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4 US Growth Stocks Hitting Their 52-Week Highs: Should You Buy or Sell Them?

The end of the year may be drawing near, but the US stock market is still throwing up surprises for investors.

The latest reading of the all-important inflation measure shows that consumer prices remained flat for October against expectations of a 0.1% rise.

This has led investors to believe that the US Federal Reserve may finally be done hiking interest rates and may begin cutting them in 2024.

Investors may be surprised to know that the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index has surged 37.1% year to date (YTD) while the bellwether S&P 500 Index has climbed nearly 19% over the same period.

With these rises, a variety of stocks hit their 52-week highs and we review four of them to see if you should continue to buy them, or if selling them makes more sense.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META)

Meta Platforms is a social media company that owns the chat program WhatsApp, the social media platform Facebook, and the video and image-sharing app Instagram.

The company’s shares have been on a tear this year, soaring 168.3% YTD to close at US$334.70, just shy of its 52-week high of US$342.92.

Meta Platforms reported an impressive set of earnings for its third quarter 2023 (3Q 2023).

Revenue climbed 23% year on year to US$34.1 billion while operating profit more than doubled year on year to US$13.7 billion.

Operating margin doubled from 20% last year to 40% in the current quarter.

Net profit soared 164% year on year to US$11.6 billion.

The social media giant’s free cash flow also surged by 136% year on year from US$13.6 billion to US$32.1 billion in 3Q 2023.

Meta Platforms saw daily average users increase by 5.1% year on year in 3Q 2023 to 2.1 billion while monthly average users inched up 3.1% year on year to three billion.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that the company has started rolling out Meta AI, an artificial-intelligence-infused assistant that can access real-time information and answer questions.

Palantir (NYSE: PLTR)

Palantir is a software company that facilitates machine-assisted and human-driven data analysis.

The share price of Palantir has nearly tripled YTD and is just shy of its 52-week high of US$21.85, giving the company a market capitalisation of US$41.5 billion.

The company delivered a sparkling set of earnings for 3Q 2023 with revenue growing 17% year on year to US$558 million.

Palatir booked an operating profit of US$40 million for the quarter versus an operating loss of US$62.2 million in the prior year.

Net profit for 3Q 2023 came in at US$73.4 million, logging the company’s fourth consecutive quarter of profitability.

For the first nine months of 2023 (9M 2023), Palantir’s free cash flow more than tripled year on year to US$400.8 million.

The software company is enjoying strong momentum with customer count rising by 34% year on year to 453 while commercial customers now number 330, up 45% year on year.

Crowdstrike (NASDAQ: CRWD)

Crowdstrike is a cybersecurity company that provides endpoint protection, cloud workload identity, and data.

Shares of the company have doubled YTD to US$210.07 and are just a whisker away from their 52-week high of US$213.14.

Cwordstrike reported a robust set of earnings for its first half of 2023 (1H 2023) ending 31 July 2023.

Revenue climbed 39.2% year on year to US$1.4 billion and the company reported a net profit of US$9 million, reversing the loss of US$80.8 million incurred a year ago.

For 1H 2023, free cash flow also rose 42.2% year on year to US$417 million.

Crowdstrike recently released an updated version of its Falcon Go software targeting small and medium businesses to help stop ransomware attacks and prevent data breaches.

The company is working with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to enable its Falcon Go offering to be made available on the e-commerce giant’s business-to-business store, helping to increase its distribution reach and widen its potential customer base.

Mercadolibre (NASDAQ: MELI)

Mercadolibre is one of the largest e-commerce companies and payment providers in the Latin American region.

Shares of the company have surged by close to 94% YTD and recently closed at US$1,599.21, close to their 52-week high of US$1,608.95.

Mercadolibre continues to impress with a sparkling financial and operating report card for 3Q 2023.

The number of unique active users on its platform climbed 36.4% year on year to 120 million.

Gross merchandise volume (GMV) flowing through its platform increased by nearly 32% year on year to US$11.4 billion.

Total payment volume (TPV) jumped 47% year on year to US$47.3 billion for the quarter with total payment transactions surging by 74% year on year to 2.5 billion.

For 3Q 2023, Mercadolibre’s revenue rose 39.8% year on year to US$3.8 billion.

Operating and net profit surged by 131.4% and 178.3%, respectively, to US$685 million and US$359 million.

The e-commerce company has plans to open new warehouses and distribution centres in both Brazil and Mexico as it continues to push for growth.

Other investments planned include its credit business (Mercado Credito) and the expansion of its payments and financial technology capabilities.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Meta Platforms.

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