Penny stocks have a mixed reputation. Some people are drawn to the low-priced stocks as a road to quick riches. Others say to avoid hot penny stocks altogether.
The truth is in the middle. There’s a ton of bad businesses priced under $5 a share. The saying “you get what you pay for” is based in a general truth, after all.
But there can be real bargains under $5 as well. You find many hot penny stocks that have gotten beaten up and seen their share prices plummet. And while many will never recover, others go on to triple, quadruple, and reach even greater heights.
Exercise caution and diversify your holdings when buying penny stocks. If you want to make an informed speculation in the space, these seven hot penny stocks are worthy of further consideration.
Hot Penny Stocks: UP Fintech Holding (TIGR)
UP Fintech Holding (NASDAQ:TIGR), which runs Tiger Brokers, is a Chinese financial firm that aims to help mainland investors put their money to work in overseas markets. Traditionally, Chinese investors have not had much access to foreign markets, so there is a sizable market opportunity here.
UP Fintech IPO-ed earlier this year around $10 per share and quickly traded up to a high of $23. However, as you can imagine, the trade war has done a number on TIGR stock. The ability and desire of Chinese investors to use UP’s services has come into question given the deterioration in trade relations and the fall in the value of the Chinese Yuan. That, however, has set up an opportunity as TIGR stock has fallen below $5.
Will sentiment turn around and get UP Fintech’s stock heading up again? That remains to be seen. What we do know is that the firm has excellent backers including smartphone giant Xiaomi, and leading U.S. trading shop Interactive Brokers (IEX:IBKR) which has invested in the firm. TIGR stock could continue to decline given the geopolitical difficulties, but with smart operators like Interactive backing it, you have to like the odds that the business will turn things around in due time.
Diversified Restaurant Holdings (SAUC)
Despite having diversified in its name, Diversified Restaurant Holdings (NASDAQ:SAUC) is actually a pretty concentrated business. The SAUC ticker symbol is a much better representation of what the firm is up to, as it is the largest independent Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee in the U.S., operating more than 60 locations. Since Inspire Brands bought out Buffalo Wild Wings, SAUC stock has become the only way to publicly invest in Buffalo Wild Wing’s fortunes.
Given that SAUC stock is trading around 45 cents per share and is down more than 50% since 2018, there are clearly some problems with the business. Arguably, much of this was due to Buffalo Wild Wings’ old management. Since Inspire bought them out, they’ve turned things around as new marketing in particular has same-store sales trending upward again.
There are a few specific positives that should make a difference for the franchise operators like Diversified. For one, Inspire has turned marketing back toward the sports bar-watching experience, which should raise the average tab. Delivery sales are booming. There has also been some improvement on chicken costs after years of surging wing prices.
SAUC stock remains under pressure for now because the company has to refinance its debt next year. This shouldn’t be a problem; the company in fact just purchased more Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants earlier this year. Still, the market is nervous. However, recent quarterly results show the company nearing break-even. Even a 5% rise in revenues from here should lift SAUC’s EPS to at least 10 cents, which would make the stock exceedingly cheap. It is trading well under a dollar, after all.
Seanergy Maritime Holdings (SHIP)
With the global trade war, you probably haven’t thought about shipping stocks in awhile. But there’s actually a lot to like in the sector. Despite the trade war, the rates for container shipping have spiked higher this year. The Baltic Dry Index, for example, has more than tripled off the recent lows.
What’s going on? For one thing, the weak economy globally for years has caused shippers to operate with losses. As a result, they’ve been scrapping old ships while being slow to order replacements. On top of that, a change in environmental standards is forcing many ships to be retrofitted with better pollution scrubbers by 2020. This has caused shipping operators to retire more old ships or send them to the yards to get the upgrades in time to comply with new regulations.
This is causing a reduction in the supply of ships. Due to the trade war, we haven’t seen a true shortage just yet. But we could certainly get there over the next year, especially if China and the U.S. manage to resolve their trade war. What’s that mean for Seanergy Maritime (NYSE:SHIP)?
For SHIP stock, it’s a race against the clock. The company has taken heavy losses due to the unfavorable shipping environment in recent years. Liquidity has run low and the company has had to dilute SHIP stock to survive. Hence the 55 cent share price and sub-$20 million market cap. However, Seanergy avoids using many long-term charters for its ships, giving it maximum exposure to the short-term fluctations in shipping rates.
With rates already having tripled from earlier this year, Seanergy is poised to score major profits going forward. Throw in any sort of improvement in global trade sentiment, and SHIP stock could sail sharply upward.
Northern Dynasty Metals (NAK)
The price of gold continues to surge. Gold recently hit $1,500 an ounce and is near its highest level in five years. That’s even with the U.S. dollar trading near its own multi-decade highs. Measured in other currencies such as the British Pound, gold is in a roaring bull market right now. That’s making some previously troubled gold explorers such as Northern Dynasty (NYSEAMERICAN:NAK) back into interesting stocks. In fact, the mining space is full of hot penny stocks now thanks to the upswing in gold prices.
