Optimists would say that 2023 will indeed be better than 2022. While 2022 has been an exceptionally difficult year for growth stocks, tech stocks, and stock markets in general, there are signs that 2023 could mark a positive turning point. And that would set the stage for the reemergence of growth stocks that have fallen by the wayside in 2022. Moreover, the decidedly rosy economists at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) expect a soft landing in 2023. Given these points, I think it’s a good time for investors to consider my seven growth stock picks for 2023. Here they are.
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Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) is a cloud-based security platform and firm. Despite the company’s strong growth, its shares have declined alongside the other stocks in its sector. ZS shares traded at $300 to begin 2022 and have fallen all the way to $136 currently.
That said, Zscaler’s trajectory and that of its sector make it worth taking seriously in 2023 because any easing of economic conditions will seriously help them. The value of the cloud-based security market is expected to exceed $97.3 billion by the end of this decade. That equates to an average compound annual growth rate of 21.4% throughout the period.
Zscaler is growing even faster, as the firm’s revenues increased 62% during its fiscal 2022, reaching $1.091 billion. In fiscal Q4, ZS recorded $318.1 million of sales, and it anticipated between $339 million to $341 million of revenues for its last quarter which ended in October. In short, growth is not a problem for Zscaler.
The issue is that Zscaler lost $97.7 million in Q4. That won’t be as much of a concern, however, once the Fed reaches its target interest rate or the signs of economic distress ease.
Lithium Americas Company (LAC)
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There are many reasons to believe that 2023 could be a great year for Lithium Americas Company (NYSE:LAC) and its stock. In essence, it’s a question of where the company is currently and where it’s going.
Right now, Lithium Americas Company is on the precipice of becoming a major player in a major industry. It controls lithium mining operations in Argentina and the U.S., and its mines are very close to producing lithium.
LAC lost $40.9 million in the quarter that ended on Sept. 30. But it is well funded with $392 million in cash and a $75 million line of credit.
And luckily, it sits at the precipice of beginning operations. Further, the company is going to separate its Argentinian and American operations, making its shares very intriguing. The miner’s shareholders will retain shares in both businesses following the split. What’s really interesting, though, is that its Thacker Pass operations represent one of the most advanced lithium projects in the U.S.
The U.S. government is bolstering domestic lithium production and recently invested significant funds in Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) and other large miners . Lithium Americas Company is likely to receive similar backing and will be an integral part of the EV supply chain moving forward.
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Investors should consider web-based cloud security stock Cloudflare (NYSE:NET) based on the confidence the firm is exhibiting in these difficult times. A few months ago, in early August, the company reported that it broke even on an adjusted basis in Q2. That was a positive surprise, given that Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting a slight loss. The good news enabled the company to raise its full-year revenue guidance from between $955 million and $959 million to between $968 million and $972 million.
In short, the strong demand for its products from enterprises resulted in a better-than-expected quarter.
The good news didn’t stop there, with Cloudflare increasing its revenue guidance when it delivered its Q3 earnings. The company currently expects its full-year revenue to range between $974 million and $975 million, representing an increase versus its previous guidance.
The market for web-based cloud security is only getting stronger, and Cloudflare’s performance in this economy has been impressive.
Marvell Technology (MRVL)
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Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) is a chip maker that focuses on the data infrastructure, computing, and storage sectors. The company’s fundamentals and non-cyclical trends indicate that Marvell Technology will have a bright 2023.
Marvell Technology turned a corner upon releasing its Q2 earnings back in late August. The firm reported net income of $4.3 million on revenue of $1.516 billion. That represented a drastic turnaround from the same period a year earlier when Marvell reported $1.076 billion of revenue and a $276.4 million net loss.
Marvell’s customers include data centers, enterprise networks, and EV makers, among others. Data centers and enterprise networks accounted for $983 million of the firm’s more than $1.5 billion of revenue.
The annual growth of the data center market is expected to remain above 10% through 2030, so Marvell’s top customers are well-positioned. Meanwhile, the spending on enterprise networks is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.3% through 2028.
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Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is the world’s favorite customer relationship management platform, serving more than 150,000 companies. CRM stock is heavily discounted currently, trading at $153 while analysts have an average price target of $211 on the name.
That big difference makes it easy to see why investors should take it seriously moving into 2023. Salesforce’s growth prospects extend beyond the near term, though. While management has given revenue guidance as high as $31 billion for the current fiscal year, its future potential growth is substantial. Case in point: the company anticipates that its revenues will reach $50 billion by fiscal year 2026.
So, if Salesforce hits the high end of its 2022 revenue guidance, its top line will have jumped 17. Basically, for Salesforce to reach the $50 billion revenue mark in three years, the company will have to replicate its 2022 growth through 2026. The company’s revenues have grown at an average of 16.6% over the past three years, so its FY26 target is definitely achievable.
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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a very strong company, but it’s trading 20% below analysts’ average price target on MSFT stock.
The company’s revenue increased 11% year-over-year last quarter, reaching $50.1 billion. And Microsoft’s top line has increased at an average rate of 17.4% over the past three years. So despite its large size, it can clearly be considered a growth stock.
That said, Microsoft has been hit by issues that are affecting businesses globally. As a result, its net income fell 14% YOY in the quarter, to $17.6 billion.
Simply put, Microsoft has too much potential to ignore now and while it is a growth stock, it also, unlike most growth stocks, comes with a dividend. All told, MSFT has too many positive attributes to ignore.
Li Auto (LI)
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Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) is a Chinese EV firm that, although experiencing trouble, is an excellent growth stock to seriously consider.
Li Auto reported 10,052 vehicle deliveries for October. That was was approximately in-line with Wall Street analysts’ mean estimate. That said, the delivery figure was below the 11,531 vehicles that LI delivered in September, and sequential declines aren’t often welcome news. On the other hand, its deliveries jumped 31.4% year-over-year in October anyway. But China’s supply-chain constraints and Covid-19 lockdowns make apples-to-apples comparisons very difficult.
Overall, Li Auto appears to be very strong, as it reported $1.27 billion of automobile sales in Q2. That represented a 73% YOY increase and is a strong indication of the opportunity provided by LI stock.
At the same time, Li Auto reported a Q2 net loss of $95.7 million. Overall, however, I believe that LI stock, given Li’s strong growth and huge opportunities, can roughly double over the next year. And given its massive sales thus far, the shares will very likely generate strong returns for their owners over the longer term.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.
Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks.Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.