SPECIAL REPORT The Top 7 Stocks for 2024

The 7 Best Growth Stocks to Buy for February 2023

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  • These growth stocks have excellent prospects in February and beyond. 
  • Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX): Catalyst Pharmaceuticals has developed a rapidly growing rare disease treatment.   
  • Axcelis Technology (ACLS): Axcelis serves the chip industry and its continued growth looks highly likely. 
  • ServiceNow (NOW): ServiceNow is a solid way to play continued enterprise digitization growth.  
  • Darling Ingredients (DAR): This sustainable business leader grew by 38% through late 2022. 
  • Icon (ICLR): Icon is a lesser-known CRO stock with solid growth ahead. 
  • Performance Food Group (PFGC): PFGC shares are underpinned by very strong growth. 
  • Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC): Q3 revenue growth of 31% makes this chip firm attractive.
growth stocks - The 7 Best Growth Stocks to Buy for February 2023

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The search for growth stocks, or companies with high potential for future growth, is on. These growth stocks often represent young, rapidly-expanding companies that are reinvesting their earnings back into their core business. As a result, these stocks tend to opt out of paying dividends. However, these companies also tend to provide higher upside capital gains potential relative to their value-oriented dividend-paying peers. Growth stocks also tend to cluster in fast-growing industries such as technology, e-commerce, and biotechnology.

Investing in growth stocks can be risky, as the market’s expectations for growth can be high, and even a slight slowdown in growth can lead to a sharp decline in stock price. Indeed, 2022 served as a prime example of this. However, the reward for taking this risk is the potential for substantial returns over the long-term.

In summary, growth stocks offer the potential for high returns with these shares looking particularly promising. Here are seven such stocks I think deserve to be on every investor’s buy list right now.

CPRX Catalyst Pharmaceuticals $15.87
ACLS Axcelis Technology $115.94
NOW ServiceNow $455.22
DAR Darling Ingredients $66.40
ICLR Icon $237.74
PFGC Performance Food Group $61.88
LSCC Lattice Semiconductor $78.38

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX) 

A magnifying glass zooms in on the website of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX).
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Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CPRX) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for individuals with rare debilitating diseases. The company’s primary product is Firdapse, a treatment for Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder. The company currently has FDA approval for its therapeutic for the treatment of adults. It is also on the cusp of receiving FDA approval for the use of its therapeutic in treating pediatric patients with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome. 

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for the use of Firdapse in pediatric patients. Firdapse is providing strong growth for the company, accounting for almost all of the firm’s $57.2 million in revenues in Q3. This revenue number represented 59.3% growth on a year-over-year basis, also providing a compelling investing thesis for CPRX stock.  

The company is using those revenues to bolster its product presence by acquiring the U.S. rights to FYCOMPA from Eisai (OTCMKTS:ESALF) while simultaneously fighting Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA) in its well-anticipated attempt to bring a generic version of FIRDAPSE to market. 

Axcelis Technology (ACLS) 

Image of the Axcelis (ACLS) logo on a web browser amplified through the lens of a magnifying glass
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Axcelis Technology (NASDAQ:ACLS) is a semiconductor manufacturing company that serves the global semiconductor industry. The company’s primary products include ion implantation and other processing technologies for the manufacturing of microelectronics. The company should be well-positioned to maintain its status in the semiconductor industry over time, as secular trends favor continued long-term growth.

Axcelis Technology is a top pick of mine for February and throughout 2023 exactly because of those growth trends. The fact that this company serves the semiconductor industry in general, rather than producing chips, means this is a relatively insulated company compared to its peers. Researchers forecast 12.2% compound annual growth in the semiconductor industry through 2029. Thus, I expect this sector-specific growth to translate into solid earnings for Axcelis over time. 

Axcelis Technology continues to increase its ties to South Korea, which is one of the leading chip-producing countries in the world. It recently exhibited its Purion implantation platform there and opened a manufacturing facility in the country in 2021

Perhaps most importantly, Axcelis’ most recent 10-Q showed impressive top and bottom-line growth. 

ServiceNow (NOW) 

ServiceNow office building in Silicon Valley;
Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) is a cloud-based platform provider that offers a range of digital workflow solutions for various industries. The company and its stock have experienced significant growth in recent years due to the increasing demand for digital transformation and automation solutions. ServiceNow’s products help its partners to streamline and automate complex work processes.

ServiceNow shares will remain volatile in the weeks ahead as Q4 earnings continue to stream in. The company released its Q4 results on Jan. 25, showing 20% revenue growth (which exceeded expectations). The firm’s $1.94 billion in revenues was well ahead of the upper end of guidance, at $1.839 billion. However, shares didn’t immediately move upward on the news. That said, I expect shares to move up substantially as more tech firms reported better-than-expected results in early February. 

