Welcome to a new year and a new opportunity to become smarter, happier, and -- most importantly -- richer.

Although 2022 didn't go as planned -- the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended the year down 19% and 33%, respectively -- bear markets are known to be blessings in disguise. These typically once-in-a-decade events allow opportunistic investors to pounce on innovative, game-changing companies at a discount. And with Wall Street taking a drubbing last year, bargains abound -- if you're willing to do some digging.

As we move headlong into a new year filled with uncertainty, the following seven sensational stocks stand as being capable of doubling your money in 2023.

Gold-colored numbers spelling out 2023 that are placed atop one hundred dollar bills fresh out of a printing press.

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1. Novavax

The first phenomenal stock that has the potential to deliver triple-digit returns for its shareholders in the new year is biotech stock Novavax (NVAX -2.43%). Since hitting its all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic, shares of Novavax have plunged as much as 97%. But with its market cap down to $874 million, there are an abundance of reasons to believe Novavax could "shoot" higher.

Novavax is one of a handful of drug developers that earned acclaim by running clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. But unlike a majority of drugmakers, it was one of only three -- along with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna -- to achieve at least a 90% vaccine efficacy with its vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.

The Novavax vaccine is also differentiated by its mechanism of action. Instead of being messenger-RNA-based, as with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, NVX-CoV2373 uses older technology and bits of spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus to teach a person's immune system how to recognize and fight the infection. For people who might be leery of taking an mRNA-based vaccine, Novavax provides a high-efficacy solution in developed and emerging markets.

In 2023, COVID-19 vaccine sales in the U.S. moved from advanced purchase agreements with the federal government to the private market. I expect this to improve Novavax's pricing power and help it better compete as an initial series and/or booster option.

Additionally, Novavax is sitting on an absolute mountain of cash. It ended September with $1.28 billion in cash and cash equivalents, which was prior to its recent gross proceeds raise of $250 million from the sale of shares and convertible debt. This provides more-than-enough capital to run clinical studies involving NVX-CoV2373 as a combination therapy (influenza + COVID-19), as well as further its influenza and respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidates. 

2. Green Thumb Industries

A second high-caliber stock that can double your money in 2023 is U.S. cannabis multi-state operator (MSO) Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF 3.51%). Although a lack of cannabis reform on Capitol Hill has been a buzzkill for pot stocks, Green Thumb Industries' growth strategy has proved unstoppable.

Before digging into company specifics, it's important to note two macro factors working in Green Thumb's favor. First, approximately three-quarters of U.S. states have legalized marijuana in some capacity. This provides more-than-enough opportunity for MSOs to grow their sales and push toward profitability.

Second, cannabis has been treated as a nondiscretionary good. Even if the U.S. dips into a recession this year, history has shown that consumers will continue to buy pot products.

Green Thumb Industries had 77 operating dispensaries open as of Dec. 1, 2022, with a presence in 15 legalized states. It holds enough retail licenses in its back pocket to effectively double its retail-store presence over time. With BDSA forecasting an increase in legal U.S. weed sales to $42 billion by 2026 from an estimated $27 billion in 2022, Green Thumb looks like it's in great shape. 

The secret sauce that makes Green Thumb tick is its revenue mix. While dried cannabis flower is most often associated with marijuana use, more than half of Green Thumb's revenue comes from derivative products, such as vapes, edibles, dabs, beverages, pre-rolls, and health and beauty products. These are higher-priced products that deliver much juicier margins than dried cannabis flower. This revenue mix is precisely why Green Thumb has delivered nine consecutive quarters of profit, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

With marijuana stocks getting thrashed to end the year following the exclusion of the SAFE Banking Act from the federal annual defense bill, now is the time to pounce on this industry leader.

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3. Bark

For something way off the radar that can double your money in 2023, say hello to dog-focused products-and-services company Bark (BARK -5.84%). Like virtually every other company that was brought to market via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in 2020 and 2021, Bark has been decimated since making its public debut. But thanks to an unstoppable trend and the expectation of an improving income statement, the company has the tools needed to double shareholders' money in 2023.

Though recessions are an inevitable part of the economic cycle, the U.S. pet industry hasn't seemed to care. It's been well over a quarter century since year-over-year pet expenditures declined in the United States, according to data from the American Pet Products Association (APPA). What's more, the percentage of households that own a pet is higher now than at any point since the APPA began its survey on pet ownership in 1988. (Translation: Pet owners willingly open their wallets to ensure the health and happiness of their four-legged family members.)

What makes Bark so special is the company's direct-to-consumer (DTC) focus. While the company's revenue breakdown can be fluid, depending on when orders are placed, it's pretty common for Bark to generate about 10% of its revenue from brick-and-mortar retail stores. The remainder comes from the company's 2.24 million (and growing) active subscriptions. 

A DTC-driven operating model lends to highly predictable cash flow and helps keep inventory levels from getting out of hand. In other words, Bark's operating model should lead to lower overhead costs than its peers.

Furthermore, Bark has seen strong add-on sales growth since introducing Bark Bright (a dental-products offering) during the pandemic. With the addition of Bark Eats, a dry-food subscription service catered to specific dog breeds, Bark should be able to substantially narrow its losses while maintaining a gross margin of around 60% in the coming quarters.

4. PubMatic

Another sensational stock with the competitive advantages necessary to double your money in 2023 is cloud-based adtech company PubMatic (PUBM -0.33%). While ad spending during the first half of the year could be dicey -- which isn't uncommon when economic uncertainty is high -- PubMatic finds itself perfectly positioned to take advantage of a shift in spending to digital platforms.

Prior to the advent of the internet, the buying and selling of ads and ad space was time-consuming and inefficient. But thanks to the internet and companies like PubMatic, programmatic ad platforms now do virtually all of the work. The digital ad industry (i.e., video, mobile, connected TV (CTV), and over-the-top programmatic ads) is expected to grow by a compound annual rate of 14% through 2025. 

