Investors have a clear task ahead: find the stocks that will rise with an approaching bull market. Past performance, of course, is no guarantee of future gains, but the stocks that have achieved swift growth in recent months are a logical place to start looking for tomorrow’s winners. There are worries, of course, centered on the newly Democrat-controlled US Senate that will give the incoming Biden Administration a chance to implement his tax-increase plan, and the poor December jobs numbers; will they combine to derail the market’s strong upward trend?Not so fast, according to Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Golub. The firm’s chief US equity strategist has raised his 2021 year-end outlook, bumping it up from 4,050 to 4,200.Golub points out, first, that the Democratic candidates won both of Georgia’s Senate seats in the recent runoff vote, a development that gives the Dems effective control – albeit at the narrowest of possible margins – of both Houses of Congress. The incoming Biden Administration has pledged itself to both sign an upsized COVID relief package and to reverse President Trump’s policies. Control of Congress is a necessary precondition. Golub said, “This should result in additional stimulus, including the expansion of payments to individuals.”The second point Golub notes as a major supportive event for the markets is the COVID vaccination program. While described the slow progress of the program as “underwhelming,” he adds that as the population of vaccinated individuals grows, economic activity will expand. The chief economic effect of the lockdown policies, in Golub’s view, is “a likely avalanche of pent-up consumer demand [which] cannot be ignored.”Describing that demand, Golub says, “We are going to have the largest stimulative event in the history of the planet in the second half of this year…” The strategist sees now – before the second-half takeoff – as the to buy in. And this brings us back to growth stocks. We’ve used the TipRanks’ database to pinpoint three exciting growth names, according to the analyst community. Each analyst-backed ticker stands to notch more gains on top of its already impressive growth. Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR)The growing normalization of the cannabis industry in the US has opened up a range of opportunities for forward-looking businesses. Innovative Industrial Properties is one of these. This company is a real estate investment trust with a twist – it focuses on properties in the medical-use cannabis sector.Like most REITs, IIPR acquires, owns, manages, and leases properties – but its target customer base is composed of experiences, state-licensed, medical cannabis operators. The company’s portfolio is made up of industrial greenhouses, leased as growing facilities for medical cannabis providers.The value of this niche is clear from the stock performance. IIPR shares are up 137% over the past 52 weeks. Financial performance has matched the stock performance; revenues have been gaining consistently, quarter over quarter, for the past two years, and in 3Q20, the last reported, hit $34.33 million. That was a 197% year-over-year gain. There was a slight earnings dip in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, during the height of the corona panic, but the company’s Q3 EPS reversed that, and the 86-cent print was up 59% yoy.Piper Sandler analyst Daniel Santos sees momentum building in the cannabis industry, especially now that the Senate has shifted to Democratic control. “COVID has created its own tailwind as states race to fill budget holes with alternative tax sources. While this could lead to more liberal license granting, management seemed confident most states will opt for a limited license program and will favor existing operators – a big boost to IIPR… Strong operator fundamentals and demand from institutional investors may lead to an increased pace in acquisitions,” Santos noted.Santos rates IIPR an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his $250 price target implies an upside of 40% for the next 12 months. (To watch Santos’ track record, click here)Overall, IIPR has 7 recent reviews on record, breaking down to 5 Buys and 2 Holds, giving the stock a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating. Shares have appreciated quickly recently, and now trade at $178.44. (See IIPR stock analysis on TipRanks)Par Technology Corporation (PAR)Par Technology provides support in the hospitality industry, making software, hardware, support services, and other resources available. PAR’s applications include point-of-sale software, content management, business intelligence, food safety monitoring, sales terminals, and video monitors.PAR’s restaurant segment boasts operations in 110 countries, with over 100,000 user installations. The company also includes a government services segment, with provide computer-based engineering services and system design to the Federal government. PAR is an important contractor of such services with the Department of Defense.This company’s growth has been impressive in the past year. The 52-week gain is 103%, reflecting the necessity of strong online support for PAR’s target customer base as it works to recover from the COVID downturn. Third-quarter 2020 revenues recovered from a modest dip in the first half of the year, and at $54.8 million hit a two-year high.Among the fans is BTIG analyst Mark Palmer, who wrote, “While we expect PAR’s restaurant and retail revenues will grow by about 20% in each of the next three years, we anticipate that its Brink software business will post annual growth in the 40% context during that span… As PAR executes on its transition to a cloud software/SaaS mode, its valuation should grow to better reflect the recurring nature of its subscription-based revenues and the margins associated with its software offerings.”In line with his comments, the 5-star analyst rates PAR a Buy along with an $80 price target. This figure indicates his confidence in a 29% one-year upside to the stock. (To watch Palmer’s track record, click here)PAR has strong backing from the rest of the Street. Barring a single Hold, all 4 other analysts to have published a review over the last 3 months recommend PAR stock as a Buy. (See PAR stock analysis on TipRanks)Maxlinear, Inc. (MXL)The semiconductor sector is a vital industry, and Maxlinear produces chips for a variety of roles: wireless and data center infrastructure, industrial connectivity and IoT apps, cable broadband and WiFi 6 networking. Maxlinear’s products are found in digital TVs, mobile devices, PCs, and netbooks.Semiconductors have been on a tear in recent months, and MXL stock is no exception. The shares are up 81% since this time last January, and that timeframe includes sharp losses last February and March. The shift to remote work and virtual schools has put a premium on fast and reliable connections, which in turn has increased demand for the underlying chipsets. In 3Q20, Maxlinear’s top line jumped to $156 million, a 140% sequential gain and a 95% year-over-year gain. The company credits stronger demand for broadband and connectivity products starting 2Q20 as the driver of the gains.Suji DeSilva, 5-star analyst with Roth Capital, is flat-out bullish on this stock, and his commentary makes that clear. “We believe MXL represents a differentiated investment opportunity in broadband and networking RF and mixed-signal opportunities. We believe MXL is seeing continued strong connected home demand boosted by ongoing remote work/learning. We expect MXL’s fundamentals to benefit from acquisition accretion in CY21,” DeSilva opined.DeSilva puts a $50 price target and a Buy rating on MXL shares. His target suggests a one-year upside of 34%. (To watch DeSilva’s track record, click here)All in all, the word on the Street rings largely bullish on this chip maker, with TipRanks analytics demonstrating MXL as a Moderate Buy. The stock has 7 reviews on record, with a 5 to 2 split between Buys and Holds. (See MXL stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for growth stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
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