2 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy Right Now for Less Than $50 | The Motley Fool

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These rapidly expanding companies could make you richer, even with a minimal investment.

Investing in the stock market is a great way to turn a moderate amount of money into a tidy sum over time. If you’ve got a handle on your monthly bills, paid down your high-interest debt, and built up some emergency savings, you might be all set to begin investing in stocks.

If you’re ready to get started, here are two high-powered growth stocks to consider. These businesses benefit from undeniable trends that should help them deliver solid returns to their shareholders in the coming years. You can scoop up multiple shares of either of these companies for less than $50 today — and position yourself to profit as they achieve their exciting growth potential.

If you’d like to own a piece of the booming artificial intelligence (AI) industry, take a look at Palantir Technologies (PLTR -0.56%). The software star has built an intriguing AI-powered platform to help its customers harvest actionable insights from their ever-growing hoards of data.

Palantir’s data analysis tools have long served the U.S. Defense Department and its allies. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reportedly used Palantir’s technology to find Osama bin Laden. Today, Ukraine is using the company’s software to defend its people from Russia’s attacks.

Palantir’s relationships with the U.S. military will remain a key part of its business. In June, the U.S. Special Operations Command granted Palantir a multiyear contract of up to $463 million to help it analyze the enormous amount of data that emerges from the many environments in which it conducts missions. And in October, the U.S. Army awarded Palantir a contract of up to $250 million to bolster its machine-learning capabilities.

Yet it’s Palantir’s efforts in the private sector that have investors most excited. The company’s U.S. commercial client base has grown tenfold over the past three years. And this already fast-growing business is about to receive another powerful boost.

Palantir’s new artificial intelligence platform (AIP) marries its highly regarded machine-learning technology with the cutting-edge large language models that power ChatGPT and other leading generative AI applications. AIP is designed to help companies make the most of these game-changing technological advances.

Customers are already reaping staggering productivity gains from AIP. Attendees of Palantir’s recent “boot camps” said that AIP helped their teams build 10 times faster with 3 times fewer resources. Others claimed that AIP enabled them to build in a day what they couldn’t previously achieve in months. These exciting early results help to explain why customer interest in AIP is “unlike anything we have seen in the past twenty years,” according to CEO Alex Karp.

AIP’s impressive potential benefits bode well for Palantir’s sales and profit growth. The company forecasts its revenue and adjusted operating income will increase by 16% and 45%, respectively, to about $1.9 billion and $609 million in 2023. Investors can expect these metrics to continue to grow briskly in the coming years, fueled by the surging demand for Palantir’s AI software.

Direct-to-consumer healthcare is another powerful trend that might make astute investors rich. Buying stock in Hims & Hers Health (HIMS 6.73%) could be a smart way to profit from this shift toward more personalized wellness solutions.

Hims & Hers Health specializes in sexual health, hair loss, and other sensitive conditions that people often find more comfortable to address online rather than in person. The telehealth company has built a trusted brand by offering discreet and convenient digital consultations with healthcare professionals.

Customers are flocking to its platform. Hims & Hers Health’s subscriber count soared 56% year over year to 1.4 million in the third quarter. That drove a 57% jump in revenue to $227 million.

Although it’s not yet profitable, Hims & Hers Health’s margins are rapidly improving as it scales its operations. Management, in turn, expects the business to produce adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of up to $46 million in 2023 — and at least $100 million by 2025. That’s compared to a loss of $16 million in 2022.

Better still, Hims & Hers Health already generates positive free cash flow, including $27 million over the trailing 12 months. That helped the company’s net cash and investments grow to over $212 million as of Sept. 30. This cash-rich position enabled Hims & Hers Health to reward its investors with a $50 million share repurchase program earlier this month.

New products should help to drive Hims & Hers Health’s earnings and cash flow production higher in the coming years. The telemedicine provider announced its entrance into the massive cardiovascular health market in July with new dual-action treatments that address sexual and heart health with one pill. Hims & Hers Health is also expanding into the fast-growing weight loss market, which ought to further boost sales and profits.

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