These three stocks crushed the market in 2022. All are in positive territory compared to the S&P 500's 21% decline, and I think they have room to run. Here's why agricultural science company Corteva (CTVA -0.76%), advanced materials specialist Hexcel (HXL 0.26%), and electrical products producer nVent Electric (NVT 0.73%) are suitable investments today. 

1. The best stock in the agriculture sector

Seed and crop protection company Corteva is finally realizing its potential. Created out of the DowDuPont merger in 2017 and then separated as a stand-alone company in 2019, the company combined DuPont's (DD -0.88%) expertise in seeds with Dow's (DOW -1.59%) crop science business in one entity. Unfortunately, it's taken a few years and the involvement of an activist hedge fund, Starboard Value, for the benefits of the merger to come to fruition. 

But Corteva is now firmly on the path of expanding its sales and profit margin. It's using a combination of cost synergies, focusing on its core end-market geographies, cutting royalty payments by selling relatively more products using its technology (led by plans to gain 60% market share of U.S. soybean acres with its Enlist soybeans), and its new higher-margin products. 

As such, management believes it will expand the margin on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from 17.4% in 2022 to a 21% to 23% range by 2025. The recent third-quarter results showed the company making good progress with year-to-date organic sales up 16% and operating EBITDA up 23%. Management believes its EBITDA margin will hit 20.9% in 2022, and Corteva looks well on its way to substantial margin expansion in the coming years. 

2. An aerospace stock to buy

Hexcel makes advanced composites used in commercial aerospace, defense & space, and the industrial sector in general. Commercial aerospace is its most important end market, including such customers as Boeing and Airbus.

Advanced composites offer weight and strength advantages over traditional metals. They are increasingly being used on newer airplanes to reduce costs; lighter planes use less fuel, and stronger and tougher planes require less maintenance.

As such, the case for buying the stock relies on a combination of Boeing and Airbus ramping up production, Hexcel increasing its content on newer airplanes, and increased production of wide-body planes with significantly more advanced-composite content.

With Boeing and Airbus desperately trying to ramp up production and reduce their mult-year backlogs, Hexcel has excellent prospects. Furthermore, increasing content per plane on newer airplanes means the company can grow revenue even if unit airplane production is flat. Lastly, as the commercial aerospace recovery expands from domestic markets to international, demand for wide-body aircraft will likely pick up. 

3. A stock to play the electrification theme

The connection and protection electrical-products manufacturer nVent Electric is a play on a very powerful megatrend in the economy, namely electrification. Electric vehicles and charging networks, data centers, smart buildings and smart infrastructure, industrial automation, renewable energy, and good old-fashioned spending on upgrading electrical transmission and distribution networks are all economic growth areas. 

In addition, the drive toward electrification will continue even if the economy slows, not least because many of the above trends involve increasing productivity or sustainability. 

The power of these trends can be seen in nVent's earnings in 2022. In a challenging year for the markets and the economy, it has raised sales and earnings guidance on all three quarterly reports in its financial 2022. Having started the year forecasting organic sales growth of 6% to 9% and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.10 to $2.20, management is now forecasting organic sales growth of 15% to 17% and adjusted EPS of $2.17 to $2.23. 

Earnings would have been even more substantial had it not been for soaring supply chain costs and foreign exchange headwinds in 2022. Still, both those factors can turn into tailwinds in 2023 as the supply chain pressures ease and comparisons with 2022 get easier. So all told, nVent's near- and long-term prospects look excellent.