It’s been a challenging year to be a stock picker. With the Nasdaq Composite down 27% year-to-date, winners have been few and far between.
The same goes for the Nasdaq-100, the Composite’s large-cap subset of non-financial, mostly growth-oriented names. Through June 24th, all but 16 of the popular benchmark’s names were in the red for 2022 with laggards like Peloton, Netflix, and Align Technologies bringing up the rear down 60% or more.
At the other end of the spectrum is an unlikely collection of stocks that have boldly bucked the market trend. Biotech company Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a comfortable lead with a 33% year-to-date return. Seagen, Pinduoduo, Dollar Tree, and others have also posted double-digit gains.
While some of these rogue leaders have probably seen their best days of 2022, others appear to have more in the tank. The upside in these three Nasdaq-100 stocks has only begun.
Will T-Mobile US Stock Keep Going Up?
Up 18% on the year, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is the Nasdaq-100’s second best performer. The telecom service provider has been a defensive safe haven for many investors seeking a respite from the attack on growth stocks. Although it doesn’t pay a dividend, its voice and data wireless plans derive relatively steady revenue from both individuals and businesses.
T-Mobile’s ongoing integration of Sprint is weighing on near-term profitability but this headwind is expected to turn tailwind by 2023. The Street is forecasting that EPS will more than double next year after the migration of Sprint customers is completed. At this juncture, the addition of Sprint’s treasure chest of mid-band spectrum assets should allow T-Mobile to re-focus on the rapid buildout of its nationwide 5G wireless network.
Another major growth catalyst will be T-Mobile’s expansion in the home internet space. Its Extended Range 5G footprint already covers an estimated 95% of the U.S. population, so the potential here is extensive. A push into the wireless business market also stands to drive market share gains at the expense of industry giants AT&T and Verizon.
At 22x next year’s earnings estimate, T-Mobile is trading well below its five-year historical average P/E of 31x. Expect the company’s business expansion along multiple fronts to coincide with a significant earnings multiple expansion.
Will AstraZeneca Stock Climb to a New Record High?
AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN) gapped up on June 24th, putting an exclamation point on a seven-day winning streak. Shares of the U.K.-based drug manufacturer are now up almost 15% in 2022 but have room to get back to their April 2022 record peak of $71.70.
The company has good momentum in its development pipeline after announcing positive results in a phase 3 clinical trial of eplontersen, an experimental therapy it is developing alongside Ionis Pharmaceuticals. The drug candidate, which is intended to treat a rare disease called amyloid polyneuropathy, met its primary endpoints in the late-stage trial, paving the way for potential commercialization. AstraZeneca plans to seek FDA approval for eplontersen later this year.
Encouraging phase 3 data was also recently presented on ALXN1840, the company’s therapeutic candidate for Wilson’s disease, an inherited condition which prevents the body from eliminating excess copper. ALNX1840 has already been granted the Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. and the equivalent designation in the E.U.
Only a pair of domestic research groups actively follow AstraZeneca—Bank of America and SVB Securities—both of which are bullish. Their current price targets point to a fresh record high forthcoming.
Is Check Point Software Technologies Stock a Buy?
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) sold off after reaching an all-time high of nearly $150 in March 2022 but may be recharging. The internet security products specialist made a nice move on Friday without any pertinent headlines as risk-on mode favored beaten up growth names.
While ARK Investment Management’s Cathie Wood has been unwinding her Check Point position, investors need not fret. The company is positioned to generate plenty of growth from its security software platform as large enterprises, small businesses, and consumers continue to invest in solutions that protect their cloud and mobile technologies.
CheckPoint faces a ton of competition in the cybersecurity market and has recently been criticized for delivering minimal top line growth. However, this has pushed the company to build out its salesforce, streamline its product offerings, and look to new, emerging parts of the market for growth. These efforts should ultimately lead to an improved competitive stance and margin profile.
The Street is forecasting that earnings growth will accelerate to 10% in fiscal 2023 after what is expected to be low single-digit EPS growth this year. This gives Check Point a 16x forward P/E ratio—and investors an opportunity to jump in on a rare Nasdaq winner before it runs higher.
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