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Growth stocks play a pivotal role in any stock market strategy, honing in on companies experiencing rising revenues and earnings. This approach is widely favored by investors aiming to substantially boost their savings over the long haul.

However, identifying top-performing growth companies can be complex.

At times, companies with soaring sales may not see a corresponding rise in their stock value. Conversely, firms with lackluster growth prospects can sometimes experience unexpected stock price increases. This means a growth stock’s potential doesn’t automatically equate to a sound investment.

In essence, when pursuing the finest growth stocks, there’s more to consider than mere financial figures.

Today, I’m going to help you find the best growth picks for 2024—picks that can grow not just their top and bottom lines, but your nest egg, too. Read on as I discuss some of the basic tenets of growth investing, and then I’ll discuss several potential opportunities with growth characteristics.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute individualized investment advice. These securities appear for your consideration and not as personalized investment recommendations. Act at your own discretion.

What Is a Growth Stock?


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A growth stock is an investment that is generally seeing improved sales and profits with each passing year. In theory, this growth will result in higher stock price appreciation as other shareholders realize this success and decide to buy in. Growth stocks tend to be viewed in opposition to value stocks, which might not grow as fast but have substantial underlying operations that the market is underappreciating (for now).

But sometimes, certain metrics matter more than others.

For instance, many growth stocks boast rapid sales growth but generate no net income to speak of as they burn all their cash on expansion. There’s also the issue of expectations to deal with, as successful growth companies reinvest heavily in expansion but sometimes still fall short of Wall Street’s ambitious demands.

Last but not least, always consider the competition—even high-growth stocks can be underwhelming by comparison. For instance, if an e-commerce and cloud services company is growing at a 40% rate, that might actually disappoint shareholders if similar companies are growing at a 50%-plus clip at the same time.

Not all growth stocks are good investments, then, even if they are growing—and even if they’re a very high-growth company. That means you have to look past the surface to really find the best growth stocks to buy.

The Best Growth Stocks to Buy Now


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The top growth stocks right now are companies expanding faster than the broader market, as well as their peers. That often involves riding a long-term trend that will result in a durable tailwind for years to come.

Nothing is certain on Wall Street, of course, and growth stocks that showed strong revenue trends or stock price appreciation over the past year might still stumble when things change in the months to come. That said, investors who pay attention to growth stock data can often identify companies moving into favor—and share in their success.

Here are a few examples of growth stocks to watch based on recent performance and financial metrics.

1. Eli Lilly


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— Market cap: $737.2 billion

— Dividend yield: 0.7%

— Sector: Health care

After continued growth and innovation in recent years, Big Pharma mainstay Eli Lilly (LLY) has become the largest health care company in the world. And looking forward, analysts believe LLY still has a significant amount of runway left.

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Specifically, after a year in which Eli Lilly saw profits pull back by 16% despite a 20% improvement in revenue, Wall Street’s pros see sales accelerating to 24% growth in 2024, leading to a whopping 45% jump in earnings.

You can thank expected continued success from existing medications, such as breast cancer drug Verzenio and type 2 diabetes treatment Trulicity, as well as a very successful research pipeline. One of its most recent winners is mirikizumab, which could become a blockbuster in treating ulcerative colitis, as well as its drug candidate retatrutide, which is showing promise in a massive potential marketplace for diabetes and obesity treatments.

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But both last year’s 60% jump in LLY shares, and hopes for more gains in 2024, rest primarily on the shoulders of diabetes treatment Mounjaro and weight-loss drug Zepbound.

“Our focus remains on type 2 diabetes drug Mounjaro, which generated Q4 sales of roughly $2.2 billion and crushed consensus of $1.75 billion by over 26%,” says Lee Brown, Global Sector Lead for Healthcare at global research firm Third Bridge. “We believe the launch of LillyDirect will help to accelerate market uptake for both Mounjaro and Zepound given available rebates for patients without insurance coverage for the drugs. Importantly, LillyDirect may encourage pharmacy benefit managers to expand coverage, particularly for Zepound, going into 2025 as managed care organizations consider how to market and price plans.”

