Investors have been rocking and rolling over the past few years. A 14-year-long bull market was brought up short by the COVID-19 outbreak only to quickly resume its meteoric rise that lasted through 2021. Then the markets abruptly turned south again, only to take off once more in 2023. We’ve been lurching to and fro since the summer, and it’s anyone’s guess which way the market will go next.
While the Nasdaq Composite index is up 36% so far this year, it has traded in a fairly confined range since July. It remains more than 10% below the all-time high it hit two years ago. Many former high-flyers on the tech-heavy index are sitting well below their own highs.
That doesn’t mean investors should snatch up their shares willy-nilly, but the following three Nasdaq value stocks are worth picking up before they ricochet higher.
There has been a 28 percentage point increase in cyberattacks so far this year, according to the Identity Theft Research Center. It’s a sobering statistic providing a firm foundation for the cybersecurity market. Yet Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) isn’t participating in the boom. The cybersecurity specialist is down 37% from its 52-week high after another disappointing earnings report.
Fortinet management missed its own guidance for the second straight quarter. It also reduced its full-year outlook for the second time. Fortinet is not expecting a robust return to growth until later in 2024. That’s not nearly as good as peers CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) or Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) — two top picks in the space. Yet their stocks are priced like it compared to the big discount Fortinet is offering. You just need confidence that management will hit its mark after whiffing twice. It says it’s done well since its 2009 IPO and will return to form again.
There is reason to believe it can. Over a third of its revenue is tied to hardware-based security firewalls. As business reined in spending as the economy grew dicey, it’s not surprising sales slowed. But Fortinet continues its transition to a subscription-based model. That business saw 34% growth and now accounts for 57% of its service revenue.
Fortinet is a hidden jewel that might fall lower, but patient investors could generate big returns if given the chance.
Warner Bros Discovery (WBD)
Streaming services learned the hard way that turning a profit is not as easy as it looks. Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) is the only one to do it with some regularity. Its success is much better than the billions of dollars Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) routinely pour down the drain.
Warner Bros has the “Barbie” movie to thank for its success this past quarter — and the writers and actors strikes too. The former brought in $1.5 billion in box office receipts as one of the few certifiable hits this year, while the latter allowed the studio to save money from not paying anyone. There were costs associated as well, of course. That’s hardly a sustainable path especially since Warner Bros also produced “The Flash” — a box office stinker.
Yet, it offers reason for hope. The streaming business was profitable, with $111 million in adjusted EBITDA. Last quarter it was flat, suggesting it could finally be moving in the right direction. Although streaming dropped 700,000 subscribers in the period, higher prices and a 29% increase in advertising revenue helped push the studio’s results up.
Delays in production due to the strikes did hurt, but those may soon be in the rearview mirror. The ad market will also be sluggish into early 2024. Yet with the stock down 34% from recent highs and trading at just pennies on the dollar to its sales and book value, Warner Bros Discovery is a hidden gem in plain sight.
Dollar Tree (DLTR)
It’s not often you see deep discount retailers sitting in the bargain-basement bin themselves, but Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) finds itself there. The dollar store’s stock is down 15% year-to-date and 29% below its 52-week high. Rival Dollar General (NYSE:DG) finds itself in the same boat.
Dollar Tree enjoys strong comparable store sales, higher revenues, better-than-expected profits and greater market share gains. Yet compressed profit margins are causing the stock to fall. Operating in a high-inflation environment is difficult as consumers fall back to only buying essentials. And the company is witnessing far greater levels of theft, a plague on the economy affecting numerous retailers.
The deep discounter saw its gross margins collapse 400 basis points, in part because of “shrink” — a euphemism companies use for theft. Family Dollar saw a 30 basis point compression primarily because of it.
Yet, dollar stores are where consumers go to shop in difficult times. Although often thought of as low-income retail outlets, Dollar Tree and its peers see more middle- and high-income shoppers in its stores. The retailer foresees multiyear growth opportunities and maintains its outlook for at least $10 per share in earnings by 2026. That’s nearly double the $5.93 midpoint guidance it gave for 2023.
The deep discounter also trades at a fraction of its sales. Wall Street sees earnings growing at 20% annually for the next five years, making Dollar Tree a discount bin stock you can pick up today for cheap.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey held a long position in WBD stock. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.