Stocks to buy

3 High-Growth Stocks With High Margins to Buy for Big Gains in the New Year

Investors looking for high-growth stocks to buy in 2023 might want to change their screening criteria.

That’s because before rising interest rates put a crimp in the valuations of growth stocks with little or no profits, picking winners was much easier than it is today.

The latest bull market, which began on March 23, 2020, and ended on Jan. 3, 2022, lasted 651 days. The one before that lasted six times as long- from Mar. 9, 2009, to Feb. 19, 2020. The longest in history was 4,494 days. It lasted from Dec. 4, 1987, to Mar. 24, 2000. Since 1945, the average bull market has lasted approximately 50 months.

We may return to the generous valuations of 2020 and 2021. However, that’s unlikely to happen until interest rates stop increasing and eventually reverse course. Until then, the growth stocks traditionally successful — technology and biopharmaceutical are two major sectors of the economy — won’t be so fortunate in 2023 and beyond.

Sales at all costs will likely be frowned upon in 2023. So instead, investors will look for companies with moderate growth and above-average margins—the more consistent, the better.

With that in mind, here are three high-growth stocks with high margins to buy for 2023 and beyond.

SPGI S&P Global $350.34
MAR Marriott International $152.53
ROCC Ranger Oil $40.77

S&P Global (SPGI)

Source: AntonSAN /

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) is best known for its stock indices and credit ratings. However, they’re only two of five business segments that had a combined revenue of $2.86 billion in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2022. I say five because, on Nov. 30, it announced that it would sell its Engineering Solutions business, which is a tiny part of its overall business, representing just 3.3% of S&P Global’s quarterly revenue.

While S&P Global Ratings and S&P Dow Jones Indices get a lot of the press, it is S&P Global Market Intelligence (S&P Capital IQ Pro) that generated the largest amount of revenue (33%) for the company through the first nine months of 2022.

In October 2021, I recommended investors consider buying SPGI for the next 15 years. My argument at the time revolved around activist investors getting its former parent McGraw-Hill to split into two companies, one of those being S&P Global. As a result, its stock gained 816% between Sept. 12, 2011, when McGraw-Hill made the split announcement, through Oct. 25, 2021.

Since then, it’s lost about 23% of its value.

This was partly due to the market correction significantly lowering its credit ratings revenue. However, S&P Global’s adjusted pro forma operating profit in the trailing 12 months ended Sept. 30 was a robust and healthy 45.5%. Investors can expect them to move up closer to 50% in the years ahead.

Marriott International (MAR)

Source: OCLS Central Michigan University – Flickr: Cleveland, CC BY 2.0

How good of a brand is Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR)?

Under Armour (NYSE:UAAhired the hotel operator’s President, Stephanie Linnartz, to be its next CEO. Linnartz beat out 60 candidates for the job.

While it will be tough to replace someone of her caliber, the reality is that she’d been at Marriott since 1997 and was more than ready to become a CEO.

“As President of Marriott since 2021, Ms. Linnartz has led all aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy, including brand, marketing, sales, revenue management, customer engagement, digital, information technology, emerging businesses, and loyalty,” Marriott’s Dec. 21, 2022, the press release stated.

While Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano was sad to see her go, the job of a CEO or any high-level executive from day one is to develop a team that can carry on without them. There is no question that Linnartz did just that. If you own MAR stock, you shouldn’t be worried. It’s got a deep bench.

If you don’t own Marriott stock, it’s a buy because its business has mostly recovered from Covid-19 and is in growth mode. Marriott added 77 properties and 14,071 rooms to its worldwide lodging portfolio in the third quarter and 14,071 rooms to its worldwide lodging portfolio. It ended Q3 2022 with almost 8,200 global properties and more than 1.5 million rooms.

And as a bonus, it expects to return more than $2.7 billion to shareholders in 2022 through dividends and share repurchases.

It is an asset-light, money-making machine with an operating margin nearing 60% (excluding reimbursement revenue and costs).

Ranger Oil (ROCC)

Source: zhengzaishuru /

When I was in high school, one of my classes in my senior year was Investment Management. Part of the class involved competing with other high school students in my home province of Ontario. One of my classmates was big on Ranger Oil. However, this Canadian oil and gas company was eventually acquired by Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) in 2000.

Ranger Oil (NASDAQ:ROCC), which trades on Nasdaq and is based in Houston, operates oil wells in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. The company’s long and winding history dates back to 1882 when it was called the Virginia Coal & Iron Co.

Today, it is an oil and gas company with approximately 20 years of reserves and a history of growing those reserves. But, more importantly, it has industry-leading margins, amongst the highest of its peers since 2020.

In the first nine months of Sep. 2022, its operating profit was $539.2 million, a 61.6% operating margin, 12.7 percentage points higher than a year earlier. Year-over-year, revenues and operating profits grew 147.2% and 211.1%, respectively.

For 2022, it expects its total sale volume to be between 41,100 barrels of equivalent per day (boe/d) and 41,500. Based on $75 a barrel, it ought to generate close to $1.2 billion in revenue and $700 million in operating profits.

Currently trading at 0.78x sales, or about half its five-year average, there is little reason its stock shouldn’t be trading at $60 or more.

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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 Publishing Guidelines.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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