So far, 2023 has been saturated with high-risk, high-reward assets such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, art shares, and penny stocks. Among these assets are ones that are speculative and non-productive. In contrast, there are ones with solid long-term fundamentals and growth, such as the stocks of underappreciated well-established businesses. We will discuss the latter as revenue-generating businesses should weather the storm.
Of course, these will include some speculative names, as this article is for high-risk, high-reward stocks. But I will be avoiding meme stocks, crypto-related stocks, and businesses with severe losses. It is important to note that investing in high-risk assets carries significant risks, and investors should carefully consider their investment goals and risk tolerance before investing in these assets. With that in mind, let’s look into the following seven high-risk, high-reward stocks:
Asana (NYSE:ASAN) is a cloud-based software company specializing in workflow management and business collaboration tools. ASAN stock fell 91%-plus from peak to trough before its current uptrend, aided by a few quarters of earnings that exceeded expectations.
Asana will release its Q4 earnings on Wednesday evening, which could deliver a steep increase in the stock price, as ASAN already has some momentum. Conversely, breaking the trend of exceeding expectations could also cause a sharp correction. Regardless of the scenario, the stock remains a bargain looking at its growth, even if it’s decelerating.
In its Q3 report, Asana’s top line grew 41% year-over-year. And for Q4, the company expects this growth to slow down to 30% and non-GAAP operating losses to expand. Given the previous selloffs, much of this growth premium loss has already been priced in. Thus, despite short-term headwinds, I have high hopes for the company going forward.
The company also had $509 million in cash in Q3, enough to ride out the storm for at least a year. If that’s not enough, Asana can comfortably reduce its heavy marketing and R&D expenditure.
C3.ai (NYSE:AI) is in one of the most hyped-up sectors right now. Artificial intelligence will likely be a very large industry a few years from now. Still, I believe many companies could also turn out to be “nothing burgers” unless businesses or individuals find them to increase productivity significantly. C3.ai is among the top AI pure-play companies developing and supplying such “useful” tech.
Multiple studies have shown that AI increases productivity by a significant margin. That has led companies to increasingly integrate AI systems and renew their contracts. Specifically, C3.ai has an edge in this space as it already has multiple partnerships with industry giants. This vast base of partnerships includes the leading cloud platforms, defense contractors, and healthcare, energy, and telecommunications companies. Thus, C3.ai is in a good position to address a massive market as companies start scaling their AI integration. C3.ai’s CEO claims it’s $600 billion.
Carriage Services (CSV)
Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) provides funeral, cemetery, and cremation services in the U.S. The company operates two primary segments: funeral home operations and cemetery operations. The aging population and slowing birth rate will favor this company in the long run, as the U.S. death rate is projected to climb until 2052 by the U.N.
The company’s funeral home operations segment provides funeral services, cremation services, transportation, and merchandise, such as caskets, urns, and other personalization and memorialization products. The cemetery operations segment provides burial plots, mausoleum spaces, and other cemetery-related services. Carriage Services has also adapted to the cremation trend by acquiring Heritage Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.
Its financials aren’t as robust due to funeral expenses rising faster than everything else in the past 30 years. Moreover, revenue declined by 2.1% in Q4 to $93.9 million, driven by a less severe coronavirus pandemic.
As the company’s CPO explains,
“To put the impact of COVID into perspective for the fourth quarter of 2022 we had 1.9% COVID contracts against 13.4% last year. That is an 11% – 11.5% less contract than in Q4 2022,” adding “And for the full year 2022, we had 4.6% COVID-related contracts compared to 11.8% in 2021. That is [indiscernible] fewer contracts. So, at more perspective, our total revenue increased by $96.1 million compared to pre-pandemic levels, representing 10.5% compounded annual growth rates since 2019.”
With that in mind, easing inflation, near-term headwinds, and a rising death rate will carry Carriage Services toward a long-term uptrend.
Green Thumb (GTBIF)
Green Thumb (OTCMKTS:GTBIF) is among the few cannabis companies based in the U.S. Much like most cannabis stocks, the single-biggest catalyst at play here is the legalization of marijuana at the federal level. It is only a matter of time before that happens, as an overwhelming number of Americans support legalizing marijuana.
Of course, there’s no guarantee as to when that might happen. It can be years before the company can fully capitalize on the marijuana business by selling it for recreational use, making it a very speculative investment.
However, Green Thumb Industries is on solid footing to keep expanding until that happens. Full-year revenue grew 14% to $1 billion, with GAAP net income at $12 million. But looking at just the fourth quarter, revenue only increased 6%, and net loss reached $51 million.
The company’s CEO, Ben Kovler, explains:
“…the highest inflationary environment in 40 years at hit consumers in the pocketbook, high-interest rates that further squeeze access to capital, especially in cannabis,” and “The days of fat margins and easy money and cannabis are waning. As people digest punitive tax rates and high cost of capital, the dollars run out and margins slip.”
That certainly seems risky, but the company had $178 million in cash by the end of last year. That’s enough to keep the business running, with less than a 12% chance of distress.
Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) looks dull in the current choppy market but provides excellent value. The company doesn’t flash the best growth but remains consistent, beating expectations. However, it remains underappreciated in the stock market due to slowing growth. I see this trend reversing once broader economic headwinds ease, and we’ll likely see a higher valuation.
Stock analyst website Gurufocus.com puts it as a possible value trap but notes that the company offers excellent value and margin metrics. For one, its gross margin of 89.9% is ranked better than 86.46% of 2525 companies in the software industry. The forward price-earnings ratio of 12 also ranks better than 85% of its peers. I see a solid long-term upside for DBX stock if the business keeps consistent. Near-term risks, however, can take it lower.
Last May, I wrote that ContextLogic (NASDAQ:WISH) was a falling knife that investors shouldn’t touch. Hopefully, investors listened, with the stock now down 73%. For all of last year, revenue decreased by 73%, and losses expanded to 67% of revenue from 17%. Cash also halved to $506 million, with quarterly losses at $110 million. Worse, WISH also faces potential Nasdaq delisting, and has until April 26 to pull the stock price above $1. Overall, it’s on the extreme end of the high-risk, high-reward stocks, and I discourage investors from buying a substantial amount of WISH stock.
Fiverr International (FVRR)
I believe the burgeoning gig economy will make Fiverr International (NASDAQ:FVRR) one of the hottest stocks in the coming years. The company benefits from a loyal customer base and continues to grow due to the migration of full-time workers to freelancing.
Of course, the platform does have some competitors, but Fiverr’s model makes it much more user-friendly for clients. As a result, the retention here is extraordinary, with spending per buyer growing 8% year-over-year.
Sure, the business is not yet “profitable” due to its large expenditure on marketing. But the company’s marketing strategy is helping it capture more and more market share in the burgeoning gig industry, which directly aids its top line. I believe the company will slowly decrease its marketing and post much more profits in the coming years. Fiverr’s cash is already growing annually, and FVRR could be a multi-bagger investment once the company goes into profit mode.
On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan 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.
Artificial Intelligence, Cannabis, Cloud, Consumer Discretionary, E-Commerce, Healthcare, Retail, Software, Technology