A quick way to gauge a stock's potential can be to look at what analysts are saying about it. These are people who cover stocks on an ongoing basis and in detail. If they're bullish on a stock, there are usually some strong reasons behind it.
Two growth stocks that Wall Street analysts believe could double from where they are today are Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA 1.14%) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT -3.55%). Are these stocks the real deal? And should you consider investing in them today? Let's take a look.
1. Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks is a biotech company that went public through a special purpose acquisition company last year. The company has the backing of Bill Gates and can design and print DNA.
Cannabis investors will recognize this company from its partnership with pot producer Cronos Group. The two businesses have been working to make lab-grown marijuana at a fraction of the price of conventional growing methods. The development could be a game-changer in an industry where cannabis companies struggle to turn a profit. Ginkgo can help other industries as well, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In January, the company partnered with biotech company Optimvia to improve the efficiency in manufacturing biosynthetic heparin, which is used to prevent blood clots.
Ginkgo is still in its early growth stages. In its most recent quarterly results for the period ended Sept. 30, 2021, sales of $77.6 million were nearly six times the $13.3 million that the company generated in the prior-year period. But its net loss of $102.4 million also rose by more than three times the $26.1 million loss it incurred a year earlier.
The good news is the company is in solid financial shape with cash and cash equivalents totaling more than $1.7 billion as of the end of the quarter. That's easily enough to sustain its current burn rate. Over the trailing nine months, Ginkgo has used up $88.3 million on its day-to-day operating activities.
At a market cap of just under $7 billion, Ginkgo isn't a tiny stock, but analysts see its potential to become much more valuable. Multiple brokerages have set price targets of $12 or more for the stock, which is more than twice what it trades at today, at less than $5 a share. No doubt, there are risks, but Ginkgo has a lot of potential, and it could be a top stock to own for years.
2. Riot Blockchain
Blockchain stocks can be volatile, and Riot Blockchain is no exception. After a volatile 2021, when its shares were up over 300% at one point, they ended up finishing the year up only 31%, slightly better than the S&P 500's gain of 27%. To start 2022, the stock is down 24% as it inches closer to its 52-week low of $12.90. By comparison, Bitcoin (BTC -0.03%) has fallen by 18%.
Riot Blockchain is a company that mines for Bitcoin, and so it's inevitable that its share price will move in a relatively similar pattern to the digital currency. The company is among the leaders in Bitcoin production with 3,812 self-mined bitcoins throughout 2021. In June 2021, it began an expansion project that would double the capacity of its Texas-based Whinstone facility. When Riot acquired it a month earlier, it was already the largest mining and hosting Bitcoin facility in North America.
For the period ended Sept. 30, 2021, the company's revenue of $64.8 million jumped more than 2,500% from the $2.5 million it reported in the same quarter a year earlier. The surge in Bitcoin's popularity and more mining activity has helped boost the company's performance. The risk for investors is that the value of Bitcoin can be incredibly volatile. In the past year, the digital currency has soared to nearly $69,000 and has been as low as $29,000. Bearishness in Bitcoin would likely be bad news for Riot's stock.
Analysts appear to be on the side of the bulls, however, with many of them projecting Riot's shares could top more than $40 within the next two years, which is easily more than double the $17 it trades at now. Although this is a riskier option than Ginkgo, the upside from Riot could also potentially be higher.