Over the past four weeks, growth stock investors have been given a stern reminder that stocks move in both directions. In particular, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has declined by a double-digit percentage since hitting an all-time closing high of 14,095 on Feb. 12.
The highflying index has primarily been battered by rising Treasury yields. Rapidly rising yields could signify an upcoming uptick in inflation, and they might lure some investors out of stocks and into bonds. Either way, investors are clearly perturbed.
But if there's one constant when it comes to stock market corrections, it's that they're always buying opportunities. Eventually, all crashes and corrections are put into the rearview mirror by bull market rallies.
Following the pummeling high-growth stocks have taken, even Wall Street agrees that bargains abound. The following four Nasdaq stocks all have 12-month consensus price targets from Wall Street investment banks that imply upside ranging from a low of 57% to as much as 78%.
Zoom Video Communications: Implied upside of 57%
One of the hottest stocks in 2020, Zoom Video Communications (ZM 0.05%), has thus far been an abysmal performer in 2021. But Wall Street paints a different picture for the company. With a consensus one-year price target of almost $484 a share, Zoom has an implied upside of 57%.
As you might imagine, Zoom benefited immensely from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. With workplaces shuttered, businesses turned to web conferencing as a means to stay connected and get things done. Zoom's "freemium" model allow users to try things out, while the scalability of its platform hooked businesses big and small during the crisis. Zoom ultimately recorded $2.65 billion in sales last year, which was a cool 326% higher than the previous year.
The thing about Zoom is that the platform isn't going away, even after life returns to some semblance of normal. Getting workers back into offices doesn't change the fact that many businesses can operate remotely. In fact, efficiency has improved outside the office, in some instances. With Zoom controlling the lion's share of U.S. web conferencing, it has a good chance to deliver significant sales growth throughout the decade.
Novavax: Implied upside of 78%
Another high-flying Nasdaq stock that's taken it on the chin in recent weeks in clinical-stage drug developer Novavax (NVAX -3.63%). But despite closing below $158 on Monday, March 8, Wall Street has a consensus 12-month price target of $281.25 on the company. That implies upside of 78%.
The buzz surrounding Novavax primarily has to do with its coronavirus vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373 (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?). In the company's late-stage trial in the U.K., vaccine efficacy came in at 89.3%, with 95.6% efficacy against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, and 85.6% efficacy against the U.K. variant. This two-dose vaccine looks highly effective, based on this initial data.
On the other hand, management doesn't expect approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. until sometime in May. By then, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna will almost certainly have saturated the U.S. with their versions of the vaccine. In other words, Novavax has a path forward with its vaccine, but its most lucrative opportunities might be found outside the United States. Wall Street's price target may ultimately be a bit too aggressive for this biotech stock.
Datadog: Implied upside of 60%
Jogging back over to the tech space, software-as-a-service provider Datadog (DDOG -1.43%) appears to offer significant upside. The cloud-based application monitoring company ended Monday below $78 a share, yet has a consensus one-year target from Wall Street of nearly $124. That implies upside of up to 60%.
Similar to Zoom, Datadog was an obvious beneficiary of COVID-19. Disruption in the workplace meant turning to third-party providers like Datadog, which helps businesses better understand user behavior and get a grasp of key financial metrics. Long after the pandemic has ended, we're still going to see plenty of remote work taking place, with a strong emphasis on real-time, cloud-based analytics. In other words, Datadog's growth is unlikely to slow noticeably, if at all.
Datadog's annual report backs up this claim, as well. It ended 2020 with 97 customers that were generating $1 million or more in annual recurring revenue (ARR). That's up from 50 customers above $1 million in ARR at the end of 2019. Although this is an operating model that requires aggressive reinvestment, and investors weren't exactly thrilled with the company's first-quarter guidance, the large customer growth is dictating that Datadog's platform has abundant utility.
Plug Power: Implied upside of 67%
Lastly, you might be surprised to learn just how far one of 2021's early year darlings has fallen. Hydrogen fuel-cell solutions company Plug Power (PLUG -8.71%) has lost nearly half of its value from its Jan. 26, 2021 intra-day high of $75.49. Sitting at roughly $38 following the closing bell on Monday, March 8, Plug Power has implied upside of up to 67%, based on Wall Street's consensus price target of almost $64.
On one hand, Plug Power has more than enough catalysts in its sails to reach Wall Street's lofty target. In January, it forged joint ventures with SK Group and French automaker Renault. It'll be working with SK Group to incorporate hydrogen fuel-cell technology into vehicles and filling stations in South Korea. Meanwhile, it's teaming up with Renault to go after the European light commercial vehicle market with its hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
There's no doubt that developed nations are seeking out energy solutions that aren't fossil fuel-based. The big question is, how quickly we'll see hydrogen fuel-cell technology adopted on a broader basis? Investors have a history of overestimating how quickly new technology is adopted. It wouldn't be a surprise is Plug Power needed more time for its technology and joint ventures to mature.