If you're investing for some long-term goal, growth stocks should probably make up at least part of your portfolio. The challenge? Picking the growth stocks with strong long-term prospects, but also without the kind of wealth-destroying risks that many investors ignore.
With that in mind, we asked five of our contributors to offer up a growth stock that not only fits those qualifications but is also worth buying now. Here's a look at five growth stocks to buy in May, and why our contributors say they're worth investing in right now.
In fact, I only just finished pounding the table for Zillow in a similar roundtable article in March. At the time, I suggested better days were ahead as Zillow emerges from a transition year following its acquisition of competitor Trulia last February. Among the most significant fruit of that acquisition is the benefit of scale for both its core marketplaces segment and its emerging markets, including mortgages and rentals.
Sure enough, Zillow shares recently closed sharply higher after the company's first-quarter results handily exceeded expectations, with revenue growth accelerating to 25% on a pro forma basis, including 34% and 65% increases in real estate and mortgages revenue, respectively.
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff rightly called it "an incredible start in 2016," punctuated by a company-record 166 million unique users in March across Zillow's four consumer brands (Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, and HotPads). What's more, Zillow increased its revenue guidance for the full year on the heels of this strong start, leaving the market no excuse not to bid up its shares.
Even so, I think Zillow is a winner that will keep on winning. And if Zillow can sustain this momentum as the year wears on, the recent pop could be just the beginning as it works to take as much market share as possible in these early stages of growth.
Evan Niu, CFA: Forget the whole "sell in May" saying, I think right now is a great time to pick up shares of dominant online video streamer Netflix (NFLX -0.37%). After peaking at over $130 just a couple months ago, shares have fallen by over 30% and currently trade in the ballpark of $90, thanks in part to its recent earnings release.
First-quarter revenue jumped to $1.8 billion, and the company put up a strong sequential increase in international members. Netflix added over 4.5 million memberships all around the world, and even though Netflix's international business operates at a loss, this is an important long-term growth avenue. Growth in the U.S. continues to decelerate because of Netflix's mature dominance domestically, but it was still able to add over 2 million paid memberships.
Shares fell after earnings because the company's guidance for member growth in the second quarter was below analyst expectations. Total memberships in the U.S. are expected to increase by only 500,000, below the 586,000 additions the market was expecting.
But that short-term shortfall is presenting a compelling entry point for the long-term picture. As a high-multiple growth stock, Netflix tends to be volatile in the short term, but patient investors can take advantage of that volatility.
George Budwell: After posting a stronger-than-expected first quarter, AbbVie (ABBV -0.71%) now appears primed to start regaining lost ground, and perhaps even begin to print new highs later this year. AbbVie's stock has struggled lately because of the forthcoming patent expiration for its anti-inflammatory drug, Humira, combined with the company's massive debt load, stemming in large part from its $21 billion acquisition of Pharmacyclics last year.
However, the drugmaker's strong first-quarter numbers should help to mute some of these concerns for the time being. After all, AbbVie's "big three" -- Humira, Imbruvica, and Viekira Pak -- all posted strong sales growth in the first quarter, supporting management's claims that the company can continue to generate industry-leading levels of growth going forward. Put simply, the drugmaker should be able to carry its hefty debt load without any major hiccups, or reductions in shareholder rewards.
Looking ahead, the Street has AbbVie's top line growing by 12% this year and another 10% in 2017, meaning that analysts don't seem to be overly concerned with Humira's patent expiration or the launch of newer hepatitis C therapies that could cut into Viekira Pak's market share. While investors will certainly want to keep a close eye on these pivotal issues, the numbers so far side with management's long-term business outlook. As such, investors may want to consider adding this dividend growth stock (yielding 3.65% at current share prices) to their portfolio this month.
Regeneron's early-year woes can be traced to two main sources. First, the biotech industry as a whole was clobbered to begin the year, and it still hasn't quite recovered. Valuations in the industry were arguably rich, so a retracement seemed only healthy. Additionally, Regeneron and partner Sanofi (SNY -1.36%) announced that quarterly sales of PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent, a next-generation LDL-cholesterol-lowering injection, amounted to a mere $10 million in the first quarter. Despite its strong LDL-C reductions in clinical studies, its low Q1 sales totals imply a struggle getting physicians and insurers to accept its notably higher annual cost ($14,600 wholesale).
But I'd opine that those frowns are about to turn upside-down thanks to three key factors.
First, Regeneron's and Sanofi's Eylea, a treatment for a host of ophthalmologic conditions, continues to be a superstar. Regeneron predicted full-year 2016 sales growth of 20% for Eylea in February, which would peg it around $3.3 billion in U.S. sales this year. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Secondly, Regeneron has an impressive but oft-overlooked pipeline. Sarilumab, an IL-6R antibody, could pack some serious punch as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and non-infectious uveitis, while dupilumab, an Il-4R antibody, is tackling atopic dermatitis in children and adults (in separate trials). Not surprisingly, both experimental drug candidates are partnered with Sanofi. Wall Street believes if both are approved, they'll become blockbuster drugs ($1 billion+ in peak annual sales). Lastly, Regeneron could benefit from Amgen's competing PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha, which is slated to report data from its long-term cardiovascular study in the second-half of 2016. If Repatha demonstrates superiority over current standards of care, it could be a major boon to all PCSK9 inhibitors, and not just Amgen's Repatha.
Expected to double its EPS and revenue between fiscal 2015 and 2019, Regeneron looks like an intriguing buy here.
Jason Hall: Now is a fantastic time to invest in Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN 0.09%). Hain just reported third-quarter earnings, and after a couple of quarters of stalled growth in the U.S., the company showed that its recent efforts to reignite growth are paying off. Revenue increased 13%, earnings per share jumped an incredible 47%, and the future looks great.
Things aren't perfect, as illustrated by the company's failed attempt to rebrand its Celestial Seasonings teas, but a return to the legacy packaging, and the retention of its retail distribution has management confident it can get sales back to prior levels, while a major shuffling of its products into corresponding groups, seems like a smart move to help drive further distribution and growth of the core brands.
And despite a solid record of managing costs and integrating acquisitions over the years, the company isn't standing still. Chief Operations Officer James Meiers is heading up Project Terra, an initiative to reduce costs, improve processes and efficiencies, and to better leverage the company's growing scale and brands more effectively with purchasing, co-packing, and distribution among other things.
Looking at the company's historical results; the huge growth opportunity for its healthy, organic, and natural foods to take market share around the world; and the recent drubbing that has put the stock trading at a forward price-to-earnings multiple below 20, now's an excellent time to buy this wonderful growth stock and hold for the next decade or more.