If you have analyzed the myriad earnings reports over the summer of 2013, the trend that you will notice is a lack of revenue growth from most major companies. Many have continued to grow earnings because of cost containment and share buybacks, but the problems in Europe have caused slower spending and growth in Asia and in emerging markets. That is the bad news. The good news is that some public companies would still be considered as extreme growth stocks. In fact, some companies are still doubling their revenues.
24/7 Wall St. has evaluated many existing public companies to identify ones with high growth rates. With 2013 now in the second half, we wanted to look at a group of public companies that are expected to double their sales in the next few years. Our main focus is for companies expected to double sales by the end of 2016 from the end of 2012, but a couple may take until 2017 or so. Doubling sales at a time of slow economic expansion is very impressive whether it takes three and a half years or four and a half years.
In order to not have the deck stacked with small tiny companies that most people have never heard of, we tried to avoid repetitive industries. There almost always seems to be some small turnaround company or some smaller companies in biotech and software that are growing rapidly. We wanted to broaden the search for companies expected to double their revenues.
In some cases you will see that the company has itself projected that it plans to double its sales. In other cases, it is the group of analysts covering each company that are forecasting sales to double. Some of these public companies will double as soon as 2014, while others will not realize their doubling in sales until 2015 or 2016.
We would also warn that this rapid growth can come at an expensive price. We have shown a 52-week trading range on each public stock, and we have given a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for the fiscal year ahead so that you can see how Wall Street is valuing the stock based on current share prices.
The 24/7 Wall St. list of public companies expected to double sales in the next few years includes the following: Kona Grill Inc. (KONA), LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Noodles & Co. (NDLS), Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS), Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR), Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), Under Armour Inc. (UA), Workday Inc. (WDAY) and Yelp Inc. (YELP). Facebook Inc. (FB) might as well be considered a runner-up here, but it was a direct competitor of LinkedIn in the selections.
We looked at past sales growth, expected or stated sales growth expectations ahead, where the stocks have traded and what their market capitalization rates are now, and we even gave a forward earnings projection to see how much you have to pay up for such strong growth. A detailed analysis of each company follows.
Kona Grill Inc. (KONA) is the smallest growth chain by far of the companies we analyzed. Frankly, this may be tied to a doubling off of a smaller base since its market cap is a mere $100 million. At $12.35, its stock has a 52-week range of $7.80 to $13.90. Sales in 2012 were $96 million, and the 2013 growth might not indicate a doubling. It said at the start of August with earnings that its second-quarter restaurant sales increased 3.2% to $25.8 million and its same-store sales increased 2.5%. Berke Bakay, president and CEO, said, "The sales growth is a testament to the strength of our brand. ... Our vision over the next five years is to double our sales, which translates to an approximately 15% compounded annual growth rate." Kona trades at roughly 25 times expected 2013 earnings expectations.
LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) is the social network for professionals, and now the company wants to swoop its expansion down to the student level. This may come with a risk. It trades at $230.79 in a 52-week range is $94.75 to $244.00, and its market cap is almost $26 billion. The company already has doubled sales more than once and is expected to keep doing so. Revenue was $972 million in 2012, versus $522 million in 2011 and up from $243 million in 2010. It is widely expected that sales will double again by the end of 2015. Thomson Reuters has a consensus revenue target of $1.51 billion for 2013, and that is expected to be $2.14 billion for fiscal year 2014. In short, LinkedIn's sales doubling should happen shortly before the end of 2014. Facebook would also be in this social media doubling camp as well, but LinkedIn actually is expected to grow faster than Facebook, according to analysts. LinkedIn is valued at a whopping 105 times expected 2014 earnings, versus a valuation of about 40 times expected 2014 earnings from Facebook.
