, of course, you know where to look.
There are a number of criteria investors can use to gauge the potential that a stock can double. A company with groundbreaking healthcare technology, one tapping the tailwinds of changing consumer behavior, or one that provides easy and effective remote workplace tools might all be a good place to start. Another potential indicator can be a stock that has already doubled investors' money, with no signs of slowing.
Here are three stocks that meet one of the aforementioned criteria, while also having doubled -- or more -- over the past three years.
1. Guardant Health: a groundbreaking approach to cancer detection
As anyone who has ever been in the position can attest, one of the most terrifying diagnoses any patient can receive is to be told he or she has cancer. The key to survival in many cases has been early detection and treatment.
Guardant Health's (GH 2.67%) revolutionary liquid biopsy can detect cancer cells with a simple blood test that can recognize the DNA and RNA fragments shed by cancerous tumors. The results also help providers choose the most effective course of treatment. Guardant Health is currently developing next-generation tests that could detect cancer even sooner.
During 2019, Guardant Health grew revenue by a massive 137% year over year, though the company had yet to generate a profit. The impressive growth continued into early 2020, with first-quarter revenue up 84%.
However, as the pandemic struck, patients began foregoing all but the most critical visits to the doctor's office or hospital, resulting in a significant decline in testing. This led to second-quarter revenue that grew just 23%, though management noted it has seen a recovery to pre-pandemic levels, which bodes well for the coming quarters.
Even in the face of challenges wrought by the pandemic, its vast potential for growth remains. Guardant Health estimates it has a market opportunity of more than $50 billion -- and that's in the U.S. alone. For context, Guardant Health generated revenue of just $214 million for all of 2019, which illustrates the massive opportunity that lies ahead.
It's important to note that Guardant Health currently trades at more than 34 times forward sales, but investors have been willing to give its valuation a pass, likely due to the groundbreaking nature of its healthcare technology. With an opportunity of this magnitude, a double from here seems almost inevitable.
2. Roku: the streaming pioneer remains the leader
Roku (ROKU 1.59%) pioneered the set-top streaming box, but has quickly evolved into much more. The company's secret weapon is the connected-TV operating system (OS) it built from the ground up, unlike rival offerings that merely repurposed existing mobile apps. These made Roku the solution of choice for many smart TV manufacturers that license the Roku OS, rather than reinventing the wheel. In fact, Roku is the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in North America, accounting for 1-in-3 smart TVs sold in the U.S. and 1-in-4 in Canada in 2019.
While the company makes very little from the licensing deals themselves, the move has supercharged the number of viewers using the Roku platform. In the second quarter, active accounts grew 41% year over year to 43 million, while streaming hours surged 65% to 14.6 billion.
Roku makes the bulk of its revenue from advertising shown on its platform. In 2019, revenue grew 52% year over year, while platform revenue -- which consists of advertising, The Roku Channel, and licensing of the Roku OS -- grew 78%.
The onset of the pandemic resulted in many advertisers reining in marketing spending, temporarily denting Roku's results. In the second quarter, total revenue increased 42% year over year, while platform revenue climbed 46%. That slower ad spending won't last forever.
A recent analyst survey shows that Roku has retained its market leadership, with more than 43% of those with a connected TV owning a Roku device, beating out its chief rival Amazon's Fire TV, which garnered 35%. The revelation drove Roku stock to a new all-time high.
Roku has embarked on an ambitious international expansion, and late last year acquired Dataxu in a move that will make its targeted advertising even more effective.
That's not to say the stock is cheap, as it's currently trading for nearly 14 times forward sales, but with its industry-leading position, strong secular tailwinds, and massive market opportunity, the question isn't if Roku stock will double, but when -- and it's likely sooner than later.
3. Atlassian: There's no "I" in TEAM
With the outbreak of the pandemic and the pivot to remote work, tools that made it easier to collaborate with colleagues across town or on the other side of the world became essential in the newly decentralized world.
That's where Atlassian (TEAM 0.67%) comes in. The company provides a platform that not only allows workers to communicate in real-time, but also helps them delegate tasks, collaborate on jobs, share content, create, and even manage projects. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) company also offers The Atlassian Marketplace, which provides developers with more than 4,000 third-party apps to help customize the experience. The platform recently surpassed more than $1 billion in lifetime sales, with $400 million in fiscal 2020 alone. For each sale, Atlassian gets a 25% cut.
The overall experience has been a hit with customers, and Atlassian boasts a who's-who of some of the biggest names in business, including Adobe, Square, and Visa, among many others. Atlassian added 3,046 net new customers during its fiscal fourth quarter (ended June 30) and its customer base has climbed to more than 174,097, up 14% year over year.
Even more important is that existing customers are spending more. The number of customers spending $50,000 grew to 5,892, up 44% year over year, while those spending $500,000 jumped to 267, up 56%. Even more impressive is that customers spending more than $1 million grew to 104, up 76%.
For its just-completed fiscal year, revenue grew 33%, while net income also increased 33%. It's important to note that Atlassian trades at more than 25 times forward sales, but the combination of strong top-line growth and solid cash flow has alleviated investor concerns about its frothy valuation.
With the move to remote work gaining steam, it's easy to see that Atlassian has a clear path to double from here.
Winners keep winning
If you have difficulty imagining any of these stocks doubling from here, consider this: each stock has doubled -- or more -- over the past three years. Winners tend to keep winning, so the path to double from here is easier than you might think. Each of these companies merely needs to continue doing what they have been, increasing investors' money by 100% -- or more.