Peter Lynch made massive amounts of money by applying his "buy what you know" strategy to growth stocks. Names like Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) look quite attractive based on that concept.
The legendary asset manager is one of the most successful investors ever. Lynch managed the Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990, accumulating an average compound return of 29% per year and making Magellan the top-performing mutual fund in the world.
To put these numbers in perspective, this means Lynch turned $10,000 of initial capital into $273,947 by the end of that period.
Lynch believes a simple approach to investing can yield powerful results, so investors can rely on their day-to-day experiences as consumers to identify winning stocks. In his own words:
Look around you for good stocks. Down the road, you won't regret it. A lot of people mistakenly think they must search far and wide to find a company with this sort of potential. In fact, many such companies are hard to ignore. They show up down the block or inside the house. They stare us in the face.
Amazon's rise over the last decade has been hard to miss. In 2005 the company was just an online bookstore that made only $511,000 in total sales. Ten years later, Amazon is the undisputed king in online retail, and is expected to make $103.1 billion in revenue during 2015.
Net sales excluding currency fluctuations grew 22% year over year in the last quarter, so the business continues firing on all cylinders as the company gains scale. Amazon does not disclose exact figures for its Amazon Prime membership program, but the company has said it has "tens of millions" of members, and worldwide membership grew 53% last year.
This should be powerful driver for years to come, since Amazon Prime generates both customer loyalty and recurring sales for the company. The e-commerce industry is rapidly growing, but it still represents only 7% of total retail sales in the U.S. Everything suggest the online retail boom is just beginning, and no company is better positioned than Amazon to benefit from that trend.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
You don´t need to be an expert in financial analysis to know Chipotle Mexican Grill is on fire, since the company's restaurants are popping up all over the place. Chipotle had only 489 locations in 2005, and it has exponentially expanded that base to over 1,800 restaurants as of the first quarter of 2015.
Chipotle is the poster child for the fast-casual food revolution, and customers can't get enough of its tacos and burritos made with integrity and natural ingredients. Total revenue grew 20.4% in the last quarter, reaching $1.1 billion, while comparable-restaurant sales increased 10.4% over the same quarter last year.
The company still has significant room for expansion, with management saying it could open more than 3,000 restaurants in the U.S. alone. Besides, Chipotle has barely taken its first steps into international markets, which should remain powerful growth drivers for years to come.
The company is also expanding into Asian cuisine with its new ShopHouse concept, and venturing into pizza with Pizzeria Locale. Only 10 ShopHouse units and two Pizzeria Locale restaurants are operating at this stage, so these initiatives could offer tremendous opportunities if management can achieve with them even a fraction of the success it has realized in Mexican cuisine.
Chances are you are familiar with popular Netflix series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. If you can´t stop watching Netflix in your free time, maybe you should consider its stock as a growth candidate for your portfolio.
Netflix ended the first quarter of 2015 with 62.3 million streaming members on a global basis. The company was not even into streaming a decade ago, Netflix introduced streaming in 2007, and it had only 4.2 million DVD rental subscribers at the end of 2005. This shows how innovation can be a truly spectacular growth driver in the business world, and Netflix is proving that it knows how to give consumers what they want.
Netflix said in its latest earnings report that members streamed a massive 10 billion hours of video during the first quarter. This means engagement is at record levels, and Netflix is becoming not only the undisputed leader in online streaming, but also a dominant player when considering both linear and online TV. According to FBR research, Netflix could overtake the four big U.S. TV networks -- ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox -- by audience size next year.
Management believes it can reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers in the U.S. over the long term, a significant increase from 41.4 million members currently. The company is also accelerating its expansion plans, aiming to grow into 200 countries by 2017 from a current base of approximately 50 nations. The way things are going, this amazing growth story seems to be just getting started.