“Penny stocks” was a term that you heard a lot in the old days. It meant cheap stocks that were literally selling for pennies — 5, 10, 15 cents a share, or even less!
These were speculative companies that went public hoping investors would see their promise and put up capital to get a piece of the future pie.
Today, the listing rules are different and these kinds of companies are fewer and are pushed into smaller exchanges until they either grow or disappear.
The thing is, if they grow, they can run fast. That means you want to be in sectors that are hot and these firms may get some attention from investors, or from bigger companies that have some cash for a buyout.
Here are 7 cheap stocks under $1 worth a second look:
- Ampio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:AMPE)
- Great Panther Mining (NYSE:GPL)
- Gulfport Energy (NASDAQ:GPOR)
- Ferroglobe PLC (NASDAQ:GSM)
- Matinas BioPharma (NASDAQ:MTNB)
- Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ)
- Tanzanian Gold Corp (NYSE:TRX)
These penny stocks aren’t equities for investing your nest egg. These are stocks you should treat like betting on horses or your monthly poker game with friends. They’re fun, not foundational. Be patient and enjoy the ride.
Cheap Stocks Under $1: Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE)
A lot of small pharmaceutical and biotech names have gotten swept up in the COVID-19 vaccine frenzy. And that’s good news for many of these smaller names. Even if they’re only marginal players, they get some press. That helps them get noticed within the industry, and by investors.
This happened to AMPE. Its Ampion anti-inflammatory drug, which is in trials for osteoarthritis, has entered trials for use in helping COVID-19 patients with respiratory issues. The company has an ongoing IV trial, and just started a study on an inhalable version.
It also has another drug in the pipeline for diabetic macular edema, which affects about 600,000 patients a year in the U.S.
The stock is up 42% year to date.
Great Panther Mining (GPL)
Mining companies have been part of the penny stock world for decades. They are typically cheap stocks because the operations are usually small and the work is risky. Mining operations are frequently in foreign countries where conditions are difficult, governments are unstable and logistics are migraine-inducing.
But GPL, a Canadian mining company, has been handling all of the above since 1965. That’s quite a record of survival in this difficult game. Most of its operations are in Peru, in the Andes. It focuses on gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc.
Generally, smaller miners’ business strategy goes something like this. You find good prospects for industrial metals that usually indicate the presence of precious metals and start digging. The industrial metals keep money flowing while you hope to hit gold and silver.
The stock has a $303 market cap, so it’s not tiny. And gold is a very smart hedge during uncertain times. The stock is up 67% year to date.
Gulfport Energy (GPOR)
Aside from mining, the other companies that populate this low-price tier are oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) firms.
GPOR, with a market cap of just $57 million is an E&P firm out of Oklahoma focusing on natural gas. It has properties in Oklahoma, the Utica Shale and Louisiana.
This stock usually rides the waves of the energy markets. Its 52-week range has moved between 33 cents and $3 a share. That makes for a wild ride.
The bet here is that energy prices are closer to a bottom than a top, especially as weakness in the dollar is supporting energy prices and the winter season will likely boost demand for natural gas.
The stock is off 89% year to date.
Ferroglobe PLC (GSM)
While most cheap stocks on this list are in pretty straightforward industries, GSM is an interesting player in a niche market. It produces silicon and manganese metals and their alloys for use in everything from solar panels to stainless steel.
It’s pretty vertically integrated, and owns its own mines in Spain, South Africa and the U.S., as well as the factories that refine the mined materials for its customers.
GSM was formed in 2015 by a merger between a Spanish company and an American one. It’s currently incorporated in the United Kingdom.
The pandemic has hurt its business lines, as the global economy has slowed. But a cheaper dollar means its production costs are lower and a rising interest in ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing by institutional investors will be a boost.
It has a $106 million market cap and the stock is off 33% year to date.
Matinas BioPharma (MTNB)
This biopharmaceutical isn’t as much about drugs as it is a new drug delivery platform.
It has a drug in development for people that are suffering from dyslipidemia, or unusually high triglycerides or cholesterol. It uses its proprietary platform to deliver omega-3 fatty acids to lower lipid counts more effectively than other methods.
Its platform is called Lipid Nano-Crystal (LNC) and allows drugs that would otherwise be highly toxic in the blood to be delivered to the cells they need to get to for treatment. This could have a profound effect on how drugs are delivered for a number of different diseases.
The stock has a market cap of $177 million and SunTrust just began coverage. MTNB is off 61% year to date, so it’s cheap and has more upside than downside ahead of it.
Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ)
Does buying into a copper-gold-silver mining project in Outer Mongolia get you excited? Well TRQ is a cheap stock built just for you.
While most miners stick to the classic properties in North America, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, TRQ has been mining in Mongolia for decades. Its location also means it has access to the Chinese market as well as India. That makes for an interesting play.
What’s more, it has the largest market cap of any of the seven stocks here, valued at $1.6 billion. TRQ is up 9% year to date and still selling at a PE of 4, a bargain given the rise in other gold mining stocks.
Tanzanian Gold Corp (TRX)
Tanzania is 1.4 times larger than Texas. It sits on the east coast of Africa, below Kenya and above Mozambique. And while you may not have heard much about the country, you will likely recognize two of its major landmarks — Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilamanjaro.
The country’s natural resources extend from agriculture to mining and energy. TRX is a gold miner that has just begun production on its Buckreef Gold Mine Project open mine.
In late June an independent assessment of the property, updated its estimate of gold by 2.5 times. And the projected operational costs are very low.
TRX has a market cap of $145 million, up 14% year to date. If gold continues its run as economic uncertainties persist, it has plenty of headroom from here, especially as production expands
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation.