Stocks got absolutely crushed at the start of August. From Wednesday’s less dovish than hoped for rate cut onward, the stock market went into steep decline. President Donald Trump’s latest provocations in the trade war only added to the nervous mood on Wall Street. Instead of looking for stocks to invest in, traders headed for the exits.
The S&P 500 dropped far under the psychological 3,000 level. Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1,000 points from its recent highs. Tech stocks got particularly hammered.
With all that selling, however, comes opportunity. In particular, a lot of folks are looking for lower-priced stocks that could move back up quickly once the market finds its footing. While stock price alone doesn’t indicate a company’s value or riskiness — it is market cap that counts more — low-priced shares are often more volatile. As a result, these stocks could bounce back in a hurry as the market recovers.
Here are seven stocks to invest in now following the recent market declines.
Stocks to Invest in: Fitbit (FIT)
Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) just announced another lousy quarter. Traders, not surprisingly, have pummeled the stock down to fresh 52-week lows. And, since its IPO, FIT stock is now down a crushing 90%. Since February alone, FIT stock has lost nearly half its remaining value.
But it’s not game over for Fitbit just yet. That’s because the company has a substantial net cash position. It should exit 2019 with something like $550 million to $600 million in cash against a market cap of just $850 million. This means that a competitor can buy Fitbit for something like $1.2 billion — a nearly 50% premium to the current depressed stock price — and still only pay $600 million to get the actual company net of cash.
Why would a competitor buy Fitbit? To compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Apple’s watches are doing well, and it is hard for Fitbit to compete as a standalone company. They are having to cut expenses, including research, which makes it hard to keep up. By contrast, a competitor with far more resources could benefit from having the Fitbit brand and reinvigorating it with more tech and marketing dollars. FIT stock will likely continue to erode in value if nothing happens, however, so be careful of that. The exit strategy here is clearly a takeover.
Lloyds Banking Group (LYG)
Britain’s will-they-or-won’t-they Brexit drama has taken another turn. The controversial right-wing figure Boris Johnson became Britain’s newest prime minister just over a week ago. Already, his new government was dealt a blow. A special election dropped Johnson’s conservative party majority to just one seat. This heightens speculation that Johnson will need to call new elections before Oct. 31, which is the current deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
All this uncertainty has led British assets to fall even farther. The British pound is back to its 2016 lows against the dollar and is threatening to hit new all-time lows against the euro. People are dumping everything British. Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE:LYG), the $45 billion financial giant, has seen its stock slump from $2.80 to $2.45 just in the past few weeks. But is it really so bad?
For one thing, the Brexit drama has been running for more than three years now. The British economy has already slowed down due to uncertainty. At this point, any businesses and consumers who were going to act out of worry about Brexit have done so already. On the plus side, Johnson is promising pro-business measures. He’s often described as a British Trump, which certainly raises people’s concerns. But if you bought stocks when Trump was elected, you’ve done very well. Johnson could usher in a similar surprise for beaten-down British stocks.
LYG stock in particular is now offering a more than 7% trailing-12-month dividend yield. It’s trading at just 9x trailing and 8x forward earnings. It is also at less than 80% of book value. Even mediocre large banks tend to trade for at least book value if not a slight premium, which would suggest LYG stock is worth closer to $3.50 instead of the current $2.50 price.
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) certainly isn’t a hot stock anymore. At one time, people thought Groupon could be the internet’s next big advertising platform. In fact, Groupon was so popular that rivals like Living Social attracted multi-billion dollar valuations as well. Well, the hype has definitely worn off. But Groupon is far from dead, and its share price discount makes it one of our stocks to invest in.
The company has consolidated its rivals and faces little meaningful competition in its niche anymore. And business is still strong; there are plenty of people who like coupons, after all.
It’s not all great news for Groupon. The company’s revenues have been declining at a single digit rate in recent years. It is trying to offset that with bigger average deal and international expansion. However, with the company’s strong cash position, it has plenty of time to turn things around. Additionally, trading at less than 10x cash flow and 5x EBITDA, GRPN stock is cheap for an internet property. That could make it a takeover target for a larger firm or private equity.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you’re like many people, the last time you heard about Cemex (NYSE:CX) was a few years ago when CNBC was hyping a few trades to take advantage of the Trump election. In theory, Cemex was supposed to be a great pick because they’d supply cement to build the wall. For a variety of reasons, this never played out, and CX stock has dropped 50% since then, including a 20% decline just over the past month.
