InvestorPlace| InvestorPlace /feed/content-feed Stock Ҵý News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips en-US <![CDATA[3 Stocks Ready to Prove the Naysayers Wrong and Deliver Monster Returns]]> /2024/06/3-stocks-ready-to-prove-the-naysayers-wrong-and-deliver-monster-returns/ Contrarian investment opportunities are abundant as financial market variables are bound to shift n/a stocks to buy 1600 man's hand holding wads of cash. stocks to buy. russell 2000 stocks to buy ipmlc-2998486 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 15:08:49 -0400 3 Stocks Ready to Prove the Naysayers Wrong and Deliver Monster Returns UPST,AI,SBSW Steve Booyens, CFA Wed, 19 Jun 2024 15:08:49 -0400 The stock market isn’t perfectly efficient, providing contrarian investors with the necessary latitude to generate excess returns. Although contrarian investing involves risks, it can be equally rewarding, especially when a disparity has emerged between sectoral stock returns.

This article is about contrarian investment opportunities. I identified three stocks that could shrug off the negative sentiment attached to them. My search dialed in on systematic factors, company-specific events and valuation multiples. Moreover, I ensured that each asset had relevant technical data points.

It’s crucial to understand that contrarianism involves going against the prevailing sentiment, meaning my picks are unsuitable for all investors. However, if you’re looking for best-in-class contrarian investment opportunities, here are three stocks worth considering.

Upstart Holdings (UPST)

Person holding smartphone with logo of U.S. fintech company Upstart Network Inc. (UPST) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ:UPST) is an innovative loan intermediary that utilizes numerous technologically driven methods to optimize the consumer lending environment. The company’s stock has a short interest of 33.7%, showing numerous investors are pessimistic about UPST’s prospects. However, I beg to differ; here’s why.

The firm’s business model essentially relies on loan volumes. As such, elevated interest rates can be problematic, given that consumers prefer borrowing at lower rates. However, Upstart released its first-quarter results in May, revealing that it has been unabated by higher interest rates. Upstart’s quarterly transaction volume increased by 13% year-over-year, reaching $1.1 billion. Moreover, Upstart achieved a conversion rate of 14%, an 8% year-over-year increase.

The abovementioned variables led Upstart to achieve quarterly revenue of $118 million, which it anticipates will increase to $125 million in its second quarter. Additionally, Upstart’s management believes the firm will have positive earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by the end of the year.

I am confident that Upstart will experience exponential growth when interest rates pivot. Moreover, its stock has a relative strength index (RSI) ratio of around 41.28, suggesting it has contrarian attributes.

UPST stock is a risky play. Nevertheless, its upside potential is mouthwatering.

C3.ai (AI)

C3.ai (AI) logo on a smartphone with computer screen showing graph in background, symbolizing AI stockSource: shutterstock.com/Below the Sky

C3.ai (NYSE:AI) burst onto the scene last year amid an exponential commercialized artificial intelligence (AI) uptake. However, AI stock has dropped by more than 30% year-over-year, suggesting a sense of neglect from its initial investor base.

I think it’s a good time to invest in C3.ai’s stock. Sure, the commercialized AI arena is experiencing a surge in competition. However, the enterprise AI market is touted to grow by 43.9% annually until 2028, providing C3.ai with secular growth potential. Additionally, the barriers to entry into the upper echelon of the AI market remain high due to the disparity in labor skill sets.

Furthermore, C3.ai’s fundamentals have shown good short-term support. For example, the company released its fourth-quarter earnings in May, beating analysts’ revenue estimates by $2.2 million. Moreover, C3.ai’s third-quarter results topped analysts’ earnings-per-share estimates by 19 cents, illustrating its increased efficiency.

As mentioned, enterprise AI is here to stay, and C3.ai has shown that it can be a key player in the industry, providing its stock with a fundamental basis to reach new heights. Furthermore, AI stock’s price-to-sales ratio of 11.23x is moderate, given its illustrious growth, suggesting it is within the buying range.

With all factors considered, I am bullish about AI stock’s prospects.

Sibanye-Stillwater (SBSW)

Silver and gold barsSource: Inozemtsev Konstantin / Shutterstock.com

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) is a South African precious metals miner primarily operating in the platinum group metals (PGMs) industry.

The company has suffered a series of external misfortunes in the past two years, dragging its stock down into the abyss. Among Sibanye’s misfortunes were mine floods relating to its U.S. operations. Moreover, Sibanye struggled with labor strikes in South Africa and a series of power cuts.

Fortunately, Sibanye’s structural threats have abated. The firm’s U.S. mines are operational again while its South African risks have calmed, given a softer labor market and reduced electricity cuts. Furthermore, Sibanye could benefit from a more favorable commodity pricing environment. For instance, the platinum futures forward curve is sloping upward, meaning a bullish theme.

Higher commodity prices could coalesce with Sibanye’s structural shifts and lead to stellar fundamental performance, providing a basis for SBSW stock to outperform the market, especially as SBSW stock is grossly undervalued, with a price-to-sales ratio of merely 0.51x. Moreover, SBSW stock possesses a modest RSI ratio of around 40.54, implying that a technical inflection point might emerge.

Although there are inherent risks, I won’t be surprised if SBSW stock doubles within the next year.

On the date of publication, Steve Booyens did not hold (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.

Steve Booyens co-founded Pearl Gray Equity and Research in 2020 and has been responsible for cross-asset research and PR ever since. Before founding the firm, Steve spent time working in various finance roles in London and South Africa. He holds an MSc in Investment Banking from Queen Mary – University of London. Furthermore, Steve obtained his CFA Charter on April 26, 2024, and is working toward his Ph.D. in Finance. His articles are published on various reputable web pages such as Seeking Alpha, TipRanks, Yahoo Finance, and Benzinga. Steve’s articles on InvestorPlace form an interesting juxtaposition between mainstream opinion and objective theory. Readers can expect coverage on frequently traded stocks, REITs, fixed-income funds, CEFs, and ETFs.

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<![CDATA[3 Companies Seriously Due for a Stock Split in 2024]]> /2024/06/3-companies-seriously-due-for-a-stock-split-in-2024/ Here are three companies that qualify as stock split candidates n/a stocksplit1600 A digital image of a ticker tape reads "STOCK SPLIT." REDU Stock stock split. ipmlc-2997814 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 15:00:00 -0400 3 Companies Seriously Due for a Stock Split in 2024 NVDA,AVGO,SMCI,COIN,BTC-USD,ANF Will Ashworth Wed, 19 Jun 2024 15:00:00 -0400 Every time a company splits its stock, one of the reasons it gives is that it makes its stock more accessible to smaller investors. Never mind that the advent of fractional shares enables these smaller investors to own a specific amount as low as a dollar for stock split candidates.   

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) announced May 22 that it was splitting its stock on a 10-for-1 basis. In the two weeks before the shares actually split on June 7, they jumped 27%. They gained another 9% in the week after. 

So, even if the shares were $2,000 before the gains pre-split, they still could have been had on June 8 for $254 [$2,000 x 1.27/10]. 

Now, Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), another AI dynamo, is splitting its shares 10-for-1 on July 15. Since it announced its stock split – at the same time as Q2 2024 earnings – AVGO stock is up 22% with a month to go before the split takes effect. 

Ultimately, the most common reason for stock splits is to increase common share liquidity. 

Here are three likely stock split candidates in 2024. 

Super Micro Computer (SMCI)

Person holding cellphone with logo of US company Super Micro Computer Inc. (SMCI) (Supermicro) in front of business webpage. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Of the three names on my list of stock split candidates, Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ:SMCI) has the highest share price of the three at $911. Its shares are up almost 310% in the last year. Up until March 2023, SMCI stock never traded over $100, so there was never a need. 

Super Micro Computer high-performance server and storage solutions address computational-intensive workloads, as it states on its 2023 10-K.  

“We offer a broad range of accelerated compute platforms that are application-optimized server solutions, rackmount and blade servers, storage, and subsystems and accessories, which can be used to build complete server and storage systems.

“These Total IT Solutions and products are designed to serve a variety of markets, such as enterprise data centers, cloud computing, AI and 5G/edge computing.”

Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time following SMCI, but it’s growing like hotcakes. In Q3 2024, its revenues jumped 200% to $3.85 billion. In 2024, it expects $14.7 billion in revenue, more than double a year earlier. On a non-GAAP basis, it expects to earn $23.69 a share at the midpoint of its guidance. 

Based on this guidance, it trades at 38.5x its expected 2024 earnings. Assuming revenues keep growing triple digits, a 10-for-1 stock split like Nvidia or Broadcom is in order.  

Coinbase Global (COIN)

COIN stock Coinbase logo on screen with Bitcoin coinsSource: 24K-Production / Shutterstock.com

Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) operates one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. As its investor relations site states, the quarterly volume traded on its platform is approximately $312 billion. It protects over $330 billion in cryptocurrency assets from over 100 countries.

Thanks to the rebound in Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies over the past year, its shares are up more than 57% year-t0-date and 333% over the past year. Trading around $247, I doubt a 10-for-1 stock split would be in the cards, but a 5-for-1 would seem to make sense. 

Besides Bitcoin, Coinbase would be the next-best proxy for the cryptocurrency industry. If the industry does well, Coinbase will, too. 

In late May, Coinbase was upgraded from “underperform” to “neutral” by BofA Securities. More importantly, it raised its target price by nearly double to $217 from $110. It believes that the company’s expense controls have kept a lid on expenses, and profitability. 

BofA isn’t the only Wall Street firm less than sold on the company. Of the 29 covering COIN stock, only 12 rate it a “buy,” with four calling it a “sell.” 

If there’s a stock that could use a stock split, Coinbase would be it. 

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF)

The front of an Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) location.Source: Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock.com

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), the company and stock, are both ablaze. 

The retailer, whose brands include Abercrombie, Abercrombie Kids, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks, reported its best Q1 in the history of the company on May 29. Shares jumped 24% on the news. They’re now up 107% in 2024 and 419% over the past year. 

Its earnings were $2.14 a share, 40 cents higher than the analyst estimate, while revenues were $1.02 billion, $57 million higher than the Wall Street consensus. The quarter’s biggest achievement was 7x revenue growth last year. 

Interestingly, of the two brands, Abercrombie’s growth is much more impressive, up 31% year-over-year, compared to 12% for Hollister. Anytime you can grow revenues by double digits you’re doing alright. 

Abercrombie’s two-year same-store sales stack is 24% (Q1 2024 and 2025). In Q1 2022, sales were so bad, it didn’t provide those numbers. That’s how far it’s come.   

In 2023, its shares gained over 200%. Last December, I recommended that investors buy its shares. I continue to feel it’s one of the few shining stars in apparel retail. 

Trading around $188, a 3-for-1 stock split seems about right. 

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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<![CDATA[Judgement Day for Roaring Kitty? 3 Meme Stocks to Sell Before June 21]]> /2024/06/judgement-day-for-roaring-kitty-3-meme-stocks-to-sell-before-june-21/ While they have seen spectacular growth, these meme stocks also reported horrendous losses and shouldn’t be in your portfolio n/a meme-stocks-reddit-wall-street-bets-1600 Screenshot of subreddit wallstreetbets on reddit, where meme stocks originated. Meme stocks, reddit. ipmlc-3000826 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:43:07 -0400 Judgement Day for Roaring Kitty? 3 Meme Stocks to Sell Before June 21 GME,AMC,LCID,NFLX Achintya Pasricha Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:43:07 -0400 Meme stocks are essentially shares of a company that have gained immense popularity through social media. Keith Gill, better known as “Roaring Kitty” on social media, helped start this craze, which became amplified through the subreddit r/wallstreetbets.

This led to the price of meme stocks exploding before subsequently dying down. This has happened again quite recently, with Gill’s return to social media. Meme stocks that were thought to be dead or dying suddenly showed signs of life.

Because meme stocks tend to trade more on internet chatter and not business fundamentals, they aren’t investments for a buy-and-hold portfolio. If you do own any meme stocks, you might want to sell them before June 21. That’s when some fairly prominent call options Gill owns expire. You may want to get out before the meme stock trade crashes.

GameStop (GME)

An empty GameStop (GME) store in Dresden, Germany.Source: 1take1shot / Shutterstock.com

GameStop (NYSE:GME) is a retailer that focuses on the videogame and gaming niche. It operates through both a physical and online marketplace. While it is quite U.S.-centric, GME also operates in Canada, Australia and Europe. It is on GME that Gill owns the expiring stock options.

After a bombshell disclosure by Keith Gill, who showed that he had tens of millions of dollars invested in GME, the stock went up by over 70% at one point. That made the value of his contracts briefly worth $340 million.

However, this also made GME grossly overvalued — by an average of 66.07% as per analysts. The company has missed the last two earnings estimates and has seen negative quarterly revenue growth of 28.70%.

Additionally, there are no strong growth catalysts for GME at the moment. Recently, CEO Ryan Cohen said the company would focus on cutting costs in the upcoming days. While this is a welcome change, when combined with declining sales and other factors, this puts GME in a precarious situation. Thus, I believe that it is time to offload this meme stock.

AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC)

AMC theater in Manhattan, New York City. AMC stock. APE stock

AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) is one of the largest theatre chains in the U.S. and the world. Just like GME, although it is primarily U.S.-based, AMC also has operations in Europe. It is currently trading at a valuation of $4.86, with AMC stock being down 88% over the last year, showcasing its inherent volatility.

Despite annual revenue increasing, AMC continues to lose money. Additionally, over the last three quarters, the chain has begun to see its revenue decline. AMC is still producing losses as well, though last quarter they did narrow considerably. In addition to this, the company is heavily in debt with $8.99 billion in corporate borrowings, operating leases and exhibitor services agreements It has only $624.2 million in cash and equivalents. A negative free cash flow of -$281.74 million isn’t helping AMC either.

There appears to be a lack of growth prospects as well. Since the pandemic, people have become increasingly attracted to on-demand streaming services such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Prime Video, Hulu, etc. This has directly had a negative impact on AMC and there’s no data to suggest the trend is reversing. It makes AMC a meme stock you should sell instantly.

Lucid Group (LCID)

Closeup of the Lucid logo seen at a Lucid showroom in Millbrae, California. LCID stock.Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock

Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) is an America-based electric vehicle (EV) company. While it is quite ambitious, the fundamentals of LCID do not work in its favor. This has made this once-promising company a meme stock that you should sell.

LCID saw an earnings decrease during its last fiscal year. Despite this, LCID still lost 54.06% more than FY2022. While it has seen decent revenue growth, it loses money on every car it makes. Lucid’s operating margin of -422.55% nullifies the sales it makes. Additionally, the company is carrying EBITDA of -$2.8 billion, which offers excellent insight into the tumultuous nature of the company’s internal operations.

The catalysts for this company offer only grim news. Just last month, analyst forecasts became more bearish for LCID, which carries a negative wave with it. Investors will likely get spooked by this, driving its share price down further. Additionally, LCID recently laid off 6% of its workforce, which certainly isn’t a positive indication, making this a stock you should sell.

On the date of publication, Achintya Pasricha did not hold (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.

Achintya Pasricha is a self-taught investor who has recently started to publish articles on a freelance basis.

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<![CDATA[Wall Street Favorites: 3 Social Media Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024]]> /2024/06/wall-street-favorites-3-social-media-stocks-with-strong-buy-ratings-for-june-2024/ Ever growing in popularity, these stocks are worth your time and investment n/a socialmediastockstobuy1600 Logos for social media apps displayed on an iPhone screen. ipmlc-2997721 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:32:33 -0400 Wall Street Favorites: 3 Social Media Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024 PINS,SPOT,META Divya Premkumar Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:32:33 -0400 The indispensable role of social media platforms in the digital age has many analysts optimistic about strong buy social media stocks

In just a few short years, social media has had a far reaching influence on people and businesses interacting and communicating. The widespread presence and integration of these platforms into our daily lives have made them a force unto itself. 

Hence, it comes as no surprise that companies in the space are thriving and growing at unprecedented rates. Experts predict that the number of social media users will jump to 5.85 billion by 2027, with the industry experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6% from 2023 to 2030. This will be amplified by artificial intelligence (AI), which will grow the combined market value to a whopping $9.59 billion by 2030

These staggering numbers have analysts rating several top names in the sector as strong buys. Investors looking to capitalize on these gains should consider adding these stocks to their portfolios. 

Pinterest (PINS)

Pinterest logo. PINS stock.Source: Ink Drop / shutterstock

When Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) first launched, it served as a platform for people to “pin” ideas from across the web. Once regarded as a virtual mood board, the company quickly pivoted to transform into a search and e-commerce powerhouse. Today, its primary revenue source is shopping ads and commissions from sales of merchant partner products on its platform.

