When it comes to the stock market, the general consensus is that cheap stocks are cheap for a reason. However, there are times where a good business or good opportunity is under-appreciated by the stock market.
Those stocks seem to slip through the cracks, even though many of these companies are well-known entities.
Granted, a lot of times cheap stocks fail to pay off. However, we’ve seen more than enough examples where a $15 stock goes to $50 or a $20 stock scores to $75. Are we looking at that opportunity for some of the names below?
Let’s look at seven cheap stocks to speculate on with a few hundred bucks:
- Ford (NYSE:F)
- Palantir (NYSE:PLTR)
- Opendoor Technologies (NASDAQ:OPEN)
- BlackBerry (NYSE:BB)
- SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI)
- Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO)
- AcuityAds Holdings (NASDAQ:ATY)
Now, let’s dive in and take a closer look at each one.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Ford (F)
Ford saw quite the whipsaw volatility in 2020. As the pandemic was sweeping across the world, the auto industry has been unfairly hit. Some companies can adapt to change pretty quickly. Others cannot. Sadly for Ford and many others, they are among the latter.
The supply chain involves billions of dollars, thousands of suppliers and employees, and a ton of moving parts. Inventory has to move off the lots in a somewhat steady and predictable manner. Auto producers need to get new models to the sales lot, while keeping production facilities humming along — producing enough, but not too many models.
So when the world shut down in a matter of days and weeks, it put the pressure on Ford to get things figured out.
Well, it wasn’t a pretty couple of quarters, but the company emerged pretty well. Earnings continue to come in vastly above expectations and Ford is making a tremendous push in electric vehicles. As it works on electrifying the country’s most popular vehicle, the F-Series pickup, Ford could see its stock gobbled up by enthusiastic investors.
Currently down 16% from its 2021 high, and bulls could have an opportunity with this one.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Palantir (PLTR)
Palantir stock is a bit tricky. On the one hand, it presents a huge opportunity for long-term investors to get in on a solid growth stock. On the other hand, its valuation makes it clear this one isn’t flying under the radar.
Shares trade at more than 39 times this year’s revenue forecasts and more than 26 times next year’s estimates. Despite solid growth expectations, Palantir still trades at more than 20 times 2023 revenue expectations.
That said, analysts expect about 37.5% revenue growth this year, 28.5% growth in 2022 and 29.5% growth in 2023. Furthermore, the company is actually profitable. Although analysts expect earnings of just 16 cents per share this year and 21 cents per share next year, it’s better than churning out a loss like many high-growth companies.
Still though, its $56 billion market capitalization makes it tough to think we’re finding a deal here.
If Palantir can accelerate its earnings — consider that earnings of 50 cents a share values it at about 50 times earnings — then we could see the stock really fly. Its revenue growth is clearly solid. But if it delivers on the bottom line, there could be a long-term opportunity here.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Opendoor Technologies (OPEN)
Opendoor Technologies presents an interesting opportunity after coming public in June 2020. The stock opened for trading at $10.50, exploded to a high of almost $40 in January 2021 and has since undergone an enormous dip.
The $14 level has been solid support and despite the recent rally, shares remain 52% below the low.
In August, shares ripped 24% in a single day on earnings, but five days later it had given up all of its post-earnings gains. That was despite a top- and bottom-line beat and better-than-expected guidance. The stock has since recouped some of those losses, but the opportunity with Opendoor is clear: The stock could power high should it continue to deliver upbeat results.
Analysts expect 157% revenue growth this year and 80% growth next year to more than $12 billion. Let’s see if it can deliver.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: BlackBerry (BB)
BlackBerry is the stock that just won’t die — and that’s good for the bulls! However, we don’t just want a stock that will survive, we’re looking for stocks that can thrive. At the lower price points, that’s a bit more difficult, but there are still opportunities.
For one, BlackBerry stock continues to get swept up in those “Reddit Rallies.” For example, shares went from about $6.50 to more than $28 in just a few weeks in Q1. Later in Q2, we saw a move from the $7.70 area to just over $20 in a couple of weeks.