Noodles & Co. (NDLS) is one of the great new growth stories, from restaurant chain growth to a recent summer of 2013 IPO to solid stock gains before pulling back. With shares at $40, its market cap is back down to about $940 million, and its post-IPO range is $32.00 to $51.97. Because it is in the business of selling pasta and other sorts noodles as the main draw, along with sandwiches, its core gross margins are superior to many other chains. Noodles & Company has about 350 restaurants, but ultimately it is believed to have a goal of 1,500 stores, and then growing to between 2,000 to 2,500 stores in the decade ahead. The company already is profitable, and sales were $297 million in 2012. Thomson Reuters has estimates of about $355 million in 2013 and $412 million in 2014. The real breakout for the sales doubling may be in 2016 as more locations expand to more places around the country. The price for this growth is a valuation of about 72 times expected 2014 earnings.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX) is an interesting biotech outfit looking to treat cancers, but its fate is already different from other companies here. Amgen has tried to acquire the company unsuccessfully, and other companies potentially are interested. At $116.50, it has a 52-week range is $68.12 to $136.87 and its market cap is now $8.5 billion. Revenue was $362 million in 2012, and that was representing negative growth from the prior year and flat from two years ago. Where this gets interesting is that future sales are expected to rocket to about $634 million in 2013 and the to just over $870 million in 2014. Sales could be well over $1 billion by 2015 or 2016, if all things progress as expected here. Onyx has been losing money, but the growth comes with a hefty price tag of 181 times expected 2014 earnings.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS) has been on fire with its apparel since coming public right around Christmas of 2011. You wish this stock was your Christmas present that year because shares have tripled. With shares at $71.50, its market cap is already up to $14.5 billion, and its stock has seen a range of $46.66 to $72.98 over the past year. Kors generated almost $2.2 billion in sales in 2012, up almost 70% from 2011, and the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates are $2.98 billion in sales for fiscal year March 2014 and $3.7 billion for its March 2015 year-end. By 2017, Michael Kors could be on its way to generating $5 billion in sales. Michael Kors has been profitable and its growth is not crazily priced at 21 times the expected fiscal 2015 earnings.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR) may be considered a one-hit wonder in the land of pharmaceuticals. Its Acthar Gel drug has uses in multiple sclerosis, rheumatology and other conditions. Sales were $509 million in 2012, and effectively those sales doubled in the two prior years. What is amazing is that the doubling is still there and should take place by early to mid-2015. The Thomson Reuters estimates are about $725 million for 2013 and $910 million for 2014. This company remains a controversial one in investing circles, and short sellers have tried to attack it. Shares trade around $67, against a 52-week range of $17.25 to $70.55, and the market cap is $4 billion. Because the growth is all based on one drug and because of the controversy, Wall Street is only valuing this growth company at about 11 times expected 2014 earnings.
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) is on the path to double its sales, although much of that benefit already is happening in 2013 as the sales ramp. CEO Elon Musk is in the news almost daily and the stock has been on fire to the point that it is very pricey. The electric car business is one that Musk wants to dominate on the higher end, but there is also a $35,000 or so model coming out in the years ahead that will be geared more toward the mass market. Tesla's stock trades around $148 and its 52-week range is $26.86 to $158.88. It is an electric car company, but still a car company, so the valuation of about 88 times expected 2014 is rather high, along with its $18 billion market cap. Sales basically have doubled in each of the past two years to end at $413 million in 2012. The major leap forward is projected in 2013 and 2014, with sales expectations of $2.06 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. Depending on the economy and how things work out, Tesla could be at $5 billion in sales in just a few years.
Under Armour Inc. (UA) has taken over the sporting apparel market over the past decade, growing to a solid competitor with Nike or Adidas in many segments. With shares at $72.45, its 52-week trading range is $44.32 to $74.45 and its market cap is $7.6 billion. Under Armour basically doubled its sales from 2009 to 2012, up to $1.8 billion, and it plans to do so again. The Thomson Reuters consensus target is $2.75 billion by the end of 2014, but management itself forecast that sales would double yet again by 2016. CEO Kevin Plank himself detailed a plan to reach $4 billion in revenue by 2016 as recently as June as the American company becomes more of a global brand. The good news about Under Armour's growth expectation is that this projection came straight from the horse's mouth and its jockey has deliver on the horse's promise.
Workday Inc. (WDAY) had a fairly recent IPO, just at the end of 2012. The financial management and human resource management outfit is growing from its cloud-based applications, and the market already has a market cap of $12.7 billion. Now at $73.84, its post-IPO trading range is $45.05 to $74.90. Workday's revenue was more than $273 million in 2012, and Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates of $439 million for fiscal 2014 (January-end) and then more than $662 million the following year. In short, Workday's sales should double by some time late in 2014. Workday still is expected to lose money as it grows massively, so it will be 2015 or later before investors expect real profits here. Workday is experiencing such high growth that we overlooked the current earnings outlooks, for now.
Yelp Inc. (YELP) may seem more like a social media gainer akin to LinkedIn or Facebook, but it is a different monster entirely as a review and search site for restaurants and other destinations. Yelp's sales were $137 million in 2012, yet they are projected to rise to $225 million in 2013 and then to almost $330 million by 2014. Who knows where sales might be in 2016 or 2017. if it can remain a favorite destination site in search from Google and other referring sites. The stock is now above $51 and its market cap is $3.3 billion, now that it is capitalizing off of mobile, and its 52-week range is $16.32 to $59.35. Yelp did blow away its last earnings report, but to invest in the growth here the stock trades at almost 200 times the expected 2014 earnings estimates.