There Are Better Growth Options Than Palantir Stock

Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) had a spectacular January. PLTR stock added 49% to the data analytics software provider’s market capitalization. It’s now up 397% from its initial public offering (IPO) in late September.  

A banner for Palantir (PLTR) hangs on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

I last wrote about PLTR stock in mid-January. At the time, it was trading around $27. I argued that it was a better buy in the high teens. In hindsight, we know it moved higher rather than giving back some of its gains from late in 2020.

It’s an occupational hazard. Sometimes, your timing will suck. Now that PLTR stock is close to the mid-$30s and trading at more than 50 times its projected 2020 revenue, I don’t have a problem suggesting to readers that they consider some other growth stocks that aren’t quite as expensive. 

Here are three for your consideration:

PLTR Stock Alternatives: Nvidia (NVDA)

What can I say about Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) that hasn’t already been said?

In mid-January, InvestorPlace’s Dana Blankenhorn, a technology wonk in my books, discussed the chip maker’s current situation. Specifically, he felt Nvidia’s valuation had gotten a little frothy, recommending that investors take some profits

Blankenhorn wrote on Jan. 18 that Nvidia “is one of those companies that can make a humble reporter look like a genius. I called NVDA stock a ‘bullet train’ in 2016, when the shares passed $100.  I pointed out how not all its success was tied to gaming in 2019.”

“When I finally took my own advice, it made my eventual retirement look golden. Shares I bought for $157 in 2019 opened Jan. 15 at $530.”

My colleague lamented that he sold half his NVDA position at $511, possibly a tad prematurely. Currently, it’s trading around $574, up 10% since his article appeared on InvestorPlace.  

As my childhood pal’s stockbroker dad used to say, “Never sneeze at a profit.”

Blankenhorn points out that at 86 times earnings and with competition high, Nvidia will have to be picture perfect in the coming quarters to justify the valuation. Fair point. 

However, I’m comparing these three companies to PLTR stock, not Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and others. Nvidia’s price-to-sales ratio is 23 times while its PEG is 3.02, which means it makes money and grows earnings. Palantir does not.

In August, I suggested that Nvidia’s next stop could be $1,000. Like a curse, NVDA stock has barely done anything in the six months since.

But as my colleague said, Nvidia remains an excellent long-term hold. It will get there eventually.  

Universal Display (OLED)

If you own a television, there’s a good chance that this company had a hand in its production. 

Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) makes money from licensing its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies to manufacturers of flat-panel TVs and other display devices. It also sells its state-of-the-art UniversalPHOLED materials to companies looking to manufacture OLEDs and provides its expertise in this area to other companies. 

During Covid-19, its sales have suffered due to reduced demand from customers. While it believes its products have long-term potential, its full-year results are likely to be down 5%-10% from 2019’s $405 million in sales.   

On a positive note, its Q3 2020 results saw sales grow across all three of its revenue streams, with net income increasing to $40.5 million from $37 million a year earlier. The business is clearly on the mend. 

That’s why OLED stock gained over 10% in the past three months. 

Trading at 28 times sales and a PEG of 1.93, a couple more quarters like the third quarter, and you’ll see it really take off. 

In 2013, I called OLED one of the best stocks to own for the next 20 years. I still think it’s one of the best stocks to own for the next two decades. 

This is a definite buy-on-the-dip kind of stock.

ServiceNow (NOW)

The provider of enterprise software solutions to automate business processes is on a bit of a roll. Over the past 52 weeks, ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) has delivered a total return of 71%, easily outperforming its peers in application software and the U.S. markets as a whole. 

It currently trades at 26 times sales with a PEG ratio of 3.49. 

In late January, the company released strong Q4 2020 results that included a 31% increase in sales and non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.17. Both were well clear of analyst estimates. 

ServiceNow stock finished the fourth quarter with 1,093 customers generating more than $1 million annually from their contracts. The company continues to grow its number of contracts over $1 million, helped by its entrance into other business processes outside its original mandate in IT service management. 

The company is pushing to $10 billion in annual revenue. If ServiceNow maintains this pace, it will be there before you know it.  

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


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