It has been nearly three years since the markets crashed in 2020 as fears surrounding COVID-19 sent investors into a panic. Many growth-oriented stocks would go on to surge as pandemic-induced spending led to significant sales growth. And while many stocks have gone on to give back those gains in the current bear market, there are some that are still sitting on impressive returns.

Cathie Wood's favorite stocks have been synonymous with growth, and although many of them have been struggling of late, there are a couple that have tripled in value in the past three years: Tesla (TSLA 6.66%) and Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA -0.69%)

1. Tesla

Since March 2020, shares of Tesla have soared 334%. A lot has changed for the electric vehicle (EV) maker in that time. The company has transformed into a hugely profitable business. From a net loss of $862 million in 2019 to a profit of $12.6 billion this past year, the company's financials have undergone a massive makeover. Its sales of $81.5 billion in 2022 are more than three times the $24.6 billion the company reported three years earlier.

Tesla also ended up joining the S&P 500 late in 2020 in a sign of its growing stability. The question marks about profitability and the viability of the business are long gone. Instead, it's just a matter of whether the stock has become too expensive. Even with a 31% drop in price over the past 12 months, shares of Tesla are trading at more than 50 times earnings.

But profitability could improve in the future, especially with Tesla expanding capacity and improving economies of scale. The company recently announced a new factory in Mexico that would be "the biggest electric vehicle plant in the world" as the business looks to cut assembly costs in half.

The stock is a bit rich for my liking, but if the business can continue growing and become more efficient in the process, it could look like a deal in the future. And so, if you believe in Elon Musk and his plans, it may not be too late to buy shares of Tesla.

2. Intellia Therapeutics

Shares of healthcare company Intellia Therapeutics have jumped 206% in three years.

Unlike Tesla, this biotech hasn't turned profitable or become a top stock on the S&P 500 list. Last year, it reported a net loss of $474.2 million on revenue of $52.1 million. In fact, its bottom line has worsened as the company's expenses have been rising without a corresponding large increase in revenue. The company doesn't have any approved products of its own, and collaboration revenue accounts for all of its top line.

However, that hasn't stopped investors from being optimistic about the company's future. A catalyst that skyrocketed Intellia's stock took place in June 2021 when the company announced positive data from an ongoing clinical study involving its in vivo genome-editing candidate, NTLA-2001. Intellia is working on this with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a potential treatment for people with transthyretin amyloidosis, a condition involving the abnormal build-up of a protein called amyloid in the body. 

While encouraging for the businesses, that was only data from a phase 1 study. Intellia doesn't have any late-stage trials or anything that might become close to becoming an approved product anytime soon. The excitement did help Intellia's stock eventually hit highs of around $180. However, since the start of 2022, it has fallen by 66% in value as the bullishness has worn off. 

This is a much riskier business to invest in than Tesla as Intellia is unprofitable and burning through cash. Investors are better off going with safer growth stocks instead. Without an approved product, it's going to be a tough road ahead for Intellia -- one that may not pay off for investors.