Since the Great Recession ended more than 12 years ago, growth stocks have been the place to be. Historically low lending rates coupled with ongoing quantitative easing measures from the Federal Reserve have allowed fast-growing businesses the ability to borrow cheap capital in order to innovate, hire, and acquire.
Arguably no sector has benefited more from this access to abundant cheap capital than technology. Driven by innovation, tech stocks have handily outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 over the past decade.
But for some tech stocks, there's still plenty upside, at least according to select Wall Street analysts and investment firms. Based on the highest one-year price target published by Wall Street, the following three high-growth tech stocks offer upside ranging from 102% to as much as 145%.
Roku: Implied upside of 102%
The first rapidly growing tech stock with significant upside potential is streaming television platform Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU). According to analysts at Cannonball Research, Roku could hit $650 a share over the coming year. If accurate, this would equate to 102% upside from where shares closed this past weekend.
The clear tailwind for Roku is that fewer American households are sticking with traditional cable, satellite, and telcoTV operators. A report from NScreenMedia found that 21.3 million fewer households had a cable, satellite, or telcoTV subscription in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter four years prior. Conversely, more than 50 million households were going without traditional cable, satellite, or telcoTV in Q1 2021. The message from content viewers is clear: they believe cable/satellite TV is overpriced, and they want more say on their viewing options.
Roku has quickly become one of those preferred streaming options. Although the pandemic undoubtedly helped the company gain subscribers -- i.e., people stuck in their homes streamed more content -- Roku's arrow was already pointing much higher before the pandemic struck. Even with year-over-year streaming hour growth moderating to 19% in Q2 2021, average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 46% from the year-ago quarter.
This brings me to the next point: Advertisers are shifting how they spend their money and are focusing more of their efforts on streaming platforms. The fact that ARPU growth more than doubled streaming hours growth is evidence that advertisers are willing to pay up to reach Roku's rapidly growing user base of 55.1 million people.
Ultimately, a $650 price target might be a bit steep over the coming 12 months. But with jaw-dropping sales growth on the horizon, $650 sounds like a reasonable future price point Roku can reach.
PubMatic: Implied upside of 141%
Speaking of digital advertising, small-cap ad-tech stock PubMatic (NASDAQ:PUBM) is another company with serious upside potential. According to JMP Securities analyst Andrew Boone, PubMatic could hit $64 a share over the coming year. This works out to a cool 141% upside, if Boone's prognostication comes to fruition.
PubMatic operates a cloud-based, sell-side, programmatic ad platform that caters to publishers. This jumble of words simply means that the company's platform uses machine-based algorithms to buy, sell, and optimize ad placement for the display space of its clients (the publishers).
What you might find interesting is that PubMatic's AI-inspired platform isn't selling its clients' display space to the highest bidder. Rather, it's aiming to place the best possible message in front of users. In doing so, it's keeping ad companies happy by placing relevant messages in front of users, and ultimately helping the long-term pricing power of its publishers.
Similar to Roku, the core buy thesis for PubMatic is the accelerating shift of ad dollars to digital platforms. Although the company estimates industrywide digital ad growth will average 10% annually through the midpoint of the decade, PubMatic has consistently doubled the industry's growth rate. This outperformance looks to be tied to the company's focus on connected TV/over-the-top programmatic ads, which offer considerably faster growth potential than video or even mobile advertising.
The icing on the cake for PubMatic is that its clients are sticking with its platform and spending a whole lot more. Publishers that have been with the company for at least a year spent 50% more in the June-ended quarter than the prior-year period.
While it's unlikely that PubMatic is going to gallop 141% higher in 12 months, it's not impossible, especially given the favorable dynamics surrounding digital ads.
Western Digital: Implied upside of 145%
However, the cream of the crop for tech stock upside, at least on this list, is storage solutions specialist Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC). Mehdi Hosseini, an analyst at Susquehanna International, foresees Western Digital climbing 145% to $140 a share over the next 12 months.
Storage solutions companies like Western Digital are highly cyclical. They need the U.S. and global economy to be firing on all cylinders, and they have to hope that other major hard drive and flash solutions providers don't flood the market with supply. More often than not, oversupply is the biggest concern for Western Digital.
But things could be different in the coming years. Between industry consolidation and historic supply chain issues worldwide, it may not be possible for Western Digital or its peers to weigh down prices anytime soon. That's really good news for the company.
Investors will also appreciate that Western Digital has near-and-long-term growth drivers. Over the next six-to-12 months, the company should continue to benefit from the gaming console replacement cycle. Consoles are replaced about every five years, with next-gen consoles requiring beefed-up storage capacity. With these systems being released less than a year ago, demand for them remains strong.
Looking out a bit further, Western Digital stands to benefit from growing data center demand. Though hard-disk drives remain a staple in data centers, Western Digital's NAND flash solutions have the potential to become a key player in data center storage by mid-decade.
To add, next-generation automobiles are another source of strong growth potential for the company. As vehicles grow more high tech, the demand for storage capacity rises.
To keep the theme alive, I'm not optimistic that Western Digital will see $140 a share within the next year. But given this laundry list of catalysts, its arrow is pointing higher.