With 2015 under way, we asked three top Motley Fool contributors to identify stocks they believe could see dramatic gains in the year ahead. Their answers? WhiteWave Foods , Restoration Hardware , and Apple . Read on to see their reasons why.
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(WhiteWave Foods): WhiteWave Foods' stock enjoyed a nice run in 2014, rising more than 50%. This could be an even better year for the consumer packaged foods company thanks to smart acquisitions and international expansion opportunities. WhiteWave Foods boasts a portfolio of market-leading brands including Silk soy milk and almond milk, Land O' Lakes butter, and International Delight coffee creamers. However, the company isn't resting on its laurels.
WhiteWave entered the fast-growing organic produce channel last year by acquiring Earthbound Farm for $600 million. This should boost profits for WhiteWave in the year ahead, as more consumers are buying organic produce today than ever before. In fact, the organic packaged salad category boasts a five-year compound annual growth rate of 15%, according to data from Credit Suisse.
The company also acquired dairy-free beverage and desserts maker So Delicious for $195 million in October. This deal will increase the company's market share in the fast-growing plant-based beverage and nondairy creamers category, which should fuel earnings growth for WhiteWave Foods in the year ahead.
Meanwhile, WhiteWave Foods has for years been heavily investing in China, the world's largest consumer market,via a strategic partnership with one of the nation's largest dairy companies, Mengniu Dairy.With production and sales of WhiteWave products in China finally set to begin, the nation'sover 1.3 billion consumers and a rapidly growing middle class should offera boon for the company's international sales in 2015.
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Source: Restoration Hardware.
(Restoration Hardware): This luxury home-improvement retailer has not increased its store count in three years, but it has still grown revenue from $958 million in 2012 to more than $1.75 billion during the last 12 months. The reason for this growth: timeless designs and brand power.
Looking ahead, Restoration Hardware will continue to expand vertically, but the company is also finally expanding horizontally by increasing store count and square footage. Restoration Hardware's older legacy stores averaged 7,000 square feet in size. While that is large, CFO Karen Boone recently said the size limitation in legacy stores has prevented Restoration Hardware from showcasing many of its fastest-growing concepts, such as baby and child and lawn and garden -- just five-in-one legacy stores, respectively, carry these concepts.
Its new gallerias are much larger, allowing for six to eight times the product assortment and driving sales two to four timeshigher in each market, according to Boone. Already, Restoration Hardware has turned its New York Legacy store into a next-generation galleria, thereby increasing its square footage from 8,000 to 21,000. The company also replaced its Boston location with a much larger 40,000-square-foot galleria, and opened two new gallerias in Atlanta and Los Angeles last quarter.
Restoration Hardware's expansion plan is well under way, and it is scheduled this year to open four more super galleries in Chicago, Denver, Tampa, Fla., and Austin, Texas. The company has also signed four leases for 2016, and plans to open another 25 next-gen gallerias beyond 2016. According to CEO Gary Friedman, this plan will drive North American revenue up to $5 billion with an operating margin in the midteens.
Restoration Hardware foresees revenue and margin growth that are not often found in retail. Best of all, the company's growth plan and outlook doesn't account for global expansion, something management has noted as a long-term goal. Given the company's expected 20% revenue growth this year, and its long-term prospects, this stock that should perform quite well in 2015, and beyond.
Analysts are focused on blockbuster iPhone revenue, but the potential for rebounding iPad sales could also help propel Apple's stock to new highs. Source: Apple.
Joe Tenebruso (Apple): When companies reach megacap status, history says their growth will slow dramatically. But for the biggest of them all, that's just not true. Even with its $645 billion market cap, Apple earnings are expected to accelerate sharply in 2015.
Apple is expected to report monsterearnings later this month, with some analysts predicting sales of over 70 million iPhones in the quarter ended in December. Sales of that magnitude for Apple's most important product could reignite excitement for its stock, and help the tech titan's share price continue its ascent.
While iPad sales have slowed in recent quarters, two important growth drivers should propel sales in 2015. The first is Apple's recent partnership with IBM , in which Big Blue will help sell iPhones and iPads to its corporate clients and develop apps that will enable large corporations to access IBM's analytics from Apple devices. The IBM alliance further strengthens Apple's suite of offerings to corporate customers and should help it gain share in the enterprise arena.
The second growth driver is the impending iPad refresh cycle. As we get further from the time of early iPad purchases, the ownersshould begin to upgrade their devices. I believe analysts might underestimate the power of this refresh cycle; when combined with sales of iPads to new customers in massive emerging markets such as China, I expect Apple's iPad business to show impressive growth in 2015.
With solid growth potential for its two most important products, along with exciting innovations such as the impressive new Apple Pay and the forthcoming Apple Watch, Apple investors have many ways to profitin 2015.
The article 3 Stocks That Could Surge in 2015 originally appeared on Fool.com.
Brian Nichols owns shares of Apple and Restoration Hardware. Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. Tamara Rutter owns shares of Apple and WhiteWave Foods. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and WhiteWave Foods. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, International Business Machines, and WhiteWave Foods. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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