With everything going on in the stock market and cryptocurrency market, it's hard for one story to dominate headlines for a day, much less a week. Yet that's exactly what electric vehicle (EV) stocks have done since Rivian Automotive (RIVN 1.27%) had its initial public offering (IPO) last week. After debuting at a price of $78 per share, Rivian stock has already doubled. Similarly, share prices of Lucid Group (LCID 1.50%), a luxury EV company, have more than doubled in the last month. But those gains are in the past. It's time to look at what's the best option now.
Investors scanning the horizon for growth stocks may be better off taking a look at Trimble (TRMB -1.07%), Array Technologies (ARRY -0.30%), and MP Materials (MP -0.20%). Here's why some Fool.com contributors think each is a great buy now.
The infrastructure bill is just one of many growth drivers for Trimble
Lee Samaha (Trimble): Trimble is a leading light in the positioning and modeling business. As such, its roots lie in the geospatial industry (mapping and surveying). The geospatial industry is still a significant end market -- making up around 23% of Trimble's third-quarter revenue. However, its largest end market is buildings and construction (39% of revenue). The other two end markets are the fast-growing resources and utilities (20% of revenue) space and transportation (18% of revenue).
Trimble's solutions are increasingly used as an integral part of its customers' daily activities. For example, trucking companies use Trimble to make sure their fleets are running safely and effectively, all the time analyzing real-time data to improve performance. In agriculture, its precision agriculture hardware and software help farmers make better decisions when it comes to planting, nurturing, and harvesting crops.
Moreover, in building and construction, the company's technology helps contractors accurately complete building and infrastructure projects, and in doing so, reduce waste and carbon emissions. As such, the infrastructure bill will lead to plenty of growth opportunities as upgrading the nation's infrastructure can be achieved in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way using Trimble.
Given the explosion of connected devices, digital technologies, and analytics capability, it's highly likely that there will be increased adoption of positioning and modeling technology in the future. Again, Trimble is ideally placed to take advantage.
This solar stock went from cold to hot
Daniel Foelber (Array Technologies): Share prices of solar tracking manufacturer Array Technologies have staged quite the comeback since falling 74% from its high in May. The company was caught completely off guard by supply chain constraints and rising raw material costs -- namely steel. The news not only stunted its growth, but crippled its margins, too.
Although the company's short-term performance continues to suffer, it has done a good job partnering with companies like Nucor to secure more reliable steel pricing, as well as building a healthy backlog of projects. Although Array's Q3 figures were weak, the company's outlook for the year ahead casts a bright light that the worst of its problems may be over.
Array is a great example of a growth stock that looked strong headed into 2021, suffered a lot of setbacks, and is now beginning to get back on its feet. Now is the perfect time for investors to revisit the long-term investment thesis, which centers around the growing need for more efficient and cost-effective solar tracking. Array's industry-leading technology maximizes the amount of solar energy that a panel can generate, which saves costs in the long run. The company's business is almost entirely in the U.S. but there are plans to expand internationally as new markets demand more efficient solar systems. Given the lower cost of utility-solar and estimates that solar will only grow its share in the global energy mix, Array is a growth stock worth following as its fundamentals improve.
Dig this under-the-radar EV stock
Scott Levine (MP Materials): Soaring steeply higher in its short time as a publicly traded company, Rivian's stock is charging into the hearts -- and portfolios -- of many EV-focused investors. While the stock is currently the talk of the town, there's another EV stock that represents another great growth opportunity, though it hardly finds itself in the limelight as Rivian currently does. MP Materials is a mining company that owns and operates Mountain Pass, where it mines and processes rare earth minerals. Although lithium is the mineral that is likely most familiar to renewable energy investors, rare earth minerals are critical components in the production of magnets used in EVs and other advanced motion technologies like wind turbines and drones.
The bull case for MP Materials is predicated largely on the fact that rare earth minerals are, well, rare -- not something you can easily find in your backyard -- so owning and operating one of the largest integrated rare earth mining and processing facilities in the world (as MP Materials proclaims to do) is fairly compelling. Add to that the fact that the United States has voiced a desire to shore up its supply of rare earth materials by distancing itself from China, where the majority of rare earth minerals are currently sourced, and MP Materials becomes even more attractive.
During an investors presentation last year, MP Materials projected that its revenue would rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53% from $75 million in 2019 to $415 million in 2023. But it wouldn't be surprising if the top line grows at an even greater clip than that. Through the first nine months of 2021, the company has reported revenue of $233 million, blowing past its earlier forecast of $171 million for all of 2021. Pivoting to the cash flow statement, investors will find that while this growth company has a long runway ahead of it, the company's risks are mitigated by the fact that it's cash-flow positive. Through the first nine months of 2021, MP Materials has generated operating cash flow of $70.5 million, and management expects it to become free-cash-flow positive in 2022.