The opportunity is there for BlackBerry, as it continues to enjoy these rapid, sharp squeezes to the upside.
Beyond that though, BlackBerry offers potential through its business. While it was once the king of the smartphone world, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) rise dealt a near-crippling blow to BlackBerry. It was forced to pivot to software and security, two of its stronger points in the automotive world, of all places.
Analysts expect a dip in business this year, but for almost 25% revenue growth next year to $975 million and for a swing to profitability. With less than a $6 billion market cap, BlackBerry stock could perform well if the company can clear $1 billion in revenue and finally find its stride once again.
SoFi Technologies (SOFI)
SoFi Technologies is another one investors should have on their radar. It’s the quintessential new-issue stock that has stumbled out of the gate but presents a ton of upside potential.
The key for SoFi — just like virtually all new-issue stocks — will be to deliver on those expectations. If you look at the current situation, it’s hard to justify its valuation of 12 times 2021 revenue. That’s as more than 80% of the company’s sales come from lending (i.e. banking).
However, management expects that to change.
They are looking for revenue to go from less than $1 billion in 2020 to almost $3.7 billion by 2025. They see adjusted EBITDA going from -$66 million in 2020 to almost $1.2 billion by 2025. Currently, just 2% and 17% of revenue comes from its financial services unit and tech platform unit, respectively. In 2025, management expects those revenue segments to account for 32% and 25%, respectively.
In other words, the company has massive expectations to drive growth in its financial services and tech platform businesses. Amid that effort, they believe it will drive adjusted EBITDA results higher, improve margins and lower the company’s dependability on banking.
With the stock well off the highs, SoFi could present a long-term opportunity for buyers.
This seems to be a low-priced stock that just can’t seem to deliver. However, that could be changing going forward. Investors have to keep in mind that Gogo was a sub-$2 stock in 2020 and it’s now trading near $13. It needs time to digest those gains.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, airline traffic was plunging and no one wanted to fly. That of course dealt a blow to Gogo stock. But what about Gogo’s business? The company was comprised of two units, Business Aviation (BA) and Commercial Aviation (CA). The former operated on private planes and the latter operated on passenger jets.
The BA business is profitable and actually performed pretty well through the pandemic. As if flying private or in business jets wasn’t attractive enough to begin with, a global pandemic certainly helps tip the scales. As for the CA unit, it was not profitable before or during the pandemic.
Instead of being stuck with the latter though, Gogo was able to sell this unit for $400 million. Given its current market cap of $1.4 billion, that’s pretty significant.
Now there are talks of the company being acquired by a private equity firm. While Gogo doesn’t offer robust growth, management gave us a guide for very steady growth. Management expects 10% annual revenue growth for the next five years. Further, they estimate free cash flow of $100 million in 2023.
However, those estimates seem to be climbing as of late.
AcuityAds Holdings (ATY)
This one doesn’t have much attention put on it, but I think there could be some real potential with AcuityAds.
This is a pretty small company. Shares trade near $7.75 a share, commanding a market cap of roughly $465 million. Analysts expect revenue of roughly $106 million this year, followed by approximately 22.5% growth in each of the next two years. If it comes to fruition, AcuityAds would generate almost $160 million in sales.
Based on this year’s estimate, ATY stock trades at just 4.5 times sales, which isn’t too pricey.
The real opportunity lies in illumin, the company’s self-serve advertising automation platform. Co-founder and CEO Tal Hayek had this to say about illumin:
The biggest second quarter growth driver was illumin, which continues to surpass our expectations with sequential sales growth in excess of 60% and new clients growing over 135%. We continue to see rapidly increasing interest for illumin as evidenced by very significant pipeline growth in the quarter.
Given this very strong pipeline growth, we expect illumin to experience strong sequential revenue growth in the second half of 2021 and continue to believe it is fundamentally changing the programmatic advertising landscape.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held a long position in ROKU and TTD. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.