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Consider These 3 Unlikely Candidates for Growth

Finding the right mix of investments can be a daunting task. Growth-focused stocks in particular can be hard to identify, especially when the market as a whole has more or less passed on or hasn’t discovered the opportunity the stock poses.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great growth options to pick from. Here are a few candidates worthy to include in almost any portfolio.

Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) is an intriguing opportunity in a new and lucrative segment of the economy. Medicinal and recreational marijuana are emerging as opportunities that have been compared to investments in liquor companies at the end of prohibition.

As more governments and regulatory bodies contemplate and bring forth legalization, the opportunities for Canopy and others will only increase.

What makes Canopy a good growth pick? Canopy was the first federally regulated marijuana company to hit the market, which provided the company with a massive influx of capital. Rather than resting on its laurels, Canopy pushed an aggressive growth agenda and acquired an international distributor as well as a regional competitor. This not only exposed the company to foreign markets ahead of the competition, but it also gave the company a massive production boost.

With legalization in Canada targeted at just under a year away, Canopy’s 135% surge over the past year could be the start of something much bigger.

Air Canada (TSX:AC)(TSX:AC.B) is not just Canada’s most-well known airline carrier, but it’s also one of the top-performing stocks on the market over the past five years.

To put just how lucrative Air Canada’s growth has been over the past few years, five years ago, Air Canada’s stock price was hovering south of $2 per share. As of the time of writing, those same shares trade for over $26.50, representing an incredible 1,800% increase.

But has that opportunity passed? Surprisingly, no. Air Canada continues to post record-breaking profits with nearly every passing quarter, and the company has expertly been reinvesting in newer, more fuel-efficient planes as part of a larger fleet renewal that will enable the company to fly more passengers to more destinations for lower costs.

Air Canada is set to announce third-quarter results later this month, and the company currently trades at impressive levels with a P/E of just 8.79.

Ballard Power Systems Inc. (TSX:BLDP)(NASDAQ:BLDP) is another great growth pick. Ballard has soared over 80% in the past three months, but, amazingly, this isn’t the first time that the company has surged. Ballard witnessed a near-epic rise of 400% to nearly $200 per share nearly two decades ago, before falling back down as the market and shareholders moved away from the fuel cell technology that Ballard develops.

Fortunately, the price relating to fuel cells has dropped over the years, as technology and market sentiments change. The concept of a fuel cell providing clean, cheap, and renewable energy is not only a worthy vision but is also attainable now, as businesses and governments around the world look to reduce emissions.

What makes Ballard an interesting investment option is that the company has improved incredibly over the past year, which has been largely unnoticed by the market. Revenues have surged by double digits in each of the past few quarters, and margins have more than doubled over the past year.

Beyond those impressive figures, Ballard has been pursuing complementary acquisitions that will push the company towards even better results. The purchase of Protonex Technology Corporation earlier this year is a prime example of that. Protonex is a manufacturer/designer of portable fuel cell solutions and advanced power-management products.

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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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