Trimble Navigation Limited (TRMB), Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS), iRobot Corporation (IRBT): Three High Growth Companies That Swayed A Boring Investor

Page 1 of 2

Thinking big can pay off. High growth companies that grow to dominate a blue-skies space can be immensely profitable. Personally, I’m more likely to invest in a stalwart than a high growth stock; a company with a solid, easy-to-understand business, a growing dividend, been around for at least a few decades, you get the idea. High valuations give me nausea. But reviewing my portfolio, the best gains in the last several years are not from the stalwarts, but instead from a couple high growth companies.  If the stalwarts were the keel, these high growers were the sail. They had less solid fundamentals and higher volatility, but their potential was easy to understand. Their annual reports were not sensationalistic, but instead quietly explained why were and would remain leaders in an industry-changing technology. They spelled out the company’s advantages in terms that I could understand. That being said, the companies needed to be profitable and not deep in debt. That line I emotionally could not cross.

I stalked these companies for a while, waiting to either understand the business better over time, a better price point, or both. Some targets took months or years to have a price stumble, and others never materialized. It was like an investing stake-out:  sitting in my car, eating carryout dinners, watching a doorway that might never open.

One of the first fish reeled in was a great outperformer, but the lesson learned was not that I got it right. I got lucky. Navteq, the leading digital maps company, was beaten up after a couple earnings misses so I jumped in. Digital maps! How could it not be a home run? When Nokia swallowed Navteq (and Leica did the same with a smaller competitor), I felt I’d been robbed of a multi-bagger. Truth is, digital maps were commoditized by applications such as Google Maps quicker than I could have predicted, and the investment returns would like have been subpar if the Finns hadn’t taken it off my hands.

In the dwindling GPS space, Trimble Navigation Limited (NASDAQ:TRMB) has a GPS technology that constitutes a defensible moat. Its precision GPS, ancillary technologies, and specialized hardware are becoming must-have applications in heavy construction, agriculture, and mobile solutions. Trimble Navigation Limited (NASDAQ:TRMB)’s valuation, numerous acquisitions, and liberal stock options have taken me a bit out of my usual comfort zone, but so far holding tight has proven a sound strategy.

Another high growth company is Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS). Their annual report made 3-D printing easy to understand as a business necessity, not in a science-fiction or story-stock way. I liked how they targeted higher end side of the market (industrial prototypes rather than DIYers). They listed their advantages, primarily in their printing materials, post-printing processing, and office-friendliness (you don’t have to put the printer in the basement for worker safety). The founder was still the CEO, which I find a plus in these types of companies. On the risk side, 3-D printing company valuations are now sky high, even after a recent drop. They got low enough a couple years ago to make me a buyer. I can’t watch all the volatility, so I’m putting the shares in a drawer for the next ten years.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

The 10 Countries with the Highest Suicide Rates

The 10 Most Technologically Advanced Countries in the World

The 10 Safest Countries in the World to Live in Peace

The 10 Top Selling Smartphones in the World 2014

The 12 Biggest Shopping Centers in the World

The 10 Friendliest Countries in the World

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU), Actavis plc (ACT), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Among 20 Long Ideas from Sohn Canada

The 10 Laziest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Polluted Countries in the World

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America 2014

The Top 10 Gold Producing Countries in the World

The 10 Tallest Buildings in the World

The 10 Richest Stand Up Comedians in the World

The 10 Fattest Countries in the World

The 5 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

The 10 Most Religious Countries in the World Keeping the Faith

The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

The 10 Most Popular Cell Phones in the World

The 10 Drunkest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Private Schools in the World

The 10 Smallest Countries in the World

Walking Dead Season 5 Spoilers You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know

The 10 Poorest Countries in the World

The 10 Greenest Countries in the World

The Top 10 Countries with the Highest Population in the World

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

The Top 10 Star Wars Characters in the Iconic Series

The 10 Most Expensive Android Phones in the World

5 Reasons Why The Illuminati Is Real and a Threat to Society

The 6 Scariest Halloween Costumes Ever Screamed At

The 4 Biggest Hedge Fund Managers in the World Today

The 15 Most Densely Populated Countries in the World

The 10 Biggest Tea Drinking Countries in the World

Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Process and Close Sales

The 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses You Can Start Today

The 20 Most Profitable Hospitals in the US

The 5 Most Profitable Home Businesses to Start

The 7 Teams that Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2015

The Top 10 Most Expensive Digital Cameras to Snap Stunning Shots With

The 10 Highest Quality Fast Food Restaurants In America Today

The 8 Best Halloween Decorating Ideas to Spook Up Your House

10 Marvel Women that Should Get a Movie Right Now

The 20 Best Remixes of Popular Songs that Will Make You Forget the Originals

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!