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These 3 Stocks Have Doubled in Less Than 1 Year — Can They Do It Again?

The S&P 500 is down 14% year to date as of this writing. As it stands, this is the worst year for the stock market since 2008. And it’s the third-worst year for stocks since 1974.

With depressing results like these, you might think the market is comprised entirely of losers, but you’d be wrong. Shares of beverage company Celsius Holdings (CELH 3.70%), shoemaker Crocs (CROX 4.31%), and law enforcement technology company Axon Enterprise (AXON 1.77%) have already more than doubled from their 52-week lows and look poised for future gains.

1. Celsius, up 180% since Jan. 27

Celsius sells energy drinks it claims will burn calories even when resting. The company has been around for about two decades but only gained meaningful distribution and market share in recent years. And with its recent gains, the stock has roared higher. It’s up not only 180% from this year’s low but also up over 2,000% in just the past three years.

Obviously, it’s not enough to just increase distribution — consumers must also buy the product — but that’s what’s happening with Celsius. Year to date, Celsius has been the top driver of growth in the U.S. energy drink category. Consumers apparently love it, so it’s not surprising the company’s top line is soaring as well with year-to-date revenue up 126% compared to the same period in 2021.

If it’s true that increased distribution is driving gains for Celsius stock, shareholders better hold onto their hats. The company signed a distribution deal with PepsiCo that Celsius’ management says will take the “business to the next level.”

Pepsi only took over Celsius’ distribution on Oct. 1, so the impact of the deal wasn’t felt during the third quarter of 2022. However, Celsius’ management noted an immediate increase in sales metrics in the weeks following the change, which bodes well for the fourth quarter and beyond.

In my opinion, the most tantalizing aspect of Celsius’ deal with Pepsi is international expansion. Through the first three quarters of 2022, Celsius has generated net sales of $476 million, 94% of which came from North American markets. By contrast, Pepsi is a global brand, and it has the international network to propel Celsius to worldwide prominence.

I wouldn’t expect 180% returns in 2023, but Celsius still has a long runway for future gains, even if another doubling isn’t imminent.

2. Crocs, up 111% since June 16

I believe Crocs stock can double faster than Celsius. The path is clear.

A big component of my investment thesis relates to Croc’s $2.5 billion acquisition of peer Heydude. For starters, I believe it paid a great price. The Heydude brand alone is expected to generate revenue of $940 million to $980 million in 2022, meaning Crocs paid just 2.6 times sales for the fast-growing brand. For perspective, Heydude’s revenue was around $570 million in 2021, giving it about 68% year-over-year growth.

Heydude will help Crocs fuel its top line in the coming years, but the Crocs brand itself is still growing nicely as well. Management expects full-year Crocs brand revenue of over $2.6 billion in 2022, up 13%. And by expanding into new geographies, gaining market share, and raising prices, management believes it can achieve over $6 billion in total company revenue in 2026 — just four full years from now.

Crocs’ profit margins are better than Heydude’s. In the third quarter, Crocs brand had a gross margin of 54.9%, whereas Heydude’s gross margin was just 48.8%. But I’m betting Crocs’ more experienced management team can squeeze greater profitability out of Heydude in the coming years.

Long term, management is shooting for an operating margin of at least 26%. If it surpasses $6 billion in revenue, the company’s operating income could reach 1.5 billion. And if the stock trades at a multiple of just eight times its operating profit — a below-average valuation — Crocs would have a market capitalization of $12 billion in 2026.

That’s double where Crocs stock trades today. So no, it’s not too late for long-term investors to buy Crocs stock.

3. Axon Enterprise, up 120% since May 11

On Nov. 8, Axon Enterprise reported financial results for the third quarter of 2022, and it was the company’s best quarter this year. The company grew revenue 34% year over year to $312 million, earned $12 million in net income, and raised revenue guidance for full-year 2022. But these aren’t the numbers that impressed me the most.

Most of Axon’s revenue comes in package deals. Agencies can get nonlethal Tasers, body cameras, cloud storage, and software services all in one contract. These contracts are signed for long periods, some even 10 years, giving investors great visibility into future revenue. But this also means the business generates a large percentage of recurring revenue.

These are the numbers that impressed me: Axon’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) at the end of the third quarter was $403 million, up 9.5% quarter over quarter. That’s Axon’s largest quarterly jump in ARR this year. Moreover, the company’s remaining performance obligations (RPO) sit at $3.7 billion, up $400 million from the second quarter and the biggest quarterly jump in 2022.

Of these stocks, I believe it will take Axon the longest to double from here because of its price tag. Some might point out its valuation is comparable to Celsius. However, Celsius should see stronger growth in the near term thanks to its partnership with Pepsi. By contrast, Axon stock looks like it might be getting ahead of itself.

That said, if you told me I had to invest in only one of these three companies and couldn’t touch the investment even once for the next 10 years, I’d invest in Axon. As noted, its long-term contracts make this an incredibly predictable business. It’s gaining momentum with new customer bases, including federal agencies like the Secret Service. And the company is loaded with $371 million in cash, equivalents, and investments with no debt.

To be clear, I like Celsius, Crocs, and Axon as long-term investments, but Axon is as strong of an investment opportunity as they come.

Read More: These 3 Stocks Have Doubled in Less Than 1 Year — Can They Do It Again?

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