Growth is highly prized by investors for its potential to generate big returns over time. A quickly expanding business can be a sign of valuable competitive assets like economies of scale, defensible market-share niches, and loyal customers. Efficiently managed growth also produces gushing cash flow, part of which comes back to investors in the form of dividends and stock buybacks.
But which growth stocks are the best bets today? Let's look at a few attractive options. Read on for several good reasons to like Wayfair (W -5.52%), Garmin (GRMN -0.92%), and Activision Blizzard (ATVI -0.48%) stocks right now.
Wayfair stock has outpaced the market rally since the start of the pandemic -- and for good reason. The e-commerce giant, which specializes in home furnishings, saw fantastic growth in 2020, with annual revenue soaring 55% to $14 billion.
Wayfair entered the year with solid market share, but weak profitability. It exited 2020 with an even stronger competitive posture and much improved earning power.
There are several things to like about this business beyond its privileged position in the industry. Wayfair maintains a large, proprietary fulfillment network that allows it to efficiently deliver everything from picture frames to hot tubs. Customers are thrilled with the service, as evidenced by the fact that nearly three-quarters of its sales volume is repeat business.
Sure, growth will slow in the wake of the pandemic. But Wayfair has a reasonable shot at a far higher annual sales figure assuming its e-commerce niche outgrows the wider industry over the next decade.
Consumer tech is a difficult industry to compete in, thanks to rapidly changing tastes and constant disruptive competition. But Garmin has demonstrated that it can roll with those punches. The GPS navigation giant notched a fifth straight year of rising sales in 2020 and is targeting another solid increase this year.
Margins have been steadily rising, too, thanks to Garmin's reliable drumbeat of popular product introductions in niches like smartwatches and fitness trackers. It's also more diversified than your typical tech producer. Garmin generates a big proportion of its annual earnings from aviation and boating products, so a slump in any one category won't knock it off track.
Garmin recently raised its dividend by 10%, confirming management's intent to return cash to investors. There should be many more income boosts ahead for this attractive stock.
3. Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard's stock price hasn't kept up with the market rally in 2021, but that's just creating a more compelling buy thesis for this business. The video game developer put up some incredible growth numbers lately, with its audience size swelling to over 400 million in the first quarter.
A steady content-release schedule allowed it to avoid the growth slowdown that pinched Netflix this year. And gamers are as engaged as they've ever been in brands like Call of Duty and Candy Crush.
CEO Bobby Kotick and his team are targeting nearly $9 billion of annual sales this year, compared to $6.5 billion in 2019. But Activision is also a much stronger business than it was back then. Its games are operating more like year-round subscription services rather than one-off purchases that occur around the holidays. That shift has removed key risks around game-launch flops while raising profitability.
Meanwhile, the company's strategy of using free-to-play options to support its premium content is a huge hit. Look for Activision to use that model, which has ignited growth in the Call of Duty brand, in many more franchises over the next few years.