In less than three weeks, Wall Street is likely going to uncork the champagne on what's been another successful year for the broader market. Through this past weekend, the benchmark S&P 500 was higher by 25% for the year, which is more than double the average annual total return of the widely followed index since the beginning of 1980.
But according to some analysts, there are still some big gains to be had. Based on the high-water one-year price targets issued by analysts and investment banks, the following four growth stocks are expected to deliver upside of 119% to as much as 189% in 2022.
Nio: Implied upside of 154%
First up is electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio (NIO -2.16%). EV stocks have been particularly hot for over a year now, with Nio offering some of the strongest expected upside. Based on the highest currency-converted price target among financial institutions, Nio is expected to reach almost $87 in 2022. This gives it an implied upside of a cool 154%.
Earlier this year, it looked as if the company wouldn't have any issues ramping up production to an annual run-rate of 150,000 EVs. However, this plan was tossed out the window during the second and third quarters due to supply chain concerns and a semiconductor chip shortage. With the latter beginning to resolve, Nio delivered a record 10,878 vehicles in November.
For those of you keeping score at home, this works out to an annualized run-rate of 130,536 EVs. By this time next year, Nio could be producing closer to 600,000 vehicles on an annual run-rate basis.
And it's not just Nio's production ramp-up that has Wall Street excited. Innovation will play a key role in its success. The company has already introduced three EV models, with plans to launch three new vehicles in 2022.
To build on the above, it also introduced the battery-as-a-service (BaaS) solution in 2020. The BaaS model reduces the upfront cost of new EVs in exchange for enrollment in a monthly fee-based service. This service allows owners to replace or upgrade their batteries in the future. In giving up some near-term revenue, Nio has secured juicier long-term cash flow and found a way to keep buyers loyal to the brand.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that Nio is based in China, the No. 1 auto market in the world. While an $87 price target might be asking a bit much, momentum is definitely in Nio's favor in 2022.
Redfin: Implied upside of 119%
Another high-growth stock that's the apple of at least one Wall Street firm's eye is technology-driven real estate platform Redfin (RDFN -3.50%). With an $88 price target, Truist Securities is expecting up to 119% upside in Redfin's shares over the coming year.
The Redfin growth thesis is built on two drivers. First, it's undercutting the competition on a cost basis. Whereas traditional real estate firms charge their clients a 2.5% or 3% listing fee/commission, Redfin charges its clients either 1% or 1.5%, depending on how much previous business has been done with the company. In October, the average selling price of a new home in the U.S. was $477,800. With a peak difference of up to two percentage points in listing fees/commission, Redfin can save its clients around $9,500!
On top of big savings, Redfin brings personalization to the table in what's otherwise a stodgy industry ripe for disruption. It offers a Concierge service to help clients maximize the selling value of their home, as well as an iBuyer program that purchases homes from sellers with cash. The company benefited from offering 3D and virtual home tours during the pandemic, too.
The big question for Redfin is how it's going to fare with interest rates, and therefore mortgage rates, expected to climb a bit in 2022 and 2023. While homebuying activity does tend to abate during periods of higher lending rates, Redfin's core advantages could keep its proverbial hamster on the wheel while other real estate companies falter.
As with Nio, expecting this peak price target to hit in 2022 is far too optimistic. But Redfin does offer a bright future for patient shareholders.
Vaxart: Implied upside of 189%
For a supercharged upside opportunity in 2022, at least one analyst believes you should buy clinical-stage biotech stock Vaxart (VXRT 0.89%). Analyst Yasmeen Rahimi of Piper Sandler expects Vaxart to hit $18 in 2022, which implies a gain of 189% from where it closed this past weekend.
Like Redfin, there are two factors that make Vaxart tick. To begin with, the company's future is reliant on its VAAST platform. This stands for "Vector-Adjuvant-Antigen Standardized Technology." Without getting too technical, Vaxart aims to differentiate itself by developing drug candidates in oral formulation that are typically administered as a vaccine. This makes administration easier and safer (no chance of an accidental needle prick), and it targets both systemic and mucosal immunity.
The other catalyst putting Vaxart on the map is its experimental oral coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment. While you might have seen news of oral COVID-19 pills targeted at already-infected patients, Vaxart's oral tablet is designed to act as a vaccine for healthy individuals.
The $64,000 question is: Will it work? Although an early stage study demonstrated an immune response, high levels of neutralizing antibodies, which have been observed following traditional COVID-19 vaccines, weren't present. Vaxart is specifically targeting the S-protein in its mid-stage trial and expecting better results.
Unless Vaxart's results rival the efficacy seen with traditional vaccines, it could be difficult for the company to reach a lofty $18 price target in 2022.
Zoom Video Communications: Implied upside of 143%
Last, but not least, cloud-based video conferencing platform Zoom Video Communications (ZM -0.22%) is expected to offer significant upside in 2022. With a Wall Street high-water price target of $450, the recently battered Zoom could offer gains of 143% in the upcoming year.
Zoom was a huge winner during the pandemic. With the traditional office environment disrupted, remote work and virtual meetings became commonplace -- so much so that "Zoom" became its own verb.
What needs to be questioned now is whether Zoom can keep growing with the low-hanging fruit of the pandemic now in the rearview mirror. For the moment, the answer does look to be that it'll sustain double-digit growth potential. Zoom brings efficiencies to the table for businesses of all sizes that should prove valuable in a hybrid or traditional work environment.
It's been a particularly popular solution among smaller businesses. Although we think of Zoom as winning over major clients during the pandemic, the company's bread-and-butter has been wooing small and medium-sized businesses. According to Zoom, it's had 14 consecutive quarters of a net dollar expansion rate of at least 130% for businesses with 10 or more employees. In English, this means existing customers with 10 or more employees have spent at least 30% more from the previous year for 3.5 years (and counting!).
There's no doubt Zoom will need to remain innovative and look at acquisition opportunities to command a premium valuation. While a price target of $450 in 2022 sounds too aggressive, it is a target that can eventually be reached by shares in the future.