4 Magnificent Growth Stocks You’ll Regret Not Buying in the New Nasdaq Bull Market

Who needs theme parks packed with roller coasters when you can simply put your money to work on Wall Street? Over the previous four years, all three major stock indexes have traded off bear and bull markets, with the wildest swings observed in the growth stock-driven Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC).

When 2022 came to a close, the innovation-fueled Nasdaq had lost 33% of its value and badly trailed the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average in the return column. But since the proverbial curtain opened on 2023, the Nasdaq Composite has been off to the races, with the widely followed index gaining nearly 57% and pushing to all-time highs. There’s absolutely no question that a new bull market has emerged on Wall Street.

Image source: Getty Images.

But just because the Nasdaq Composite can’t be stopped, it doesn’t mean opportunistic long-term investors can’t still find amazing deals among growth stocks.

What follows are four magnificent growth stocks you’ll regret not buying in the new Nasdaq bull market.

Meta Platforms

The first astounding growth stock you’ll be kicking yourself for not scooping up with the Nasdaq Composite still in a relatively young bull market is none other than social media powerhouse Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META).

To be fair, there are a couple of money-based figures and predictive indicators that suggest a recession could be in the cards this year. Meta generated nearly 98% of its revenue last year from advertising. Ad-based businesses typically struggle during economic contractions, which is the biggest worry for Meta and its current shareholders in 2024.

However, recessions are a short-term concern. Out of the one dozen U.S. recessions that have occurred since the end of World War II in September 1945, only three reached the 12-month mark and none surpassed 18 months. Businesses that bring in most of their revenue from ads, like Meta, thrive from long-winded periods of growth.

What makes Meta Platforms so special is its top-notch social media real estate. Facebook is the most-visited social site in the world. When added to Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads, Meta is luring close to 4 billion active users to its family of apps each month. There isn’t a social media platform that offers access to more eyeballs than Meta. If the U.S. economy is expanding, this is a company that’s going to command strong ad-pricing power.

It’s also a company that knows how to rake in cash. In 2023, Meta Platforms generated north of $71 billion in cash from its operations and closed out the year with $65.4 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities. This cash buffer affords the company the ability to take risks, such as the development of augmented/virtual reality devices and furthering its metaverse ambitions.

Maybe the hardest thing to believe about Meta is that it’s still incredibly cheap. Earnings per share (EPS) is expected to more than double between 2023 and 2027. Further, it’s trading at a 9% discount to its average cash-flow multiple over the past five years, based on Wall Street’s consensus cash-flow estimates for 2025.

Exelixis

A second magnificent growth stock you’ll regret not buying hand over fist during the early stages of the Nasdaq bull market is cancer-drug developer Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL).

One of the best things about healthcare stocks is that they’re highly defensive. Since people can’t control when they get sick or what ailment(s) they develop, demand for things like prescription drugs and healthcare services remains consistent in any economic climate. For a biotech stock like Exelixis, it means highly predictable cash flow year after year.

Lead drug Cabometyx is what makes Exelixis tick. It’s been approved to treat first- and second-line renal cell carcinoma, as well as advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. These indications alone have helped push Cabometyx’s annual sales to north of $1 billion.

However, Exelixis is examining its top cancer drug in more than five dozen clinical trials as a monotherapy or combination treatment. Late-stage studies for patients with advanced pancreatic and extra-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, as well as metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (in combination with Roche‘s Tecentriq) recently met their primary endpoints and may pave the way for additional label expansion opportunities.

Don’t overlook Exelixis’ amazing balance sheet, either. Though it doesn’t have Meta’s massive treasure chest, it did close out 2023 with a healthy $1.72 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and investments. This is more than enough capital to fuel the company’s internal research engine and promote collaborations.

Based on Wall Street’s consensus expectations, Exelixis is expected to nearly quadruple its EPS, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), to $2.50 per share over the next four years.

A hacker wearing black gloves who's typing on a backlit keyboard in a dimly lit room.

Image source: Getty Images.

SentinelOne

The third jaw-dropping growth stock you’ll regret not adding to your portfolio with the Nasdaq Composite powering its way to new highs is cybersecurity company SentinelOne (NYSE: S). Although investors were less than enthused about SentinelOne’s first-quarter revenue guidance, there are a number of reasons for opportunistic investors to be excited about the recent swoon in its share price.

Similar to Exelixis, SentinelOne enjoys cash-flow stability. With businesses shifting their data online and into the cloud at an accelerated pace, endpoint cybersecurity providers like SentinelOne are being relied on more than ever. Since hackers don’t take time off, demand for cybersecurity solutions remains steady in any economic environment.

One of the reasons SentinelOne has become a trusted partner for protecting sensitive information is its Singularity platform. Singularity is artificial intelligence (AI)-driven and utilizes machine learning so that it can evolve over time and become more effective at hunting down potential threats before they become a problem.

But what investors are bound to love is the company’s key performance indicators, which are predominantly moving in the right direction. Fourth-quarter sales increased 38%, with annualized recurring revenue (ARR) rising by 39%. SentinelOne is predominantly subscription-driven, which reinforces the predictability of its operating cash flow, and is steadily lifting its adjusted gross margin (currently 78%, as of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024, ended Jan. 31, 2024).

Another key for SentinelOne is that it’s winning over larger customers. It ended fiscal 2024 with 1,133 customers generating ARR of at least $100,000, which is 30% more than the year-ago period. These bigger fish should help the company turn the corner to recurring profits in fiscal 2025.

With revenue on pace to potentially triple over the next four years, now looks like the perfect time to add this fast-paced cybersecurity stock to your portfolio.

Pinterest

The fourth magnificent growth stock you’ll regret not buying in the new Nasdaq bull market is social media up-and-comer Pinterest (NYSE: PINS).

If there’s been a prevailing concern with Pinterest over the past couple of years, it’s been the company’s monthly active user (MAU) growth. Though there’s more to valuing a social media company than MAUs, investors were clearly not pleased with Pinterest’s MAUs shrinking in 2022 following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the company’s MAUs growing by 11% during the December-ended quarter to a record 498 million, reasons to be skeptical of Pinterest are dwindling.

Similar to Meta Platforms, Pinterest has time on its side. Since most periods of economic growth last years, if not a full decade, advertising-based businesses tend to be a smart place for investors to put their money to work. With nearly a half-billion MAUs, Pinterest’s ad-pricing power should climb.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, Pinterest is uniquely positioned to succeed regardless of what app developers do with regard to data-tracking tools. Whereas most social media sites are relying on data-tracking tools to help advertisers target users, the entire premise of Pinterest’s platform is for users to freely and willingly share what things, places, and services they like. This makes it incredibly easy for Pinterest to serve targeted data to advertisers.

Pinterest’s robust cash position is another catalyst for the company. It closed out 2023 with roughly $2.5 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities — and this was after repurchasing $500 million worth of its common stock. Having a healthy cash position allows Pinterest to innovate, as well as return capital to its long-term investors.

Lastly, Pinterest’s valuation is enticing. On top of sustained double-digit sales growth, Wall Street is looking for the company’s annual EPS to double over the next four years. With a price/earnings-to-growth ratio (PEG ratio) below 1, Pinterest is a screaming bargain.

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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Sean Williams has positions in Exelixis, Meta Platforms, and Pinterest. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Exelixis, Meta Platforms, and Pinterest. The Motley Fool recommends Roche Ag. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 Magnificent Growth Stocks You’ll Regret Not Buying in the New Nasdaq Bull Market was originally published by The Motley Fool