- AT&T (NYSE:T)
- Altria Group (NYSE:MO)
- RCI Hospitality (NASDAQ:RICK)
- Molson Coors Beverage (NYSE:TAP)
- Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD)
- Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY)
- Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG)
- ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC)
- Champignon Brands (OTCMKTS:SHRMF)
Although it’s natural to mourn the cessation of the bull market, from another perspective, the novel coronavirus has gifted patient investors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Previously, so many companies had fundamentally strong business, but were gutted once the pandemic struck. Now, these stalwarts can be reasonably considered cheap stocks to buy.
Better yet, no matter what your thoughts are on the market’s trajectory, investors should be looking to advantage these lows. For instance, if you still believe in a quick, V-shaped economic recovery, then acquiring cheap stocks now would see you earn a swift profit.
However, if we take the opposite road and slog it out through years of frustration, this would still be a net positive — unless you must cash out now for whatever reason. That’s because a slow recovery allows you to build a robust portfolio of high-quality names. By the end of these trials, you’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead.
At the same time, not all cheap stocks to buy are viable bets for the long haul. As the bankruptcies of once-iconic American companies have demonstrated, we are still in the midst of an unprecedented calamity. Therefore, even solid names will likely suffer volatility, especially if we have an extended recovery.
For this list of discounted companies, I’m primarily looking at businesses that can ride out the present calamity; hence, my focus on the vice industry. As well, I’m considering investments that may not find favor now but should have long-term upside.
As with any pick you’re considering, you should already acknowledge that turbulence is a given. Implement common-sense risk mitigation and you’ll likely do well with these cheap stocks.
AT&T is not only regarded among many analysts as one of the best cheap stocks to buy during this crisis, it’s also incredibly boring. But remember, in the new normal, boring typically means stable, and stability is a very good thing. Here, this translates to T stock sporting a nearly 7% dividend yield.
Additionally, AT&T features a forward price-earnings ratio of 9.5. That’s incredibly low compared to both the telecommunications industry and broader benchmarks. Still, there’s a reason for the discount. Over the years, the company has become very bloated, with some high-dollar decisions not working out favorably.
Still, it’s possible that the market is focusing too much on the negatives of T stock and not enough on the positives. For instance, the 5G network rollout will provide years of support for AT&T. In addition, the company owns HBO, which gives AT&T’s streaming service much more gravitas than the competition.
Altria Group (MO)
Admittedly, in the pre-pandemic years, Altria Group was disappointing. As you know, smoking rates are on the decline. Even worse, a new competitor, vaporizers or e-cigarettes, began providing a cleaner alternative to combustible cigarettes.
However, MO stock became interesting when Altria invested heavily in Juul. However, underage vaping controversies saw Juul hit with lawsuits and ugly public accusations. Invariably, Altria’s stake in Juul turned into a debacle.
So, with all that, does Altria really belong in this list of cheap stocks to buy? While the headlines look terrible for the tobacco giant, the coronavirus may provide a surprising catalyst. According to research in Canada, recessions have a positive impact on smoking and imbibing rates.
If this translates stateside — and there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t — smoking rates could rise. Also, growing tensions between the U.S. and China may restrict vaporizer sales, which would cynically benefit Altria.
RCI Hospitality (RICK)
Due to its universally attractive — though admittedly shady — business, RCI Hospitality is usually a solid bet, irrespective of broader market conditions. While RICK stock has seen a significant rise in value since hitting a bottom in March, shares are still sharply discounted relative to their pre-pandemic highs.
But can RCI make good as a recession-resistant investment under these trying times? I will concede that this is a riskier proposition compared to other cheap stocks. Certainly, new normal protocols such as social distancing don’t help when you’re in the gentlemen’s business. Still, this industry did very well, relatively speaking, during the Great Recession. I wouldn’t be surprised if RICK stock provides an encore performance.
At the end of the day, RCI meets a human need for close companionship that no technology can replicate. Granted, it’s a cheap, twisted take on said companionship, but the demand is there.
Molson Coors Beverage (TAP)
Another vice-related company, Molson Coors Beverage is more palatable for investors than RCI. I mean that figuratively and literally. As a provider of multiple beer brands, including low-cost, budget-friendly beers like Coors Light and Keystone Light, Molson Coors has distinct relevance during our troubles.
For many of us, drinking booze is a way to help get the edge off. Obviously, with the quarantines and social isolation, along with mass uncertainty over the viability of our economy, many reasons exist to knock down a cold one. But so far, it’s TAP stock that’s the one getting knocked down.
Currently, shares are trading at levels last seen in the early years of last decade. What gives?
