This story was originally published here.
Of the thousands of stocks that investors can buy, only a relative few receive the lion’s share of attention. You can likely rattle off the names of several of these highly publicized stocks.
But it’s often the stocks that don’t receive as much attention that present the best opportunities. Few investors would think of these stocks right off the bat, but such stocks could be even bigger winners over the long run than many of the most well-known stocks. These three under-the-radar stocks especially stand out as great buys right now.
Canadian marijuana stocks tend to make headlines quite often. But several top U.S.-based cannabis operators are running circles around their counterparts from north of the border. Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) is a great example.
Cresco reported record revenue of $94.3 million in the second quarter of 2020, more than triple the revenue generated in the prior-year period and a 42% increase from the previous quarter. The company isn’t profitable yet, but its bottom line continues to improve significantly. And it’s already consistently generating positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).
What’s especially notable is that Cresco achieved quarter-over-quarter revenue growth of at least 30% in eight of the nine states where it currently operates. The lone exception was Massachusetts, which temporarily stopped recreational marijuana sales during part of Q2 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The cannabis markets in all the places where Cresco operates should continue to grow well into the future.
Cresco also has plenty of other states that it could target. That number seems likely to increase after Election Day, with Arizona and New Jersey voting on recreational marijuana legalization. It’s also possible that the vote in November could improve the prospects for changes to federal cannabis laws, proving even more opportunities for Cresco.
Many retailers are struggling because of the pandemic. Some of them were hurting even before the coronavirus outbreak, in part because of intense competition from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT). There’s one retailer that has flourished in the shadow of these giants: Dollar General (NYSE:DG).
Dollar General’s net sales jumped 24% year over year in Q2 to $8.7 billion. Its earnings soared nearly 85% to $787.6 million. Even though customer traffic decreased due to the pandemic, the average amount spent per transaction rose.
The company’s success derives from its focus on the types of products consumers need, low prices, and the convenient locations of its stores (around three-quarters of Americans live within five miles of a Dollar General store). It continues to grow by launching new discount retail stores and improving the profitability of existing stores.
In the past, Dollar General has primarily focused on lower-income consumers. But the company recently announced a new store concept targeting suburban customers with household incomes between $50,000 and $125,000. Dollar General is opening its first two of these new stores close to Nashville, Tennessee, and plans to launch around 30 more by the end of 2021.
Medical device makers with market caps of less than $3 billion don’t typically enjoy the limelight. Shockwave Medical (NASDAQ:SWAV) merits investors’ attention, though. Its shares have skyrocketed nearly 80% year to date. That gain is even more impressive considering that ShockWave lost half its market cap during the market meltdown earlier this year.
Unlike Cresco and Dollar General, Shockwave didn’t turn in an impressive Q2 performance. Sales were up by only 3% year over year to $10.3 million. The company’s bottom line went in the wrong direction with a net loss of $18.1 million. But these uninspiring results were caused by the pandemic and don’t diminish Shockwave’s prospects one bit.
Shockwave uses lithotripsy (an approach using sonic pressure waves that has been used for decades in treating kidney stones) to break up calcified plaque in blood vessels. The company’s intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) technology, which is safe and easy to use, could become a new standard of care in treating atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Impressive growth could be right around the corner for Shockwave. The company expects to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for its coronary IVL system in treating clogged arteries prior to stenting in the first quarter of 2021. Shockwave is aggressively expanding its sales team to market the system next year. If all goes well, this medical device stock just might begin to capture more attention from investors as its sales boom.
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