The success of Pinterest’s e-commerce push was evident in its recent earnings report. Revenue rose 23% year-over-year (YOY), its fastest growth rate since 2021. Monthly active user growth remained strong, reaching 518 million at a 12% growth rate. Analysts celebrated the results, with several giving the stock a buy rating

Among the optimists was Piper Sandler that reiterated its faith in the stock, predicting a price upside of 19.49%. Other analysts echoed this sentiment with Loop Capital giving PINS stock a buy rating and a price target of $49. Citigroup gave the company a similar rating anticipating a price upside of $51. PINS stock is currently trading at $44. 

The market sentiments are reflective of Pinterest’s strong growth potential. Its ability to sustain user growth and expand the bottom line, makes this one of the top strong buy social media stocks on the market.

Spotify (SPOT)

Close up view of a smartphone with Spotify (SPOT) logo on display. Laptop and headphone on background. New technology, social media, network, liquid music concept.Source: Fabio Principe / Shutterstock.com

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) has revolutionized the world of music streaming services by leveraging a disruptive product and a “freemium” business model. It has since gown to a $62 billion valuation and amassed 615 million users globally. 

The company hopes to continue this upward trajectory by actively expanding its subscriber base and creating new avenues for advertising on its platform. In its efforts to drive this innovation, Spotify recently announced a hike in its membership prices. The news was well-received by analysts who praised the move. 

Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne remains optimistic about the stock’s performance giving it a $370 price target. Also, Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris shares a similar sentiment and has maintained a buy rating on this stock since March 2023. He believes this move will help Spotify unlock underappreciated value and benefit from greater advertising revenue on its platform. 

Therefore, the company’s numerous growth opportunities and strong user base make it one of the top strong-buy social media stocks.

Meta Platforms (META)

META stock logo is shown on a device screen. Meta is the new corporate name of Facebook.Source: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock.com

Meta (NASDAQ:META) has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade and shows several signs of continuing its upward trajectory. The company’s strong growth history and technological innovations give analysts and investors ample reasons to stay bullish.

Ad generation, which remains META’s core revenue source, has experienced robust growth. It reports a 6% increase YOY at $35 million in its last quarter. Also, the company was quick to jump on the AI bandwagon. It quickly launched its AI assistant Meta AI and language model, the Meta Llama 3. These investments are expected to yield long-term returns for the company. 

Meta Platform’s diverse offering and strong market presence have led several analysts to rate the stock as a strong buy. Following Q1 earnings, Goldman Sachs’ Eric Sheridan maintained a buy rating on the stock. He remains confident in META’s leadership to navigate investment cycles despite short-term volatility. Further, billionaire investor Dan Loeb has touted Meta as one of his favorite growth stocks.  

Thus, the company’s strong user base and investments in AI make it one of the best strong buy social media stocks on the market right now. 

On the date of publication, Divya Premkumar did not hold (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.

Divya has a background in finance and accounting and has worked in FP&A roles at Fortune 500 companies. She is an avid reader and enjoys writing on a variety of topics including stocks, crypto, blockchain and global policy.

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<![CDATA[3 Warren Buffett Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024]]> /2024/06/3-warren-buffett-stocks-to-buy-now-june-2024/ Shop for value with these Warren Buffett stocks to buy now n/a warrenbuffettstocks Photo of Warren Buffett at Congressional Hearing in front of microphones while smiling slightly ipmlc-2999815 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:17:23 -0400 3 Warren Buffett Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024 BRK-A,BRK-B,OXY,BMY,V Chris Markoch Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:17:23 -0400 Investors continue to look for the market to broaden before jumping in. They may be waiting awhile. However, if you have a long-term view of the market, it’s a good time to look for some Warren Buffett stocks to buy now.

A Warren Buffett stock is a stock owned by Buffett’s hedge fund, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B). Each stock highlights one or more of the investment principles associated with Buffett himself such as stable revenue and earnings, companies that show a competitive advantage (e.g. a moat) and the potential for long-term growth.

Not only are these principles always in style, but finding Warren Buffett stocks to buy now is particularly relevant in a market showing why best-in-class companies with solid fundamentals are solid stocks to own.

Investing like Buffett is too conservative for many investors. Others will point out that his approach may not be suitable for the digital, high-speed trading floors of today. But the track record speaks for itself. That is why many investors own one or more Buffett stocks either individually or in the funds they own.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Company logo seen displayed on smart phoneSource: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Although crude oil prices have stayed below the $80 level, they’re not likely to stay there for long. Even if consumer demand wanes this summer, meteorologists are predicting this to be an active hurricane season which could be disruptive to drilling operations.

And if you’re looking for an oil stock to buy, Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) is one of the Warren Buffet stocks to buy now. In fact, Buffett himself is buying shares again. His recent purchase raised Berkshire’s ownership stake in the company to approximately 29%.

What does Buffett continue to see in Occidental? He has long spoken of his admiration for Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub. Over the past several quarters, the company has been focusing its efforts on reducing debt, which is increasing its outlook for free cash flow.

And while oil will continue to be relevant for years, if not decades, to come, Buffett is also interested in Occidental’s investment in a lower carbon future through the company’s Zero In initiative.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

Bristol-Myers (BMY) logo at the top of a cellphone.Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

There are two stories that investors should understand when it comes to Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). The first is that the company faces patent expirations in the next couple of years. However, the company is making strategic acquisitions it believes will help bring other drugs to market to offset revenue loss.

This transition could take some time. However, much of the company’s pipeline is in the area of oncology. That’s significant by itself, but it’s particularly significant in the context of the company’s earnings outlook. In the first quarter, it posted a negative $4.40 per share. That’s an ouch, but one the company should recover from strongly. If it can, BMY stock is vastly undervalued.

Bristol-Myers Squibb offers investors a high-yield dividend of 5.9%. It has also increased its dividend for 16 consecutive years. Combine that with a stock price under $50, and BMY stock doesn’t appear to be a bad place to hang out while you wait for its pipeline to mature.

Visa (V)

several Visa branded credit cardsSource: Kikinunchi / Shutterstock.com

If there’s one universal truth about investing, it’s that earnings growth leads to stock price growth. Visa (NYSE:V) is expected to increase earnings by 11% in the next year. That makes it an easy choice for this list of Warren Buffett stocks to buy now.

Visa is the world’s leading payment processor, with its fingers in the pie of the vast majority of transactions that occur daily. V stock is up 19% in the last 12 months but down about 5% in the last three months. This is likely because of concerns that consumer spending is winding down.

That’s not a bet I’d be making, particularly if the next directional move for interest rates is lower. That would be bullish for the consumer. Analysts seem to agree that this is a buyable dip. Analysts give V stock a Strong Buy rating with a price target of $310.25. That’s a 14.4% upside to go along with a dividend that’s been increasing for 16 consecutive years.

On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not hold (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.

Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for over five years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019.

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<![CDATA[Wall Street Favorites: 3 Energy Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024]]> /2024/06/wall-street-favorites-3-energy-stocks-with-strong-buy-ratings-for-june-2024/ These energy companies have Wall Street analysts singing their praises. n/a greenenergy1600b image of a hand holding a bright light bulb outdoors with trees in the background ipmlc-2996233 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:00:00 -0400 Wall Street Favorites: 3 Energy Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024 TRGP,CVX,HES,SHEL Joel Baglole Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:00:00 -0400 Oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is booming. Growth is particularly strong in the Permian Basin that straddles Texas and New Mexico. In fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is forecasting that U.S. oil producers will set output records between now and 2030. U.S crude oil production is forecast to rise by 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) above 2023 levels by 2030.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. standard, is currently trading right around $81 per barrel. At the same time, the price of natural gas rebounded and is currently at a five-month high on forecasts of extreme heat across much of the U.S. this summer, raising demand for electricity to power air conditioners. The United Nations (U.N.) forecast that 2024 could be the hottest year on record.

This makes now a good time for investors to consider taking positions in stocks of crude oil and natural gas producers. Here is Wall Street favorites: three energy stocks with strong buy ratings for June 2024.

Targa Resources (TRGP)

Momentum stocks: Natural gas pipeline through green field with blue sky aboveSource: Shutterstock

Targa Resources (NYSE:TRGP) got a bullish write-up in Barron’s. The stock is also a favorite of analysts with a “strong buy” rating. All 14 analysts who cover the stock currently rate it a “buy.” There are no “hold” or “sell” ratings on the shares. The median price target on the energy company’s stock is 6% higher than where it currently trades. Analysts see Targa Resources as a great way to play the rebound in natural gas prices.

Some analysts are extremely bullish in their outlook for Targa stock. UBS, for example, raised its price target on TRGP stock to $147, implying 22% upside from current levels. JPMorgan Chase has gone so far as to name Targa stock a “top pick” in the energy sector with a $140 price target. Both UBS and JPMorgan like that Targa Resources is the largest natural-gas extractor in the Permian Basin of Texas.

TRGP stock has risen 40% on the year, with more gains expected.

Chevron (CVX)

CVX stockSource: tishomir / Shutterstock.com

Despite its underperformance, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) stock rates a “strong buy” from analysts. Among 15 analysts, a dozen rate the stock a “buy,” while three say it is a “hold.” There aren’t any “sell” ratings on CVX stock. Additionally, the median price target on Chevron’s stock is 22% higher than where the shares currently trade. Analysts don’t seem too troubled by the fact that Chevron’s share price has been flat over the last 12 months.

Instead, analysts say they like Chevron’s current valuation, with the stock trading at 14 times future earnings estimates and its quarterly dividend payment of $1.63 per share, giving it a hefty yield of 4.2%. Analysts also seem okay with Chevron’s $53 billion acquisition of rival Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), which recently won the backing of shareholders and is working its way through regulatory approvals. Over the last five years, CVX stock increased 23%.

Shell (SHEL)

Shell logo on a gas station in Iceland. SHEL stockSource: JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com

British oil giant Shell (NYSE:SHEL) is another energy giant whose stock has a “strong buy” rating. All four analysts covering the company rate it a “buy.” And the median price target on the shares is 30% higher than current levels. Analysts seem to agree that SHEL stock is undervalued at current levels. The company’s shares are trading at 14 times future earnings estimates and offer a quarterly distribution of 65 cents, giving it a yield of 3.75%.

In addition to the valuation and growth prospects, analysts like that Shell is rewarding shareholders. Earlier this year, the company hiked its quarterly dividend payment by 4% after reporting a strong profit for all of last year. Shell has also announced a new $3.5 billion stock buyback following the completion of its previous share repurchase program. Shell’s stock has increased 14% in the last 12 months, with more gains forecast.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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<![CDATA[3 AI Stock Underdogs Flying Below the Radar for Now]]> /2024/06/3-ai-stock-underdogs-flying-below-the-radar-for-now/ Not all great AI plays are the ones at the top of the market n/a artificial-intelligence-ai-green-1600 Graphic of letters "AI" on green techy digital-display background with square pixels spelling out the letters, symbolizing artificial intelligence and AI stocks ipmlc-3000493 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:30:18 -0400 3 AI Stock Underdogs Flying Below the Radar for Now CRWD,INTC,TSLA Joey Frenette Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:30:18 -0400 It’s hard to tell just how long the AI boom will last. Even as headlines begin using the word “bubble,” I’m not convinced that a big chunk of the tech scene is due for a horrid collapse in value, especially if AI bets start producing a bit of return or, in the case of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), a massive return that exceeded estimates of many raging bulls on Wall Street.

At this juncture, it seems too risky to chase the hottest AI stocks after recent sizeable moves. At the same time, investors also stand to miss upside surges by timing their exits too prematurely in the companies that view the AI boom as a long-lived secular growth driver rather than a short-lived boost that’ll end in tears. There are risks on both sides, to the upside and downside.

In any case, the AI underdogs may be worth looking into if you seek value and long-term AI upside. Some of the following AI underdogs have also been (mostly) left out of the latest year-to-date rally.

Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla (TSLA) sign on the building on car salesSource: Vitaliy Karimov / Shutterstock.com

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is an electric vehicle (EV) maker first and foremost, and the stock certainly seems to reflect such as auto deliveries roll sharply lower. That said, TSLA stock may have lost a bit of its tech premium amid the latest rampant sell-off.

Undoubtedly, Tesla can be a tough stock to value, given that it has several impressive innovations that could move the needle on growth in the long term. Indeed, fully autonomous vehicles and the rise of robotaxis may be seen as a potential “wild card” by many investors. However, self-driving capabilities are not where Tesla’s AI prowess ends.

The company’s Optimus Gen 2 robot has received praise from Elon Musk of late. Next year could be a big year for the humanoid robot as more of them find work at Tesla’s factories. As AI takes more of a physical form in the next 10 years, perhaps Tesla is best equipped to benefit.

Undoubtedly, incorporating humanoid robots could help reduce labor costs and allow the EV giant more flexibility to reduce EV costs to be more competitive with up-and-coming rivals in the U.S. and China. Are too many investors getting caught up in the auto dip and missing out on the longer-term AI-driven narrative? Time will tell.

Intel (INTC)

Intel (INTC) logo is seen outside of the Robert Noyce Building at Intel Corporation's headquarters in Santa Clara, California.Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) stock certainly seems like more of a value trap than a cheap AI play that investors may have taken the wrong way. At writing, INTC stock is down close to 40% from its 52-week highs. With enthusiasm over Intel’s comeback all but evaporated, questions linger as to how the fallen chip stock can win back shareholders, many of whom may have gone for the likes of Nvidia. Why settle for an underdog when Nvidia, the world’s new largest company, looks virtually untouchable?

Undoubtedly, Intel needs more than just a turnaround plan. It needs to execute and prove that it has more than just a puncher’s chance to return to the conversation with today’s AI chip leaders. Arguably, Intel needs to punch well above estimates to give investors confidence in the firm’s AI footing.

Though CEO Pat Gelsinger is a wonderful manager, there’s concern that the market leaders, like Nvidia, are just moving way too fast, giving laggards next to no opportunity to play catch-up.

While Intel is being aggressive with spend (investors seem off-put by rising costs), the company still seems like the “biggest head-scratcher in tech,” as Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives put it.

CrowdStrike (CRWD)

Person holding smartphone with logo of US software company CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (CRWD) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) is a top-notch cybersecurity company that’s hovering close to all-time highs, just shy of $400 per share. Indeed, every major cyber threat that hits the headlines can be viewed as rallying fuel for cybersecurity stocks. As cyber threats grow even more dangerous with generative AI at their side, there has never been a worse time to cut back on cybersecurity-related spending.

Given the pace of AI innovation, I’d argue the cybersecurity industry has timely enough tailwinds to bring forth even more upside. Further, we’re probably entering an era where it’s no longer sufficient to go with just any cybersecurity firm. To maximize protection, firms will need modern cybersecurity firms that are firmly grounded in the AI age.

You need to know AI to be able to fight off AI, after all.

With Charlotte AI, generative AI for the good guys, CrowdStrike may have the means to take further market share as it leverages AI in a way to expand the gap with industry rivals. As Charlotte AI advances its impressive multi-AI architecture, I view Crowdstrike as having the means to charge more as enterprises strive to get the most advanced AI-leveraging cybersecurity platform possible to prevent the nightmarish kinds of breaches we’ve witnessed in recent years.

On the date of publication, Joey Frenette did not hold (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.

Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.

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<![CDATA[3 Meme Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn]]> /2024/06/3-meme-stocks-to-sell-in-june-before-they-crash-burn/ Lock profits and avoid losses by selling these three meme stocks in June n/a sell1600 a frustrated man with a white board behind him that features a black downward arrow ipmlc-3000994 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:25:09 -0400 3 Meme Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn GME,AMC,SOFI,HOOD,PLTR Shane Neagle Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:25:09 -0400 The Federal Reserve is yet to cut interest rates and make capital cheaper. FUD fund futures project the central bank will cut rates two times this year, with the first one in September, which could influence decisions on meme stocks to sell.

But even if that happens, the market would get a signal that the economy needs to be stimulated even though inflation is off the 2% target. Historically, such an indicator would make the market more volatile in the short run. And which asset is inherently volatile already? Meme stocks.

In fact, investors may be looking at macro data and pushing in the profit-taking direction. This alone would put a sell pressure on these assets as a self-fulfilling prophecy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at meme stocks to sell, ones that have had plenty of gains already to lock in profits.

AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC)

The AMC Empire 25 Cinemas in Times Square in New YorkSource: rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

The meme twin of GameStop (NYSE:GME), AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) benefited from mid-May’s return of Keith Gill aka Roaring Kitty, the stock meme maker. At that time, AMC announced the sale of shares worth $164 million. Accounting for accrued interest and principal, that would place the stock price at $7.33 per share.

This was just after the filing of 72.5 million sold shares, raising $250 million, at an average price of $3.45 per share. While this goes a long way in diminishing AMC’s debt, it is still exceedingly high at $10.56 billion as of the latest May filing.