Unfortunately, shuttered restaurants have had a huge impact on Molson Coors and several other beverage makers. But with most states reopening — and some blatantly ignoring common sense — it’s possible that cheap beer will start flowing again. Therefore, you’ll want to keep Molson on your list of cheap stocks to consider.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD)
Similar to Molson Coors, Anheuser-Busch specializes in cheap beer. For many years, Anheuser’s flagship brand, Bud Light, has been the most popular beer in America, followed by Coors Light. Personally, I like the taste of Coors Light as far as cheap light beer goes. But Bud Light? It’s simply awful.
However, the customer is always right. And for the long term, you don’t want to fight the tape on BUD stock. Right now, though, shares are at a remarkable discount. With BUD, you have to go back to the Great Recession years to see prices this low.
Understandably, that might raise concerns. Typically, cheap stocks are cheap for a reason. In this case, Anheuser-Busch got rattled by the mass restaurant closure. Also, all popular cheap beer brands suffered a massive revenue reduction due to the quarantining of sports.
However, the eventual return of sports — as NASCAR demonstrated — augurs well for BUD stock. Sure, there many not be fans in the stands but that will change over the next few years. Additionally, sports events provide an incentive for increased grocery sales of cheap beer, which is a net positive for this industry.
Yamana Gold (AUY)
Fundamentally, you wouldn’t consider Yamana Gold cheap. Currently, shares sport a forward P/E ratio of 31.5, which is high compared to the metals and mining industry. But on a technical basis, it’s still one of the cheap stocks that you can pick up below double-digit prices.
I’ll freely concede that such thinking alone is a terrible reason to buy equity in an organization. But AUY stock is riding on the enthusiasm of the gold market. And while the yellow metal has frustrated many investors over the years, this time is different.
Yes, those may be the four most dangerous words in investing. However, when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell states that the U.S. economy faces unprecedented risks, this phrase is justified.
Further, the labor market continues to print an ugly picture. Over a nine-week period, 40 million Americans filed for initial jobless claims. This number will probably continue to rise uncomfortably, giving AUY stock a cynical edge.
Simon Property Group (SPG)
Usually, being the biggest U.S. operator in an industry is cause for celebration. But for Simon Property Group, which specializes in shopping malls, this distinction suddenly became a liability. Obviously, with the onset of stay-at-home orders, social distancing protocols and a sense of fear over contracting Covid-19, very few people could — or even wanted — to leave their homes. Naturally, SPG stock tanked.
However, shares might interest risk-tolerant contrarians. I must be clear: This is among the riskiest of risky cheap stocks. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend spending a dime more than what your dumb money allocation allows.
That said, Simon Property will gradually open stores as states lift their restrictions. As out-of-state travel data revealed, pent-up demand caused many Americans to run to regions that first reopened their businesses. We could see a similar dynamic play out for SPG stock.
Another reason to be optimistic is that the company owns a large portfolio of outlet malls. Although traditional department stores are out of favor, retailers offering discounts will never go out of style.
At first glance, you’d expect the quarantines to help lift ViacomCBS. Although a traditional content and entertainment powerhouse, ViacomCBS offers mainstream programs that many viewers find compelling. Yet that didn’t help VIAC stock on the technical front, with shares plummeting throughout much of February and March.
To be fair, VIAC has found robust momentum since hitting its March bottom. Despite that, shares are still discounted relative to their beginning-of-year price. Thus, ViacomCBS qualifies as one of the cheap stocks to buy amid this pandemic.
More importantly, VIAC stock has a credible upside pathway. Mainly, the underlying company probably slipped into the background as pure streaming plays like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) stole its thunder. However, as we work through this crisis, ViacomCBS becomes more compelling.
For one thing, ViacomCBS has trusted news brands, which is more crucial than ever before. Additionally, the return of sports — even in a mitigated fashion — is a net positive for VIAC due to its live broadcasts.
Champignon Brands (SHRMF)
Technically the cheapest of the cheap stocks on this list, Champignon Brands can be had for less than two bucks. Admittedly, this announcement will cause many investors to turn away from this company, and that’s a good thing. You don’t want to touch SHRMF stock if you can’t take the heat.
But if you can stomach the volatility, Champignon could be one of the most exciting opportunities available. Levered toward the burgeoning psychedelic medicine industry, SHRMF stock may strike you as another vice name. Actually, it’s much more than that. Psychedelics offer profoundly positive implications toward addressing mental health issues.
Most notable of all, Champignon Brands operates in a market that features incredibly high barriers to entry. Unlike cannabis, which anyone with enough drive can engage, psychedelics are strictly controlled by the federal government. Thus, your money is going to medicinal research, not toward a shady retail market.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare. As of this writing, he is long AT&T, Altria, gold bullion and Champignon Brands.