Stocks to buy

7 Great Growth Stocks Smart Investors Should Be Grabbing Up Now

Any investor wanting outsized returns should look at growth stocks. While value stocks are perfectly fine for a long-term portfolio, growth stocks are the ticket for investors with a shorter time horizon and looking for dynamic returns.

Growth stocks are best described as stocks in a company that’s demonstrated the ability to achieve above-average revenue and/or earnings growth.

Often these companies are in markets that are expanding or dealing with technologies that have the potential to be disruptive. Any company developing a new product or service or using a technology that dramatically changes a product can be considered a growth stock.

Growth stocks have some challenges, however. First, they are often volatile, so as an investor, you have to be comfortable with the idea that your portfolio may sometimes have lower lows to go with those higher highs.

Growth stocks often have a high price-to-earnings ratio. Many investors look for P/E as a key indicator before buying a stock, but with growth stocks, you usually have to accept a high P/E as a tradeoff for the returns you seek.

I used the Portfolio Grader to help us find some outstanding growth stocks based on earnings performance, growth, analyst sentiment, momentum and other factors. Here are seven to buy now.

IonQ (IONQ)

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IonQ (NYSE:IONQ) is a quantum computing and hardware company based in Maryland.

Quantum computing uses the laws of quantum mechanics to do computing functions that classic computers cannot.

Because quantum computers operate on quantum bits instead of bits, they have a larger working space. They can do much more simultaneously, making the quantum computers much faster than the classic computers you are probably used to.

IonQ’s entry into this revolutionary field is the Forte, which it’s billing as the world’s first software-configurable quantum computer. IonQ has made the Forte available around the world.

Second-quarter earnings released Aug. 10 include $5.5 million in revenue, an increase of 111% from the same quarter a year ago. The company also earned $28 million in new bookings and now has $32.2 million in 2023.

“We are now well on our way to our revised, higher bookings expectations of $49 million to $56 million for the year,” CEO Peter Chapman said. “We are also within striking range of our goal of $100 million in cumulative bookings within the first three years of IonQ’s commercialization, starting in 2021.”

INOQ stock is up 311% in 2023 and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

C3.ai (AI)

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C3.ai (NYSE:AI) may have the most fortuitous ticker symbol of the year. With artificial intelligence stocks soaring all year thanks to the explosion of interest in generative AI, investors can’t help but flock to AI stock. The price has doubled since May.

Fortunately for shareholders, however, C3.ai is much more than a ticker. The company is an enterprise AI software provider that builds enterprise-scale AI applications.

C3.ai has jumped on the generative AI trend by launching the C3 Generative AI Product Suite. And while this offering has yet to significantly impact quarterly earnings, analysts and the company expect that to change during the current fiscal year that ends in April 2024.

According to consensus estimates, C3.ai is expecting to get between $295 million and $320 million for fiscal 2024, while analysts are predicting $305.6 million.

AI stock has a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Upstart (UPST)

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Upstart (NASDAQ:UPST) offers an alternative to scores provided by Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FICO) to determine the creditworthiness of applicants.

Upstart says its scoring method is more accurate than the FICO scores that many lenders rely upon because of its machine learning algorithms that consider hundreds of variables before predicting if a potential borrower will pay back a loan or default.

If Upstart is correct in its formula, its product can help borrowers expand their loans to people with low FICO scores but score well in Upstart’s model. If banks can reduce the number of bad loans they are chasing through collections or writing off, then Upstart’s model will grow in popularity.

Small lenders are already showing interest, helping Upstart’s bottom line. Second-quarter numbers included $135.77 million in revenue, which beat analysts’ estimates. But the company also notably turned a profit, reporting EPS of 6 cents while analysts were prepared for a loss of 7 cents per share.

UPST stock is up 157% this year and has a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

First Solar (FSLR)

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First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) has been on my buy list for a while, and I see no reason to change horses now. The green energy company makes photovoltaic solar panels needed for solar energy adaptation.

The company is riding the momentum from last summer’s passage of the Inflation  Reduction Act, including government subsidies encouraging companies to convert to renewable energy.

According to Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee, First Solar has amended more than 10 gigawatts of contracts since the act passed to provide an average selling price upside.

That has First Solar on a growth spree. The company’s spending $1.1 billion to invest in a fifth manufacturing facility that will give it an additional 3.5 gigawatts of capacity by 2026.

Second quarter results were $810.67 million in revenue, up 30.5% from a year ago. Income was $170.58 million, or $1.59 per share.

FSLR stock is up 35% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Symbotic (SYM)

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Symbotic (NASDAQ:SYM) is a Massachusetts company that helps warehouses operate more efficiently. The company builds and operates automated warehouse systems.

The key to the system is incorporating AI into the platform, which Symbotic says increases the workforce’s efficiency, speed and flexibility.

Symbotic is also partnering with Softbank (OTCMTKS:SFTBY) to launch GreenBox Systems, a joint venture that would help automate the supply chain industry. The companies said the warehouse-as-a-service market is worth $500 billion.

Symbotic says that in the U.S., the general merchandise, grocery and apparel market is $144 billion.

SYM stock is up 275% this year but still has room to grow. It has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Uber Technologies (UBER)

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Few businesses can say they’ve been as truly disruptive as Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER). The company popularized ride-sharing and made the gig economy possible for millions and disrupted the taxi industry.

Uber has since expanded into food delivery with its Uber Eats service, which allows restaurants to be featured on its app and gives Uber drivers another opportunity to make money. Uber Freight and Uber Business cater to shipping and business needs.

Uber recorded its first GAAP operating profit in its Q2 report. Revenue of $9.23 billion was just under what analysts expected, but the company posted a net income of $394 million, or 18 cents per share. A year ago, the company lost $2.6 billion in the quarter.

The company expects gross bookings between $34 billion and $35 billion in the third quarter and adjusted EBITDA of $975 million to $1.025 billion.

UBER stock is up 79% this year and gets an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Li Auto (LI)

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Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) is a Chinese designer, manufacturer, and seller of smart electric vehicles.

If you don’t know about Li, you should; it’s pulling away from other Chinese automakers.

Li topped other Chinese automakers in July by delivering 34,134 vehicles, up 227% from a year ago. It marked the second consecutive month that Li delivered more than 30,000 vehicles, and its production trails only BYD (OTCMKTS:BYDDY) among Chinese auto companies.

Earnings for the second quarter were 28.65 billion Chinese yuan ($3.9 billion) in revenue, up 228% from a year ago and an income of 2.29 billion Chinese yuan.

As the Chinese market reopens and Beijing supports the adaption of electric vehicles, opportunities will continue to increase in Asia. Li Auto is a good way to get involved in the space.

LI stock is up 109% this year and gets a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in FSLR. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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