Concurrently, AMC’s accumulated deficit actually grew from the year-ago quarter, from $7.9 billion to $8.15 billion. At the same time, the company is yet to churn out a substantial profitable quarter (net income above $114M) since 2013.

The question investors need to ask then, are AMC fundamentals ever going to bridge this gap? Simply put, meme fumes alone are unlikely to cut it. Aligning with lower arts attendance, 6% less in 2022 than in 2017, movie theater attendance is even worse, showing little to no signs of recovery.

Alongside poorer movie quality, ideological commitments from movie studios that cause friction with audiences, and less security in urban areas, investors also have to account for new habits. Social media is habituating users to short-form content, and people are socializing less for coordinated excursions to movies.

Compounded with consumer weakening via inflation, none of it points to AMC’s recovery. At the present price of $4.86, AMC stock is double its 52-week low of $2.38 per share, making for a solid exit point. Investors who are betting on memory have a 52-week high of $54.97 to look for, as an unlikely and brief scenario.

SoFi Technologies (SOFI)

SoFi Technologies, Inc logo with stock market chart background. is an American online personal finance company and online bank.Source: Poetra.RH / Shutterstock.com

Focusing on digital lending, investing, and personal finance, SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) has become popular with retail. This garnered their attention outside the user experience into the SOFI stock itself, similar to Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD).

In turn, SOFI stock has seen much volatility during 2024, settling at 33% decline year-to-date (YTD). Unlike AMC, however, SOFI doesn’t have weak fundamentals. The platform gained 20% more accounts year-over-year (YOY) to current $151 million.

SoFi Technologies increased net income in Q1 of 2024 substantially, $88 million from net loss of $34.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Nevertheless, if the Fed’s hard landing happens, these figures will go down. At present price of $6.42, SOFI stock almost matches its 52-week low price, which is not far from the 52-week average of $8.01 per share. 

The bottom line is, SoFi Technologies is not a weak stock, but its volatility injected a lot of noise, ahead of macro headwinds. This marks SOFI stock as one of meme stocks to sell, but to keep it in mind later on.

Palantir Technologies (PLTR)

In this photo illustration, the Palantir Technologies (PLTR) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Peter Thiel’s Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) is a great case of locking in profits. Known as deeply embedded in deep state operations owing to its data integration and analytics platforms, the company lacks weak fundamentals.

In the last Q1 of 2024 earnings, PLTR (named after far-seeing crystal balls in The Lord of the Rings) achieved 21% YOY revenue growth. Ahead of the government revenue increase of 16%, commercial revenue grew by 27% YOY, with 42% client base growth. 

More importantly, the company continued its six-successive quarters profitability streak. However, with market volatility on the horizon, and the company’s five years of net losses, this is a strong case to designate PLTR as one of meme stocks to sell. 

Presently priced at $25.82, PLTR stock is above its average 52-week level of $19.01, and nearly doubles its 52-week low of $13.56 per share. 

On the date of publication, Shane Neagle did not hold (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.

Shane Neagle is fascinated by the ways in which technology is poised to disrupt investing. He specializes in fundamental analysis and growth investing.

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<![CDATA[3 Stocks You Don’t Want to Be Caught Holding When the Ҵý Drops]]> /2024/06/3-stocks-you-dont-want-to-be-caught-holding-when-the-market-drops/ Run from these stocks to sell before they drop even lower n/a red-down-arrow-stocks-sell-man-balance-1600 Graphic of little man in yellow pants and blue shirt balancing on a curvy downward arrow representing stocks to sell. S&P 500 Stocks to Sell ipmlc-2999323 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:23:48 -0400 3 Stocks You Don’t Want to Be Caught Holding When the Ҵý Drops ZM,ETSY,TSLA,AMZN Marc Guberti Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:23:48 -0400 Not every stock is a winner, and it’s important to know when to cut your losses. While it’s normal for corporations to report bad earnings every once in a while, some earnings reports can shatter growth narratives and put investors in tough spots.

Furthermore, some stocks can rally substantially for 1 to 2 years before coming back down to earth. These growth stocks are particularly risky as some investors may hold their shares, hoping the corporations can reclaim their all-time highs. Investors should remember they can choose from thousands of companies. You can find many growth stocks that don’t have red flags and have plenty of growth opportunities. With that in mind, why would you stick with a company that looks like it will underperform the stock market?

These are some of the stocks to sell before the market drops. Even if the market rallies, these stocks will likely be left behind.

Zoom (ZM)

A woman sitting at a desk waves at a large number of people on the videoconferencing software Zoom (ZM).Source: Girts Ragelis / Shutterstock.com

Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) enjoyed its heyday during the pandemic as people were forced to stay in their homes. The stock quickly soared as more people used the video conferencing app to meet friends, attend class and arrive for business meetings.

A return to normal times hasn’t done much for Zoom. Shares are down 20% year-to-date and are roughly 90% down from their all-time high. Zoom trades at a 21 P/E ratio, but that shouldn’t fool investors. Growth is stagnant at the company, as revenue only inched up 3.2% year-over-year (YOY) in the first quarter of fiscal 2025.

Zoom’s profits soared YOY, but it’s a bit discouraging when profits come amid cost-cutting without revenue growth. Profit margin expansion possibilities are very limited when a company is only maintaining a single-digit revenue growth rate. Most Wall Street analysts are on the sidelines for this stock. It’s rated as a Hold with five Buy ratings and one Sell rating. The remaining 15 analysts rated the stock as a Hold.

Tesla (TSLA)

An image of a Tesla EV charger

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is facing several headwinds. The company is losing ground in China as other EV manufacturers gobble up market share. China is an important market for Tesla’s long-term growth story, and it appears to be shaky. Chinese EV manufacturers are producing high-quality vehicles at much lower prices than what you’d find in the United States.

Chinese EV makers aren’t showing up in the United States or the European Union solely because of high tariffs. That doesn’t bode well for Tesla and other EV makers when they try to tap into markets that aren’t affected by those elevated tariffs. However, the problem is worse for Tesla stock since it trades at a 47 P/E ratio.

Tesla’s revenue dropped by 13% YOY in the first quarter of 2024. Most of its revenue comes from automobiles, which doesn’t warrant a tech company’s valuation. Even its net profit margins look like an automobile company.

Etsy (ETSY)

Etsy logo on a phone screen on a blue background. Phone is in a little cart and there are packages around them. ETSY stock.Source: Sergei Elagin / Shutterstock

Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) is another stock that performed well during the pandemic and has been well removed from its all-time highs. Shares have crashed roughly 80% from all-time highs and are down 27% year-to-date. Declining gross merchandise sales (GMS) are the main culprit for the lack of enthusiasm around the stock. If this metric continues to decline, revenue and earnings will go along with it.

Investors saw that on full display in the first quarter of 2024. During that quarter, consolidated GMS dropped by 3.7% YOY. A lower GMS figure also impacted revenue and net income. Revenue was only up by 0.8% YOY, as higher fees and advertising helped to keep this figure flat. The company wasn’t as lucky with its profits, as net income dropped 15% YOY.

Etsy isn’t the same place as it was a few years ago. It’s more difficult to find handmade goods that don’t resemble products you could buy from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Furthermore, the company’s heightened fees have frustrated sellers. Etsy’s management got greedy with its fees during the pandemic in hopes of boosting shareholder returns. Now, investors are jumping off the ship before things get worse.

On the date of publication, Marc Guberti did not hold (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.

Marc Guberti is a finance freelance writer at InvestorPlace.com who hosts the Breakthrough Success Podcast. He has contributed to several publications, including the U.S. News & World Report, Benzinga, and Joy Wallet.

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<![CDATA[3 Dow Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn]]> /2024/06/3-dow-stocks-to-sell-in-june-before-they-crash-burn/ These companies have big problems that are weighing down their share price n/a bear-stocks-sell-chart-down-1600 Brown bear figurine with downward chart overlayed on image, implying bearishness and stocks to sell ipmlc-2995546 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:11:23 -0400 3 Dow Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn UNH,NKE,CRM,DECK,MS Joel Baglole Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:11:23 -0400 The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been bringing up the rear among the three main U.S. stock indices. While the benchmark S&P 500 and technology-laden Nasdaq indices are up 15.69% and 21% respectively in 2024, and at all-time highs, the blue-chip Dow is up a measly 2%. The underperformance is being blamed on a handful of the Dow’s 30 component stocks.

While many of the stocks included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are outperforming the broader market this year, several are deep in the red. In fact, some of the worst performing stocks of the year can be found among the Dow 30, and that fact has been holding the index back compared to its peers. This has led to renewed calls for an overhaul of the nearly 140 year old index.

Here are three Dow stocks to sell in June before they crash and burn.

Nike (NKE)

A stack of red Nike (NKE) shoe boxes.Source: mimohe / Shutterstock.com

Analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) just lowered their price target on Nike (NYSE:NKE) stock to $114 per share from $116 previously. The analysts warned that the company’s upcoming financial results and guidance could be below expectations when the company next reports earnings on June 27. The Morgan Stanley downgrade is the latest knock on the stock of the sneaker and sports apparel giant.

NKE stock has been a big disappointment in recent years. The share price today is 46% below the peak it reached in November 2021 during the end of the pandemic rally.

So far this year, the Dow component has dropped 11%, completely missing out on the current rally. Weighing on the share price have been slumping international sales, particularly in China, and rising competition from other popular sneaker makers such as Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK).

The upcoming financial results from Nike could be a make or break moment for the stock. Investors may want to exercise caution and sell the shares now.

Salesforce (CRM)

The entrance sign of Salesforce Tower, at the American cloud-based software company Salesforce's (CRM stock) Headquarters campus in San Francisco, California.Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

Another stock that has been completely undone by its financial performance has been Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). The cloud-computing giant’s stock has cratered ever since the company issued disappointing first-quarter financial results.

CRM stock is now down 9.50% on the year, making it a Dow stock to sell. The share price has declined about 25% since peaking at the start of March this year, with no bottom in sight.

CRM stock went into freefall after Salesforce’s Q1 revenue missed Wall Street’s target for the first time since 2006. Executives blamed the miss on longer deal cycles and the implementation of a new go-to-market strategy.

However, Salesforce’s forward guidance also missed analysts’ forecasts, further hurting the stock. Management said that they expect deal compression and slowing projects in professional services to weigh on the company’s financial performance going forward. Time to sell.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

The UnitedHealth (UNH) headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota.Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Dow stock UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) has been hurt by a crippling cyberattack at its subsidiary Change Healthcare and by poor sentiment towards healthcare stocks. Shares of the largest medical insurance company in the U.S. are down 11% this year and up only 2.48% over the last 12 months.

This after UnitedHealth disclosed in February that a cyberattack breached part of Change Healthcare’s information technology network.

The fallout from the cyberattack has been far reaching across the American healthcare sector, with doctors left without a way to fill prescriptions or get paid for their services. The company is still working to bring parts of its system back online. UnitedHealth has said that the cyberattack at Change Healthcare cost it 74 cents per share in its most recent earnings print, and that its full-year impact is likely to be between $1.15 and $1.35 a share. The cyberattack looks likely to weigh on UNH stock for the foreseeable future.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in DECK. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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<![CDATA[3 Best Stocks to Buy for Investors Building a Brands Portfolio: 2024 Edition]]> /2024/06/3-best-stocks-to-buy-for-investors-building-a-brands-portfolio-2024-edition/ These are three of the best brand stocks to buy now n/a consumerdiscretionary1600c ipmlc-2997841 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:01:40 -0400 3 Best Stocks to Buy for Investors Building a Brands Portfolio: 2024 Edition NKE,LULU,YUM,FBIN,TLRY,STZ,BUD,CGC,AYI,KTB,VFC Will Ashworth Wed, 19 Jun 2024 13:01:40 -0400 Every now and again, I like to write about the best brand stocks to buy. However, the subject of the article is not necessarily what you might guess it’s about. 

You’re probably thinking it’s about great brands like Nike (NYSE:NKE) or Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU). While they are just that, they do not have the word “brands” in their corporate name. 

My most recent attempt to identify the best stocks to buy for building a “brands” portfolio was last September. The three names: Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), Fortune Brands Innovations (NYSE:FBIN) and a very speculative pick with Tilray Brands (NASDAQ:TLRY). 

Relative to the S&P 500, they’ve gotten crushed over the past nine months. It’s a reminder why Warren Buffett’s advice that most investors should just buy a low-cost S&P 500 index fund makes sense.

Alas, InvestorPlace is for actionable ideas about specific stocks, sectors, hot trends and other investment ideas.

Here are my three best brands stocks to buy for the long haul. 

Constellation Brands (STZ)

Constellation Brands logo on a phone screen in front of a blue and purple background. STZ stock.Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) is the largest of the three companies on my list with a market capitalization of $48.08 billion.

In recent years, it’s become best known as the U.S. rightsholder for Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and other beer-related products from Grupo Modelo, now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD). 

However, in addition to these beer products, Constellation also produces Corona-branded seltzers, ready-to-drink products under the Fresca brand, Kim Crawford wine, Casa Noble tequila, Svedka vodka, other fine spirits and wines. 

And who can forget the company’s big move into cannabis, investing $4 billion into Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) in 2018, only to watch that investment shrink to $190 million as of April 18, 2024. 

It now owns 26.2% of the cannabis company’s stock, however, these shares are all non-voting and non-participating. While Canopy continues to lose money — an adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, loss of $59 million in 2024, 72% lower than a year ago — its business is in a better position financially than it has been in some time. 

Analysts like STZ stock. Of the 26 that cover it, 21 rate it a “Buy,” with a $300 target price, 17% higher than a year earlier. 

Acuity Brands (AYI)

aculty signage (AYI) stocks to buySource: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) is a stock that I’ve followed and liked for some time. I included AYI stock in my September 2021 iteration of the Brands portfolio. While it struggled for 24 months until bottoming last October, it’s up 52% in the eight months since. 

The provider of commercial and residential lighting solutions has delivered for shareholders since CEO Neil Ashe was hired in January 2020. Its shares have more than doubled since. Year-to-date, they’re up more than 23%. 

Acuity reported its Q2 2024 results in April. While its revenues declined 4% year-over-year to $906 million, its adjusted operating profit increased 6% in the quarter to $118 million. Its adjusted earnings per share rose 11% to $3.38. 

“Our fiscal 2024 second quarter was another quarter of solid execution,” stated Neil Ashe, chairman, president and CEO of Acuity Brands, Inc. “We increased our adjusted operating profit, adjusted operating profit margin and adjusted diluted earnings per share. We generated strong free cash flow, and we allocated capital effectively to drive value.”

Based on trailing 12-month free cash flow of $504.2 million, its highest level in several years, and an enterprise value of $7.78 billion, it has a free cash flow yield of 6.5%. Anything between 4% and 8% is fair value. Above 8% and you’re in value territory. 

Kontoor Brands (KTB)

One of Kontoor Brands' (KT) Wrangler stores at a mall in Medan City, Indonesia.Source: Hendrick Wu / Shutterstock.com

Kontoor Brands (NYSE:KTB) is the smallest of the three stocks with a market cap of $3.81 billion. Its shares are up over 10.6% year-to-date and over 148% over the past five years. 

Kontoor is the company behind the Lee, Wrangler and Rock & Republic denim brands. It spun off from VF (NYSE:VFC) in May 2019. Shareholders got one Kontoor share for every seven VF held. VF has not had an easy go of it since the spinoff. Its shares are down 85%.

As for Kontoor, it is a good stock to own for income-focused investors. It currently yields nearly 3%, considerably higher than the average yield of 1.3% for the S&P 500.

The company’s Q1 2024 results were better than expected with an anticipated revenue decline of 5%, a 270 basis-point increase in adjusted gross margin to 45.7%, and $1.16 earnings per share, flat to last year.

However, it raised its EPS guidance for 2024 to $4.75 at the midpoint, up five cents from its previous outlook. It expects revenue to be $2.6 billion, flat year-over-year. 

Of the seven analysts that cover its stock, six rate it a “Buy,” with a $77 target price, 15% higher than where it’s currently trading.

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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<![CDATA[Rag to Riches: 3 Renewable Energy Stocks That Could Make Early Investors Rich]]> /2024/06/rag-to-riches-3-renewable-energy-stocks-that-could-make-early-investors-rich/ Jumpstart your portfolio sustainably n/a renewable-energy stocks-1600 Environmental protection, renewable, sustainable energy sources. Plant growing in the bulb concept. renewable energy stocks to buy ipmlc-3001150 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:45:49 -0400 Rag to Riches: 3 Renewable Energy Stocks That Could Make Early Investors Rich BEPC,BEP,ORA,RUN Josh Enomoto Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:45:49 -0400 When it comes to targeting renewable energy stocks, the narrative comes down to one thing: demand and lots of it. Sure, the sector may conjure up images of environmental activists chaining themselves to trees and similar activities. However, at the end of the day, sustainability is a business – and business is good.

Let’s look at some numbers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy deployment may expand by 17% to reach 42 gigawatts (GW) by this year. That would account for almost a quarter of electricity generation, as mentioned by Deloitte. Even more enticing for renewable energy stocks, this estimate could be on the low end.

Overall, Precedence Research notes that the global renewable sector reached a valuation of $970 billion in 2022. By 2032, experts project that the space could be worth over $2.18 trillion. If so, that would imply a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% from 2023.

You don’t want to miss out based simply on misconceptions. With that, below are potentially viable renewable energy stocks to buy.

Brookfield Renewable Corp (BEPC)

A phone displaying the logo for Brookfield Renewable Corporation (BEPC)Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock

One of the top-tier renewable energy stocks, Brookfield Renewable Corp (NYSE:BEPC) falls under the namesake brand of renewable power and decarbonization solutions. However, the difference with BEPC and its Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP) is the enterprise structure. Basically, it comes down to how difficult you want your tax profile to be.

Should you want something simple to deal with, BEPC may be an ideal solution. However, if you’re looking for maximum passive income, BEP gives you that option. Unfortunately, you must file a Schedule K-1 if you go this route. Either way, you’re dealing with a relevant underlying business.

For BEPC specifically, analysts anticipate earnings per share to soar to 47 cents by year’s end. In 2023, the company incurred a loss of 32 cents per share. On the top line, sales could rise to $5.74 billion, up 13.9% from last year’s tally of $5.04 billion.

BEPC offers a forward dividend yield of 4.8%. Combined with a moderate buy rating, Brookfield Renewable offers you a solid idea for renewable energy stocks to buy.

Ormat Technologies (ORA)

Storage tanks and pipelines of an Ormat Technologies (OAR) Geothermal Power Station in Wairakei, New Zealand.Source: riekephotos / Shutterstock.com

Based in Reno, Nevada, Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA) supplies alternative and renewable geothermal energy technologies. What makes Ormat stand out from the rest of the crowd is that rather than acquiring power through wind or solar – as is common among renewable energy stocks – ORA goes deep. The earth’s core provides constant energy and can be leveraged for various applications.

Geothermal solutions also offer a more aesthetically palatable profile in that they’re largely out of sight, out of mind. That’s not the case with wind turbines. Financially, Ormat is an intriguing idea because of its profitability. During the trailing 12 months (TTM), the company posted net income of $133.96 million. Further, it posted sales of $868.36 million.

For fiscal 2024, analysts anticipate a slight dip in EPS to $2.03 (from $2.08). However, the top line may expand 7.6% to $892.4 million. That said, analysts are pinning their hopes on fiscal 2025. That’s when EPS may soar to $2.47 on sales of $981.69 million. Further, the blue-sky targets call for earnings of $2.96 per share on revenue of $1.04 billion.

Sunrun (RUN)

The Sunrun (RUN) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in front of an American flag.Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

A provider of photovoltaic (PV) systems and battery energy storage products, Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) is relevant regarding the narrative of renewable energy stocks. However, market pricing dynamics take into account more than just relevance and that happens to be the rub. For example, in the past 52 weeks, RUN stock gave up almost 33% of equity value. It’s also down heavily from its peak seen in early 2021.

Unfortunately, one of the core headwinds against Sunrun was the troubling consumer economy combined with monetary policy. Runaway inflation hurt the company in terms of pricing pressure. On the other end, high borrowing costs made it difficult to finance solar projects. Therefore, Sunrun had to manage the business essentially under a vice grip. It wasn’t pretty and the results in the charts showed that.

Still, if you want to speculate, Sunrun could be an intriguing idea. To be sure, analysts don’t see much room for growth in fiscal 2024. Indeed, the sales target of $2.12 billion implies a 6% erosion. However, fiscal 2025 could see revenue rise to $2.48 billion. That would imply a 17% growth rate.

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.

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. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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<![CDATA[3 Stocks That Don’t Care Who Has the Nuclear Codes]]> /2024/06/3-stocks-that-dont-care-who-has-the-nuclear-codes/ This upcoming political investing season could be volatile, but these stocks aren't likely to be n/a stockstobuy1600_12 A businessman ripping his shirt off to reveal an upward green arrow with the word buy on it underneath ipmlc-2995087 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:41:50 -0400 3 Stocks That Don’t Care Who Has the Nuclear Codes PEP,BRK-A,BRK-B,OXY,KO Chris MacDonald Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:41:50 -0400 Although traders continue to be laser-focused on hyper-growth stocks for substantial gains, astute investors also love dividend holding stocks. While growth stocks offer high rewards, most of them come with higher risks. That’s why it’s important for investors to diversify and also buy dividend-giving stocks to ensure stability with dependable gains during market volatility.

Stability and dependability are more important to some investors than others. But companies that can continue to grow their cash flows and see their revenue and earnings tick up consistently over time are among the stocks I think investors should be more interested in right now.

There are plenty of speculative plays in the market for those looking to add risk to consider. However, these following blue-chip stocks provide the kind of growth most are looking for, with far less risk.

Let’s dive in.

PepsiCo (PEP)

Logotype of PepsiCo (PEP) against the blue skySource: FotograFFF / Shutterstock.com

Headquartered in New York, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) is known for its wide range of beverage products. Pepsi is also a snack giant, continuing to expand its portfolio of affordable luxuries for consumers around the world.

This diversification strategy has paid out well, with many now viewing Pepsi as more a play on the broader consumer discretionary sector than as a pure-play on the beverage space (as competitor Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is often viewed.

And from a cash flow perspective, it’s harder to find a better option. This diversified company has relatively high margins, driven by some of the best pricing power in its segment.

And unlike Coca-Cola, PepsiCo owns its production facilities, enhancing profitability despite high costs. In recently years, the company has posted strong bottom-line growth and dividend performance.

Thus, for those looking for a long-term consumer discretionary stock to own, I think Pepsi is a great pick here.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A,BRK-B)

Warren Buffett in the background behind a phone showing the Berkshire Hathaway logoSource: shutterstock.com/QubixStudio

In 1965, Warren Buffett came into the game as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B). And ever since, the firm has been known for its strategic investment prowess and ability to pick winners. With a long-term average compounded capital appreciation near 20%, Berkshire Hathaway is clearly one of the best examples of how investors can consistently beat the market over long periods of time.

Of course, given the firm’s size, there are now questions as to whether this can continue. Nevertheless, the company’s focus on paying reasonable prices for excellent businesses (rather than excellent prices for decent businesses) sets it apart.

The company’s portfolio is what I’d call recession-resistant, and is one long-term investors should consider. The company owns a range of ordinary businesses, and a selection of high-growth stocks (some tech) as well. It’s a portfolio that can stand the test of time. So, for investors looking to do the same, this is a stock to load up on during any major dips.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) logo seen on billboard.is an American company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration in the United States, and the Middle East. OXY stockSource: Poetra.RH / Shutterstock.com

One of the companies Berkshire Hathaway also puts its money in is Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY). Unlike its peers in the utilities sector, OXY stock has remained resilient despite industry challenges. This is the best time to add Occidental Petroleum. And that’s not only because Buffett is betting so heavily on this stock.

In Q1 of 2024, the company reported strong production of 1,172 Mboed and $2.4 billion in operating cash flow. OXY has expectations of $1 billion more in annual free cash flow by mid-2026, supported by potential oil price gains. Also, the company is prioritizing debt reduction and expanding into low-carbon projects. This includes the TerraLithium extraction and partnerships with TAE Technologies.

With its aggressive acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum in 2019, Buffett’s backing is also a strong reason to put faith in OXY stock. In my view, this is just one of Buffett’s long-term holdings that are worth adding as independent positions as well as doubling down on.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not hold (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.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

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<![CDATA[Sit, Stay, Profit: 3 Pet Care Stocks to Fetch Fantastic Returns]]> /2024/06/sit-stay-profit-3-pet-care-stocks-to-fetch-fantastic-returns/ Americans love their furry friends n/a pet stocks a puppy and a kitten sniggling together. represents pet stocks ipmlc-3001141 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:38:13 -0400 Sit, Stay, Profit: 3 Pet Care Stocks to Fetch Fantastic Returns CHWY,TRUP,WOOF Josh Enomoto Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:38:13 -0400 Fundamentally, the narrative of pet care stocks to buy comes down to simple demand. Irrespective of consumer headwinds – and there are a lot of them – Americans continue to open their wallets for their pets. You really couldn’t ask for a better backdrop regarding investment opportunities.

Look, we all know that inflation along with elevated borrowing costs have crimped consumer sentiment. However, the beautiful aspect about pet care stocks to buy is that pet-owning households are digging in. That was one of my main arguments during an interview with CGTN America. Yes, people are hurting but they’re committed to their furry friends.

The numbers don’t lie. According to the American Pet Products Association, total national pet-related expenditures reached $147 billion last year. Consumers are still opening their wallets for their four-legged family members despite the pressures. And there’s no sign that this sentiment will fade. As a result, these pet care stocks to buy appear incredibly compelling.

Chewy (CHWY)

The Chewy logo on a banner at the New York Stock Exchange.Source: Chie Inoue / Shutterstock.com

An online retailer of pet food and other pet-related products, Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) is simply on a roll. As Benzinga mentioned recently, CHWY stock gained more than 60% in the trailing month. At the end of May, the company started jumping due to a stronger-than-expected print in the first quarter. True, risks exist about holding the bag when it comes to high-flying securities. Still, the fundamentals are positive.

Looking at the matter broadly, e-commerce sales as a percentage of total retail transactions have been consistently rising since Q2 2022. As of the latest read (Q1 2024), the metric stands at 15.9%. At this rate, it will soon eclipse the record of 16.4% set in Q2 2020. Of course, that was when the world was under quarantine due to Covid-19.

Combine this dynamic with strong demand in the pet industry and CHWY appears awfully enticing. For the current fiscal year (2025), analysts anticipate a 167% jump in earnings per share to 24 cents. On the top line, sales could rise 5.5% to reach $11.76 billion. However, given the current state of affairs, the high-side target of $12.47 billion isn’t out of the question.

In totality, CHWY ranks as one of the pet care stocks to buy.

Trupanion (TRUP)

a veterinarian holding a small white dogSource: Shutterstock

Specializing in pet insurance, Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP) presents an intriguing argument for pet care stocks to buy. During the Great Recession, household pets suffered the most, with their human owners abandoning them due to obvious financial constraints. While it’s not fair to compare that period to the present, we’re still dealing with significant headwinds. Yet the current generation of pet owners are committed to their furry family members.

Fundamentally, that should be a huge plus for TRUP stock. It’s not the easiest investment to consider since shares have slipped almost 10% year-to-date. However, it did manage to pop up on Tuesday’s session ahead of the Juneteenth holiday. It’s possible that Chewy helped lift all boats.

On the financial end, Trupanion did lose $26.77 million during the training 12 months (TTM). However, it managed to post revenue of $1.16 billion. Further, the current quarterly sales growth rate (year-over-year) stands at 19.4%.

For fiscal 2024, analysts anticipate a favorable reduction in red ink to 43 cents a share. Also, the top line could rise 13.8% to $1.26 billion. With a promising profile, TRUP is one of the pet care stocks to buy.

Petco (WOOF)

The front of a Petco (WOOF) store in Los Angeles, California.Source: Walter Cicchetti / Shutterstock.com

Just like the San Diego Padres which it sponsors, Petco (NASDAQ:WOOF) is in a rough position. That’s not meant to be some smart-alecky joke. Over the past 52 weeks, WOOF stock fell more than 58%. That’s just staggering considering how robust the environment is for pet care stocks to buy. Similarly, the Padres found themselves falling in the National League West division. Ouch.

Still, there may be some hope – at least for WOOF stock. In the trailing month, shares have gained over 41%. On a YTD basis, the security has gained almost 16%. That’s quite a sentiment reversal. Again, it’s possible that Chewy is helping to lift all boats in the sector. On Tuesday, WOOF gained over 5%. At least some of the enthusiasm can be centered on the possibility of a short squeeze materializing.

On a financial basis, Petco is in need of some help. During the TTM period, the company posted a net loss of $1.32 billion. Revenue during this cycle reached $6.23 billion. However, the current quarterly sales growth rate sits at 1.7% below breakeven.

For the current fiscal year, sales may actually decline by 1.8% to land at $6.15 billion. Analysts are pensive on the idea, with many seeing downside risk. Still, the fundamentals could get people excited about Petco and possibly WOOF stock. It’s a high-risk, high-reward wager.

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.

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. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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<![CDATA[7 Penny Stocks That Aren’t as Ludicrous as They Seem]]> /2024/06/7-penny-stocks-that-arent-as-ludicrous-as-they-seem/ Yup, even the experts love 'em! n/a penny-1600 Pennies in a jar on top of a background of blurred pennies. Penny stocks. ipmlc-3001102 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:32:51 -0400 7 Penny Stocks That Aren’t as Ludicrous as They Seem NGS,PHX,GROY,RENT,GAMB,STEM,RCAT Josh Enomoto Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:32:51 -0400 Penny stocks to buy: professionals within the financial advisory industry constantly warn retail investors to stay away from this sector. They’re enticing, yes, because they feature a relatively low share price tied to a diminutive enterprise value. Of course, the idea here is that a solid news item can send the underlying security flying. However, the opposite is also true. Speculative entities can quickly flounder.

It’s difficult to come across hard statistics that demonstrate the probability of failure. But it’s safe to say that you’re not going to find any reputable resource telling you that putting significant risk capital in penny stocks is a good idea. Quite the contrary, virtually all organizations tell you to stay away. The ones that don’t warn you straight up that you’re taking matters into your own hands.

With all that said, not every speculative business will fail. A rare few may end up succeeding. And it’s also true that not all Wall Street analysts avoid this subsector. You may be surprised to learn that some experts are willing to put their reputations on the line to spotlight certain compelling ideas.

So, if you can handle the heat, here are penny stocks that can end up buying you a new kitchen and then some.

Natural Gas Services (NGS)

Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant with sunset and light orange. Best natural gas stocks to buy.Source: Rangsarit Chaiyakun / Shutterstock.com

Based in Midland, Texas, Natural Gas Services (NYSE:NGS) falls under the broad energy space, specifically the hydrocarbon equipment and services industry. Financially, it’s a decent enterprise, generating net income of $9.47 million over the trialing 12 months (TTM). During this time, revenue reached $131.45 million. What’s more, the present quarterly revenue growth rate (year-over-year) clocks in at 38.6%.

The performance has been consistent in the past four quarters since the first quarter of 2024. During this cycle, NGS’ average earnings per share hit 19.25 cents. This translated to an average earnings surprise of 171.4%. Looking out to the end of fiscal 2024, experts believe that EPS may jump to $1.39. If so, that would translate to expansion of 266%.

On the top line, sales may rise to $150.3 million, implying YOY growth of 24%. In fiscal 2025, EPS may reach $1.44 on sales of $166.25 million. Another factor weighing in on NGS as one of the top penny stocks to buy is the relevance of the underlying business.

Lastly, analysts rate NGS a unanimous strong buy with a $27 price target.

PHX Minerals (PHX)

a gas pipe with the sun going down in the background, naturalSource: Shutterstock

Headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, PHX Minerals (NYSE:PHX) is also another example of penny stocks to buy within the energy sector. Here, the company operates in the exploration and production (upstream) component of the hydrocarbon value chain. Financially, it appears a relatively solid enterprise, delivering net income of $4.18 million during the TTM period. Also, revenue reached $30.95 million during this cycle.

It must be said that the present quarterly revenue growth rate sits at 41% below parity. That’s not great. Also, the bottom-line performance has been shaky in the past four quarters. The average EPS reached 2.75 cents. This translated to a negative earnings surprise of nearly 19%.

For fiscal 2024, analysts don’t seem to have much confidence in PHX stock. EPS may land at 9 cents, which would imply a YOY erosion of 77%. Also, sales may slip to $35.45 million, down 20.3% from the prior year’s print of $44.46 million.

However, experts rate shares a consensus moderate buy with a $5.03 price target. In large part, they anticipate fiscal 2025 sales to rise 34.1% to $47.55 million.

Gold Royalty (GROY)

A pile of shining gold bars. Gold stocksSource: Shutterstock

Hailing from Vancouver, B.C. (Canada), Gold Royalty (NYSEAMERICAN:GROY) falls under the basic materials sector. Based on its name, you can figure that it’s one of the penny stocks to buy tied to the gold industry. That could be fundamentally intriguing because of the inflation narrative. Rising consumer prices have been sticky and that could cynically bolster the precious metals business.

