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2 Monster Stocks in the Making

By Will Healy – Oct 30, 2020 at 7:43AM

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These two investments could bring life-changing returns for those who get in early.

Who wants monster returns? Indeed, the answer to that question is obvious. What is less clear are the stocks you might buy to make your money many times over. While numerous stocks across multiple industries could achieve that goal, earning outsized profits usually means selecting stocks that drive fundamental change in an industry. Early investors in Netflix (NFLX -0.27%) streamed massive returns because the company changed the way people view programming.

The Netflix story may have already played out in large measure. The good news for today's investors is that the market still offers growth stocks that are shaking up sectors. Fortunately, it's not too late to buy stocks with this potential relatively early. Although the market cannot offer guarantees, Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -1.55%) and Plug Power (PLUG -2.85%) are two stocks well-positioned to achieve such a feat.

1. Innovative Industrial Properties

Admittedly, cannabis is nothing new, but its recent legality in many parts of the U.S. has brought budding opportunities. One involves the sudden demand for marijuana-related properties. Innovative Industrial is the first real estate investment trust (REIT) devoted to properties designed for cannabis production.

Many investors saw massive profits in weed stocks disappear like a cloud of smoke soon after Canada legalized cannabis. Fortunately, as a real estate company, Innovative Industrial side-steps this issue. Instead, it earns its revenue by leasing land and facilities to cannabis producers. This often happens by buying the property of cash-strapped producers and then leasing it back to the former owners.

Blocks pointing up

Image source: Getty Images.

Thus, Innovative Industrial not only places a bright grow light over one's stock portfolio, but it's also not subject to the Schedule 1 restrictions that significantly hamper the industry. Additionally, since it's a REIT, it will distribute at least 90% of its net income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Its current annual payout of $4.68 per share yields about 3.8%. This dividend has increased every year since payouts began in 2017.

Rising earnings also bolster the dividend. Profits grew by 143% in the most recent quarter from year-ago levels. With earnings expected to surge by more than 60% both this year and next, the stock should remain in growth mode for the foreseeable future. Moreover, at a forward P/E ratio of just 22.5, it's reasonably priced.

Its current price of just over $120 per share has corrected from recent highs. Nonetheless, as the cannabis industry continues to grow across the country, it should bring increased stock values and cash flows to Innovative Industrial investors.

2. Plug Power

Non-cannabis stocks have also benefited from highs of their own. Plug Power was a darling of the dot-com era in the early 2000s. At the time, the focus of alternative energy centered on Plug Power's main product, hydrogen fuel cells.

Plug Power lost nearly all of its value as fuel cells fell out of favor. However, thanks to investments from Amazon and Walmart, Plug Power and fuel cells have experienced a revival. The company now leads the way in powering forklifts. Additionally, Toyota and other automakers have also shown interest in fuel cells as a power source for automobiles.

At a price-to-sales ratio of about 16, Plug Power is not the bargain it used to be. Long a penny stock, Plug Power rose by 500%  at one point and has still increased by just over 360% year to date. Now selling at around $14 per share, it trades at a level it has not seen since the dot-com bubble burst. Despite the surge, it sells at a 99% discount from that high.

Still, rising revenue could push it higher over time. In the most recent quarter, revenue came in 23% higher than year-ago levels.  Also, analysts project revenue will grow by more than 33% this year and by about 36% in fiscal 2021. Additionally, though it remains unprofitable, it continues to pare its losses.

Investors should not expect Plug Power stock to return to its highs from the dot-com era anytime soon. However, as more vehicles adopt fuel cell technology, it could bring more green not only to the environment but also to investor portfolios.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Will Healy owns shares of Innovative Industrial Properties. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Innovative Industrial Properties, and Netflix and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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