Continued success could filter down to the dividend, which LLY raised by 15% per share starting with the March 2024 payout.

On the whole, analysts are bullish on Eli Lilly’s future prospects. They collectively have 20 Buy calls on the stock, versus just six Holds and two Sells, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Related: 12 Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

2. First Solar


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— Market cap: $21.0 billion

— Dividend yield: N/A

— Sector: Technology

The solar industry can be a bit volatile. But in the age of climate change, there is a durable tailwind for this industry as one of the most popular forms of alternative energy. And among solar stocks, First Solar (FSLR) is near the top of the heap when it comes to both market value and revenue directly attributable to solar arrays.

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Headquartered in Arizona, First Solar provides photovoltaic energy solutions worldwide, from the U.S. to Japan to Europe to Australia. And business is booming, with analysts projecting FSLR will grow its revenues by more than 30% for both fiscal 2023 and 2024. More importantly, earnings flipped from a 41-cent-per-share loss in 2022 to a $7.74 profit in 2023, and are then expected to jump nearly 75% to $13.33 in 2024.

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Shares were volatile across 2023, but the pros continue to believe in the long-term growth potential of this stock and the solar industry in general. Short-term volatility can happen based on pricing trends or broader economic activity, but FSLR has proven to be a durable name in an otherwise uncertain alternative energy industry.

BofA Global Securities is one of 25 Buy calls on First Solar’s shares. “FSLR remains our top pick in Clean Tech boasting a robust backlog and clear visibility to multi-year growth,” BofA analysts say. “Yes, patience is a virtue—FSLR shares are likely to be exceptionally volatile, but there’s likely a good opportunity baked in somewhere.”

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3. Gen Digital


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— Market capitalization: $15.8 billion

— Dividend yield: 2.0%

— Sector: Technology

Gen Digital (GEN) is a stock riding the long-term trend of cybersecurity and hacking concerns. Rebranded in 2022 from NortonLifeLock—a combination of two brands that consumers likely recognize for their security-related services—this growth stock is tailor-made for the risks of a digital age.

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Cybersecurity solutions are in high demand generally, but especially of late thanks to Russia’s recent war with Ukraine and increased frequency of malware, viruses, adware and other online threats in the past few years. Bigger-picture, cybersecurity risk is an issue that isn’t going away, and it demands constant protection regardless of the ups and downs of other market sectors.

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GEN has a strange financial calendar; it actually just ended its fiscal 2023 back on March 31, 2024. But regardless of timing, its full-year results were very impressive—including 19% revenue growth, 22% growth in bookings and a 24% jump in operating income. For the current fiscal year, Wall Street expects Gen Digital to finish with an 8% improvement in earnings on 14% better sales. And next fiscal year, while sales growth is expected to slow, analysts say profit growth will accelerate to 14%.

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This isn’t a heavily covered stock, but of the seven analysts looking at GEN, eight consider it a Buy—versus just two Holds and zero Sells.

On top of this strong optimism, GEN also is a rare dividend stock in the tech sector. It offers a consistent 12.5-cent quarterly payday, fueled in large part by the regular subscription revenue it generates from its customers. And given that Gen Digital requires just 23% of total earnings to fund that dividend, the income stream isn’t just sustainable—it’s ripe for additional increases if recent growth trends continue.

4. Microsoft


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— Market cap: $3.2 trillion

— Dividend yield: 0.7%

— Sector: Technology

It’s hard to imagine Magnificent Seven member Microsoft (MSFT) growing even bigger, given that it’s already a $3 trillion company. But it’s a mainstay of many growth stock portfolios—and for good reason, considering that analysts still expect double-digit growth going forward. The pros currently project 15% and 19% improvement on the top and bottom lines, respectively, for the current fiscal year.

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That’s not massive compared to many smaller companies, but that’s outstanding given a company as big and stable as Microsoft.

You can thank, in part, the booming Azure cloud and AI businesses at Microsoft. Advances in those divisions drove shares 57% higher in 2023, more than doubling the S&P 500 Index’s 24% price returns during the same period, and they’re fueling continued optimism in 2024.

