Veteran investors know that you typically pay a premium for growth stocks. That's because compelling growth stories create lots of demand.
That's not to say, however, that one must always pay a steep price for a good growth name. Sometimes the wrong news can distract the market from a company's bigger-picture potential, up-ending the stock as a result. Those pullbacks are of course buying opportunities for investors able to see past the short-term noise.
With that as the backdrop, here's a rundown of three growth stocks that are currently down, but far from out.
1. Qualtrics International
Qualtrics International (NASDAQ:XM) may not be a household name, but there's a good chance you or someone living in your household is somehow affected by Qualtrics. The company helps a variety of organizations measure their customers' or employees' experience with a particular service or product.
The need for such turnkey solutions has never been greater. As the company explained in its recently published Global Consumer Trends report, 9.5% of worldwide business revenue -- roughly $4.7 trillion -- is legitimately at risk just due to poor customer service. It's just too easy for a consumer to find an alternative source these days.
The market hasn't been too convinced of the premise of late, however. After the stock was nearly cut in half earlier this year following January's post-IPO rally, a rebound effort was up-ended. Shares are down 19% from September's peak, with most of that loss taking shape just this month thanks to Qualtrics' announcement that it would be raising funds via a secondary offering of more newly issued shares.
The thing is, if there's any organization that can do something constructive with fresh funding, it's arguably Qualtrics International. Although the company is still technically losing money, this year's projected full-year top-line growth of more than 38% is set to pull it out of the red and into the black -- at least on an operating basis.
The kicker: Of last quarter's $272 million in revenue, $220 million was subscription-based revenue. That means we can generally expect those sales to materialize over and over again in the future.
Qorvo (NASDAQ:QRVO) is a slightly more familiar name, although only slightly. The company makes a variety of microchips, semiconductors, transistors, and other silicon you'll find attached to the circuit boards inside your electronic gizmos. It's a particularly important player in the 5G and wireless connectivity markets.
As you might suspect, Qorvo has been adversely impacted by the global chip shortage. Share prices are currently down nearly 20% from a high near $200 hit several times this year, and still within sight of new multi-month lows reached just earlier this month.
However, the market might have proverbially thrown the baby out with its bathwater. In other words, it's unfairly punishing Qorvo for merely being a chipmaker in the midst of a semiconductor shortage without truly considering whether or not it's actually been impacted by severely limited supplies of semiconductors. It doesn't appear it has been. This year's sales are on pace to grow by 15%, driving a 22% improvement in per-share profits. Next year's revenue growth is expected to slow to only about 9%, but earnings are still set to grow a solid 10%. That's not bad for a stock currently priced at only 12.2 times 2022's projected profits. Demand for new wi-fi and 5G solutions appears to be bigger than the semiconductor supply chain impasse.
It's also worth noting that Qorvo has topped its earnings estimates every quarter for more than three years now, indicating that analysts are in the habit of underestimating the company.
3. Fair Isaac
Finally, add Fair Isaac (NYSE:FICO) to your list of beaten-down growth stocks to buy. Share prices are down 30% from July's high, and into new 52-week-low territory as a result. The scope of the pullback, however, doesn't make any sense.
Yes, this is the same Fair Isaac behind what's become known as the FICO credit score. The steep sell-off is largely the result of worries that traditional credit scores aren't going to play as much of a role in the future of consumer lending as they have in the past. And perhaps these older ways of gauging creditworthiness are indeed destined for diminished importance.
There are two big flaws with this thinking, though.
One of them is the fact that mere chatter about the possibility of such a shakeup isn't a shakeup in an of itself. While banks and less-than-conventional lenders like those in the "buy now, pay later" business would prefer to utilize their own credit-scoring systems, the fact is they don't have the sort of access to complete consumer data that traditional credit bureaus enjoy. Many of these lenders may still want to punt credit-checking duties to organizations like Fair Isaac, which have decades of experience doing the job.
The other flaw with the thinking that's up-ended Fair Isaac shares since July is the erroneous assumption that Fair Isaac is just a credit scoring business. It's so much more. Artificial intelligence-powered analytics and fraud protection are also parts of its revenue-bearing repertoire now, along with a bunch of other things you probably didn't know this company does. These are key parts of the reason its sales growth is projected to accelerate by nearly 10% next year, driving profit growth of 19% in the process.
This might help put things in perspective: Having plenty of time to think about FICO's place in the future of lending, the analyst community keeping tabs on this company says shares are still worth nearly $547, up 40% from the stock's current price.