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Shares of MicroVision (NASDAQ:MVIS) surged 45% last week as investors piled into the startup that designs lidar – the technology that powers the vision of self-driving vehicles.
If Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) can become a trillion-dollar company by helping artificial intelligence “think,” why couldn’t MicroVision do the same by enabling cars to “see”?
This style of thinking has put tech stocks into overdrive in 2023.
And this week, the editors at InvestorPlace.com, our free news site, have noted a significant uptick in reader interest in everything from AI to EVs (and an entire alphabet soup in between). Readers are seeing news about the big tech winners, and they want a piece of the action.
Many of these moonshots won’t make it. Data from S&P Global reveals that more than 230 American companies have already filed for bankruptcy this year – the fastest rate since 2010. And the second half of 2023 will prove equally difficult. Markets expect interest rates to remain above 5% through the end of the year.
Still, we all know that high-quality companies eventually reward investors. Stocks naturally go up as uncertain potential gets converted to certain profits. And even if shares don’t rise, companies can always count on receiving buyout offers from deal-seeking competitors.
So this week, we’re going to look at five high-potential stocks that InvestorPlace.com’s writers have recently highlighted.
If all goes well, these firms could rise 500% or more as their potential plays out…
Aker Carbon Capture ASA (AKCCF)
This week, InvestorPlace.com’s Faisal Humayun writes about a fascinating carbon capture energy industry services firm in “3 Hidden Gem Growth Stocks to Buy for Multibagger Returns.”
Humayun notes that Aker Carbon Capture (OTCMKTS:AKCCF) has a “proven carbon capture technology and a swelling order book.” The company has roughly $100 million in order backlog, and Wall Street analysts believe the firm could break even at the EBITDA level by 2025.
Tangible success is particularly important in an industry with many subpar players. In 2022, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that 10 of the top 13 flagship carbon capture projects have either failed or underperformed against their designed capacities. Only two Norwegian projects and a Canadian one performed well, thanks to government regulation. Norway has an “exceptionally high carbon tax and stringent regulatory environment,” the study noted.
That’s positive news for Aker, a Norwegian firm with a home-field advantage. The company is a dominant player in North Sea carbon offsets and will likely become a tempting takeover target for oil majors seeking to diversify.
2. Lithium Americas (LAC)
Louis Navellier’s readers will know that he’s a fan of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE:SQM), the world’s lowest-cost producer of lithium metal. Low-cost miners tend to outperform, and rising lithium demand from the electric vehicle industry will cause SQM to slowly grind higher. It’s a perfect buy-and-hold stock for conservative, dividend-seeking investors.
Fortunately, those with greater risk tolerances also have options. As InvestorPlace.com writer Ian Cooper notes this week, Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) has quickly become a superstar investment thanks to its assets at Thacker Pass in Humboldt County, Nevada. Construction at the U.S. site has already started, giving much-needed clarity to investors.
The company’s Argentine assets are equally attractive because of its low estimated costs of production. Analysts at Morningstar reckon Lithium Americas’ mines could almost rival Chilean mines on a dollar-per-dollar basis.
Lithium Americas doesn’t produce lithium metal yet. That prices the firm at a significant discount and gives enormous upside potential.
3. SoFi Technologies (SOFI)
Luke Lango and I have long been bullish about SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI), an online bank focused on serving younger customers. The company was founded to help manage student loans and has since used that position to cross-sell everything from bank accounts to credit cards.
The strategy has worked.
Since 2020, the San Francisco-based firm has grown its membership 5X and seen revenues from financial services products rise 12 times over. Shares of SoFi are up 65% since early May, when I noted at InvestorPlace.com how First Republic Bank’s collapse created a stunningly good entry point.
Fortunately, investors still have time to accumulate more shares. The firm still trades below book value, and Luke notes that SoFi may be one of the best opportunities out there today.
