Growth stocks are almost entirely dependent on one thing: Environment. I know that sounds like an excuse for lazy stock picking, but above all else, environment is what drives them. Currently, the environment is not very good for these names, which makes it tough to look for growth stocks to buy.
Eventually though, that environment will change and become more favorable towards growth stocks. When that will happen, I’m not really sure. We’ll likely need the Federal Reserve to ease off its hawkish rhetoric (and ideally, lower interest rates). But we’ll also need speculation to come back into the market.
Business quality is important in this group and it’s what separates the high-quality firms from the low-quality flash-in-the-pan names. However, the simple truth is, good growth stocks struggle in bad environments — defined as bear markets with lower liquidity and less speculation — and they surge alongside low-quality stocks in favorable environments.
The stock prices move quickly, but the environment changes slowly, which is why it’s so hard to trade these stocks at times. In any regard, let’s look at three growth stocks to buy that should double over time.
The Trade Desk (TTD)
The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) remains one of my favorite long-term growth stocks to buy. It has continued to deliver, even during the pandemic, and I don’t anticipate that changing.
Before the pandemic started, this firm was already profitable. While it did have a hiccup in the months after Covid-19 first hit (like everyone), it rebounded rapidly and remains profitable today. At a time where other mega-cap digital ad firms — like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) and Meta (NASDAQ:META) — were struggling for growth, The Trade Desk was churning out impressive numbers.
Now that the industry is back on the upswing, I expect more solid results out of TTD.
Run by co-founder and CEO Jeff Green, The Trade Desk remains a powerhouse in the growth department. Analysts expect about 20% to 23% annual revenue growth through 2026. That’s robust growth for a company operating in a slower-growth environment with worries of a recession.
While that does create risk to these estimates, I think it also shows the potential that The Trade Desk has — If it doubles from here, it will hit all-time highs.
I remember reading about Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) in the lead-up to its initial public offering (IPO) in September 2020. The stock market was running red hot in those months, while growth stocks, SPACs, EV stocks and other speculative investments were scorching higher.
Snowflake came bursting onto the scene and when you read about it, you got excited. But in the days leading up to the IPO, it became almost impossible to buy. Demand for the stock continued to swell, as big buyers were stepping in ahead of its public debut — including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM).
As the valuation continued to climb, so did its anticipated opening price. By the time it opened, it was well above where it initially began pricing and the stock wasn’t done rallying yet, eventually topping out near $430.
Now down two-thirds from that level at around $145, it might be time to start picking at Snowflake. Analysts expect revenue to continue soaring. Consensus expectations call for 38% sales growth this year, then 39.5% growth and 36.7% growth the following two years.
People are going to think I’m crazy for getting behind PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). The stock was decimated in the bear market and was obliterated from its highs. I think that was because of its consideration as a growth stock and its connection to the crypto space. All of that ultimately blew up in PayPal’s face.
Despite the rally in tech though, PYPL is not performing well. It had a nice little jump over a few sessions, but just a few weeks ago, it was officially flat on the year.
From current levels, it would take a 307% rally for PayPal stock to take out its all-time high. Let’s lower our expectations though and shoot for a more reasonable target: 100%.
Analysts expect lumpy revenue growth, but growth nonetheless with estimates calling for 6.7% sales growth this year and 9.1% in 2024. As for earnings, estimates call for almost 18.2% growth this year and 14.9% growth over the next five years.
PYPL is trading at a paltry 15.5 times this year’s earnings and I think we’ve hit some sort of trough. If that pans out, it should slowly but surely grind higher.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held a long position in PYPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.