The Underdog Uprising: 3 Stocks Ready to Defy Expectations and Soar


  • Each focuses on maximizing operational performance to enhance valuation and market edge.
  • CompoSecure (CMPO): The company reported a healthy increase in net income based on solid cost management and operational edge.
  • OneSpan (OSPN): The company maintained a solid NRR, indicating progressive upselling and cross-selling strategies to existing customers.
  • Daqo New Energy (DQ): Polysilicon production saw a massive YoY increase based on operational edge and market demand adaptability.
Underdog Stocks - The Underdog Uprising: 3 Stocks Ready to Defy Expectations and Soar


In the stock market, chances frequently present themselves in unlikely places. Underdog stocks are quietly but firmly advancing toward victory amid the established giants’ flurry of activity. This article reveals three such underdog stocks, each representing a unique area with enormous growth potential. They have creative payment methods, digital contract security, and sustainable energy technology. These businesses are surpassing expectations and setting themselves up for big expansion.

Due to its creative product offers and efficient cost control, the first one has sharply increased profitability. The company is demonstrating its leadership in the metal payment card market. The second one demonstrates its expertise in digital agreement security solutions with its robust Net Retention Rate (NRR) and strategic focus on revenue development. In the meantime, the third company’s steady growth in polysilicon production demonstrates its adaptability and endurance in the renewable energy sector.

Because of their adaptability, creativity, and ability to make calculated decisions, these underdog stocks survive and prosper in adversity.

CompoSecure (CMPO)

a pile of credit cards, credit card interest rates
Source: Teerasak Ladnongkhun/

CompoSecure (NASDAQ:CMPO) has delivered a solid increase in profitability. In Q4 2023, net income increased by 39% to $31 million from $22.4 million in Q4 2022, indicating a considerable boost in the bottom line. However, compared to 2022’s net income of $131.8 million, the net income of 2023 was only $112.5 million, mainly because of non-cash adjustments.

Additionally, its adjusted EBITDA increased dramatically in Q4 (+22%) from $30.6 million in Q4 2022 to $37.2 million. Similarly, 2023’s adjusted EBITDA of $145 million was a 6% boost over $136 million the year before. In short, CompoSecure’s improved profitability measures are demonstrated by the company’s significant increases in net income and adjusted EBITDA. Fundamentally, this also highlights the company’s progressive operational efficiency moves. 

With the launch of cutting-edge products like the Lux Glass Card, LED Card, and Echo Mirror Card, the company focused on product diversity and satisfying changing consumer needs. CompoSecure’s industry leadership and innovative skills were further strengthened when ABI Research named it the top provider of metal payment cards. Thus, due to its emphasis on product differentiation, CompoSecure leads the metal payment card market.

Onespan (OSPN)

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Source: klyaksun/Shutterstock

With an NRR of 110% (in 2023), OneSpan (NASDAQ:OSPN) demonstrated high customer retention and growth within its current client base. The NRR (exceeding 100%) indicates that the company successfully upsells clients on more offerings.  

OneSpan’s strong NRR, which measures customer happiness and loyalty, reflects its capacity to hold onto and increase income from current clients. The NRR also reflects that OneSpan’s upselling and cross-selling tactics work and how valuable consumers think its offerings are. By maximizing its current customer base, OneSpan improves its income stability and profitability. Hence, this lessens the company’s dependency on gaining new clients to expand.

Moreover, OneSpan focused on achieving efficient revenue growth, profitability, and cash flow by making smart decisions to right-size its cost structure. By the end of the year, the firm hopes to have reached a level of thirty percent under the rule of forty, indicating that it is committed to striking a balance between expansion and profitability.

Overall, OneSpan’s ongoing performance and value creation in the digital agreements security sector are positioned by strategic efforts. Therefore, the efforts prioritize high-return investments, optimize cost structures, and enhance operational edge.

Daqo New Energy (DQ)

An image of a hand holding a light bulb wrapped in leaves, surrounded by green energy source icons
Source: maeching chaiwongwatthana/Shutterstock

One vital measure that reflects Daqo New Energy’s (NYSE:DQ) operational edge and capacity growth is the constant rise in polysilicon production volume. Daqo produced 61,014 metric tons (MT) of polysilicon in Q4 2023, as opposed to 57,664 MT in Q3, indicating a 3,350 MT rise from quarter to quarter. The company attained a year-over-year (YoY) boost of 47.8%, producing 197,831 MT of polysilicon in 2023 instead of 133,812 MT in 2022.

Moreover, the attainment of the yearly production guidelines reflects the company’s sharp prediction and execution of its production schedules. The production volume in 2023 attained the target range of 196,000 to 199,000 MT. Therefore, it confirms the management’s capacity to oversee operations effectively and hit the marks.

Overall, Daqo has the fundamental capacity to increase production volume. This indicates its operational adaptability and flexibility in response to changes in market demand. By steadily boosting output, Daqo improves its competitiveness and market share. This, in turn, solidifies its lead as a provider of premium polysilicon.

On the date of publication, Yiannis Zourmpanos did not hold (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 Publishing Guidelines.

Yiannis Zourmpanos is the founder of Yiazou Capital Research, a stock-market research platform designed to elevate the due diligence process through in-depth business analysis.

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