But with Cemex totally off everyone’s radars, it has now become one of our stocks to invest in. Although Cemex is a Mexican company, it is one of the largest cement producers in America as well. Not surprisingly, investors have dumped the stock given concerns about the American economy and the uncertainty in Mexico since the new government took over there last winter.
However, this consensus is mistaken. For one thing, Mexico’s economic outlook is still strong, particularly with the North American Free Trade Agreement replacement deal now heading for approval. And the panic over a potential U.S. recession seems overblown. The jobs numbers and consumer confidence are both still near 20-year highs. Additionally, the Federal Reserve rate cuts will lower interest rates, allowing businesses to borrow more money. This, in turn, leads to more construction.
Why buy Cemex stock specifically? The company is selling off non-core European assets at favorable valuation ratios to reduce its debt. With that taken care of, the company should return more capital to shareholders in coming years. On a current EV/EBITDA basis, CX stock should be worth closer to $5 instead of the current $3.25 price. Additionally, when CX stock traded down to $3 in both 2012 and 2016, it subsequently rebounded to $10. A similar repeat now would cause shares to triple from here.
I last discussed B2Gold (NYSEAMERICAN:BTG) in my “3 Stocks Under $3 To Consider” article earlier this summer. BTG stock is no longer eligible for that category, as shares have surged 20% in recent weeks to top the $3 mark. In fact, BTG stock just hit fresh 52-week highs on Wednesday despite the broad market selling.
I’d refer you back to my previous article for a more detailed overview of B2Gold’s operations. The summary, however, remains that it is one of the most diversified smaller gold mining operations out there with impressive growth and an above-average caliber management team.
More broadly, gold is continuing to power higher this summer, and silver has started tagging along for the ride. This indicates that investor sentiment for precious metals is rapidly heating up. Throw in the recent Fed rate cut and market unease elsewhere and things are coming together nicely for the precious metals here. BTG stock will continue to ride that wave higher.
Sandstorm Gold (SAND)
With gold stocks on an absolute tear, it’s worth featuring another one among our stocks to invest in as well. Sandstorm Gold (NYSEAMERICAN:SAND) is different from most gold firms because it is a streamer, not a miner. That means that it gets royalties from the production of other company’s mines. In effect, Sandstorm is a specialty mining finance operation. This greatly reduces operating risk, because the mining firm, not the royalty owner, takes the hit if the mine fails to live up to expectations or other issues such as strikes or geopolitical problems occur.
Over the past decade, while gold mining stocks, as a sector, have lost close to half their value in composite, the streamers have gained value. And Sandstorm, as one of the smallest and fastest-growing, has incredible leverage to the upside in the price of gold. Sandstorm just announced record gold-equivalent ounces of production last quarter. And it has big new asset streams coming online over the next couple of years.
SAND stock is already close to a double from last year’s lows. But it could have a lot farther to go, especially if gold tops $1,500/oz this fall.
Republic First Bancorp (FRBK)
Republic First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FRBK) is the last of our stocks to invest in. It’s also in the doghouse at the moment. The northeastern regional bank has dropped from $7.50 in December to near $4 per share this summer. But it may not stay there long.
Republic First has a few positive features that most small banks lack. For one, it has a superstar backer in the form of Vernon Hill. Hill led Commerce Bank to such great success that Canadian giant Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) eventually acquired it. Hill used that success to launch Metro Bank in the U.K. and bolster Republic First over here. He owns a large chunk of FRBK stock, and First Republic has brought in many of Hill’s executives from Commerce to work for it.
Republic First is now growing aggressively. It’s posting double-digit deposit and loan growth rates. On top of that, the bank is set to open a premium Manhattan branch location at the corner of 14th St. and 5th Ave., which is a massive pedestrian traffic spot. Combine the bank’s aggressive growth with its book value — currently $4.22 — and there’s a lot to like. Downside on the stock is most limited as it already merely trades for book. But with 15%-20% growth in deposits and loans annually, this thing could take off in a hurry, as it is one of the fastest-growing Northeastern banks.
At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek owned SAND stock. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.