If you follow cryptocurrencies or just the investing world in general, the excitement and coverage surrounding Shiba Inu (SHIB -1.75%) has been hard to miss in recent months. It's not hard to see why. Despite having fallen roughly 50% from its lifetime high, the token's price has still surged more than 56,000,000% across this year's trading.
As impressive as the cryptocurrency's run has been, it's possible that Shiba Inu has peaked, and investors may be seeking other candidates that offer the potential for big gains but have lower risk profiles. With that in mind, we asked a panel of Motley Fool contributors to profile stocks capable of providing explosive gains. Read on to see why they think Lucid Group (LCID -0.51%), Akamai Technologies (AKAM 1.84%), and Impinj (PI 3.94%) could be big winners.
A hyper-growth EV stock that's off to a red-hot start
Daniel Foelber (Lucid Group): Rivian Automotive's initial public offering last week threw fuel on the already scorching-hot electric vehicle (EV) fire. Investors in Shiba Inu are likely of a high-risk, high-reward disposition. And while Shiba Inu lacks the fundamentals necessary to warrant investment, Rivian peer Lucid is on a solid trajectory toward EV stardom.
Share prices of Lucid stock were all over the place last week as the company's third-quarter conference call impressed investors so much that the stock arguably got a little ahead of itself. Lucid has only been delivering cars for a couple of months now, and its stock is likely to be volatile for the foreseeable future. However, Lucid has so far shown an ability to deliver on its promises and has exciting growth opportunities in the works for next year.
Its manufacturing facility in Arizona is already large enough to meet 2022 production demand of 20,000 units. In its third-quarter conference call, Lucid said Saudi Arabia is currently its second-largest country by demand, followed by China. It intends to eventually build plants in those countries as it expands internationally.
In the U.S. and Canada, the company has grown its showrooms and service centers count to 16, just shy of its 2021 goal of 20. Lucid's roughly $75 billion valuation is high considering the company has yet to prove if it can meet customer demand, produce lower-end trims at scale, and turn a profit. But considering Lucid's impressive management team and technological edge over Tesla and the rest of the competition, it stands to reason that it's a better buy than a house-of-cards asset like Shiba Inu.
The lesson here is that if you want to take a risk on a stock of crypto, it needs to have an investment thesis. Lucid is undeniably expensive, but there are clear medium-term and long-term goals that you can hold the company accountable for. By comparison, Shiba Inu lacks intrinsic value and is a silly gamble at best.
Readier than its rivals
James Brumley (Akamai Technologies): The cloud computing market is admittedly crowded. In the same vein, cloud computing investments are quite crowded. In other words, most of these names are at least fairly valued -- if not overvalued -- due to clamoring for some sort of exposure to the growing industry.
There's a curious exception to this tendency, however. Akamai Technologies is a leading name in the business, but even with its 9% rebound from October's lows this stock is still only trading where it was in July of last year. I think that's a big mistake rooted in a misunderstanding of what Akamai is and does.
Sure, there are plenty of players in the cloud computing space that offer services similar to Akamai's cloud security, content management, and edge computing platforms. What's not being priced in, though, is just how important the company's application programming interface (API) security solution has become just within the past few months. This has been a somewhat neglected area of cybersecurity of late, and hackers know it. A study done by Salt Labs suggests the number of API-based attacks tripled during the first half of this year. This of course has sent enterprises scrambling for more relevant cybersecurity protection, and these organizations are finding that few providers are as ready to offer a specific solution as Akamai is.
It's not the only reason to own this name, but it's certainly a good one, bolstered by the fact that the stock's currently valued at less than 19 times next year's projected earnings.
This small-cap stock has what it takes to be a huge winner
Keith Noonan (Impinj): Shiba Inu's performance this year has been nothing short of incredible, and it's not out of the question that the cryptocurrency will bounce back from recent sell-offs and go on to reach new highs. However, even investors with very high risk tolerance can benefit from pursuing other attractive options, and Impinj is a company that I think will deliver big wins for long-term shareholders.
Impinj is a maker of radio-frequency-identification (RFID) tags, sensors, and software. If an object is outfitted with an RFID tag and is in within range of a scanner, a user could pull up a map that shows exactly where that object is located. RFID chips can also store and transmit data, and this data can be updated. It's kind of like the barcode system on steroids.
Impinj's solutions have already been adopted for applications including tracking airline baggage and by retailers including Nike, Zara, and Macy's, but there is an incredible number of other potential use cases for the company's technologies. As factory and manufacturing processes become increasingly automated, I think RFID technologies stand to see exploding adoption. Healthcare and hospital services is another category that could drive big growth. If you're looking for innovative companies tapping into young growth markets, Impinj checks those boxes.
When it comes to potential multibaggers, I also like to look for companies that are still in relatively early growth stages. In most cases, it's easier for a company to grow from a $5 billion valuation to a $50 billion valuation than it is for a $50 billion company to reach a market cap of $500 billion. That's not a steadfast rule, but most companies reach a point where their size means that growing in their market and finding new sales streams becomes more difficult.
With a market capitalization of roughly $2 billion, Impinj is still small enough to deliver huge wins, and I think the company has the potential to deliver life-changing returns for patient investors.