From the outset, let me be clear. It’s still far from certain that Northern Dynasty’s Pebble project will ever turn into a mine. The mega-gold deposit is located in a remote part of Alaska. This has drawn a flood of environmental activists. However, with the Trump Administration in power, environmentalists have lost a lot of their influence; the EPA recently reversed a previous decision that had blocked development of the Pebble project.
For years, the case against NAK stock went as follows: Even if the EPA gives way, there’s no way you can build a profitable mine there with gold at $1,200 per ounce or whatever the price of gold was back then. With gold breaking $1,500 an ounce to the upside, however, even remote projects of questionable economic merit start to glitter again. NAK stock is highly speculative, make no mistake. But if the EPA lets Northern Dynasty proceed and the price of gold surges to $2,000 per ounce, NAK stock could be a five or ten-bagger. Those are both huge ifs. But if you want a penny stock with explosive upside, NAK is one stock to watch.
Grupo Supervielle (SUPV)
As you may have heard, Argentina’s markets got absolutely demolished last week, creating a whole bunch of new hot penny stocks in that market. In fact, the Argentine stock market fell nearly 50% in one day, making it one of the biggest stock market crashes globally, ever.
What happened? The left-wing Kirchner party won a primary vote by a huge margin, making it highly unlikely that the current pro-busines government will last in power past the end of the year. This result shocked the market, which had expected the opposite outcome.
Many U.S. ADRs of Argentine stocks fell 50% or more on the Monday following those election results. Grupo Supervielle (NYSE:SUPV) incredibly plunged from $7.66 to $3.16 the day following the vote. Supervielle is an Argentine banking firm. It is smaller than some of its rivals, and additionally, it had been more optimistic on the future of Argentina’s economy than some other players there. As a result, traders absolutely blasted SUPV stock when sentiment turned. But with emerging markets, and Argentina in particular, sentiment can swing on a dime.
To be clear, SUPV stock is not my favorite Argentine listing. It’s relatively high-risk — we are discussing penny stocks today after all. But if you want to play a recovery in Argentina, it’s not hard to imagine SUPV stock bouncing back 50% or more in coming months.
Alaska Communications Systems (ALSK)
Investors have given up on Alaska Communications Systems (NASDAQ:ALSK). ALSK stock got absolutely shredded years ago, plunging from $10 to $2. Since then, it has meandered around between a buck and $2.50 per share. Investors have grown apathetic because they saw Alaska as a declining legacy business selling fixed-line telephony to rural customers. Pretty boring, right?
But Alaska Communications has been the leader in deploying fast mobile and internet coverage across the state of Alaska, including to far-flung but highly profitable markets such as servicing oil fields. The company also generates a ton of revenue from mission-critical government services as well.
Over the past year, Alaska has reached an inflection point as revenue growth has turned positive again with new digital growth more than offsetting falling legacy revenue. Yet ALSK stock hasn’t moved yet, as the lack of a dividend turns off many investors that buy telecom stocks. Regardless, this $1.75 stock is selling at a big discount to book value with revenue growth and improving cash flows. The stock could shake off the Arctic chill anytime now.
Sandridge Mississippian Trust II (SDR)
Sandridge Mississippian Trust II (NYSE:SDR) burned a lot of investors over the years, which is how it has found itself as a 50 cent penny stock today. The Sandridge Mississippian Trusts are royalty streams on certain wells drilled by Sandridge years ago. These wells under-performed and helped drive Sandridge itself into bankruptcy awhile ago. But the royalty stream lives on.
The wells, which primarily target oil with a helping of natural gas liquids, declined much faster than expected. This caused the royalty trust owners to get back far less than they had expected. However, as the wells age, the rate of decline has slowed down significantly. For the last quarter, in fact, production went up slightly.
If production stabilizes around this level, assuming flat oil prices, SDR stock will pay out around 10-12 cents per share a year (3 cents per quarter). That’s a 20% yield on the current 50 cent share price. If oil prices go up from their currently low levels, the yield would get even fatter.
The trust won’t go on forever – once production falls too far to cover overhead, the trust will cease operations and sell off its remaining interests. SDR owners will be entitled to half the proceeds of that, offering one last potential lump sum payout in addition to the years of upcoming dividends.
There’s plenty of risk here. The trust’s oil wells could see production volumes start slumping again. Oil prices could fall even farther. The stock could also get delisted given the low share price, reducing trading liquidity. As with any 50 cent stock, there is risk here. But the reward — a 20% annual dividend yield with upside if oil prices bounce — is pretty interesting.
At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek held no positions in any of the aforementioned securities. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.