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These Are the 2 Nasdaq Stocks to Watch Thursday

By Dan Caplinger – Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 6:29PM

Key Points

  • Markets looked poised to decline slightly after a strong move upward in recent days.
  • Earnings, however, lifted some stocks sharply higher.
  • Crocs and Tractor Supply were among top performers Thursday morning.

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Surprisingly, neither one is Tesla.

The stock market looked poised to give up some ground on Thursday morning, with futures on the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 1.74%) posting a nearly 50-point decline to 15,329 as of 8 a.m. EDT. The Nasdaq has struggled somewhat recently, as the high-growth stocks that are most popular among investors right now have had their long-term prospects called into question by the specter of rising interest rates.

Yet as earnings results keep coming out, strong consumer-oriented companies are proving that they have a lot going for them. On Thursday morning, Crocs (CROX 1.10%) and Tractor Supply (TSCO 2.02%) continued their winning ways, setting the stage for solid gains even in a down market. Below, we'll look at why investors are so upbeat about these two stocks.

Crocs steps it up

Shares of Crocs climbed almost 10% on Thursday morning in premarket trading. That move added to huge gains for the stock so far this year, and the company seems to think there could be a lot further to go in its growth ambitions.

The numbers from Crocs were astounding. Revenue jumped 73% during the third quarter compared to year-ago figures, as the company saw a recovery in demand from traditional wholesale channels while also sustaining 69% growth in digital sales. Earnings soared more than 160% to $2.47 per share, easily topping expectations from investors following the stock.

Crocs saw solid demand from across the globe, but its home territory performed best. Revenue in the Americas jumped 95% year over year, while gains of 21% for the Asia-Pacific region and 43% for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa also helped buoy Crocs' sales.

Investors were also pleased with Crocs' guidance for the coming years, which includes full-year fiscal 2021 sales growth of 62% to 65% and fiscal 2022 revenue gains of more than 20%. It's clear that Crocs has regained the momentum it had during its heyday more than a decade ago, and shareholders are excited to see how far the second wave of the footwear fad will go this time around.

Three people next to a red tractor.

Image source: Tractor Supply.

Plowing ahead

Tractor Supply rose 2.5% in premarket trading. The farm and ranch-oriented retail stock has quietly been one of the top performers of the 21st century, and the results of its third-quarter financial report were just the latest example of the positive factors driving its business forward.

Tractor Supply saw third-quarter sales climb almost 16% year over year, with comparable store sales climbing 13.1% to add to its impressive 26.8% rise in comps in the year-ago period. The company cited broad and robust demand across all its product categories, including not only consumables but also everyday merchandise and summer seasonal goods. E-commerce sales climbed at a double-digit percentage pace for the 37th quarter in a row. Earnings were 20% higher at $1.95 per share.

Tractor Supply also boosted its guidance for fiscal 2021. The company now expects revenue to come in around $12.6 billion, up from its previous range of $12.1 billion to $12.3 billion. Comps should climb 16%, an upgrade from the 11% to 13% that Tractor Supply had expected earlier. The retailer now sees earnings of $8.40 to $8.50 per share, up $0.50 to $0.70 per share from guidance from three months ago.

Investors have had high expectations for Tractor Supply, and so far, the company has been able to deliver. Steady growth looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and that has shareholders excited about Tractor Supply's prospects.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Tractor Supply. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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