With the end of the third-quarter earnings season in view and the stock market within sight of record highs — again — it’s difficult to imagine any stocks are worth new entries now. The time to buy was months ago, if not years ago, right?
Yet, the fact of the matter is, sometimes the market can do some pretty amazing things. In fact, stocks can defy the odds for longer than you might imagine.
In other words, it may not be too late to buy the right stocks here and now, if their underlying companies face the right near-term and long-term prospects.
With that as the backdrop, add these ten names to your list of potential stocks to buy sooner than later. Some of them are overbought, while others have been dinged up by recent stumbles. In all cases though, there’s a good chance of more upside in the foreseeable future.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Visa
Most know Visa Inc (NYSE:V) as a credit card middleman, establishing the technical framework for merchants to take payments from buyers. It’s not a bad business to be in, but with the advent of things like mobile payments from Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) and the rise of bitcoin, it would be easy to conclude Visa’s best days are behind it.
That’s not the case though. Not only are card-based transactions still on the rise domestically and overseas, the Visa Digital Enablement Program is expanding rapidly, putting token-based technology in the hands of a lot of companies that can connect buyers and sellers.
Visa’s more than relevant enough to keep growing.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Alphabet
There never seems to be a shortage of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) critics, pointing out that per-click revenues continue to fall and smartphone saturation is becoming an ever-increasing reality.
Funny thing is, headwinds or not, good times and bad, Alphabet just keeps growing the top and bottom line. It’s now into its tenth straight year of double-digit revenue growth, and earnings growth has been just as reliable.
As long as the world continues to use the internet (and of course it will), Alphabet’s Google will continue to find a way to extract more and more revenue from advertisers.
The ongoing growth of cloud computing will fan these growth flames. Although Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are technically ahead of Alphabet in the cloud computing race, PayPal’s recent decision to tap Google as its cloud computing platform says the search giant still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Square
For many of the same reasons Visa is sitting pretty as one of a handful of growth stocks to buy now, Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) is as well. Visa provides the back-office, transactional framework while Square provides the hardware and the connection technology … the little squares that turn smartphones into credit card acceptance machines.
It’s not just its credit payment solution for small businesses that makes Square so compelling, however, though that is a big deal. Square is also aiming to serve these same customers by offering short-term loans most banks wouldn’t offer these startups and sole-proprietors.
The kicker: Square is also starting to take aim at slightly bigger business, recently unveiling a true cash register/point of sale device shortly after it announced an inventory management solution. The company understands what modern merchants want.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Microsoft
Three years ago, software giant Microsoft looked like a has been. A few too many free alternatives to its office productivity franchises were readily available, and the echoes of lukewarm reception of a then-young Windows 8 operating system were still ringing. After the Vista debacle and a Windows 7 that was an improvement but not a game-changer — never even mind its smartphone flop — Microsoft didn’t look well positioned to compete in a cloud-oriented world.
Then in 2012, Satya Nadella was named CEO, and changed everything for the better, starting with the company’s cloud offerings.
It’s paid off. Last quarter, Microsoft’s total cloud revenue grew 56% on a year-over-year basis. That’s just the beginning of the company’s overhaul too, which positions it perfectly for what the next few years hold as cloud computing becomes mainstream and artificial intelligence becomes a commercially marketable product.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Lam Research
While most investors like to buy the stocks of companies that make the technology products they love and own, that’s not necessarily the only way to make a play. What about an organization that supports those technology companies as they manufacture consumer-facing products? That’s Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX).
Lam Research is self-described as “a leading supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the global semiconductor industry. Lam Research develops innovative solutions that help our customers build smaller, faster, more powerful, and more power-efficient electronic devices…”
It’s still a cyclical venture, but the ebbs and flows for the semiconductor support industry are a heck of a lot more muted than the ones semiconductor-makers experience.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Boeing
Yes, the airplane-making business is cyclical as well, and Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) isn’t immune to that reality. We may be on the cusp of a major passenger jet upgrade cycle though… one that could fuel years of hot growth ahead.
The specifics: In June of this year, Boeing claimed airlines would need to spend $6.1 trillion over the course of the next 20 years, purchasing more than 41,000 passenger jets to meet the massive increase in demand for air travel.
Granted, it’s a self-serving outlook. It’s still a well-founded one though. Last month Boeing put out a call for retired mechanics and former employees, as it’s struggling to keep up with a swell in demand.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: NutriSystem
Given its name recognition, one might conclude that Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) would be the go-to play on weight loss trend. And truth be told, Weight Watchers isn’t a bad investment.
Losing weight will never go out of style, and the company’s got plenty of marketing muscle. It’s NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI), however, that offers greater growth opportunity within the industry, as it’s got more opportunity to leverage its nimbleness and steal market share from its bigger sister.
It’s certainly got the results to validate the idea. Last year’s top line was 18% better than 2015’s revenue, and this year’s revenue is on pace to grow 27%. Next year’s top line is ‘only’ expected to grow 14%, but keep in mind NutriSystem has gotten in the habit of topping estimates.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Adobe Systems
The company you probably think Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) isn’t the company it actually is. A lot’s quietly changed in the past few years, all for the better.
Yes, this is the same company that makes the Acrobat reader often needed to share and view documents via the worldwide web. Adobe is so much more than Acrobat these days though, and its business model is morphing in a big way.
Adobe Systems now offers a whole suite of business tools, and rather than selling them as one-time purchases of software, it “rents” platforms like Photoshop and Experience by selling subscriptions to cloud-based versions. Most recently, the company has rolled out artificial intelligence tools to make even better use of the data customers already have.
The difference is an increasing level of recurring revenue, which is a heck of a lot easier to earn than convincing users to upgrade their software every few years. It’s also higher-margin revenue, usually. Last quarter’s revenue was up a whopping 26%, and earnings grew accordingly.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: JPMorgan Chase
On the surface, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) looks like just another bank, and in many regards that’s exactly what it is. It’s one of the best-managed old, stodgy financial institutions, however, and after being refined by the fire of the 2008 subprime meltdown and a series of so-called Fed “stress tests” in the meantime, revenue as well as earnings are starting to grow again. Revenue for the past four quarters is 7% better than the prior four-quarter stretch, and net income has only recently tiptoed into company-record territory.
The kicker: While interest rates have been edging higher for a while now after years of being suppressed, we may be at the early stages of a supercycles of sustained high (and rising) interest rates that boost banks’ profitability. JPMorgan believes we’ll see four rate hikes in 2018 alone.
10 Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now: Nvidia
Last but not least, though Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) shares are technically overbought and fundamentally overvalued, investors have the right idea… this iconic technology giant is perfectly positioned to dominate the foreseeable future.
Yes, the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrency has already been a boon for Nvidia, and those ideas aren’t going away. Where the company is a huge standout, however, is on the artificial intelligence front where its graphics cards are used in a whole new way. As much development work that’s already been done on the AI front, we’ve only scratched the surface.
As more uses for artificial intelligence are realized, the hardware market is expected by some to grow to nearly $36 billion by 2025. Nvidia is out in front of any potential AI competition for those dollars.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter.