Last year was a blockbuster when it comes to the returns growth stocks were able to generate. However, this year has proven to be much more challenging, erasing most of the gains investors saw during 2021. Dozens of growth stocks have plunged by more than 50%. Accordingly, after two widely-contrasting years, what can investors expect in 2023? I would personally be betting on growth stocks to buy for robust returns.
This view technically implies that the broader markets will trend higher. I do believe that the worst is over with respect to the markets discounting lower earnings growth and aggressive contractionary monetary policies.
My view is underscored by some critical historical data. Luke Lango, a growth-focused equities investor and analyst, points out that since 1950, Wall Street has experienced 17 bear markets. Of these, six have ended in October. Also, since 1950, the “six months following the midterms have proven to be the best six months of the four-year presidential cycle.” If history repeats, there is good reason to be bullish.
Even if this historical factor is set aside, growth stocks remain deeply undervalued. It’s a good time to go shopping and hold quality stocks with patience.
Let’s talk about three growth stocks to buy before the market blasts higher in 2023.
Li Auto (LI)
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In June, Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) stock touched highs of $41.50. However, since then, this stock has corrected sharply on the back of broad market downside and uncertainties related to growth in China.
Currently, LI stock seems like a compelling buy at around $18 per share. I would expect multibagger returns from current levels for investors willing to hold the stock for the next few years.
Even with multiple headwinds, Li Auto reported 31.4% growth in vehicle deliveries for October on a year-on-year basis. Besides Li ONE, the electric vehicle company has launched Li L9 and Li L8 for deliveries. Another product, the company’s Li L7, a five-seat SUV, is also in the pipeline.
It’s worth noting that Li Auto has aggressively expanded its presence to 274 retail stores in 119 cities. With several new models in the offering, deliveries growth is likely to accelerate significantly in 2023.
Li Auto reported cash and cash equivalents of $8 billion as of June. Further, the company has consistently been reporting positive operating and free cash flows. Financial flexibility provides a robust backdrop for aggressive expansion for this Chinese EV maker.
Tilray Brands (TLRY)
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It’s difficult to ignore Tilray Brands (NASDAQ:TLRY) when talking about growth stocks to buy for 2023. That’s partly because the stock has already shown early signs of a significant momentum reversal. In the last month alone, TLRY stock surged by 37%, and I don’t think this rally is speculative.
First, Germany recently legalized possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for recreational use. Medicinal cannabis growth has also been encouraging in the country. Additionally, there appears to be some outside possibility that federal legalization of cannabis in the U.S. could take hold.
On a company-specific level, Tilray has been reporting positive adjusted EBITDA on a consistent basis. For the current financial year, the company also expects to be free cash flow positive in all business units. Therefore, revenue growth might have disappointed, but Tilray has delivered on the operational efficiency front.
Tilray has also set an ambitious target of reaching $4 billion in revenue by 2024. This seems realistic in a scenario where U.S. legalization pans out. Overall, I would bet on multibagger returns from TLRY stock in the next two years.
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Coupang (NYSE:CPNG) stock has already surged more than 27% higher over the past six months. That said, I think this rally from deeply oversold levels is likely to be sustained as the company’s EBITDA margin improves.
For Q2 2022, Coupang reported record gross profit of $1.2 billion, as well as a 250 basis point gross margin improvement. Further, Coupang also guided for positive adjusted EBITDA for the year. With Q3 results around the corner, strong numbers could certainly trigger a fresh rally.
It’s worth noting that the company’s net revenue per active customer has been trending higher. Besides strong operational efficiency, this is another factor investors consider when thinking about whether Coupang’s EBITDA margin expansion is sustainable. In the next few years, Coupang expects EBITDA margins to be in the range of 7% to 10%. This would certainly imply healthy cash flows.
Coupang reported cash and cash equivalents of $3.1 billion as of June. With strong financial flexibility, I think the company has significant runway to expand aggressively within Korea and in international markets as well. Within the company’s core Korean market, Coupang believes that it has an opportunity to double its number of active customers.
On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faisal Humayun is a senior research analyst with 12 years of industry experience in the field of credit research, equity research and financial modeling. Faisal has authored over 1,500 stock specific articles with focus on the technology, energy and commodities sector.