Every investor has some sort of unique expertise garnered from either personal experience or their business endeavors. And you should strive to use that experience to your advantage as it can help you better understand the risks and strengths of the stocks you research.
To that end, we asked three top Motley Fool investors to each discuss a stock they believe streetwise investors can appreciate. Read on to learn why they chose Zillow Group (NASDAQ: Z)(NASDAQ: ZG), Centennial Resource Development (NASDAQ: CDEV), and GW Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: GWPH)
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This stock will hit home
Steve Symington (Zillow Group): When it comes to the ins and outs of real estate, arguably no company is better positioned than Zillow Group to take advantage of the industry's inevitable migration to online platforms.
Last quarter, for example, Zillow Group served 166.6 million monthly unique users (up 6.7% year over year, including a record 180 million in March) through the mobile apps and websites of its various consumer-facing brands, including Zillow.com, StreetEasy, Naked Apartments, hotpads, and Trulia. Zillow also recently launched RealEstate.com, a new brand tailored to not only giving first-time home buyers (many of whom are millennials) a better picture of the total cost of home ownership, but also to helping them find a home that fits their budget.
Zillow's monetization efforts are easily outpacing monthly user growth as well. Second-quarter revenue climbed more than 32% year over year to $245.8 million, led by over 30% growth in Zillow's Premier Agent revenue to $175.3 million. To be sure, Zillow is doing a stellar job wooing the most profitable agents to its platforms. The number of Premier Agent accounts that spent more than $500 per month with Zillow nearly doubled on a year-over-year and dollar basis last quarter. Sales to Premier Agents who have been customers for over a year rose 54%, making it clear that these agents are exceedingly loyal to the platform.
But it's also worth noting that Zillow's current guidance calls for revenue in the range of $1.05 billion to $1.065 billion this year -- only a fraction of the estimated $12 billion agents spend each year advertising their listings. That's not to mention the potential for Zillow's smaller mortgages, rentals, agent services, and dotloop businesses to contribute their own incremental revenue and profit streams over the long term.
So for investors willing to buy now and hold as Zillow continues delivering on its long-term growth promises, I think Zillow could be a massive winner.
The second act might be even better than the first
Matt DiLallo (Centennial Resource Development): When Mark Papa retired as CEO of EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) in 2013 he went out on top. Not only had he built the former oil and gas business of Enron into one of the country's leading shale drillers but crude was riding high in the triple digits. That said, after seeing crude prices crash in the years that followed, Papa started getting the itch to get back into the game. That led him on a journey with a private equity company that launched an IPO for an entity to acquire oil and gas assets, which ultimately became Centennial Resource Development.
Since forming Centennial Resource Development last fall, Papa and his team have been busy gobbling up acreage in the Delaware Basin, which is the oil-rich western half of the red-hot Permian Basin. To date, the company has picked up 88,000 net acres in the play, which they believe hold more than 2,200 future drilling locations. That low-risk, low-cost drilling inventory has the company on pace to generate significant production growth in the coming years even if oil prices remain weak.
In fact, Centennial Resource Development's current game plan is to grow its output up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020, which is a blistering pace for a company that only produced 5,757 barrels per day on average last year. Further, the company believes that its oil-fueled growth will create tremendous value for investors along the way, leading it to set its objective to deliver the best equity performance of any mid-cap U.S. oil company through 2020. That focus on oil-fueled returns could make Papa's second act even better than his first, which would be quite a feat considering that EOG Resources' stock was up nearly 1,500% during his tenure as CEO.
Don't call it a marijuana stock
Cory Renauer (GW Pharmaceuticals Inc.): Medicinal and recreational marijuana sales are booming, but streetwise investors know they need to exercise extreme caution picking stocks that hinge on continued success of U.S. dispensaries that are still considered illegal under federal law. You'll be glad to know this is one growth stock that could provide years of market thumping returns even if U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions has his way.
With a market cap around $2.8 billion at the moment, GW Pharmaceuticals is the largest biotech with a focus on marijuana-based drugs. The company has already proven it can shepherd a drug from the laboratory to pharmacy shelves. Sativex for the treatment of muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis is approved for sale in 31 countries outside the U.S., although investors will want to stay focused on a new drug candidate currently working its way toward the FDA.
There are about 2.2 million Americans living with epilepsy, and roughly one-third continue having debilitating seizures despite treatment with available drugs. Physicians have been clamoring for better epilepsy therapies for years, and it looks like GW Pharmaceuticals could grant their wishes with Epidiolex. This cannabinoid has significantly lowered seizure frequency among patients with two of the most difficult-to-treat forms of epilepsy and intends to submit applications to the FDA any day now.
Now, the two indications GW Pharmaceuticals has aimed Epidiolex at are relatively rare, but widely expected approvals would open doors to the larger population of epilepsy patients unhappy with their current options. This is why I think the drug could generate around $2.5 billion in sales each year at its peak, and provide tremendous returns for its shareholders over the long run.
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Cory Renauer has no position in any stocks mentioned. Matt DiLallo owns shares of Zillow Group (C shares). Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zillow Group (A shares) and Zillow Group (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of EOG Resources. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.