ARK Investment Management CEO Cathie Wood clearly loves Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). The electric-vehicle maker ranks as the top holding in three of Wood's five actively managed exchange-traded funds. And she's still bullish about the stock despite its recent volatility, stating that "our confidence in Tesla has gone up."
But Wood is also highly optimistic about other growth stocks. Here are two stocks that she loves that should be even bigger winners than Tesla going forward.
A gene-editing pioneer
In December, Wood stated, "The biggest upside surprises are going to come from the genomic space, and that's because the convergence of DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, and gene therapies are going to cure disease." It's not surprising, therefore, that CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) ranks as a top 10 holding in the ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEMKT:ARKK) and is just outside the top 10 in the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (NYSEMKT:ARKG).
CRISPR Therapeutics is the front runner in developing therapies using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), a gene-editing technology that's been hailed as the "biggest biotech discovery of the century." The company was the first biotech to advance a CRISPR candidate into clinical testing.
That candidate, CTX-001, looked so promising very early on that big biotech Vertex Pharmaceuticals teamed up with CRISPR Therapeutics in 2015. Since then, the partners have reported great results from early stage studies for the therapy in effectively curing rare genetic blood disorders beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.
CRISPR Therapeutics' pipeline also includes three other programs in early clinical testing. All of them are chimeric antigen T cell (CAR-T) therapies that edit healthy individuals' immune cells so that they will target specific types of cancer.
While the biotech stock has been a big winner in recent years, its performance has lagged well behind Tesla's. But there are two key reasons why CRISPR Therapeutics could beat Tesla over the long run.
First, the drugmaker is still relatively small with a market cap below $10 billion. By comparison, Tesla now sports a huge market cap of close to $650 billion. CRISPR Therapeutics could become a 10-bagger and still not be the biggest biotech on the market. If Tesla somehow delivered a 10 times return in the future, it would be larger than the three biggest companies in the world today combined.
Second, CRISPR Therapeutics has many ways to grow. There are thousands of genetic diseases for which no therapy currently exists. And as its CAR-T programs indicate, CRISPR Therapeutics also has opportunities in targeting other diseases that aren't caused by genetic mutations.
The global virtual care leader
Wood referred to Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) as a potential healthcare "powerhouse." She's put her money where her mouth is. Teladoc ranks in the top four holdings of three ARK ETFs and is the No. 1 position in the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF.
Teladoc reigns as the global virtual-care leader. Its telehealth services are used by more than 40% of the Fortune 500 companies, plus a much greater number of smaller organizations. Over 70 million people in the U.S. have access to Teladoc's telehealth services.
Thanks to its acquisition last year of Livongo Health, Teladoc's products now go beyond telehealth. Livongo's digital health platform that helps individuals manage chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension was a great addition to Teladoc's virtual-care offerings.
Tesla stock has outperformed Teladoc over the last five years. However, it's been a pretty close race. The chances for Teladoc to beat Tesla appear to be good over the next decade.
For one thing, Teladoc has enormous growth prospects within its existing client base. There are nearly as many potential users at clients who currently subscribe to the company's telehealth services as there are individuals who already use the services.
The company also has a tremendous opportunity for cross-selling its products. Around 18 million individuals at current Teladoc telehealth clients are candidates for Livongo's digital health management platform.
International consulting firm McKinsey & Company thinks the virtual-care market will approach $250 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Teladoc generated revenue last year of nearly $1.1 billion -- less than 0.5% of its projected addressable U.S. market.
Tesla also has a large market that it's targeting. But Teladoc should be able to deliver stronger growth over the next 10 years and become the powerhouse that Cathie Wood envisions.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.