Naturally, artificial intelligence (AI) is a big focus for investors—as well as analysts.

“Results validate our thesis that Microsoft is at the nexus of a technological shift toward an AI-first IT stack,” say Goldman Sachs Equity Research analysts, who account for one of the 52 Buy ratings on MSFT stock (versus just three Holds and no Sells). “Because enterprises have yet to allocate discernible amounts of IT budgets toward [generative AI], we believe that once the macro backdrop improves, greater unlock could drive more tangible growth in CY25. Microsoft’s unique competitive advantage is also a large server base that it can convert into [more than] $100 billion of Azure revenue over time. Augmented by the strengthening gen-AI cycle, we gain confidence that Azure can grow to a $200 billion business by FY29.”

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With reliable subscription revenue and long-term enterprise contracts, Microsoft has a firm foundation and a scale that is unrivaled on Wall Street. And as it continues to expand its cloud services and dive into AI, it might only strengthen its dominance in the years to come.

5. Nvidia


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— Market cap: $2.3 trillion

— Dividend yield: <0.1%

— Sector: Technology

Nvidia (NVDA) is another high-flying tech stock whose market capitalization is now measured in trillions, thanks to its dominance in semiconductors that are used in cutting-edge technologies. Applications for this firm’s hardware include self-driving cars, AI, cryptocurrency mining, and other in-demand and growth-oriented areas of the 21st century economy.

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“We see NVDA as the AI company,” says Truist analyst William Stein. “NVDA’s sustained leadership in datacenter compute (massive parallel and heterogeneous compute chips, computers, and software) is owing less to its semiconductor devices, and more to its culture of innovation, ecosystem of incumbency, and very significant software investment. We believe this makes NVDA’s the default choice for AI solutions, and expect NVDA’s superior positioning in this market will lead to ongoing structural fundamental growth.”

This specialization has resulted in red-hot growth at Nvidia—growth that’s expected to continue for the next couple of years. For 2024, analysts see revenues more than doubling and profits rocketing 270%. For 2025, they see “only” improvements of 61% and 73% for top and bottom lines, respectively.

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Admittedly, NVDA stock has been putting up amazing performance lately that has to eventually level off. Shares are up 2,510% in the last five years—more than 28 times the returns of the broader S&P 500 in the same period.

However, the pros still believe this growth stock is for real. A whopping 48 analysts have Buy ratings on NVDA, versus just four Holds and no Sells. So the strategy on this company might not be to buy low and sell high … but to buy high and sell higher.

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6. SoFi Technologies


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— Market cap: $7.6 billion

— Dividend yield: N/A

— Sector: Financial

Typically, financial-sector companies are more commonly classified as value investments instead of growth stocks. That’s because big banks have a lot of hard assets on their balance sheets to prove their worth, as well as strict regulations that prohibit the aggressive risk-taking that tends to characterize a growth stock.

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But SoFi Technologies (SOFI) is a unique way to play the high-tech potential of modern finance.

SoFi provides various high-tech financial services, including investing tools as well as a digital portal that connects consumers with various lending products without the overhead of traditional financial institutions. It also operates a technology platform called Galileo—which it acquired in 2020—that offers digital and e-commerce functionality to small businesses.

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Admittedly, SoFi has yet to turn a full-year profit, but it’s heading in that direction. The company earned 4 cents per share in the final quarter of 2023. And analysts are predicting full-year profits this year and next, on roughly 16% revenue growth for the 2023 fiscal year, then 19% growth in fiscal 2024.

Shares are up more than 35% over the past year on optimism about this growth—such a strong run that some analysts have hit the sidelines. Still, with five Buys versus 11 Holds and three Sells, Wall Street is more bullish than bearish.

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7. Amazon


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— Market capitalization: $1.9 trillion

— Dividend yield: N/A

— Sector: Technology

Amazon (AMZN) dominates the retail world. It is a one-stop shop for nearly anything you could want. And it has redefined customer expectations—they were a pioneer in two-day, one-day and even same-day shipping.

And yet, it’s also so much more than that.

