At the end of the day, investors want to see returns. To accomplish this goal, seasoned Wall Street observers often turn to one strategy time and time again: growth investing. A solid growth play is a name that appears poised to not only grow at an above-average rate but also reward investors handsomely over the long run.
Rolling up their sleeves, investors are pounding the Wall Street pavement in search of the tickers with impressive long-term growth prospects. However, having a target in mind is one thing, but zeroing in on these stocks primed for gains in the coming years is another story entirely.
With this in mind, we suited up and set out on our own hunt for the investment opportunities with strong growth narratives. Using TipRanks’ Database, we were able to pinpoint 3 Buy-rated tickers that each boast considerable upside potential, according to Wall Street’s analysts.
Cowen Group (COWN)
We’ll start with Cowen Group, a New York-based investment bank. Cowen offers services in investment management and broker-dealing, and is known as a risk taker willing to move early into disruptive sectors; Cowen was an early booster of high-tech dot.com stocks, and more recently in the cannabis sector. The bank’s main operations are in the US and the UK.
The bank’s recent share growth has been extreme; since this time last year, COWN shares are up 534%. The share appreciation has pushed the company’s market cap over $1 billion, and brought investors solid returns during the difficult corona crisis.
After a turndown in 1Q20, the company showed three consecutive quarters in a row of year-over-year revenue and earnings gains. Those gains were particularly impressive in Q2 and Q4; looking at 4Q20, the most recent reported, Cowen posted a record quarterly net income of $90.5 million, by GAAP measures; full-year income was $209.6 million. The gains were driven by record performance in both the investment banking and the brokerage divisions.
Cowen’s performance has impressed 5-star analyst Sumeet Mody, of Piper Sandler, who writes: “We remain very positive on COWN following the strong results of 4Q20 earnings. After the firm’s sustained and elevated brokerage and banking activity throughout 2020, the outlook for earnings has meaningfully improved as banking pipelines remain robust and brokerage activity has started the year strong… The beat was broad based across the business lines, but largely driven by higher-than-expected investment banking and brokerage revenues as well as lower expense ratios.”
To this end, Mody rates Cowen shares an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his $71 price target suggests room for a 78% one-year upside from current levels. (To watch Mody’s track record, click here)
The Piper Sandler analyst is the bullish outlier here, but Wall Street, for the most part, agrees with him on Cowen, as shown by the 3 to 1 split favoring Buy to Hold reviews. Shares are priced at $39.86 and their $47 average price target implies an upside of ~18% for the coming year. (See COWN stock analysis on TipRanks)
Commercial Vehicle Group (CVGI)
Talk about the automotive industry, and you’ll naturally start talking about the car companies. But the industry is more than that – there is a whole network of part suppliers and service companies that support the automakers, and Commercial Vehicle Group lives in that niche.
The company supplies a variety services to the automotive sector, including warehouse automation, robotic assemblies, seating systems, plastic products, EV assemblies, and mechanical assemblies. Commercial Vehicle Group’s customer base includes the commercial truck industry, electric vehicle makers, and the ecommerce warehousing industry.
The big story here, for CVG, has been the company’s warehouse automation segment. The corona crisis inspired a massive push toward ecommerce, and CVG has been a beneficiary of that move. The company’s warehouse automation segment saw higher volume in 2020 – and greater efficiency due to cost reduction actions during the year. Q4 revenues topped $216 million, a gain of 14% year-over-year. Operating income for the quarter was $5 million, a gain of $9.3 million year-over-year.
The quarterly results marked the first year-over-year quarterly gains for the company in 2020, and come in after the company’s shares have consistently outperformed during the year. Shares in CVGI are up 543% in the last 12 months – far outpacing the broader markets. In a move that bodes well for the future, CVG announced at the beginning of this month a partnership with Xos, a commercial EV manufacturer, for the development of sustainability initiatives.
Covering this stock for Barrington, 5-star analyst Christopher Howe was impressed by the company’s backlog of new business.
“The company achieved net new business wins of more than $100 million annualized in 2020, primarily driven by warehouse automation and electric vehicles, all of which is expected to convert this year. Moving forward, it expects to achieve another $100 million of net new business wins in 2021,” Howe noted.
The analyst added “[EV] activity is robust [and] the company anticipates these programs to remain in the development phase through 2021, later converting into revenue once product baselines have stabilized. In regard to warehouse automation, according to Logistics IQ, demand for warehouse automation products is expected to grow approximately 14% per year through 2026.”
In light of these comments, Howe rates CVGI shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), with a $14 price target to indicate a one-year upside of 39%. (To watch Howe’s track record, click here)
There are two analyst reviews on file for this company, and they both agree: CVGI is a stock to buy. The shares have an average price target of $14, matching Howe’s. (See CVGI stock analysis on TipRanks)
Zedge, Inc. (ZDGE)
We’ll wrap up our look at growth stocks with a denizen of the software industry, Zedge. This company offers customization options for smartphones, which have proven to be highly popular. Zedge’s platform offers wallpapers, ringtones, app icons, widgets, and notification sounds, among other features. The Zedge app boasts over 450 million installs, and more than 30 million monthly active users – key metrics in the smartphone app universe. But perhaps the most telling statistic is this: Zedge has consistently been in the top 25 free apps on Google Play for the past seven years.
That kind of popularity gives a software company a solid foundation, and Zedge’s shares have reaped the benefits. The stock is up an astounding 932% in just the past 6 months, growth that has coincided with growing revenues. Zedge has seen 5 quarters in a row of year-over-year top line growth.
The company reported its fiscal 2Q21 results on March 15, and the results were record-breaking for the company. Revenue came in at $5.3 million, net income at $2.3 million, and EPS at 17 cents. Monthly active users hit 35.4 million. The revenue number represented a 101% gain year-over-year; the EPS was up from just 1 cent in the prior year. After these gangbuster results, Zedge revised its full-year 2021 revenue guidance upward to a prediction of 75% to 80% growth.
Analyst Allen Klee, of Maxim Group, is impressed with Zedge, and sees a clear path forward for the company.
“Zedge is accelerating growth from its advertising platform and new offerings. We expect the company to strengthen its ecosystem so that the 35M monthly active users will be more engaged in the platform resulting in better retention and monetization. We also expect 2021 to have catalysts from growing the short-form story telling of Shortz and new entertainment-like podcasts,” Klee opined.
Based on all of the above, Klee puts a Buy rating on ZDGE shares, along with a $24 price target. This target conveys Klee’s confidence in Zedge’s ability to climb 57% higher in the next twelve months.
Some stocks fly under the radar, and ZDGE is one of those. Zedge’s is the only recent analyst review of this company, and it is decidedly positive. (See ZDGE stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.