Royalty firms offer better pricing predictability than pure-play miners because rather than mining the metals directly, they provide upfront capital to pure-play miners. In exchange for that capital, royalty firms receive all or a portion of the sales generated. Streaming is similar expect that the exchange is all or a portion of the metals extracted.

In the TTM period, Gold Royalty lost $25.08 million. However, it generated revenue of $5.17 million. Further, experts believe that by the end of fiscal 2024, sales may rise to $13.38 million. That’s up 339%. In fiscal 2025, the top line could soar to $22.07 million, up 64.9%.

Analysts rate GROY stock a unanimous strong buy with an average price target of $3.63. That’s a very tempting proposition given the fundamentals.

Rent the Runway (RENT)

Person holding cellphone with logo of US e-commerce company Rent the Runway Inc on screen in front of business webpage Focus on phone displaySource: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Rent the Runway (NASDAQ:RENT) falls under the consumer cyclical space. Specifically, it operates under apparel retail. Per its public profile, the company features 938 full-time employees. Its main business is a subscription model that offers various fashion items and accessories for rent (or resale). Fundamentally, the narrative could be intriguing due to pressures in the consumer economy.

While the broader economy is on a recovery track, it’s also evident that we’re facing a K-shaped recovery. Some segments of society are doing well while others are falling behind; hence the K-shape reference. Either way, households generally may not want to have their money tied down, especially for cyclical luxury items. In that sense, a subscription or rental business model may make sense.

During the TTM period, Rent lost $105.1 million. However, revenue reached $299 million. For the current fiscal year (2025), experts believe that sales may rise to $307.2 million. If so, that would be up 3% from the prior year. In fiscal 2026, sales could march to $324.4 million, up 5.6%.

RENT isn’t profitable yet, which is a concern for many penny stocks. However, RENT also enjoys a unanimous strong buy rating.

Gambling.com (GAMB)

A photo of 2 red dice rolling on a black mirrored background.Source: 7th Sun / Shutterstock.com

When you linger in the arena of penny stocks to buy long enough, you’re going to come across controversial or “questionable” ideas. One of those ideas is Gambling.com (NASDAQ:GAMB). I’m not saying that the business itself is scandalous or anything like that. However, I’d be lying if I said that the gambling scene didn’t have some reputational concerns.

That said, if you’re an ideologically agnostic investor, GAMB stock seems very compelling. First, a memorable name means so much in this hyper-competitive consumer world. What better label is out there than Gambling.com? In my opinion, it’s perfect. Plus, you have rising interest in online sports betting and speculation in general. If it were not so, meme stocks would not be a thing.

Enticingly, Gambling.com showed net income of $18.96 million during the TTM period. Also, during this time, revenue hit $111.17 million. The current quarterly revenue growth rate stands at 9.5%. For fiscal 2024, analysts anticipate EPS to rise 57.4% to 74 cents. Revenue may gain 11% YOY to hit $120.55 million.

Here’s the kicker – analysts rate GAMB a unanimous strong buy with a $13 average price target.

Stem (STEM)

A concept photo of different energy storage systems.Source: Shutterstock

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Stem (NYSE:STEM) falls under the wide technology ecosystem. Specifically, it operates under the infrastructure software industry. Per its corporate profile, Stem provides intelligent and renewable energy storage network provisions worldwide. With its advanced data analytics and real-time operational controls, it aims to maximize efficiencies of power grids and systems.

Fundamentally, this business could become enormously relevant. While investors are going gaga over artificial intelligence, the reality is that AI isn’t free. Because of the explosive demand for digital intelligence and other innovations, the U.S. power grid has become strained. And with these technologies only rising in consumptive force, we may soon have a severe crisis on our hands.

In other words, improving efficiency would be absolutely critical. That should benefit STEM stock. Now, before you get too excited, you should note that shares have cratered 70% year-to-date.

Now, to counter that negative point, analyst do believe that in fiscal 2024, revenue may rise to just under $600 million. That would be up nearly 30%. And the following year, sales could hit $772.59 million, up almost 29%.

Will that be enough? I don’t know. But STEM features a moderate buy consensus view with a $2.80 price target.

Red Cat (RCAT)

A drone being used by soldiers.Source: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Red Cat (NASDAQ:RCAT) falls under the broader technology sphere, specifically computer hardware. According to its corporate profile, Red Cat provides products, services and solutions to the drone industry. It specializes in navigation in interior spaces along with dangerous military environments. Based on the present geopolitical backdrop, RCAT might rise on cynical catalysts.

To be sure, Red Cat is wildly speculative, with shares trading hands at only $1.02 a pop. Over the trailing one-year period, RCAT stumbled more than 18%. At the same time, Glenn G. Mattson from Ladenburg Thalmann pegged RCAT a “buy” with a $4 price target. That implies upside potential of over 292%.

During the TTM period, Red Cat incurred a net loss of $27.17 million. However, during this cycle, it posted revenue of $17.9 million. What’s more, its current quarterly sales growth rate stands at 250.7%. For fiscal 2024, it’s possible that sales may rise to $18.14 million. If so, that would translate to a growth rate of 83%.

The following year, the top line could expand to $32.6 million, up almost 80%. If you can handle the risk, RCAT ranks among the penny stocks to buy.

On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.

Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Getting Scammed

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.

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. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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<![CDATA[7 High-Yield Dividend Stock Heroes for Robust Passive Income]]> /2024/06/7-high-yield-dividend-stock-heroes-for-robust-passive-income/ Let your holdings work for you n/a dividends1600 a bag on a table with the word "dividends" on it. represent dividend stocks of all time. ipmlc-3001075 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:17:35 -0400 7 High-Yield Dividend Stock Heroes for Robust Passive Income DOW,SPG,KMI,KEY,VZ,GLPI,ABEV Josh Enomoto Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:17:35 -0400 While growth-centric ideas – particularly in the technology sector – generally attract the most attention, investors should pay attention to passive income opportunities. They’re not nearly as exciting as wagering on the next big thing. However, high-yield dividend stocks can keep your holdings elevated while you navigate the market’s ebb and flow.

Fundamentally, dividend-paying companies give you a chance to come out ahead consistently. Picking winners and losers in the market is exactly what it sounds like – guesswork. Sometimes, you’ll flip heads and other times you’ll flip tails. However, when it comes to passive income, companies that provide it typically have stable and/or predictable businesses. There’s less guessing involved and more profiting.

To be sure, even dividend-offering enterprises carry risks. Sometimes, when the yield gets too high, it’s that way for a reason and usually not a good one. Fortunately, the below ideas are backed by Wall Street’s experts and also align with relevant businesses. On that note, below are high-yield dividend stocks to consider.

Dow (DOW)

man's hand holding wads of cash. stocks to buy. russell 2000 stocks to buySource: Vova Shevchuk / Shutterstock.com

Based in Midland, Michigan, Dow (NYSE:DOW) falls under the basic materials sector, specifically operating in the chemicals industry. Per its public profile, Dow engages in the provision of various material science solutions for packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. At the moment, analysts rate DOW stock as a moderate buy with an average price target of $61.42.

For fiscal 2024, experts anticipate that Dow will see an increase of about 34% in earnings per share to hit $3. On the top line, sales might dip half-a-percent to $44.41 billion. Still, the high-side target calls for $45.5 billion. Also, it’s possible that in fiscal 2025, revenue may rise to $46.83 billion. If so, that would imply a 5.4% growth rate.

As for the passive income, Dow offers a forward dividend yield of 5.07%. That’s well above the material sector’s average yield of 2.82%. Further, the payout ratio – while elevated at 65.68% – isn’t too bad considering what you’re getting. Overall, DOW ranks among the high-yield dividend stocks to buy.

Simon Property Group (SPG)

building facade of simon property group (SPG)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) presents a higher-risk case among high-yield dividend stocks. Structured as a real estate investment trust or REIT, Simon focuses on the ownership of premiere shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations. With the constant noise that the nation’s malls are fading away, SPG seems an odd idea.

However, amid the present K-shaped economic recovery, wealthy consumers are continuing to open their wallets. Further, analysts rate SPG stock as a consensus moderate buy with an average price target of $165.45. Interestingly, the most optimistic price target calls for $190. I doubt that analysts will risk their reputations if they don’t believe in the enterprise.

For passive income, Simon offers a forward yield of 5.42%. That’s noticeably above the average for REITs, which is already lofty at 4.46%. Still, investors should watch the super-hot payout ratio. REITs do run higher-than-average payout ratios but even with this context, SPG is up there.

Still, with experts projecting slow and steady growth for fiscal 2024 and 2025, SPG is worth a look among high-yield dividend stocks.

Kinder Morgan (KMI)

kinder morgan (KMI) sign on grassSource: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Calling Houston, Texas home, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) specializes in the oil and gas midstream segment of the hydrocarbon value chain. This category connects the upstream (exploration and production) component with the downstream (refining and marketing); thus, Kinder Morgan primarily focuses on storage and transportation of energy commodities. Of course, the benefit here is sustained relevance.

The world still runs on oil and may do so for quite some time. With that in mind, analysts have pegged KMI as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes in at $21, with the high side rising to $24. Not surprisingly, for fiscal 2024, experts believe that EPS may increase by 14.2% to hit $1.21. On the top line, sales may expand by 10.4% from the prior year to reach $16.73 billion.

Turning to passive income, the midstream operator offers a forward yield of 5.85%. That’s conspicuously above the energy sector’s average yield of 4.24%, which is already quite generous. The company also features eight years of consecutive annual payout increases.

Now, the thing to watch is the payout ratio of 92.42%, which is very high. Still, for the underlying relevance, KMI is one of the high-yield dividend stocks to consider.

KeyCorp (KEY)

KeyBank storefront logoSource: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) falls under the regional banking sector. As a disclaimer, KEY stock presents a greater risk profile compared to many other high-yield dividend stocks. After all, the financial services firm suffered amid the 2023 regional bank crisis. That said, shares have been moving higher over the past 52 weeks.

While the sector received a black eye more than one year ago, analysts are willing to give another chance to KeyCorp. Presently, they rate shares a consensus moderate buy with an average price target of $16.58. Further, the high-side target calls for $18. So far, two analysts have reiterated a buy rating on KEY while another is stuck with a hold.

Moving over to the passive income discussion, KeyCorp offers a forward yield of 6.05%. That’s a significant leap from the financial sector’s average yield of 3.18%. Also, the company has been increasing its payout annually for the past 13 years.

On a closing note, the financial firm’s payout ratio comes in at 50.13%. That’s very reasonable for what you’re getting.

Verizon (VZ)

Verizon Retail Location. Verizon delivers wireless, high-capacity fiber optics and 5G communications. VZ stockSource: RAMAN SHAUNIA / Shutterstock.com

Headquartered in New York City, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) represents one of the biggest firms in the communication services sector. As a powerhouse in telecom, Verizon benefits from what I would term permanent relevance. Analysts seem to agree, pegging shares a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target lands at $44.62, with the blue-sky target calling for $52.

For fiscal 2024, analysts admittedly see some challenges ahead. EPS may dip 2.5% to $4.59 while sales may only rise modestly to $134.35 billion. That said, the most optimistic forecast calls for earnings of $4.67 per share on sales of $136.15 billion. Circumstances may improve broadly in fiscal 2025, though, with the consensus estimate implying EPS of $4.71 on revenue of $137.03 billion.

Regarding passive income, Verizon offers a forward yield of 6.74%. That’s a country mile above the communication sector’s average yield of 2.62%. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Verizon enjoys 19 years of consecutive payout increases. Finally, the payout ratio sits at 56.47%, implying confidence toward income sustainability. Thus, it’s one of the high-yield dividend stocks to consider.

Gaming and Leisure (GLPI)

REITs to buy Real estate investment trust REIT on an office desk.Source: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

Hailing from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Gaming and Leisure (NASDAQ:GLPI) is structured as a specialty REIT. Per its corporate profile, GLPI focuses on the acquisition, financing and ownership of properties to be leased to gaming operators. With the post-pandemic travel boom still going strong, Gaming and Leisure could be an enticing idea for high-yield dividend stocks.

Analysts appreciate the prospect, rating shares a consensus moderate buy. Further, their average price target stands at a robust $61, with the high-side target reaching $188. Therefore, it’s possible to see GLPI providing a hearty mixture of income and capital gains. Financially, experts overall anticipate modest growth, with EPS hitting $2.86 on sales of $1.51 billion. Last year, earnings reached $2.77 per share on revenue of $1.44 billion.

Right now, GLPI offers a very generous yield of 6.96%. Again, that’s well above the real estate sector’s average yield of 4.46%. However, the enterprise can only boast of two years of consecutive payouts. Plus, the payout ratio is sky high at 102.58%.

Nevertheless, the travel boom is a fundamental catalyst to consider. If you can handle the risk, GLPI could be tempting.

Ambev (ABEV)

website image for ambevSource: Anton Garin / Shutterstock.com

Based in Brazil, Ambev (NYSE:ABEV) falls under the consumer defensive sector, specifically operating in the brewery segment. According to its public profile, Ambev engages in the production, distribution and sale of beer, carbonated soft drinks and other alcoholic beverages. Analysts peg shares a consensus moderate buy with a $2.80 price target. The high-side target rises to $3.10.

For fiscal 2024, profitability may take a slight dip, with EPS falling 5.3% to 18 cents. On the top line, sales may rise 2.9% to reach $16.43 billion. However, circumstances are projected to improve in the following year. That’s when earnings may rise to 19 cents per share while revenue can move up to $17.43 billion.

Regarding passive income, Ambev is the most generous name on this list of high-yield dividend stocks, with a forward yield of 7.08%. That’s a massive gulf from the consumer staple sector’s average yield of 1.89%. However, the payout ratio is a bit elevated at 75.27%.

Still, it’s worth mentioning that ABEV stock trades at 2.22X trailing-year sales. While not particularly undervalued, a year ago, the metric averaged nearly 3X. So, it could be a relatively good deal.

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.

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. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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<![CDATA[Summer Solstice Deals 2024: 3 ‘Longest Day of the Year’ Discounts for Thursday]]> /2024/06/summer-solstice-deals-2024-3-longest-day-of-the-year-discounts-for-thursday/ For those looking to save a buck, here are some summer solstice deals to look out for n/a sun_1600 A photo of the sun in a partly cloudy sky with an orange filter. ipmlc-2999215 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:08:22 -0400 Summer Solstice Deals 2024: 3 ‘Longest Day of the Year’ Discounts for Thursday DNUT,KR Chris MacDonald Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:08:22 -0400 It is that time of the year again when we can get to see more sun than dark. The Northern Hemisphere will slowly transition from winter to summer, which we all know is the summer solstice. Solstices mark the beginning of summer and the end of winter. 

During mid-June, the Northern Hemisphere will begin its summer season, and meteorologists define June to August as the summer season based on climate patterns.

This week, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere will fall on June 20, Thursday. Moreover, the Southern Hemisphere will experience Winter Solstice, wherein days will be shorter and nights will be longer.

Many Americans will gather to witness both the sunrise and sunset on June 20 and 21. Moreover, retail companies are also joining the celebration by offering deals and discounts on their products. Here are three retail companies giving out some of the best summer solstice deals this week.

Krispy Kreme

Offering half-off a dozen donuts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Krispy Kreme (NASDAQ:DNUT) is surely generous when it comes to offering summer solstice deals. On Thursday, the company will offer $1 for a dozen donuts. Customers could redeem the deal in person or online with the code HOTNOW.

On June 20, “Hot Light-est” day, Krispy Kreme will offer a dozen glazed donuts for $1 with any dozen purchased using code SUMMER. Additionally, some customers received a free dozen glazed donuts. Limits are two dozen in stores and one dozen online. Krispy Kreme also launched new donut dots in powdered, cinnamon, sprinkled and cookie crumb flavors, available in 10 or 24-count cups.

Kroger

Another retailer providing promotional activity worth considering is Kroger (NYSE:KR). The company is offering free ice cream, giving away 50 pints of their brand of ice cream every minute for 900 minutes on Thursday. Flavors included in the giveaway are Mint Chocolate Chip, Deluxe Tie Dye Burst and Vivid Vanilla.

To redeem the free ice cream, customers must visit FreeKrogerIceCream.com to download a one-time-use digital coupon for June 20. The coupon is valid at Kroger and affiliated stores like Fred Myer, King Soopers, Ralphs and Smith’s Food and Drug. The promotion excludes California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nevada, Tennessee and Virginia.

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays also has a summer solstice offer on June 21 with a “Free Fridays for a Year” giveaway and an all-day $5 Happy Hour. Twenty-one winners will receive a $1,000 e-gift card. To enter, participants can enter by following @TGIFridays on Instagram and posting with #TheLongestTGIFriday and #SweepstakesEntry. The company’s CEO and management team expressed excitement about enhancing the summer experience with this promotion.

