Three months have passed so far in 2023, and some stocks have gotten a lot of mileage out of their first-quarter results. While the market as a whole is up this year, there are a select few equities that have more than doubled. You could be surprised by the names on this list.
Among these are companies with names like Fastly (FSLY -5.15%), Duolingo (DUOL -0.45%), and Carvana (CVNA 1.11%). Examining these three outsiders who made significant impressions in 2023 is a must.
The increase in Carvana was 107%.
A multi-story Carvana vending machine encased in glass might be a skyscraper landmark in the city you call home. If not, you have undoubtedly seen one of its commercials. Used automobile retailer Carvana has experienced rapid expansion across the country, with 23 straight quarters of triple-digit growth.
Carvana had a terrible year last year for a few different reasons. We can begin with the bust in the used-car market. Early in the epidemic, when there was a shortage of new automobiles available, demand and prices for old cars spiked. This trend reversed in 2022, however, as supply chain limitations eased and new-car scent returned to showrooms.
The second issue is that Carvana’s creditors became uneasy after the auto reseller took on substantial debt during its rapid expansion. Borrowing costs shot through the roof as interest rates increased dramatically in the past year.
Carvana still faces substantial danger of bankruptcy. Although it is cutting costs, bondholders apparently are not happy about the company’s restructuring plans. After the latest exchange offer for unsecured bonds, Wedbush analyst Seth Basham released a pessimistic note two weeks ago, claiming that it may not be sufficient.
Carvana’s negotiation position with its creditors may weaken further if business continues to fall as predicted this year. Even though the stock price is rapidly approaching Basham’s $1 price goal, he remains unmoved.
Increase of 101% for Duolingo
Another well-known brand is the most valuable corporation by market cap to double in the first quarter. Although Duolingo’s language-learning program has been widely used for some time, its recent success has been nothing short of phenomenal.
The stock skyrocketed at the end of February after the company announced record-breaking financial results. The 42% year-over-year increase in revenue to $103.8 million was stronger than anticipated. There was a robust 43% increase in its monthly active users from the previous year, bringing the total to 60,7 million. Stronger still is everyday interaction, with DAUs climbing 62% to 16.3 million as 2022 progressed.
It makes reasonable that the CEO of Duolingo would say that his language software expanded in every part of the world. At the end of last year, authorities began loosening their grip on international travelers. There’s been a lot of pent-up desire for travel, and this is a great chance to see the world and broaden your horizons through language study.
Duolingo has struggled to turn a profit, but its bottom line was particularly strong in the last quarter of 2017. The company reported a loss of $0.35 per share, which was significantly less than the loss of $0.53 per share that market analysts had predicted. To be fair, Duolingo’s quarterly losses in 2022 were smaller than the market had predicted.
The report would have been remarkable if the prognosis had been more optimistic. This year, Duolingo expects sales between $530 million and $542 million, an increase of 45 percent from last year’s total. The low estimate of $464.5 million by the analysts was far exceeded. The financial news is much brighter, with estimates between $48.6 and $59.8 million, which is more than three times as much as the $15.5 million it generated in 2022.
Fastly: Up 117%
Fastly is another company whose stock price rose after a quarter-end report that stunned investors. The edge-computing expert was all the rage in the corporate world a few years ago when its ability to help companies speed up the distribution of digital material made it an attractive investment. The company then suffered the loss of a major client (cough, TikTok) and fell out of favor with investors.
In their quarterly report to the stock market in February, Rapidly surpassed expectations on both the top and bottom lines of the income statement. Its advice was as invigorating as Duolingo’s. Fastly shares received an unusual double upgrade from Bank of America analyst Tal Liani two days before the well-received financials.
Margin improvement may depend on the success of new management’s efforts to streamline Fastly’s product portfolio, pricing, and operations. Accelerating revenue growth in the second half of 2022 suggests the recovery strategy is bearing fruit.