For a company to be considered a "growth stock," the only real criteria is that you are buying it because you believe in the unbridled potential for the stock’s price to go up over time.
That being said, I personally believe adding some specific criteria can help to increase the probability of finding a stock with Amazon-esque return potential. By buying companies with market capitalizations under $20 billion, there’s more room for the stocks to grow over time. And by buying companies that have shown strong revenue growth — an average of over 20% over the past three years — that makes it likely these companies are offering what consumers want more and more of.
Hot Bank Stocks To Buy For 2019: Euro FX(P)
The first stock on this list may come as a complete surprise considering its core business is still in free-fall, but streaming music company Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is actually a cheap stock on the rise.
The company started to turn around its business by finally pivoting away from its core ad-supported streaming music platform. Pandora just acquired digital-audio tech firm AdsWizz, and in doing so, potentially changed the entire company’s growth narrative from dying streaming music platform to growing audio-streaming advertising marketplace.
AdsWizz is a firm that specializes exclusively in digital audio advertising. Based on management commentary, it seem like Pandora is planning on using AdsWizz to create a centralized digital audio advertisement marketplace. This could have potentially huge effects, seeing as the digital audio advertising market is expected to grow by a ton over the next several years as radio ads shift to the digital format.
In other words, the whole idea is that the AdsWizz acquisition accelerates Pandora’s ad-tech roadmap, thrusts the company more deeply into the secular growth audio advertising market, ditches the company’s reliance on its struggling streaming music platform, and opens up new revenue opportunities.
That is a solid formation for a bull thesis on Pandora stock.
Meanwhile, the company just reported first quarter numbers, and they were much better than expected. While the core ad-supported streaming music platform continues to dwindle in popularity, the subscription business is actually growing nicely, and that fits in well with this company’s big turnaround story.
Pandora stock used to be north of $30. Today, it is still only $7. Therefore, if this turnaround plays out to completion, Pandora stock could still head markedly higher.
Hot Bank Stocks To Buy For 2019: Moelis & Company(MC)
In the wake of the financial crisis, with so many investment banks tarnished (or in some cases gone), there was an opportunity for an independent company to step up. That’s exactly what Moelis & Co (NYSE:MC) has done — and so far it’s been a raging success.
A company founded in 2007 now is worth over $3 billion. MC stock has risen 132% from its 2014 IPO price of $25. Moelis even was named an adviser to the Saudi Aramco IPO, potentially the largest ever.
Fundamentally, Moelis just keeps chugging along. Adjusted EPS rose 56% in Q1 on the back of a 27% jump in revenue. The company continues to add new directors and partners, while expanding its geographic reach. Without the other divisions — and potential conflicts of interest — seen at larger rivals like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley(NYSE:MS), Moelis continues to win more than its fair share of deals.
Meanwhile, a recently raised dividend yields 3.2%, and the company holds no debt. A 19x forward P/E multiple might be considered a bit pricey — particularly because Moelis has a good deal of cyclical risk. Any slowdown in M&A, in particular, could send its revenue and earnings falling.
Still, from a qualitative standpoint, Moelis seems to be in the right place at the right time. And it seems to have a path to grow into a behemoth in corporate finance while rewarding shareholders along the way.
Hot Bank Stocks To Buy For 2019: Mastercard Incorporated(MA)
Let’s do a double for this one: Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). Both companies are huge beneficiaries of the same trend, as global consumers continue moving to credit and debit from cash and check. Further, growing e-commerce sales bode well for V and MA too, for obvious reasons.
The credit card business is attractive for many reasons, as V and MA serve as simple “toll booth” businesses. They don’t lend consumers money and they don’t take on big risks. Instead, when a consumer purchases goods or services from a merchant and pays via credit card, the merchant pays a fee that goes to V and MA.
While the pair of stocks may look expensive on a sales basis at first glance, the earnings-based valuation isn’t all that bad. Especially considering their double-digit earnings and revenue growth.
Throw in the fact that Visa has profit margins of almost 40% while MA has margins of 32% and we can see that these two are earning money hand over fist.
Both stocks tend to trade with a high correlation. They’ve been in a steady uptrend since early 2017 and I hate that I’ve taken some off the table since I first initiated a position almost six years ago.
As V and MA both bump up against resistance, they look like they’ll soon push through to new highs, short of another market-wide selloff.