TGI Fridays is extending its $5 Happy Hour for the entire day on June 21, featuring summer cocktails like the Hawaiian Mai Tai and Electric Lemonade, along with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Bulleit Bourbon. The menu also includes bar bites such as Loaded Potato Skins and Whiskey-Glazed Chicken Slammers. For details and orders, guests can visit Fridays.com, ensuring Friday’s excitement all summer long.

Bottom Line

Krispy Kreme, Kroger and TGI Fridays are only some of the many retailers and companies celebrating this year’s summer solstice. If you want to know what stores are also giving out discounts and sales, here is a list of stores you can check out. 

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not hold (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.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

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<![CDATA[7 Penny Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn]]> /2024/06/7-penny-stocks-to-sell-in-june-before-they-crash-burn/ It's time to cut these underperforming penny stocks loose n/a pennystocks1600 Image of a penny held between two fingers with a white indoor background. Dividend-Paying Penny Stocks ipmlc-2997787 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:00:00 -0400 7 Penny Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn NKLA,FCEL,FFIE,TELL,CHPT,MVIS,DNA,LAZR,TSLA Ian Bezek Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:00:00 -0400 The stock market continues to climb. But in this case, a rising tide isn’t necessarily lifting all boats.

In fact, high interest rates, geopolitics and a challenging macroeconomic environment have created several problems for many firms. Make no mistake: Many companies are facing severe problems trying to navigate the current landscape.

Traders are looking to penny stocks for big upside, particularly as the rest of the market has already rocketed higher. But there is little reason for hope for these seven penny stocks to sell. These struggling companies are in sorry condition, and investors should get their cash out of these stocks before it’s too late.

Nikola (NKLA)

Image of NKLA logo on phone screenSource: Stephanie L Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) is still sputtering along. The company infamously committed fraud during the tenure of its former CEO, Trevor Milton. Milton was, in fact, sentenced to four years in prison for engaging in wire fraud and securities fraud.

Since then, Nikola pivoted the business model. It built a factory in Arizona and is attempting to create a sustainable business around hydrogen-powered EV drivetrains.

Last quarter, Nikola delivered 40 hydrogen-powered EV semi trucks, which was up from the 31 it delivered in the same quarter of 2023. Despite this, the company’s revenues actually fell year-over-year and the company reported a massive operating loss.

All this is to say that Nikola should be applauded for trying to recover from its past scandals. But its business simply isn’t picking up steam quickly enough to turn the price of NKLA stock around.

Fuelcell Energy (FCEL)

Person holding cellphone with logo of US fuel cell company FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL) on screen in front of business webpage. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Fuelcell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) develops and sells fuel cell and electrolysis platforms. Its goal is to offer renewable power while helping decarbonize the energy grid. However, Fuelcell’s products struggled to find much traction with customers.

As of April 30, FuelCell Energy has amassed an accumulated deficit of almost $1.6 billion. This means that the company has spent well over a billion dollars on shareholder funding over the decades.

Yet there’s surprisingly little to show for it. FuelCell generated $123 million of revenues in 2023, down sharply from the $180 million annual revenues it generated a decade ago, back in 2014.

The company lost $107 million in 2023 on those revenues, indicating the company is nowhere near profitability. In fact, the company hasn’t generated a year of positive net income even once over the past decade.

It’s possible that FCEL stock will rally again due to a short squeeze or renewed enthusiasm in hydrogen stocks. However, given the long-term poor fundamental track record, FCEL stock will likely keep dropping toward zero over time.

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (FFIE)

Mobile phone with logo of electric vehicle company Faraday Future Inc. on screen in front of website. Focus on center-right of phone display. Unmodified photo. FFIE stockSource: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (NASDAQ:FFIE) is one of the oddest meme stock stories out there.

FFIE stock appeared to be kaput just a month ago, with shares trading as low as 4 cents each in May. Then, meme stock mania hit. With the return of the trader known as Roaring Kitty, certain highly-shorted penny stocks blasted off. FFIE shares, for their part, went from 4 cents to $4.

These gains would prove fleeting, however. Because, under the surface, there’s simply nothing to back up this sort of move.

The numbers are startling. Faraday generated just $800,000 in revenues in 2023, while losing $432 million. It also recently withdrew its production guidance for 2024, giving investors little reason to expect meaningful improvement. Given the company’s shaky balance sheet, it’s time to stick a fork in this failing penny stock.

Tellurian (TELL)

Large tanker ship carrying natural gas at dusk in harborSource: shutterstock.com/Wojciech Wrzesien

Tellurian (NYSE:TELL) is an energy company that has primarily been seeking to try to develop LNG export terminals, and it also operates an upstream energy business.

Tellurian has struggled to secure adequate funding for planned LNG terminals. This led to a collapse in the share price. The CEO also recently left the company.

Tellurian already appeared to be running out of time, and then political issues added to the struggles. Specifically, the Biden Administration announced that it is pausing approvals of new LNG export facilities for now, making Tellurian’s already shaky business case even more challenging.

With the stock price well under a dollar, traders might be under the assumption that shares are cheap and worth a potential lottery ticket bet at this price. However, the market capitalization is above $500 million due to unending share dilution over the years. That makes TELL stock an awfully expensive lottery ticket on a company whose business model is in grave trouble and whose CEO just left.

ChargePoint (CHPT)

EV stocks: A close-up shot of a ChargePoint charging station.Source: YuniqueB / Shutterstock.com

ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT) is a company seeking to power up the electric vehicle landscape.

Investors once gravitated to EV charging companies as a clear “picks and shovels” beneficiary of the broader industry trend. As EVs gain market share, chargers should become increasingly valuable infrastructure for the 21st century in the same way that gas stations were a great business in prior decades.

While the underlying thesis is logical and sound, it’s far from assured that independent players like ChargePoint will be the ultimate winners. EV manufacturers such as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) have already built large charging networks and oil and gas companies are making large investments in the space as well.

EV charging will likely be a great business as the industry matures. But there’s little proof that small independent players like ChargePoint will be the ultimate winners once the industry consolidates.

Traders are likely hoping for a short squeeze after CHPT stock’s outsized losses over the past year. However, due to dilution, the company still has a chunky $700 million market capitalization despite being a penny stock. With revenue growth stalling out and the company running massive losses, ChargePoint’s story has run out of juice.

MicroVision (MVIS)

Autonomous self driving electric car using lidar change the lane and overtakes city vehicle. MVIS stockSource: temp-64GTX / Shutterstock.com

MicroVision (NASDAQ:MVIS) is a technology company that was founded in 1993 and went public in 1996. Over the years, it attempted to commercialize various products and services, but little has caught on.

MVIS stock has fallen from a (split-adjusted) peak of $500 per share in 2000 to just $1 today. Shareholders have paid a heavy price for Microvision’s string of unsuccessful business ventures. Over the past decade, Microvision’s peak revenue year was 2018, when it brought in $18 million in revenues. Since then, however, that business line has been discontinued, and revenues have plunged to well under $10 million annually.

Microvision’s current lead product is a light detection and ranging (lidar) system to help commercialize self-driving vehicles.

However, lidar remains an unproven field and even industry leaders like Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) have seen their share prices collapse over the past year. There’s little reason to believe that MicroVision, with its limited financial resources and poor track record, will be able to compete in this industry.

Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA)

Person holding mobile phone with logo of American biotechnology company Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. on screen in front of web page. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo. DNA stockSource: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE:DNA) is a specialty chemical company that operates primarily in the healthcare and life sciences space. It has developed a synthetic biology platform to help clients with cell programming — the idea being that Ginkgo can enable the biological production of novel therapeutics, food ingredients and petroleum-derived chemicals.

The most obvious application is in biotech to aid the research and development of new drug therapies. This made for a compelling story. Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood was a prominent backer, and shares rocketed higher. However, short sellers raised a number of troubling allegations about the firm’s revenues, corporate strategy, and third-party relationships.

While short sellers often get things wrong, the accusations appear to have been on the mark in this case. Ginkgo Bioworks’ revenues reached their peak at $478 million in fiscal year 2022 but plunged nearly in half to $251 million last year.

Those concerns appear to have played out. The company’s revenues peaked at $478 million in fiscal year 2022 but fell to just $251 million last year. Analysts expect another steep decline to $186 million in revenues for the current year. The company lost a stunning $854 million over the past 12 months, and its balance sheet won’t sustain these losses for long. That makes DNA a penny stock to sell immediately.

On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.

Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Getting Scammed

On the date of publication, Ian Bezek 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.

Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.

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<![CDATA[3 Dividend Stock Darlings You’d Be Crazy to Ever Sell]]> /2024/06/3-dividend-stock-darlings-youd-be-crazy-to-ever-sell/ Buying and holding these dividend stocks can lead to higher returns n/a dividend-stocks 10 Mid-Cap Dividend Stocks to Buy Now ipmlc-2997007 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:47:01 -0400 3 Dividend Stock Darlings You’d Be Crazy to Ever Sell WMT,AXP,CTAS Marc Guberti Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:47:01 -0400 Dividend stocks attract many investors due to their passive income. It doesn’t take much effort to generate steady cash flow from these investments. You just have to find attractive dividend stocks, collect the dividends, and hold onto your winners.

Time in the market beats timing the market. Some dividend stocks keep on giving, with elevated dividend growth rates and rising profits. While some investors look at price fluctuations to determine whether to buy or sell stocks, it makes more sense to hold onto long-term dividend stocks. Yields rise with the dips, and strong earnings reports validate long-term investors’ convictions.

Wondering which dividend stocks present buy-and-hold opportunities for patient investors? These are some of the top stocks to consider that combine high dividend growth rates, compelling returns, and long-term runways. Wall Street is pounding the table for these stocks and believes that these corporations still present some upside for their investors.

Dividend Stocks: American Express (AXP)

the American Express logo etched into woodSource: First Class Photography / Shutterstock.com

American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a leading provider of credit and debit cards that continues to win over younger generations. Most of the company’s new account holders in the first quarter were Millennials and Gen Z consumers. That wasn’t the only good news from the first quarter. Revenue increased by 11% year-over-year, while net income was up by 34% year-over-year. American Express is fulfilling its multi-year plan, which projects 9% to 11% revenue growth each year beyond 2026. EPS growth is expected to be in the mid-teens during that same stretch.

Shares have been on a solid stretch. They’re up by 21% year-to-date and have gained 83% over the past five years. American Express trades at a 19 P/E ratio and offers a 1.23% yield. The P/E ratio is lower than other credit and debit card issuers, while its yield is higher. American Express also has an impressive double-digit dividend growth rate. The fintech firm hiked its dividend by 17% this year.

Cintas (CTAS)

Image of the Cintas (CTAS) logo on the side of a white van.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) has a diversified customer pool that includes more than one million businesses. The company has provided essential business supplies and safety equipment for small businesses and corporations since the Great Depression.

The stock only offers a 0.76% yield but makes up for it with an impressive growth rate. Cintas has maintained an annualized dividend growth rate of 21.05% over the past decade. That’s not the only thing growing. The corporation’s stock has gained 20% year-to-date while more than tripling over the past five years.

Rising revenue and profit margins have generated plenty of buzz among shareholders, and that’s part of the reason the stock has outperformed the market. Revenue increased by 9.9% year-over-year in Q3 FY24, while net income was up by 22.0% year-over-year.

Cintas is currently rated as a Moderate Buy with a projected 3% upside from current levels. The highest price target of $790 per share suggests that Cintas can gain an additional 12%.

Walmart (WMT)

Walmart (WMT) sign on front of Walmart store at sundownSource: fotomak / Shutterstock.com

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has been attracting more investors as its e-commerce and advertising segments continue to grow and support higher profit margins. Those segments were up by 21% and 24% year-over-year, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2025. Overall revenue increased by 6.0% year-over-year to reach $161.5 billion.

The company’s affordable prices and dominant position as a global retailer and grocery should help it generate solid returns in the years to come. Shares are up by 27% year-to-date and have gained 82% over the past five years. Many Wall Street analysts believe that there’s more momentum in this rally that remains untapped. The average price target implies a 9% upside from current levels. The stock has received 25 Buy ratings and 3 Hold ratings, making it a consensus Strong Buy.

Walmart offers a 1.23% yield, and a recent 9% dividend boost suggests that more growth is on the way. This dividend hike marks Walmart’s 51st consecutive year of dividend increases.

On the date of publication, Marc Guberti 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.comPublishing Guidelines.

Marc Guberti is a finance freelance writer at InvestorPlace.com who hosts the Breakthrough Success Podcast. He has contributed to several publications, including the U.S. News & World Report, Benzinga, and Joy Wallet.

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<![CDATA[3 Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn]]> /2024/06/3-stocks-to-sell-in-june-before-they-crash-burn/ These three companies could be on the decline n/a sell1600 Stock market plummet sell shares on exchange with financial loss and money gone, representing stocks to sell ipmlc-3001027 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:27:33 -0400 3 Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn NASDAQ NVDA,BA,EADSY,SPG Shane Neagle Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:27:33 -0400 Throughout 2023, non-farm payroll jobs were overstated by 730,000. This discrepancy trend is continuing into 2024. While the latest jobs data for May reported 272,000 payroll job gains, the household survey showed an opposite picture of over 400,000 jobs lost, suggesting it may be time to identify potential stocks to sell.

Even though gross domestic product (GDP) growth is somewhat misleading because it accounts for government spending, it slowed to a rate of 1.6% annualized in Q1 versus an expected 2.4%. On top of that, government spending included in GDP growth comes from a $1.2 trillion budget deficit in the current fiscal year, a $38 billion uptick from a year ago. In May, the deficit totaled $347 billion, a 44% increase year-over-year (YOY).

For investors who think these figures are not painting a healthy economic picture, here are three stocks to sell and take profits from now before they crash.

Nvidia (NVDA)

Nvidia corporation logo displayed on smartphone with stock market chart background. Nvidia is a global leader in artificial intelligence hardware. NVDA stockSource: Evolf / Shutterstock.com

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) seems like a relentless success story riding the artificial intelligence (AI) wave. With a year-to-date (YTD) growth of 181%, it is difficult for shareholders to give up that momentum. After the 10-to-1 stock split, Nvidia further neutralized the psychological barrier of the stock seeming too expensive, demonstrated by a 43% valuation boost in the last 30 days.

Yet, even with a 262% YOY reported revenue growth in May’s earnings, does Nvidia’s upward trajectory align with reality? 

For that to be the case, feeding data to AI models would have to lack a ceiling. In turn, data centers would be needed to process the data. But this academic study published in April clearly points to diminishing returns. The authors share that their study reveals “an exponential need for training data which implies that the key to ‘zero-shot’ generalization capabilities under large-scale training paradigms remains to be found.”

In other words, for AI models to tackle new tasks, there is not only lack of sufficient and pertinent data for training, but the data fed would vastly outgrow the practical cost-benefits in the real world. Effectively, the current brute-force method of AI training, necessitating Nvidia’s data center supply, is unlikely to push the AI envelope.  

This would point to an AI performance plateau. And even if a new methodology breaches that plateau, the new approach needed would limit Nvidia’s data center revenue growth. 

That reality could sink in sooner rather later. Accounting for the new stock split, NVDA stock’s average over the last 52-weeks is $63 per share. At the present price of $135 per share, this would make NVDA an excellent candidate for one of the top stocks to sell right now.

Boeing (BA)

image of a Boeing (BA) 737 max aircraft. stocks to buy and sell related to BoeingSource: Marco Menezes / Shutterstock.com

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has seen plenty of negative headlines over the last year. Rightfully so, many investors saw this as an opportunity to buy the BA dip. After all, Boeing is indispensable due to its military contracts, commercial aviation duopoly and aerospace contracts with NASA.  

However, following the revelation that both Boeing and Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY) may have utilized titanium with fake documentation, a buying the dip strategy could be questionable. This could point to the material being of lesser quality than it needs to be which could cause future problems that continue tanking the stock. 

More importantly, the false documents may have been used because sanctions on Russian titanium necessitated a new supplier from China. Considering all other issues plaguing Boeing, this geopolitical situation points to a multi-year period of systemic problems for the company.

Emirates president Tim Clark said Boeing may need years to recover, highlighting the long-term nature of these issues. In fact, in the last five years, Boeing’s shares have fallen over 52%, underscoring the company’s prolonged struggle to regain investor confidence.

At the present price of $175, BA shares are significantly over their 52-week low of $159.70, making this a safe, precautionary exit.

Simon Property Group (SPG)

building facade of simon property group (SPG)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

A real estate investment trust (REIT), Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) beat earnings per share (EPS) estimates for three consecutive quarters. The Q1 quarter came with a double-digit surprise of 27% at $3.56 reported versus $2.80 estimated.

