A brutal lesson learned in 2021 is that what works one year may not hold up the following year. A lot of 2020's biggest stars fell apart last year. Winners don't typically repeat the feat. Looking over the list of roughly 160 stocks with market caps above $1 billion that more than doubled in 2021, it's hard to find names that will trounce the market again this year.
I believe that Crocs (CROX -2.09%), Ford (F 0.79%), and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS -1.01%) are some of the 2021 champs that could stand tall again this year. They all doubled last year. Let's see why they could double again in 2022.
It's been 20 years since Crocs hit the market. Initially marketed as boating shoes for their ability to withstand slippery surfaces, the unique resin shoes eventually resonated with a much larger audience. Young consumers flocked to the shoes for their colorful styles and the ability to customize them with snap-on Jibbitz. Adults -- particularly nurses, teachers, and others who spend a lot of time on their feet -- turned to Crocs for their comfort.
The shoes have had their ups and downs over the years, and while that has resulted in some fair knocks on the brand as faddish, it's been doing a great job of sustaining and building on its growth since tapping a new CEO in 2017. Crocs has posted double-digit sales growth in each of the past three years, including a head-turning 77% increase through the first three quarters of last year.
The "beat and raise" quarters find Crocs raising the bar with every passing quarter, yet somehow Crocs is trading for just 14 times forward earnings. It was understandable that Crocs spiked in popularity during the early days of the pandemic when we spent so much time at home, but with celebrity endorsers piling up, Crocs has gone fashionably mainstream.
Growth will slow from here, but Crocs still sees revenue topping 20% this year with a long-term compounded annual growth rate of 17%. If that sounds conservative, keep in mind that the growing footwear maker has historically aimed lower than reality. It was originally forecasting 20% to 25% growth last year, and we saw how that played out.
If you were asked which automaker saw its stock double last year, you might be quick to think of Elon Musk, but it's another four-letter name. Shares of Ford soared 137% in 2021. The pioneering automaker can thank its push into electric vehicle versions of its favorite models for getting investors excited about its long-term growth prospects, but it's doing pretty well right now.
Revenue is growing again. Analysts see a return to double-digit top-line growth next year, something that investors haven't seen since 2013. Profitability is booming, and it has soundly beaten analyst expectations in each of the past four reports. If you think Crocs is cheap at 14 times earnings, Ford is fetching less than 11 times this New Year's projected bottom line. Ford also recently brought back its quarterly dividend after nixing it when the pandemic began, giving investors some income to go along with the monster capital appreciation.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Another big winner of 2021 trading at a cheap multiple despite more than doubling over the past year is Dick's Sporting Goods. The sporting goods chain is thriving with a refreshed retail vision that's making its superstores stand out against online specialists. We saw this happen in 2020, when it grew net sales by almost 10% in a climate where most brick-and-mortar retailers struggled. Business is picking up with a 38% top-line surge through the first three quarters of 2021.
The news is even better on the bottom line. Dick's Sporting Goods is achieving record profits, and it's been landing well ahead of Wall Street pros over the past year.
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It's been a good time to play ball with sporting goods stocks. The pandemic has made us appreciate being outdoors, and sports is a big part of staying active outside. If you thought Crocs and Ford are cheap, Dick's Sporting Goods is trading for just eight times the midpoint of its adjusted profit per share guidance for the year that just ended.
All three stocks are more than reasonably priced. Growth should slow for Crocs and Dick's Sporting Goods next year, but there is still a lot to like with all three investments as we head into 2022.