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Amazon is also the world’s biggest cloud provider through AWS, it’s an entertainment company through its Amazon Prime service, and it’s one of the biggest advertising companies, behind only giants Google and Facebook. AMZN makes for such an attractive stock because it’s supported by a diversified business with ample opportunities to enter new markets and disrupt well-seated industry incumbents.

That said, the optimism about future growth is mostly centered around AWS, cloud, and the potential growth AI could deliver.

“While AWS revenue came in ‘only’ in line with expectations, it did so at better margin and with commentary to suggest the accelerated pace of growth should carry into 2024,” William Blair’s equity analysis team, which rates the stock at Outperform, said after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report Feb. 1. “Cloud migrations are picking up again, some of which were postponed over the last couple years, which is layering in new workloads to AWS. And of course, AWS’s gen AI capabilities are seeing accelerating demand, creating another tailwind. Though the company did not specify a revenue figure this quarter from gen AI, it articulated its belief that gen AI will drive tens of billions of dollars in revenue over the next several years.”

After AMZN’s first quarter earnings report for 2024, AWS’s profit margins continued to widen on accelerating revenue growth of 17% year over year, faster than analyst expectations going into the report.

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Should I Buy Growth Stocks or a Growth Exchange-Traded Fund?


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Growth-oriented investing strategies are always in-demand, so there are a host of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) out there that own growth stocks. The largest, the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG), commands more than $90 billion in assets as proof of the popularity of this approach.

ETFs allow for easy diversification as you invest tactically in growth stocks. But keep in mind that by spreading your money around and reducing your risk, you also limit your upside. Many growth investors are enamored with the idea of a stock that doubles in short order—and that’s almost impossible with an ETF that holds hundreds of different components.

In short: Whether you buy growth stocks or an ETF depends on your personal risk tolerance.

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What Kind of Brokers Handle Growth Stocks?

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The good news is, virtually any traditional broker is going to allow you to buy growth stocks. As long as equities are on the table—and that’s the case with virtually all online brokers—you’ll be able to buy any style of stock: growth, value, dividend, you name it.

You can check out our favorite online brokers for beginners for a full list of options, but we cover one of our favorites next.

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Stock recommendation services are popular shortcuts that help millions of investors make educated decisions without having to spend hours of time doing research. But just like, say, a driving shortcut, the quality of stock recommendations can vary widely—and who you’re willing to listen to largely boils down to track record and trust.

The natural question, then, is “Which services are worth a shot?” We explore some of the best (and best-known) stock recommendation services.

 

Related: 12 Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

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As even novice investors probably know, funds—whether they’re mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs)—are the simplest and easiest ways to invest in the stock market. But the best long-term stocks also offer many investors a way to stay “invested” intellectually—by following companies they believe in. They also provide investors with the potential for outperformance.

So if your’e looking for a starting point for your own portfolio, look no further. Check out our list of the best long-term stocks for buy-and-hold investors.

 

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Looking to simplify your retirement investing? Target-date funds are a great way to pick one fund that aligns with when you plan to retire and then contribute to it for life. These are some of the best funds to own for retirement if you don’t want to make any investment decisions on a regular basis.

We provide an overview of how these funds work, who they’re best for, and then compare the offerings of three leading fund providers: Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity.

 

Related: 9 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks for Frequent, Regular Income

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The vast majority of American dividend stocks pay regular, reliable payouts—and they do so at a more frequent clip (quarterly) than dividend stocks in most other countries (typically every six months or year).

Still, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “it’d sure be nice to collect these dividends more often,” you don’t have to look far. While they’re not terribly common, American exchanges boast dozens of monthly dividend stocks.

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Jeff Reeves is a veteran journalist with extensive capital markets experience, Jeff has written about the investing world since 2008. His work has appeared in numerous respected finance outlets, including CNBC, the Fox Business Network, the Wall Street Journal digital network, USA Today and CNN Money.

Jeff began his career in print, working at local newspapers in Virginia, Ohio, Arizona and North Carolina. In 2008, he joined InvestorPlace Media to edit monthly stock advisory newsletters and ultimately lead its digital news service for individual investors.