However, neither residential or commercial real estate is looking especially healthy. Focused mainly on retailers, entertainment providers, shopping centers, restaurants and other commercial segments, SPG is reliant on the performance of the commercial real estate sector.

And delinquency rate on commercial real estate loans is swinging upward, even more so than during the lockdown period circa March 2020. With a potential elevated vacancy trend, SPG would face a severe drop in rental income while still having to cover the operating expenses for the properties. 

To avoid SPG’s potential write-downs and dividend reductions, investors should consider it as one of stocks to sell on a good dividend note. 

YTD, SPG stock is up 2.7%. At a present price of $147, SPG stock is above its 52-week average of $131.56 per share. 

On the date of publication, Shane Neagle did not hold (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.

Shane Neagle is fascinated by the ways in which technology is poised to disrupt investing. He specializes in fundamental analysis and growth investing.

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<![CDATA[2 High-Yield Value Stocks to Buy and One to Boot]]> /2024/06/2-high-yield-value-stocks-to-buy-and-one-to-boot/ The high-yield value stocks seem tempting as market-wide valuations climb n/a valuestocks_1600_03 A stock trader checking technical markers of a stock on a computer screen representing value stocks ipmlc-2997154 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:23:57 -0400 2 High-Yield Value Stocks to Buy and One to Boot T,MO,HAS,NVDA Joey Frenette Wed, 19 Jun 2024 11:23:57 -0400 High-yield stocks probably won’t yield nearly as much after the Federal Reserve has had the chance to cut interest rates a few times. Undoubtedly, we haven’t had the first rate cut yet, but investors seem optimistic as the Fed finally looks to make a move, perhaps as soon as September. In any case, the high-yield value plays represent an intriguing, albeit less popular, opportunity as other investors continue punching their ticket into high-growth technology plays.

As the mega-cap tech stars continue to draw in considerable amounts of investment dollars, questions linger as to when we’ll finally reach “peak concentration” at the very top of the tech scene. Undoubtedly, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock continued to surge higher, even in the face of doubters. Should NVDA stock reverse course and drag the rest of mega-cap tech into a correction, perhaps the high-yield value plays could beckon investors seeking a rotation.

Here are two intriguing high-yield value plays that look buyable, followed by one to steer clear of.

Hasbro (HAS)

Hasbro (HAS stock) letters standing next to Magic the Gathering trading cards (a game from Hasbro)Source: Nico Bekasinski / Shutterstock.com

Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) is a long-time toymaker attempting to recover after a nasty slip from 2019 all-time highs. Now down close to 50% from its peak, HAS stock looks like a consumer discretionary that holds tremendous potential if the consumer has a return to peak health. Perhaps the falling-rate trajectory and ongoing decline of sky-high inflation could be enough to convince consumers to return to the toy store.

When it comes to Hasbro, it’s more than just children’s toys. The firm also stands to gain from demand for adult-friendly classics, like Monopoly. And we’re not just talking about the board game, either. The Monopoly Go! app can help pad coming quarterly earnings, according to Bank of America analysts.

These analysts also see the toy company “poised for strong 2025 momentum” as several catalysts gradually come into play. With robust newfound momentum (up 42% from November 2023 lows) and a nice 4.6% dividend yield, HAS stock is a stand-out high-yielder for value seekers.

AT&T (T)

AT&T Retail cell phone and mobility store. T stockSource: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

AT&T (NYSE:T) is a telecom titan with a towering 6.3% dividend yield at writing. At writing, T stock also looks incredibly cheap at 9.5 times trailing price-to-earnings (P/E). Despite the generous dividend payout and the seemingly too-good-to-be-true single-digit P/E ratio, AT&T stock boasts one of the least appealing 10-year charts out there.

At writing, the stock’s down close to 46% from its 2016 highs, so you’ll be going against the long-term trend, even with recent relief gains enjoyed over the past year and the somewhat promising strategic plan in place.

Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar thinks AT&T stock is a buy as it continues its multi-year transformation. Specifically, Ventkateshwar likes the catalysts ahead, the low churn versus rivals, and the “cleaner outlook for growth.” I couldn’t agree more. AT&T’s prior efforts are finally starting to pay dividends. With such depressed expectations, legacy telecom may not need to prove much to march even higher.

Altria (MO)

a sign with the Altria (MO) logoSource: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Altria (NYSE:MO) is a tobacco company that seems destined to stay in the penalty box. Cigarettes seem to be in secular decline, pushing the Big Tobacco industry to shift more toward no-smoke products. Though Altria plans to move toward a smoke-free future, I don’t think there’s any escaping the multi-decade decline in cigarettes.

Further, younger generations seem to be more health conscious, not just regarding not smoking but also regarding limiting alcohol consumption. It’s tough to bet against a secular trend that’s showing no signs of reversing course.

The 8.84% dividend yield looks tempting, but with growth prospects poised to go up in smoke and a considerable amount of long-term debt on the balance sheet (over $25 billion at the end of last year), it just doesn’t seem wise to buy no matter how much cheaper the stock gets. At 9.4 times trailing P/E, MO stock looks cheap, but it’s probably nothing more than a cigar butt.

On the date of publication, Joey Frenette did not hold (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.

Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.

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<![CDATA[3 Penny Stocks Poised to Turn Pocket Change Into a Small Fortune by 2028]]> /2024/06/3-penny-stocks-poised-to-turn-pocket-change-into-a-small-fortune-by-2028/ Many penny stocks are terrible investments, but these are three that are exceptions to the rule n/a pennystocks1600a A hand holding a magnifying glass over pennies. under-$1 stocks to buy. penny stocks to buy ipmlc-2995399 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:30:54 -0400 3 Penny Stocks Poised to Turn Pocket Change Into a Small Fortune by 2028 JOBY,LGVN,AISP,ALB,NVDA Rich Duprey Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:30:54 -0400 Penny stocks are a tripwire for mayhem. They can easily blow up your portfolio. It’s why often the best advice to follow when looking for penny stocks to buy is to don’t. 

Far too often, these low-priced stocks simply offer a story about whatever topic is hot at the moment. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the big story? This penny stock will be the next Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Is lithium mining hot? Watch out, Albermarle (NYSE:ALB), as this pink sheet company is coming after you.

The point is, while the companies may not be outright scams (though that is a good possibility), they often are little more than shell companies with a business plan. 

And yet, the allure of penny stocks is hard to deny. Controlling hundreds if not thousands of shares of a stock for relatively very little money means if it goes up just a nickel or dime you’ll make a small fortune. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. You are more likely to lose your entire investment.

Still, sometimes you stumble across a penny stock to buy that does seem to hold promise. The three stocks below fit the bill. They are still risky as hell but can potentially turn some pocket change into real wealth.

Longeveron (LGVN)

Female doctor holding virtual volumetric drawing of Heart in hand. Handrawn human organ, copy space on right side, grey hdr color. Healthcare hospital service concept stock photo. LGVN stockSource: mi_viri / Shutterstock.com

Longeveron (NASDAQ:LGVN) is a clinical-stage biotech developing cellular therapies for age-related and life-threatening conditions in the U.S. and Japan. Its lead investigational drug is Lomecel-B, which is used to treat a wide array of diseases. 

Sourced from bone marrow tissue from adult donors, it holds the potential for pro-vascular, pro-regenerative, anti-inflammatory and tissue repair and healing effects. 

That is a mouthful, but Lomecel-B is an allogeneic medicinal signaling cell (MSC). It just successfully completed an investigator meeting for Longeveron’s ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial for treating a rare pediatric congenital heart birth defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). The meeting was organized to discuss the drug’s progress to date and the operational implementation of the clinical trial.

In Phase 1 trials, infants receiving Lomecel-B had 100% transplant-free survival up to five years old compared to the approximate 20% mortality rate observed in historical control data.

The news sent Longeveron’s stock soaring. It tripled in value in just one week. While shares crashed 25% after it exercised warrants to raise $4.4 million, the successful conclusion of the Phase 2b trial could send LGVN stock higher once again. While there remains a long way to go before approval, Longeveron seems to hold much promise.

Airship AI (AISP)

AI stocks to buy now, Graphic of letters "AI" in bold font surrounded by circle of tech symbols in purple and blue against a dark background. ai stocks to buySource: shutterstock.com/Tex vector

Speaking of AI, Airship AI (NASDAQ:AISP) soared to over $14 a share earlier this year after announcing it won a sole-source contract with the Justice Department for its Acropolis Enterprise Sensor Management video and data management platform.  

Airship is an AI-driven video, sensor and data management surveillance platform primarily for the public sector. Acropolis enables customers to manage devices and sensors across their entire digital ecosystem. Its platform can monitor cameras at the edge and use AI to identify potential threats to security.

However, Airship ended up giving back almost three-quarters of those gains over the ensuing months. Last week, though, the AI company announced a third agency within the Justice Department signed up for the Acropolis platform sending shares higher once again. They didn’t rise nearly so far this time but it shows Airship is able to scale up as customer needs grow.

The latest sole-source contract was for a single year but with an option for four one-year renewals. The contract was valued at six figures. Sole-source contracts are those awarded without any competitive bidding. It usually happens when only a single business can fulfill the requirements of a contract.

Trading for just over $4 a share, there is plenty of future growth in store particularly as more agencies sign on and the annual contract options are extended.

Joby Aviation (JOBY)

Joby Aviation logo. Joby Aviation is a US company creating an electric aircraft for air taxi services.Source: Iljanaresvara Studio / Shutterstock.com

Many investors are familiar with the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer Joby Aviation (NASDAQ:JOBY). The company is at the forefront of creating a new industry from the ground up.

Electric urban air transport promises to revolutionize short-haul travel, such as flights from airports to area heliports. Joby is leading the way. It recently received its Part 135 Air Carrier & Operator Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. It is a significant development as it means Joby can operate aircraft commercially to refine its systems and procedures for launching its air taxi service next year. Joby will need the FAA’s Type Certification to launch the business.

Of course, as a startup, it means Joby Aviation has no revenue to speak of and is generating losses. Yet, I see this as an extremely viable opportunity. With JOBY stock trading at just under $5 a share, it is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry with substantial growth potential.

On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.

Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Getting Scammed

On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (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.

Rich Duprey has written about stocks and investing for the past 20 years. His articles have appeared on Nasdaq.com, The Motley Fool, and Yahoo! Finance, and he has been referenced by U.S. and international publications, including ҴýWatch, Financial Times, Forbes, Fast Company, USA Today, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cheddar News, The Boston Globe, L’Express, and numerous other news outlets.

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<![CDATA[Rag to Riches: 3 AR Stocks That Could Make Early Investors Rich]]> /2024/06/rag-to-riches-3-ar-stocks-that-could-make-early-investors-rich/ AR stocks attract major interest as the market grows exponentially n/a augmented reality stocks industrial factory chief engineer wearing AR headset ipmlc-2996494 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:25:11 -0400 Rag to Riches: 3 AR Stocks That Could Make Early Investors Rich NVDA,GOOG,GOOGL,SYM,AAPL,MSFT,META Faizan Farooque Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:25:11 -0400 The augmented reality (AR) market is expanding rapidly, set to be worth $50.25 billion in 2024 and expected to expand 35% annually to $570.79 billion by 2032. AR stocks will continue to attract attention due to the astronomical value proposition on offer as the sector grows. Due to U.S. government funding and immersive technology expenditures, North America is expected to dominate the industry.

Companies are increasingly adding AR to a wide range of products and services. As an example, ActiveLook has connected its micro-projection technology to the CrewNerd app so that rowers can see their real-time AR success data. The official AmazeVR Concerts app also launched with a special concert by Zara Larsson, showing how AR can be used in entertainment.​

Furthermore, during its Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 event, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently showed off new features for its Vision Pro AR device. These features could help the gadget become more popular with regular people; Apple thinks that between 500,000 and 600,000 Vision Pros will sell this year.

At the same time, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is updating HoloLens with AR functionality and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) continues innovating in AR by overhauling its Quest 3 headset.

The latest industry moves and multi-billion dollar market size will inevitably lead to more investors searching for AR stocks. Itt’s a savvy move, so let’s explore some that are getting plenty of analyst love.

Nvidia (NVDA)

Microchip GPU with Nvidia logo in the background. High quality photo. NVDA stockSource: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), one of the Magnificent Seven equities, is now the most valuable firm in the world after growing 239% in 2023 and 181% this year. NVDA has numerous business lines, including AR.

At Computex 2024, NVDA demonstrated better AR immersion with RTX computers powered by artificial intelligence (AI). With these advancements, developers may leverage Nvidia’s AI-AR technique to create more engaging AR applications.

Nvidia’s Omniverse offers CloudXR virtual reality (VR) add-ons. AR devices provide and receive 3D data and position virtual objects in real life. Professionals may immerse themselves with graphics and industrial AR. Foxconn builds digital twins and improves robotic facilities utilizing Nvidia’s Omniverse, Isaac and Metropolis platforms to further industrial digitalization.

Nvidia’s CloudXR software allows mobile devices to enjoy high-fidelity AR and VR. GPU virtualization and Nvidia RTX servers let CloudXR distribute complex AR applications across 5G and Wi-Fi.

Top PC manufacturers are building AI factories using Nvidia’s MGX flexible reference design tool. Spectrum-X Ethernet improved the AI task network, speeding AI solution processing and delivery. Furthermore, Nvidia microservices improve gene analysis, pictures and surgical robots with AI.

Overall, creative AI applications are simpler to design and utilize with NVIDIA NIM. Building AI applications is simpler with its inference APIs, which execute models effectively in containers, making NVDA one of the best AR stocks out there.

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL) and Google logos seen displayed on smartphones. The Google stock split is happening today.Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Google’s parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is coming off substantial momentum in recent months, thanks to declaring its first-ever dividend of 20 cents per share, greenlighting the buyback of an additional $70 billion in stock and posting better-than-expected first-quarter results. All the while it has been pursuing its AR ambitions, making it one of the top stocks in the field.

Alphabet’s interest in AR is not new. It purchased Raxium to improve its AR capabilities and strengthen Google’s market position by integrating advanced display technology with its AR goods and services. In addition, Alphabet is actively working on providing high-fidelity AR experiences across devices for the company. These initiatives enable developers and companies to build more engaging AR applications.

A recent strategic technical alliance between Magic Leap and Google has increased the commercial use of AR solutions based on Magic Leap’s excellent AR technology and Google’s software and cloud services. Google is also experimenting with YouTube’s creative AI, leveraging powerful AI to make videos easier to produce and view. Additionally, AI21 Labs and Google Cloud are adding creative AI tools to BigQuery to accelerate data processing.​

Symbotic (SYM)

Person holding smartphone with website of US robotics warehouse company Symbotic Inc. on screen with logo. Focus on center of phone display. Unmodified photo. SYM stockSource: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Symbotic (NASDAQ:SYM), for the first time in a while, is trading at a very attractive valuation after falling 31% this year. Much of that loss came after posting weaker than expected earnings and outlook.

However, investors who are bullish on AR stocks should remember that Symbotic made Fast Company’s list of the 2024 World’s Most Innovative Companies because of how it uses robots and AI in the supply chain. This includes the self-driving SymBot robot, which makes things faster, more flexible and more efficient while also dropping costs. Other features include those that work with AR technology to make logistics processes easier to see and automate.

Symbotic has persisted in growing its alliances, most notably via its joint venture with GreenBox. Although there are a number of risks and uncertainties associated with this project that might affect its performance, the goal is to improve their outsourcing skills.

It’s also worth pointing out that the earnings report that caused SYM to dip did have some notable positive beats, with second-quarter sales increasing to $424 million with adjusted EBITDA of $22 million. In the last four quarters, SYM has surpassed Wall Street estimates three times, cementing its place among top AR stocks.

On the date of publication, Faizan Farooque did not hold (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.

Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Ҵý Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.

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<![CDATA[3 S&P 500 Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn]]> /2024/06/3-sp-500-stocks-to-sell-in-june-before-they-crash-burn/ These are the three S&P 500 stocks to sell n/a sp 500-spy-1600 S&P 500 on wooden blocks as someone turns an arrow pointing either up or down. SPY stock. Top S&P 500 Stocks to Buy ipmlc-2994448 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:05:22 -0400 3 S&P 500 Stocks to Sell in June Before They Crash & Burn HD,NKE,CMG Andy Kim Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:05:22 -0400 The S&P 500 is a market index of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. stock market exchange. The S&P 500 has around 80% of the entire market capitalization of public companies in the country, and it is generally known as the more reliable investment.

However, investors should still be cautious about buying S&P 500 stocks and should complete due diligence beforehand. Specifically, during this time of high interest rates, consumer discretionary companies often struggle to bring high returns if this macroeconomic headwind continues.