PubMatic is a sell-side platform (SSP) that helps companies sell their digital display space to advertisers. As a result of consolidation, there aren't too many SSPs left, which puts PubMatic in an advantageous position within the space.

Although advertisers are upping their spending across all digital channels, the fastest growth has been seen with CTV. Not coincidentally, CTV accounts for a substantial portion of PubMatic's revenue, which is why it has consistently grown at a faster organic rate than the industry average.

In addition, PubMatic made the choice to design and build its own cloud-based programmatic ad platform. Though costly and time-consuming, this decision will allow the company to reap the rewards of higher operating margins as its revenue scales.

One final note: PubMatic ended September with $166.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities with no debt. This means it has an enterprise value of just over $500 million, despite an industry-topping double-digit growth rate and recurring profits.

A smiling person sitting on a sectional couch in the middle of a furniture expo.

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5. Lovesac

The fifth remarkable stock that can double your money in 2023 is furniture retailer Lovesac (LOVE 0.06%). Fight the urge to fall asleep because I said "furniture retailer," because this company is turning an industry desperate for disruption on its head.

One of the biggest differentiating factors with Lovesac is its furniture. Whereas most brick-and-mortar retailers buy products from the same group of wholesalers, Lovesac's products are unique. In particular, close to 88% of its net sales come from sactionals -- modular couches that can be rearranged to fit most living spaces. 

Buyers can choose from over 200 different covers, and the yarn used in these covers is made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. The functionality and optionality offered by Lovesac is unmatched.

Lovesac's operating model generally caters to middle- and upper-income millennials. These are folks who tend to appreciate Lovesac's ESG (environmental, social, and governance) tendencies. More importantly, the buying habits of these people tend to be less affected when minor economic downturns arise or inflation picks up. In short, Lovesac's business is unlikely to be hit as hard by high inflation or a recession as traditional furniture retailers.

But what's really allowed Lovesac to shine is its omnichannel sales approach. Despite having 189 retail locations spanning 40 states, it's been able to shift its sales online or utilize popup showrooms and a handful of brand-name partnerships, to bolster its sales. Similar to Bark, Lovesac has been able to use its DTC presence to lower its overhead expenses and push to full-year profitability.

In 2023, Lovesac's biggest catalyst looks like it will be inventory reduction. Wall Street has been concerned with rising inventory levels, which management contends is to meet growing demand. If Lovesac can maintain its double-digit organic growth rate, working through its inventory shouldn't be a problem.

6. Petco Health & Wellness

The next sensational stock that can double your money in 2023 is none other than pet-focused retailer Petco Health and Wellness (WOOF 0.29%). That's right, this list is doubling down on pet owners' willingness to spend on their furry, feathered, gilled, and scaled "family members" in the new year.

Petco Health and Wellness was sent to the doghouse last year. Shares of the company plunged 52%, with most of these losses coming after the company's disappointing second quarter, which featured higher integration costs following its acquisition of veterinary-care company Thrive.

Petco and Thrive formed a joint venture in 2017 that saw the duo grow to around 100 pet hospitals located in Petco stores. This deal was for Thrive's 50% stake in that joint venture. 

But as noted, spending on pets has effectively been recession-proof since the mid-1990s. While growth slowdowns are certainly possible, a record level of pet ownership in the wake of the pandemic bodes well for companies like Petco.

What's far more important is that Petco's focus on subscription services and digital sales is beginning to pay off. Even though in-store interactions will continue to generate the bulk of the company's sales, the pandemic taught Petco's management team the importance of having a beefed-up online presence. Digital sales were up 10% from the prior-year period in the company's fiscal quarter ended Oct. 29, 2022, and 42% when looking back two years. 

In terms of subscriptions, the company now has north of 400,000 Vital Care members. Vital Care provides members discounts on various products, grooming, and routine vet exams and has seen its recurring revenue jump 56% from the previous year. If Petco can sustain strong double-digit recurring revenue and subscription growth in 2023, it could reasonably reverse course and retrace all of its losses from last year.

A couple meeting with a real estate agent in front of a two-story home.

Image source: Getty Images.

7. Redfin

Last but not least, consider technology-driven real estate company Redfin (RDFN -1.30%) as a stock that can double your money in 2023.

There's absolutely no sugarcoating how poor the past year and change has been for real estate-focused businesses. Redfin has lost approximately 96% of its value since reaching its all-time high, and rapidly rising mortgage rates are doing the industry no favors.

A report from the company notes that home sales plummeted 35% in November from the prior-year period, the largest decline on record. And new listings plunged 28%, which is the second-largest year-over-year drop in history. 

Despite this abysmal data, it's plausible that pessimists have overshot to the downside, considering the competitive advantages Redfin offers when compared to traditional real estate firms.

For example, traditional real estate companies and agents charge anywhere from 2.5% to 3% for their services. Redfin charges its customers either 1% or 1.5%, depending on how much previous businesses they have done with the company. With a median home sales price of $393,682 in November, an up to 2 percentage-point difference when compared to traditional real estate firms, can save sellers more than $7,800 (at the median).

Redfin also offers a variety of services designed to either help sellers maximize the value of their homes or lessen the burdens associated with selling property. These services can help boost Redfin's gross margin by adding a personalized touch that traditional real estate companies fail to provide.

The final consideration with Redfin is that it's exiting its iBuyer business, known as RedfinNow. This segment purchased homes for cash, which were later resold.

Ending this program and paring down its portfolio of assets will bolster the company's cash position while lowering expenses. Management believes this combination of cost-cutting and refocusing on its bread-and-butter internet service-based advantages can lead the company to a profitable year in 2024.