Last week, the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average and widely followed S&P 500 both romped to new all-time highs. Considering where equities and the U.S. economy stood less than 13 months ago at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, this is a pretty impressive feat.
But if you were to ask Wall Street professionals, they'd suggest there's still more upside to come. And interestingly, this upside isn't just from small-cap or mid-cap stocks. According to Wall Street, the following five megacap stocks -- i.e., publicly traded companies with a market cap of at least $200 billion -- offer upside over the next 12 months ranging from 19% to as much as 32%.
Amazon: Implied upside of 19%
Is anyone really all that surprised that e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is on this list? It may be the third-largest public company in the U.S. by market cap, but my expectation is that it'll surpass Microsoft and Apple to be the first to hit a $3 trillion valuation. Over the next 12 months, Wall Street believes it offers 19% upside, which would place its market cap around $2 trillion.
Most people are probably familiar with Amazon for its dominant online marketplace. In March 2020, a report from eMarketer estimated Amazon's 2021 share of U.S. e-commerce at 39.7%.
Put another way, Amazon is forecast to control roughly $0.40 of every $1 spent online in the United States this year. That's about 33 percentage points higher than the next-closest competitor. Amazon has been able to pivot this online dominance into signing up more than 150 million people worldwide to a Prime membership.
But make no mistake about it, the Amazon growth story predominantly rests with cloud infrastructure-services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS). Despite the worst economic downturn in decades last year, AWS grew its sales by 30%.
What's more, it accounted for 59% of Amazon's $22.9 billion in operating income in 2020, despite only accounting for around an eighth of total sales. As AWS becomes a larger part of Amazon's total sales, the company's cash flow is going to soar.
Novartis: Implied upside of 20%
Wall Street is also quite bullish on pharmaceutical stock Novartis (NYSE:NVS). After the stock closed on Monday, April 12, at $87.34, analysts are forecasting a one-year target of nearly $105. This suggests Novartis could rip higher by 20% and trade at a new all-time high in the process.
Though the pandemic adversely impacted a number of Novartis' operating segments, net sales from its continuing operations still rose by 3% last year, thanks in large part to growth from its blockbuster drugs and its innovative-medicines segment. Top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Cosentyx delivered sales growth of 13% to roughly $4 billion, while heart-failure blockbuster Entresto generated 44% year-over-year revenue growth to $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, sales for spinal muscular atrophy treatment Zolgensma rose 151% to $920 million.
Beyond just the company's brand-name and innovative-medicines growth, Wall Street is probably also excited about Novartis' execution and pipeline. There are currently 167 clinical trials or registrations ongoing, 73 of which are focused on oncology. Of these more than 13 dozen studies, 44 are late stage and five were in registration, as of January 2021.
The company's had five or six major drugs approved annually over the past three years and is expecting more than a dozen mid- and late-stage clinical-trial data readouts this year. To use a baseball analogy, with so many pitches being thrown, Novartis is bound to hit a few home runs.
Salesforce.com: Implied upside of 20%
Another megacap stock that offers serious upside over the next year in the eyes of Wall Street investment banks is cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software provider salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM). With a one-year consensus price target of almost $275, salesforce has implied upside of 20%.
The beauty of CRM software is that it offers double-digit growth potential throughout the decade. It's of use to any consumer-facing businesses, and can help with logging customer information, handling service issues, managing marketing campaigns, and even recommending new products or services to existing clients.
What makes salesforce so special is its dominance of the global CRM-solutions market. In the first-half of 2020, salesforce controlled just shy of 20% of global CRM revenue, according to IDC. That's more than No. 2 through No. 5 in global CRM share, combined!
Furthermore, salesforce should benefit from its pending acquisition of enterprise communications-platform Slack Technologies. The thinking here is that salesforce will be able to use Slack as a jumping-off point to cross-sell its CRM solutions to a plethora of small- and medium-sized businesses. With Slack, salesforce should be able to make a run at $50 billion in sales in five years, which would be up from the $21.2 billion in full-year sales it reported in fiscal 2021.
Nike: Implied upside of 20%
A megacap stock that Wall Street sees as a shoo-in is footwear and accessories company Nike (NYSE:NKE). If the prognostication of analysts proves accurate, Nike will ascend to about $165 a share 12 months from now, representing upside of 20%.
Why Nike? A lot of the company's success has to do with its incredible branding, ability to adapt to varying economic environments, and its top-tier brand ambassadors who speak to multiple generations of footwear and accessory buyers. In particular, Nike has placed added emphasis on digital sales during the pandemic.
In its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28, 2021, digital sales rose 54% on a constant-currency basis. Broadening its omnichannel presence and improving consumer convenience might allow Nike's margins to improve significantly in a post-pandemic world.
Nike has also done well by turning its attention to China. In spite of a 10% decline in North American sales due to supply-chain challenges, total company revenue rose 3% in Q3 2021. The reason? Greater China sales grew by a cool 51% (including currency changes) to $2.28 billion. At the rate China's been growing for Nike, it could become the company's second most important region -- behind only North America -- within the next couple of years.
Alibaba: Implied upside of 32%
But the creme de la creme of upside opportunity among megacap stocks, according to Wall Street, lies with Chinese e-commerce kingpin Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). If Wall Street's forecast comes true, Alibaba shares could head 32% higher over the next year.
Unlike the other names on this list, Alibaba's upside appears to depend on whether or not it can overcome a number of political uncertainties and the coronavirus pandemic. Remember, the pandemic struck China hard well before it hit the rest of the world.
However, there's good news on this front. Among the biggest issues plaguing Alibaba was an antitrust probe initiated by the Chinese government regarding the company's e-commerce practices. Last week, it was hit with a $2.8 billion fine.
As my Foolish colleague Joe Tenebruso noted, this is actually good news, since it represents only 40% of the maximum fine allowable, based on the company's revenue. China's State Administration for Market Regulation also isn't requiring the company to make any divestitures as part of its ruling. In other words, it's back to business as usual, with improved oversight and better internal controls.
Similar to Amazon, Alibaba's future may well lie with its innovative projects that lie outside of e-commerce. Despite controlling a whopping 56% of China's e-commerce market, per eMarketer, it's Alibaba Cloud that could one day be this company's superstar. Sales in the fiscal third quarter grew 50% for Cloud to nearly $2.5 billion, with the segment achieving positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization during the quarter.
With one of the fastest growth rates among megacap stocks and a big weight now lifted, Alibaba's shares hitting $318 a year from now isn't out of the question.