Digitization trends continue to favor the company and its stock suggesting enterprise demand will continue. ServiceNow reported full-year revenue growth of 23%, at $7.245 billion. 

Darling Ingredients (DAR) 

Healthy food including salmon, almonds, garlic, broccoli, avocado, and lettuce

Darling Ingredients (NYSE:DAR) is a leading provider of sustainable ingredients and specialty solutions for the food, pet food, and fuel industries. The company processes food waste and other organic byproducts into a wide range of ingredients, including proteins, fats, and meal. DAR stock boasts a near-unanimous buy rating on Wall Street. It has also traded at high prices over the past six months, suggesting it can provide quick gains for investors. 

There’s a lot to like about Darling Ingredients. But the primary bull thesis for DAR stock is high growth and sustainability of returns. Darling Ingredients reported $4.674 billion in sales through the first nine months of 2022. That was an increase of more than 38% year-over-year. Thus, the growth trajectory is evident with this company, and the sustainability of Darling’s growth is also clear, given the company’s focus of turning byproducts into in-demand fats and proteins.

In addition, the company launched its Diamond Green Diesel III product in Q4, ahead of schedule. Darling’s share price has wavered of late, and given the company’s significant upside potential, it’s nice to see that shares are now trending in this direction.  

Icon (ICLR)

Biotechnology stocks, biomedical stocks
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Icon (NASDAQ:ICLR) is a leading clinical research organization that provides a range of services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company’s services include clinical development, laboratory services, and regulatory and commercialization support. ICLR is based in Dublin, Ireland, and has managed to exceed consensus earnings over the last four quarters. 

Icon won’t release earnings until Feb. 22. However, the company did release its full fiscal year 2023 guidance earlier in January. The company forecasts revenues could grow by as much as 6.8% in 2023. It also forecasts that earnings per share could increase by as much as 10.1% during the same period. Icon also reaffirmed earlier full-year 2022 guidance, so investors shouldn’t expect any surprises come Feb. 22. 

Icon’s 3-year revenue growth rate of 19.3% is greater than roughly two-thirds of its industry competitors. However, its predicted 3-5 year EPS growth rate of 45% is greater than 95% of its peers, and indicates its growth may have plenty of room to accelerate over time.

Performance Food Group (PFGC) 

Vegetables and fruits are scattered over a white background.
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Performance Food Group (NYSE:PFGC) is a leading food service distributor that provides a wide range of food and related products to a broad customer base. The company’s clientele spans restaurants, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and hospitality businesses. The company operates a large network of distribution centers across the United States and is based in Richmond, Virginia. 

PFGC stock has grown modestly in 2023, moving from $57 to nearly $62 per share. But the company’s growth has been nothing short of impressive in 2022 and into 2023. Sales increased 42% to $14.7 billion in Q1 FY ‘23. The company’s profit reached $1.6 billion, a 38% year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, case volume grew by a smaller 16% in the same period. In short, inflation favors this company. (That can’t be said about many companies, these days). 

Additionally, other positive news for investors is that the company increased its earnings guidance by $100 million on both the upper and lower end, for its upcoming report in November. This guidance factors in the forward effects of inflation, and the guidance boost suggests the company believes it has room to expand margins despite this difficult environment. That’s a stock I want in my portfolio.

Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC) 

semiconductor stocks Close-up electronic circuit board. technology style concept. representing semiconductor stocks
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Last on this list of growth stocks to buy is Lattice Semiconductor (NASDAQ:LSCC), a provider of programmable logic solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. The company’s products including programmable logic devices and field-programmable gate arrays along with software and intellectual property. Its strong growth in 2023 and position in programmable logic make Lattice Semiconductor worth considering. 

Generally-speaking, Lattice Semiconductor benefits from forecast growth across the chip sector, arising from the growth of intelligent devices and chips used in almost everything. The firm’s fundamentals impress as well, making this stock an attractive bet when factoring in the company’s growth of late. 

Lattice Semiconductor’s 3-year revenue growth of 4.8% is middle of the road in the semiconductor sector. That said, its 3-5 year growth rate is expected to be within the top 30% of peers. The company’s Q3 revenues grew 31% year-over-year, while its gross margins grew by an even more impressive 600 basis points, or 6%. 

The programmable logic sector is expected to grow at a modest annual rate of 3.51% through 2026, with LSCC stock being an outstanding pick in this sector. 

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2023/02/the-7-best-growth-stocks-to-buy-for-february-2023/.

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