3 Supercharged Growth Stocks With 257% to 379% Upside, According to Wall Street

  • Though it’s been a miserable year for the stock market, Wall Street analysts remain generally optimistic.
  • Based on a number of high-water analyst price targets, these fast-growing companies are expected to more than triple or quintuple in value in the coming 12 months.

Select analysts believe these industry game changers can skyrocket over the next year.

Wall Street has taken investors on quite the ride in 2022. Through the first half of the year, the benchmark S&P 500 delivered its worst first-half return since 1970. Meanwhile, the bond market is working on its worst return in history. There have been few ways to escape the onslaught.

However, double-digit-percentage declines in the stock market aren’t known for lasting long. Historically, bull markets last substantially longer than corrections and bear markets. What’s more, every crash, correction, and bear market throughout history has eventually been cleared away by a long-term rally. In other words, buying during the dips makes a lot of sense — and Wall Street analysts know it.

Most price targets placed on publicly traded companies by Wall Street reflect this long-term optimism. But for some companies, truly great things are expected. According to the price targets of a select few analysts, Wall Street foresees the following three supercharged growth stocks gaining between 257% and 379% over the next year.

Nio: Implied upside of 257%

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio (NIO 11.78%) has had a miserable year, with its shares down 65% through this past weekend. Semiconductor chip shortages, China’s zero-COVID strategy (which has led to production disruptions), and historically high inflation are all headwinds working against the company.

Despite these challenges, Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh believes Nio is worth $40 a share, which would represent upside of 257% from where shares of the company closed on Oct. 21. While acknowledging Nio’s supply chain and logistical challenges in a recent research note, Rakesh believes demand for Nio’s EV is strong and that China’s push toward greener transportation will be a positive for the company. 

The thesis offered by Rakesh certainly holds water if you take a closer look at Nio’s production totals. Though it’s been hampered by persistent supply chain issues, the company has delivered four consecutive months with deliveries topping 10,000 EVs. Management has previously opined that it would have been able to ramp up to 50,000 EVs produced each month by as early as the end of 2022 if supply chain problems weren’t a concern.

Nio has done a phenomenal job of letting its products do the talking. The company has been rolling out at least one new EV each year, with both of its new sedans (the ET7 and the ET5) offering a roughly 621-mile range with the top battery pack upgrade. That’s considerably more range than the electric sedans Nio is competing with in China.

It also shouldn’t be overlooked that Nio is based in the No. 1 auto market in the world — China. By 2035, roughly half of all new vehicles sold in China are expected to run on some form of alternative energy. This gives Nio an opportunity to sustain double-digit growth amid a multidecade vehicle replacement cycle.

Although Nio does appear to have the tools and innovation capable of reaching $40 a share, supply chain issues make it unlikely that Mizuho’s aggressive price target will be achieved within the next 12 months.

Vaxart: Implied upside of 379%

Another supercharged growth stock that Wall Street believes offers immense upside potential is clinical-stage biotech stock Vaxart (VXRT 23.02%).

Though shares of Vaxart have plummeted 73% on a year-to-date basis, it hasn’t changed the optimistic tune of analyst Charles Duncan of Cantor Fitzgerald. Duncan’s $8 price target suggests that Vaxart could come close to quintupling its current value. Duncan has cited the company’s interim phase 2 results of an oral COVID-19 vaccine as the reason for his and his firm’s lofty price target. 

Logistically speaking, COVID-19 vaccines have their challenges. Properly storing and transporting approved COVID-19 vaccines can be challenging, as can the burden of having a medical professional administer a shot to a patient. An oral COVID-19 vaccine would be considerably easier to distribute and administer, which is why Vaxart’s approach has been raising eyebrows.

At the beginning of September, the company announced the results of the first part of a two-part phase 2 study involving VXA-CoV2-1.1-S (don’t these drug names just roll off the tongue?). This experimental pill specifically targets the S protein, with data showing that it met its primary safety endpoint, as well as its secondary immunogenicity endpoint.

While this initial data is encouraging, it’s important to note that the company’s previous candidate, VXA-CoV2-1, which targeted both the S and N proteins, didn’t have the same success.

Furthermore, most COVID-focused vaccine developers have pivoted to omicron-specific solutions. Vaxart is still in the data-culling phase of its existence and is unlikely to conduct a large-scale omicron variant-focused trial until the latter half of 2023. This means it’s going to be years before an omicron-specific oral vaccine has any chance of hitting pharmacy shelves. 

In short, Cantor Fitzgerald’s astronomical $8 price target for Vaxart is almost certainly out of reach.

Plug Power: Implied upside of 373%

The third supercharged growth stock with abundant upside, at least according to one Wall Street analyst, is hydrogen fuel cell solutions developer Plug Power (PLUG 16.43%).

Like most growth stocks, Plug has had a difficult year, with its shares tumbling 42%. But this hasn’t stopped H.C. Wainwright analyst Amit Dayal from being the company’s biggest cheerleader. Dayal has stuck by his firm’s sky-high price target of $78 for a while, which would represent an increase of 373% from where shares ended this past week. Dayal is counting on the company’s ever-expanding green hydrogen network to drive big gains.

Similar to Nio, Plug Power is poised to benefit from developed countries wanting to reduce their respective carbon footprints. The company’s burgeoning green hydrogen ecosystem can produce and store hydrogen for personal or commercial use with fuel cells. The expectation is for increased green hydrogen availability to push down prices and make hydrogen-fueled vehicles an attractive option — especially for public transportation and enterprise fleets.

The other significant catalyst for Plug Power is its numerous partnerships and joint ventures. In January 2021, it put itself on the map by forging two major partnerships in the span of a week, with SK Group and Renault. Just last week, it struck another joint venture — this time with Olin — to construct a hydrogen plant in Louisiana capable of producing 15 tons of green hydrogen per day. These joint ventures continue to validate Plug’s technology and its push to $3 billion in targeted annual revenue by 2025. For context, full-year sales in 2021 were just over $502 million.

But even what seem like surefire opportunities face challenges. A little over a week ago, the company announced its previous sales forecast for 2022 would likely come in 5% to 10% light due to supply chain issues and the timing of certain projects. 

It’s also unclear how the company’s expansion could be adversely impacted by rapidly rising interest rates. Getting green hydrogen infrastructure in place won’t be cheap, and financing that green-energy future is becoming costlier by the day. With Plug Power still at least two years away from turning a recurring profit, it seems increasingly unlikely that Dayal’s $78 price target will be reached.

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