With so much uncertainty in this current market, most investors have clearly taken a defensive stance. Growth is out, and value is in. Accordingly, the search for high-growth stocks simply isn’t what it once was.
The question many investors have is whether this defensive positioning will continue into next year. Indeed, it just might. Macro conditions remain tight, with more Federal Reserve rate hikes on the horizon.
That said, at some point, interest rates are likely to be held steady, as the Fed reviews the impact of its recent aggressive hiking cycle. At that point in time, it’s almost assured that investors will start looking forward to the potential for rate cuts in late-2023 or 2024. Much like we saw with the pandemic, this could lead to an impressive surge in high-growth stocks that may benefit investors who got in early.
However, the question right now is whether it’s the right time to buy. The U.S. stock market is now trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.6x-times. That’s lower than the 3-year average price-earnings ratio, but is still historically high.
I think that as multiples come down alongside earnings expectations, investors should have an opportunity to pick up many high-growth stocks at a discount. These are three companies with valuation multiples that are lower than their average, over the past three years (which was 33.2-times for the group).
Let’s dive into why these high-growth stocks are worth buying right now, for those bullish on a rip-roaring 2023.
First on this list of high-growth stocks to buy is none other than Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG). Alphabet’s core business is derived from its Google search engine, which continues to control the vast majority of market share in this global market. In the U.S., Google’s market share sat at around 87% as of the middle of last year, meaning this company essentially owns a monopoly position in one of the most lucrative markets in the world.
Accordingly, as corporations look to boost their visibility in the world of search, advertising spending has only grown over time. Incredibly, as we saw with the pandemic, this business has turned out to be a rather insulated one with regard to macro conditions. Advertising didn’t slow nearly to the extent many thought. Accordingly, even if a recession is on the horizon, many expect Alphabet to make it out of this mess relatively unscathed.
Over the long term, I expect Alphabet to continue to generate strong growth, driven by its core business. Unless we see some sort of major global economic collapse in 2023, it could be a great year to buy this fast-growing stock.
Meta Platforms (META)
The world’s largest social media company, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is a stock that continues to get roiled by this market. Much of this has to do with the company’s heavy spending on its Reality Labs (metaverse) division in recent quarters.
That said, I think many investors are missing the forest for the trees. Fundamentally, Meta is the leading social media provider in the U.S. That should sink in for investors looking at the company’s true earnings growth potential over time.
As of the company’s Q3 reports, Meta boasted 3.6 billion monthly active users, $27.7 billion in revenue and $1.64 in earnings per share. That’s despite the company’s massive losses derived from its metaverse spending.
Additionally, Meta expects its revenue to increase to between $30 billion and $32.5 billion next quarter. This is in stark contrast to a stock that’s down nearly 65% year-to-date at the time of writing.
I think Meta’s long-term growth prospects remain intact. For those looking for a stock that can really rally in 2023, META is an intriguing one to look at.
Last on this list of high-growth stocks to buy is retailer Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU). This company is most commonly known for its line of high-performance yoga clothing, and in particular, its yoga pants.
However, Lululemon has become much more than a yoga aficionado’s dream. This is a retailer that has branched out into many new lines of business, with strong growth seen in its menswear division, outerwear and other products.
The company’s recent earnings report highlights its strength heading into 2023. The company beat analyst predictions on its bottom line, posted strong returns on equity at 40.95%, as well as a net margin of $15.6%. That’s pretty darn good in the world of retail.
For those looking for a company with a strong market share in a rather insulated niche in the retail world, LULU stock is my pick.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.