In 2021, meme stocks or investments that generated intense grassroots interest (typically via public internet forms) were all the rage. In 2022? Not so much. Throughout this year, shifting market and macroeconomic forces exposed many if not most memes as pure speculation. Usually, this translates to hot garbage. However, some high-risk wagers earned respect.
Whether it’s out of a directed and deliberate thesis or stemming from purely coincidental factors, the below meme stocks align with sensible fundamental and/or financial catalysts. Here, it’s helpful for all investors to avoid the genetic fallacy; that is, invalidating arguments or information solely based on their source of origin. Yes, I get it. Some proponents of meme stocks appear criminally unhinged. Unfortunately, whenever the topic of money is involved, emotions run high. Nevertheless, it’s no time to throw the baby out with the bath water.
So, if you’re ready to put some speculation funds to work, here are some meme stocks to consider.
|AAP||Advance Auto Parts||$156.24|
Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM)
Billed as the most valuable semiconductor company and the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM) plays a major role in the global technology ecosystem. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the associated supply chain disruptions against the semiconductor industry devastated TSM. Shares slipped more than 37% on a year-to-date basis.
As well, tensions between China and Taiwan cloud the narrative for TSM, especially in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, my guess is that because of the devastation to Russia’s economy, the Chinese won’t be brazen about Taiwan. Sure, they’ll engage in saber-rattling to get the west’s attention but it’d be more of a face-saving measure.
Moreover, Warren Buffett via Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) just bet big on TSM, sending shares up 10.5% on Tuesday. I’ve been talking recently about Taiwan Semiconductor as the underlying company offers so much value for what you pay. Therefore, it’s easily one of the meme stocks to gamble on.
One of the top producers of graphics processing units, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) enjoyed a meteoric rise throughout roughly the first two years of the new normal. When Covid-19 completely disrupted societal paradigms, entertainment trends shifted homeward, which bolstered gaming-related GPUs. Then, in 2021, you had the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies. This too bolstered NVDA, making it one of the top meme stocks at the time.
Obviously, circumstances changed this year. With the Federal Reserve tightening the money supply through interest rate hikes, growth-driven enterprises took a sharp hit. Since the start of this year, NVDA dropped nearly 45% of its equity value. At the same time, in the trailing five days, shares gained almost 18%. And in the trailing month, they’re up a whopping 40%.
Honestly, I believe that Nvidia needs a little time. Yes, the loss of crypto-related revenue hurts badly. At the same time, though, the company offers relevancies in machine learning and other automation protocols. Also, Nvidia features excellent revenue and profitability metrics that rank among the industry’s upper echelons. Thus, it’s one of the smarter meme stocks to speculate on.
A popular financial technology (fintech) brand, PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) specializes in digital payment processing services along with business management applications. Whether as a consumer or an owner of a small business, PayPal brings plenty of relevancies to the table. However, a sharp rise in the competition didn’t really help PYPL’s cause.
Not only that, the monetary pivot from a dovish strategy at the Fed to a hawkish one doesn’t support entrepreneurial incentives. With borrowing costs rising, fewer people are willing to take risks. Unfortunately, PayPal really took a beating based on these macro headwinds. Since the beginning of this year, PYPL dropped nearly 54% of its equity value.
However, true to form as one of the meme stocks to consider, PYPL did pop up more than 12% in the trailing five days. While some of this enthusiasm may be traced to technical factors, they can also be tied to the fundamentals. With the gig economy projected to increase in scope significantly, PayPal could benefit from a rising tide.
Advance Auto Parts (AAP)
An automotive aftermarket parts provider, Advanced Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) confirms that not all meme stocks represent wild speculative wagers. Frankly, AAP is rather boring. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a vital component of our economy due to its ties to mobility. However, you didn’t really find too many folks clamoring over this trade before the memes took over.
Still, despite its boring nature, AAP struggled throughout the year so far. Since the January opener, AAP dropped over 22% in equity value. Still, this idea (like other meme stocks) might just require some patience. In the trailing five days, shares gained 1.4%. Over the trailing month, they’re up over 8%.
In my opinion, AAP comes down to the fundamentals. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average age of vehicles on U.S. roadways hit a record 12.2 years. For many consumers, they’re apparently intent on holding onto their rides until the wheels fall off. Therefore, from a cynical perspective, AAP’s relevance makes it one of the meme stocks to consider.
General Motors (GM)
Admittedly, it’s an odd transition to move from Advance Auto Parts to automaker General Motors (NYSE:GM) given the aforementioned narrative. However, the other reality about maintaining a vehicle is that with the complexities involved in modern cars, constant repairs can make the entire process economically unfeasible. At some point, because cars on U.S. roadways are so old, they’re going to need full replacements.
Here, General Motors provides arguably the best balance, offering compelling combustion-based and electric-powered vehicles. For the latter, GM has begun to introduce electrified versions of popular marquee brands like the Hummer. That’s almost certainly going to appeal to well-off consumers that are looking for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) alternatives.
On the other end of the scale, GM never abandoned its loyal fanbase of gearheads. With the introduction of the mid-engined eighth-generation Corvette, General Motors became exciting again. Honestly, I don’t see any other automaker matching the enthusiasm that GM places into its modern lineup. Therefore, it’s one of the meme stocks to put on your radar.
One of the lesser-known meme stocks, Citizens (NYSE:CIA) represents an insurance holding company. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the most stable, at least as far as market performance is concerned. Since the beginning of the year, CIA dropped 36% of its equity value. That’s not exactly what you want to see from what should be an extremely sedate market offering.
At the same time, CIA has been on an absolute tear recently. During the trailing five days, shares gained a meteoric 56.6%, blowing past many other meme stocks. To be fair, against the trailing month, the gains aren’t that impressive at less than 7% up. Nevertheless, with the grassroots enthusiasm, CIA could be a big deal on the forums. Certainly, its time-of-writing price tag of $3.46 will draw in gamblers. However, it’s not all speculation. Financially, Citizens features a stable balance sheet. Most notably, it has zero debt. What’s more, the company’s return on equity of 16.7% reflects a high-quality business.
Eldorado Gold (EGO)
Under normal circumstances involving higher interest rates, Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) probably won’t make a case for a bullish investment. As a gold-mining firm, rising borrowing costs impose severe challenges for commodities. That’s because rising rates are deflationary in nature (i.e. tightening money supply). Nevertheless, EGO pings in as one of the more popular meme stocks.
Why would that be when the Fed appears committed to tackling inflation, not facilitating it? The bullish argument might center on the underlying fear trade of gold. Essentially, precious metals represent assets commanding universally recognized intrinsic value. With so many volatile events going around in the world, exposure to gold-related investments might not be such a bad idea. Another factor bolstering EGO’s inclusion as one of the mem stocks to consider is the financials. Against a longer-term backdrop, Eldorado enjoys a decent revenue growth rate. As well, its operating margin ranks among the top half of the industry. Finally, shares trade at 0.41 times book value, which is extremely undervalued relative to the mining industry.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.