These 5 US Growth Stocks Posted Stunning Share Price Returns in 2023: Can Their Run Continue?


It was a banner year for the US stock market.

The bellwether S&P 500 Index shot up 24% last year while the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index surged by 43.4% for its best year since 2000.

It was a result no investor expected as the markets were constantly dogged by news of potential interest rate hikes along with high inflation.

Many stocks saw their share prices soar as the end of 2023 saw a cooling of inflation in the US with more dovish commentary from the US Federal Reserve.

We profile five such winners who posted impressive share price gains last year and try to determine if they can repeat this feat in 2024.

Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA)

Nvidia is a pioneer in the accelerated computing industry with the invention of the graphics processing unit (GPU) back in 1999 which sparked the growth of the personal computing gaming industry and set the tone for the era of modern artificial intelligence (AI).

The company hires more than 27,000 employees in 50 locations and has more than 7,500 granted and pending patent applications worldwide.

Nvidia’s share price shot up 239% in 2023 to become the best-performing stock on the S&P 500 Index.

The GPU company posted a stunning financial performance for the first nine months of 2023 (9M 2023).

Revenue leapt 85.5% year on year to US$38.8 billion while operating profit catapulted more than six-fold year on year to US$19.4 billion.

Net profit surged more than five-fold year on year to US$17.5 billion.

Nvidia also saw its free cash flow soar more than seven-fold year on year from US$2.1 billion to US$15.8 billion for 9M 2023.

For the fourth quarter, the company projects revenue to be around US$20 billion, which will represent a 230.5% jump from the prior year’s US$6 billion.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META)

Meta Platforms is a social media company that owns the social media site Facebook, chat program WhatsApp, and picture and video-sharing portal Instagram.

The social media giant’s share price surged by 194.2% in 2023 to make it the second best-performing stock within the S&P 500 Index.

For 9M 2023, Meta Platforms saw revenue rise 12.3% year on year to US$94.8 billion.

Operating profit climbed 34.7% year on year to US$30.4 billion while net profit jumped 35.2% year on year to US$25.1 billion.

Meta Platforms’ free cash flow surged by 136.5% year on year to US$32.1 billion.

The social media behemoth’s user base continued its upward march.

Daily average users for the third quarter of 2023 (3Q 2023) rose 5.1% year on year to 2.1 billion while monthly average users increased by 3.1% year on year to 3 billion.

Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL)

Royal Caribbean is one of the leading cruise companies in the world with a global fleet of 64 ships travelling to around 1,000 destinations around the world.

The company is the owner and operator of three cruise brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises.

Royal Caribbean’s share price surged by 162% last year, ranking it third among the best performers on the S&P 500 Index.

The cruise company posted a strong turnaround for 9M 2023 with revenue surging by 69.5% year on year to US$10.6 billion as people flocked to book cruises once pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Royal Caribbean booked an operating profit of US$2.3 billion along with a net profit of US$1.4 billion, a sharp reversal from the losses incurred in 9M 2022.

Free cash flow for 9M 2023 also turned positive at US$2 billion compared to the free cash outflow of US$2.6 billion in the prior year.

Its newest cruise ship, Celebrity Ascent, was introduced just last month in a special naming ceremony.

The cruise line is readying for its biggest 2024 Caribbean season yet with more itineraries to choose from including on its newest ship Celebrity Ascent.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)

Tesla is an automotive and battery company that designs and manufactures electric vehicles, stationary battery energy storage devices, and solar panels.

Telsa’s share price surged by 101.7% in 2023 ranking it among the top 20 performers for the S&P 500 Index.

The electric vehicle company posted a mixed performance for 3Q 2023.

While revenue rose 9% year on year to US$23.4 billion, operating profit more than halved year on year to US$1.8 billion because of a 43% year-on-year jump in operating expenses.

Net profit came in at US$1.9 billion, down 44% year on year.

Free cash flow also plunged by 74% year on year to US$848 for the quarter, but Tesla managed to generate positive free cash flow for its last five consecutive quarters.

Its vehicle deliveries and production were encouraging, though.

For 2023, deliveries grew 38% year on year to 1.81 million units while production increased by 35% year on year to 1.85 million units.

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM)

Salesforce operates a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform providing AI, data, and customer relationship management (CRM) services.

The SaaS company’s shares shot up 98.5% for 2023, giving it an impressive gain just behind Tesla.

For 9M FY2024 (ending 31 October 2023), Salesforce’s revenue rose 11.3% year on year to US$25.6 billion.

Operating profit jumped seven-fold year on year to US$3.4 billion while net profit shot up more than eight-fold year on year from US$306 million to US$2.7 billion.

Free cash flow for 9M FY2024 surged by 66.8% year on year to US$6.2 billion.

The company also bought back a total of US$1.9 billion of shares, reducing its diluted share count by around 2% year on year to 981 million.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Meta Platforms.





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