4. QuantumScape (QS)
Risk-seeking investors should also consider QuantumScape (NYSE:QS), the company Luke calls the “Forever Battery stock with millionaire-maker potential.”
This week, he gives an update on the stock:
Due to the physical constraints of dealing with a liquid electrolyte, [lithium-ion batteries] are now reaching their limit in terms of energy cell density. That basically means that if we want our phones, watches, and electric cars to last longer and charge faster, we need a fundamentally different battery.
QS employs an anode-less battery cell design that eliminates anode manufacturing costs, bringing its all-in battery costs to 17% lower than all-in costs for traditional lithium-ion batteries. QuantumScape also developed a streamlined process for sourcing its materials, which should allow for scalable and cost-effective battery manufacturing.
Consider the all-electric GMC Hummer, a ludicrously overpowered vehicle that can produce up to 1,000 horsepower and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. Current lithium-ion technology means the Hummer must carry 2,818 pounds of EV batteries, or more than the weight of an entire Honda Civic.
Modest EVs aren’t immune, either. It can cost up to 70% of a Chevy Bolt’s MSRP retail price to replace its battery pack.
QuantumScape aims to help fix these issues, or at least make them more manageable. Solid-state batteries require no battery anodes, and energy density is increased by double- digit percentages.
Of course, the Silicon Valley-based startup still has several hurdles to overcome, as Louis Navellier and his team note.
The firm has also been the target of at least one high-profile short-seller report warning of inflated figures in published test results.
Nevertheless, QuantumScape remains one of the few pure-play bets on solid-state battery technology. And if the firm can produce the “forever batteries” that Luke expects it to, investors can expect shares to rise to the $30 level in short order.
5. CRISPR Therapeutics ()
It’s been a big week for gene-editing stocks, and InvestorPlace.com’s Samuel O’Brient has been helping our readers follow the news.
Last Tuesday, Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) announced it will host a live webinar this week to present results from a clinical trial of its severe sickle cell disease program. Shares spiked 11%, since these types of announcements typically signal positive results. Rival Invitae (NYSE:NVTA) rose in sympathy.
Then on Thursday, CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had accepted its gene-editing filings for priority review. The FDA could give feedback as soon as Dec. 8 of this year.
The latter is a company that investors will want to watch.
Luke calls CRISPR Therapeutics the “mothership” of CRISPR-Cas9 technologies for being the “most robust and mature genetic editing therapy pipeline in the industry.”
Shares are also cheap following a brutal 2021-2022 selloff. The company trades at less than a $5 billion market capitalization, pricing it at a tiny fraction of more established biotech firms like Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) ($117 billion), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) ($97 billion) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) ($85 billion).
CRISPR could easily become a $25 billion company by 2030 if its pipeline plays out.
A Turnaround in Sentiment
In May, we noted how investors had become decidedly bearish about markets. Declining earnings, a regional bank crisis, and a new crypto winter had put speculators on the back foot.
But there were also signs of an upcoming bull rally.
Companies were beating on earnings, as Louis noted in an update last month. Consumer discretionary stocks were also leading, which tends to indicate the start of an economic growth cycle.
In the end, the data turned out to be right.
The Nasdaq-100 index is up another 11%, driven by strong performances at companies like Nvidia and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META).
Today, the U.S. economy is still going strong.
According to FactSet, first-quarter earnings for 2023 came in far better than expected, and analysts are making smaller cuts than average to their EPS estimates for Q2.
It won’t be a smooth ride to the top, but the data tells us we’re heading in the right direction.
In fact, Luke does a deep dive on all that data in this recent interview.
In that interview, Luke says that data points to us being just days away from a historic $15.7 trillion tech “melt-up” that could alter the outlook of investment portfolios across America for years to come.
“There hasn’t been anything to this magnitude in the tech world in nearly 30 years,” Luke says. “And there’s no telling when it could happen again.
Click here to get all the proof and Luke’s blueprint for this coming $15.7 trillion tech melt-up.
As of this writing, Tom Yeung 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.