The Most Explosive Stocks of 2017 (IPI, LPG, WLL, CCJ, URRE, CENX)

Wanna buy SPY? You’re better off torching your cash instead. At least you’ll get a viral instagram video out of it.

The largest 500 stocks have been uptrending for the last 8 years and have little room left to go…  

Valuations are expensive. The S&P 500 has a P/E of 25.39 — official nose-bleed territory.  


At these levels, we have no interest in following the herd into a market top.

Our strategy has instead been to search for cheap stocks in hated sectors that can pay option-like returns. We call these “explosive stocks” because of their incredible potential. It’s not uncommon for them to double, triple, or even 10x within a year’s time.

These explosive stock opportunities have recently been concentrated in the commodities/resource sector of the market.

Commodities have been in a brutal bear market since 2008, causing many stocks to trade for a fraction of what they used to.

Commodities brutal bear market since 2008

Below are our top explosive stock candidates for 2017. All of these have a chance of ending the year with triple digit percentage gains.

Intrepid Potash (IPI)

Intrepid Potash (IPI)

Intrepid Potash (IPI) is the only US producer of potash and supplies approximately 10% of American annual consumption.

The agriculture space as a whole has been crushed over the last few years. It was plagued with overproduction and compressed margins. With so much supply it was impossible to turn a profit. But this has slowly been changing with capacity coming off the market and soft commodity prices starting to turn.  

When trading cyclic commodity stocks like IPI, the key is to focus on capacity shifts and not earnings. Earnings will always follow the turns in capacity and the stock price will lead earnings. You want to get in before the earnings have recovered, but after the washout has run its course. This exact situation is showing up in IPI.

IPI’s stock price has stabilized and formed a nice technical base of support. If the reflation theme in the agricultural space plays out, IPI could see $6.00 before the end of the year.

Dorian LPG (LPG)

Dorian LPG (LPG)

Dorian LPG (LPG) is a liquefied petroleum gas shipping company which owns and operates 22 VLGCs (very large gas carriers). This is another sentiment turnaround play, but this time on a company with hard assets, which is another factor we’re looking for as we move into an inflationary environment.

LPG is run by one of the best in the business, John Hadjipateras. He’s a fifth generation shipper and knows the space better than anybody. He and the rest of the executive management team started loading up on shares in 2016 during the technical basing pattern. Large relative insider buying is always a good sign when a stock is trading at depressed prices.

The company’s fundamentals are great as well. Revenue and earnings have been steadily growing without an increasing debt load. Long-term debt is only 3 times average net income.

With a TTM P/E ratio of 8.823, and a shipping market turnaround underway, LPG makes an excellent value play that should quickly generate triple digit returns.

Whiting Pete Corp (WLL)

Whiting Pete Corp (WLL)

Whiting Pete Corp (WLL) is an oil and gas exploration and production company that operates in the Rocky Mountains and Permian Basin. This is a well run E&P company sitting on prime energy real estate. With the new Trump administration coming into office and their promises to roll back regulation —- specifically the environmental sort — we should see a sharp continuation in the energy stock recovery theme. One potential risk to this thesis is the dollar bull market. Should the USD continue to move higher from here, the rise in oil prices is liable to reverse and damage this stock’s prospects.

Cameco (CCJ)

Cameco (CCJ)

The uranium sector looks a lot like the agricultural sector. Years of brutal downtrending action following the Fukushima disaster has made uranium one of the most hated areas of the market. But sentiment has finally started to change as investors notice huge opportunity in a reflated uranium market.

More than a dozen countries get over a quarter of their energy from nuclear. There are approximately 440 nuclear reactors functioning around the globe. In addition, 73 more are under construction, 168 are being planned, and over 300 are currently being proposed.

China and India are the biggest drivers of the renewed push into nuclear. China currently has 20 reactors under construction and over 115 planned. India has pledged to increase its nuclear capacity by 10 times over the next 12 years.

Even the US is set to return to nuclear energy with the incoming administration speaking in favor of increasing its reliance on nuclear.

Cameco (CCJ) is the “blue chip” uranium player. The company explores, mines, mills, buys, and sells uranium concentrate. It also operates four nuclear reactors. Revenue growth is positive again, up 3.5% from last year. Earnings have re-entered positive territory as well. A return to pre-Fukushima prices would be a triple digit percentage gain for the stock from current levels.

Uranium Resources (URRE)

Uranium Resources (URRE)

Uranium Resources Inc. (URRE) is a perfect example of what a “cheap option stock” looks like. Instead of buying expiring call options on the actual commodity ETF, you can load up on this speculative miner that will explode if uranium reaches a price that makes mining profitable again. There’s a lot of risk, but if you treat it like an option premium and size accordingly, the play is incredibly attractive given that this stock can 10x if the bull scenario plays out.

URRE posses ISR facilities which allow them to benefit from a lower break-even cost model. ISR (in-situ recovery) facilities allow miners to extract uranium from low-grade ores where other mining and milling methods may be too expensive.

In Texas, URRE has two licensed and currently idled processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres of prospective ISR uranium projects. In New Mexico, URRE controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 186,000 acres of the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world. All this company needs is for uranium to continue its rally to a point that makes running these idle facilities profitable again. The stock will go bananas.

Century Aluminum (CENX)

Century Aluminum (CENX)

Aluminum has a similar story to potash. Oversupply and overcapacity have led to a long-term bear market. This glut has mostly been the fault of the Chinese government which used their state-directed financial system to expand and maintain millions of tons of uneconomic aluminum smelting capacity. Market-oriented producers have had a hard time maintaining profitability in this environment. Some have even been forced to shut down as China continues to pump state support into an already bloated industry.

This trend ends now that Trump is in office. Trump has been extremely vocal about restoring trade balance and making the global marketplace fair for American producers. His entire campaign was run on the promise of returning jobs to the American people. To facilitate his new policies, he recently announced the creation of a National Trade Council inside the White House. He then named an ardent skeptic of trade with China, economist Peter Navarro, to head it.

A general reflation in commodity prices coupled with Trump’s protectionist efforts makes Century Aluminum (CENX) extremely attractive. There currently only 5 aluminum smelters operating in the US. This is down from 23 back in 2000. The industry has completed a sufficient washout, setting the stage for survivors like CENX to rebound big time as the cycle turns.

Each of the explosive stocks above have potential to deliver incredible gains in 2017. All of them reside within hated areas of the market that are now seeing sentiment change due to the return of inflation and a brand new Trump administration. Remember, these stocks are highly volatile, so the key is to only buy as much as you’re willing to lose. Treat them like options.

If you’d like to see the full list of parameters we use to scan for these stocks, you can download our Explosive Stocks Cheat Sheet by clicking here.



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Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.


Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.