Despite their stability, they will most likely experience slowing growth shortly due to macroeconomic conditions and a declining reputation resulting from too aggressive cost-cutting efforts. Many of these companies are implementing corporate-wide layoffs and facing a fall in revenue, indicating no sign of growth in the near future. Below are three S&P 500 stocks investors should sell before they crash.

S&P 500 Stocks to Sell: Home Depot Inc (HD)

the outside of a home depot storeSource: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is the largest U.S. home improvement retailer, selling items ranging from furniture to decorations. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has been an American home supplies powerhouse for the past few years.

While Home Depot has long established itself as the country’s most popular home improvement retailer, the company is currently suffering from macroeconomic conditions. Struggling with the high mortgage rates and inflation, Home Depot reported a decline in sales for the past three consecutive quarters. By the nature of discretionary projects, customers are less likely to invest in home improvements such as furniture or bedroom remodeling in times of high inflation or a downturn.

In the first quarter of 2024, Home Depot reported a 2.3% decrease in sales year over year. For the past year, the company has experienced consecutive revenue losses, and there are no signs of recovering from this downfall.

Nike (NKE)

A stack of red Nike (NKE) shoe boxes.Source: mimohe / Shutterstock.com

Nike (NYSE:NKE) has long been America’s favorite clothing brand. Established as the largest athletic footwear and apparel company in the world for decades, Nike still remains consumers’ top place to shop for athletic wear. Despite its strong brand recognition and image, the corporation has not performed well financially recently.

In the past months, the sneaker giant has announced its plan to cut around 2% of its total workers as part of its cost-cutting initiative. As of now, Nike is expecting a decline in sales and revenue in the first half of next year, which is a major reason behind Nike’s efforts to reduce its production costs. The company’s stock has been suffering heavily since the beginning of the year, dipping more than 12% year to date and down 23% year to year.

Furthermore, earlier this month, Nike’s CFO Matthew Friend sold 9,350 shares of the company, indicating a gloomy future for Nike.

Chipotle (CMG)

Chipotle - Sign on building, CMG stockSource: Retail Photographer / Shutterstock.com

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) is an American-style Mexican fast-food restaurant that has grown extremely popular in the past decade due to its taste and casual dining experience at an affordable price. Given its convenience and quality, considering its price, it was especially popular among younger people who prefer the accessibility of fast food at such an affordable price. Chipotle has pioneered and established the fast food bowl culture, which led to its immense success and growth.

However, this is the exact reason why investors should sell Chipotle. The biggest problem Chipotle is currently facing is its declining reputation, and customers are losing faith in the company. In a restaurant industry where customer loyalty plays a major role, Chipotle is losing a lot of its popularity due to shrinking portion sizes. For a company that thrives off of quality food at a reasonable price and good portion, this fundamental mistake directly translates to a loss in popularity and revenue. While this might seem like an easy fix, the executives have not been able to regain the faith of the customers, which I think will lead to a decline in the company.

On the date of publication, Andy Kim 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.

Andy is a self-taught investor who is interested in ESG and socially responsible investing. He has managed the portfolio of a small investment fund and started his own research firm. Through his freelance writing on InvestorPlace, he hopes to find and share promising investments in companies with the goal of bettering the world.

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<![CDATA[3 AI Supply Chain Stocks You Need to Own Now]]> /2024/06/3-ai-supply-chain-stocks-you-need-to-own-now/ These AI supply chain stocks are ready to provide substantial returns n/a ai stocks to buy1600 (1) Businessman using ai technology for make money. chat bot with AI Artificial Intelligence generate. Futuristic technology, robot in online system. Business in future to invest and make money concept. AI stocks to buy. AI Supply Chain Stocks to Buy Now ipmlc-2996224 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:00:00 -0400 3 AI Supply Chain Stocks You Need to Own Now AI,JBHT,HON Mohammed Saqib Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:00:00 -0400 As the global economy increases in complexity, the role of artificial intelligence in supply chain management has transformed from a luxury to a necessity. AI-driven supply chain solutions are revolutionizing how companies forecast demand, manage inventories and coordinate logistics. The adoption of AI technologies allows businesses to leverage big data analytics, enhance automation and improve service delivery. This is boosting many AI supply chain stocks that investors should buy now.

The supply chain market’s AI usage is predicted to reach $58.55 billion by 2031 — an annual growth rate of 40.4%. This growth will be driven by AI integration into supply chain operations to help automate tasks, forecast demand, optimize logistics and efficiently manage inventory.

AI’s importance in the supply chain sector will only increase moving forward, making it a critical area for technological innovation. Here are three AI supply chain stocks to buy now.

C3.ai (AI)

AI stocks to Buy, Close-up of letters "AI" written on a computer chip, symbolizing artificial intelligence and AI stocks. ai chip stocksSource: shutterstock.com/YAKOBCHUK V

C3.ai (NYSE:AI) is a notable player in the AI-driven digital transformation space. The company is known for its innovative approach to enterprise artificial intelligence applications. C3.ai leverages its extensive portfolio of AI applications to address various challenges within the supply chain industry. The company’s services include predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, inventory management and logistics optimization.

Despite challenges, C3.ai reported a revenue increase of 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, amounting to $86.6 million. This growth is primarily driven by robust subscription revenue, which now accounts for 92% of the total revenue.

As of FY 2024, the company launched 30 new Generative AI products, bringing its portfolio to a total of 90 enterprise-level applications. This expansion is critical as it demonstrates C3.ai’s commitment to staying at the forefront of AI technology.

C3.ai’s stock experienced significant volatility in 2024. Despite this, recent adjustments in stock prices and market sentiment suggest a recovery, with C3.ai’s share showing signs of stabilization and modest upward trends.

Honeywell (HON)

Illustration of robot hand reaching for the letters "AI" with tech symbols around it. AI tech stock predictions. best artificial intelligence stocks. tech stocks. AI stocks. stocks to benefit from AI growth. AI StocksSource: shutterstock.com/Allies Interactive

Honeywell (NASDAQ:HON) is a conglomerate with a diversified business model spanning aerospace, building technologies and productivity solutions. In recent years, the company has notably advanced its operational efficiency and responsiveness through the strategic integration of artificial intelligence into its supply chain management.

Despite the global economic fluctuations, the company has maintained strong revenue growth, supported by a solid $32 billion backlog exiting Q1 2024. This backlog is indicative of Honeywell’s effective market strategies and its ability to secure large-scale projects across its operating segments.

The company’s strategic divestitures and acquisitions, such as the acquisition of Intelligrated in 2016, have optimized its business portfolio and bolstered its market position in logistics and automation.

Looking ahead, Honeywell positions itself well for continued growth, expecting an annual EPS growth of 7-10%. The company’s strategic initiatives in megatrends such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and sustainability bolster this outlook.

J.B. Hunt (JBHT)

logistics stocks. supply chain stocksSource: Travel mania / Shutterstock.com

J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) operates in the logistics and transportation sector, where agility and strategic foresight are paramount. J.B. Hunt utilizes AI to optimize its routing and scheduling processes. The AI algorithms analyze historical data and real-time traffic conditions to determine the most efficient routes for deliveries.

Despite the challenges in the freight industry, J.B. Hunt has not been passive. The company’s strategic expansion of its intermodal container fleet signifies a long-term optimistic outlook on the sector’s recovery. Furthermore, management’s proactive adjustments in customer engagement and contract strategies indicate a responsive approach aimed at retaining competitiveness and market share. This is crucial as the company navigates through an environment where pricing pressures show no immediate signs of easing.

J.B. Hunt’s financial results from the first quarter of 2024 reflect the industry’s tribulations. A revenue of approximately $2.9 billion and an operating expense ratio of 93.4% resulted in an operating income of $194 million. The resulting income reveals a robust performance in dedicated segments but struggles in integrated capacity solutions, highlighting the mixed impacts of current market conditions on different facets of the business.

On the date of publication, Mohammed Saqib did not hold (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.

Mohammed Saqib is a research analyst with experience in equity research and financial modeling. He has extensively covered stocks listed in the tech sector using fundamental analysis as the cornerstone of his approach. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in finance, Saqib is dedicated to obtaining the CFA charter to augment his expertise in the field further.

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<![CDATA[Beyond Nvidia: 5 AI Stocks to Buy this June]]> /2024/06/beyond-nvidia-5-ai-stocks-to-buy-this-june/ A recent drawdown has created good entry prices for the highest-quality AI firms n/a binary-code-data Binary code data ipmlc-2869718 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 09:07:00 -0400 Beyond Nvidia: 5 AI Stocks to Buy this June NVDA,MSFT,SNPS,META,DDOG,SMCI Thomas Yeung Wed, 19 Jun 2024 09:07:00 -0400 Last month, my AI-powered stock-picking system, ҴýMaster AI, awarded Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) a C-rated “hold” grade. Analysts were still raising their earnings estimates for the chipmaker, which was enough to offset the bearish pressure of high valuations. The result was a relatively muted outlook.

However, my AI-powered stock-picking system downgraded Nvidia to a “D” this month, the equivalent of a “sell.” An unexpectedly strong first-quarter earnings season means shares of the company have now risen too far, too quickly, and ҴýMaster AI is taking that cue to downgrade the AI stock. The system forecasts Nvidia will, on average, underperform the market by 3% over the next six months.

That means there are far better AI opportunities now on the market. And the best thing is you don’t have to sacrifice growth or quality for these plays. Here’s where ҴýMaster AI believes you should put your money for the next six months.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Phone displaying logo of Microsoft Azure against abstract background.Source: Photo For Everything / Shutterstock.com

The world’s largest software maker tops this month’s list of AI stocks to buy. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to see earnings growth accelerate to 17% by 2027, and trades at a reasonable 32 times forward earnings. (By comparison, analysts expect Nvidia’s growth to decelerate through 2027, and shares trade at well over 400 times forward earnings).

Driving Microsoft’s gains is Azure, the company’s cloud computing business. The segment grew at 30% in 2023, and analysts believe cross-selling Office customers will keep growth rates high. The rise of AI computing and cybersecurity concerns will also push enterprises towards larger vendors like Microsoft, since few data center operators can afford to build the pricey hyperscalers that AI requires.

ҴýMaster AI now sees a 10.5% outperformance over the next six months — the highest upside of any major stock.

Microsoft also tops the algorithm’s list for its relative stability. Unlike Nvidia, which operates in a highly cyclical chipmaking industry, Microsoft’s subscription models have typically provided more stable profits that allow for reinvestment in good times and bad.

Of course, there are some downsides to buying Microsoft.

  • High Capital Expenditures. Data centers have high upfront costs. Microsoft’s returns on invested capital have fallen 16% on average over the past three years, and analysts believe it will take Microsoft until 2026 to regain historical profitability.
  • Overall Size. Microsoft’s $3 trillion market cap makes supernormal gains less likely.
  • Business Model. The company largely generates cash from legacy products like Office and Windows. The firm lags behind in mobile, self-driving and other newer technologies.
  • Still, ҴýMaster AI projects that Microsoft’s recent underperformance relative to Nvidia and other AI stocks gives it a strong potential to trounce markets over the next six months.

    Bottom line: ҴýMaster AI awards MSFT an “A+” grade and a 10.5% expected outperformance.

    Cadence (CDNS)

    Close-up Presentation of a New Generation Microchip. Gloved Hand Holding Piece of Technological Wonder. Semiconductor stocks are in the news.Source: Shutterstock

    Shares of Cadence Design Systems (NASDAQ:CDNS) sank 15% in April after the firm announced relatively weak Q1 results and a gloomy second-quarter outlook. Revenues are now expected to only hit $1.04 billion next quarter, a 2% year-over-year increase that mirrors a broader deceleration in AI-related chip spending.

    ҴýMaster AI sees the selloff as overdone. Shares of this high-quality firm now trade at 40 times 2025 earnings, not much higher than its 5-year average. Cadence’s recent drop in share price has also outpaced analyst earnings cuts, a historical sign of an overdone selloff. ҴýMaster AI now projects a 10.4% outperformance over the next six months.

    Cadence Design Systems is a provider of electronic design automation (EDA), the software used to design and test semiconductor chips. It’s a duopolistic market that it shares with larger rival Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS). Demand for Cadence’s EDS solution has surged in recent years as chips have become more complex. The most advanced AI chips now exceed 100 billion transistors per processor, and each circuit requires some form of planning. Cadence provides these services.

    Cadence is particularly strong in analog chips, where it holds an 80% market share, according to Morningstar estimates. Analog chips use less power than digital-design ones and are particularly well-suited for applications like natural language processing in connected devices where battery power is a concern.

    Together, these suggest Cadence is a strong candidate to ride out the near-term storm. Though shares have somewhat limited upside because of their still-rich valuation, history tells us it’s better to hit singles in this bearish market than to swing for the fences.

    Bottom line: ҴýMaster AI awards CDNS an “A+” grade and a 10.4% expected outperformance.

    Synopsys (SNPS)

    A 3D render of a virtual city environment.Source: Immersion Imagery / Shutterstock.com

    Synopsys is the other half of the EDA market. The larger firm has greater scale and growth prospects than Cadence, and a 5% selloff over the past several weeks has now put it among ҴýMaster AI’s top five stocks.

    Synopsys is an EDA firm that specializes in digital chip design, the technology that underpins most modern microchips. These integrated circuits are found in everything from programmable chips to flash memory, and the growth of intensive AI applications has put growth into overdrive. In April, Synopsys saw year-over-year revenue growth accelerate to 20.4%, up from 5.7% a year earlier.

    ҴýMaster AI now sees strong value in the firm. Wall Street analysts have only cut their 2024 earnings estimates for Synopsys by 2% over the past 30 days — a rounding error compared to the stock’s recent double-digit selloff in May. My AI-powered stock-picking system forecasts a 10.2% return over the next six months.

    Synopsys also benefits from a solid balance sheet and relatively capital-light business. The company spent just 29% of its cash flow on capital expenditures last year, so a crash in share prices is highly unlikely.

    However, investors should note that Synopsys trades close to its justified value. According to traditional discounted cash flow estimates, shares are worth somewhere between $490 to $550, depending on how semiconductor demand evolves. So, even though ҴýMaster sees some upside to this stock, please note we’re also batting for singles with Synopsys.

    Bottom line: ҴýMaster AI gives CDNS an “A+” grade and 10.2% expected outperformance over the next 6 months.

    Meta Platforms (META)

    Virtual character inside a virtual art gallery. MetaverseSource: MR Neon / Shutterstock

    Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) has long been a strange AI company. The firm generates little revenue from artificial intelligence and has no obvious strategy for monetizing the technology. Its initial large language model (LLM) was leaked in 2023, and the firm has made its subsequent models open-sourced ever since (read: it’s free).

    Yet Meta continues to have one of corporate America’s biggest AI budgets. Analysts expect it will remain the fourth-largest spender on hyperscalers, the massive data centers that specialize in AI training. Its AI department is headed by Yann LeCunn, widely considered one of the three “Godfathers of AI.” In other words, Meta seems to be creating an AI solution for a problem that does not yet exist.

    That’s why most analysts widely agree that Meta’s AI efforts will somehow pay off. As analysts at Morningstar note:

    “We are skeptical that AI investments will deliver meaningful direct revenue benefits, but they should ensure that the firm’s ad platforms remain a top choice among advertisers.”

    ҴýMaster AI now agrees with this assessment… at least from a quantitative angle. The AI-based system sees 8.9% outperformance over the next six months, comfortably placing Meta in “A+” territory.

    One of the largest drivers of this recommendation is Meta’s stunning recovery in profits. Analysts have now revised their 2025 earnings estimates to $23 per share, up from $13 at the start of 2023. This has been driven by a better-than-expected advertising market and significant cost-cutting at the company.

    Election years also tend to benefit advertising firms — both in traditional media and online. Political campaigns have turned into massive spending events, and advertising intelligence firm AdImpact believes the 2024 cycle could see spending surpass $10.2 billion this year. Traditionally, that’s raised advertising prices across the board, creating a multiplying effect for all advertisers.

    Together, these factors suggest Meta’s stock has more medium-term upside to come. Shares are already up 33% this year, and ҴýMaster AI sees even more on the way.

    Bottom line: ҴýMaster AI gives META an “A+” grade and 8.9% expected outperformance.

    Datadog (DDOG)

    internet security and data protection concept, blockchain and cybersecuritySource: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

    Finally, Datadog’s (NASDAQ:DDOG) shares plummeted 13% last month after President Amit Agarwal announced he would step down at the end of the year.

    That’s turned Datadog, a cloud monitoring service, into a compelling “buy the dip” play. ҴýMaster AI awards Datadog a 8.6% outperformance rating over the next six months,

    The fundamentals of Datadog remain stellar. In May, the company announced earnings that beat Wall Street expectations and raised its guidance for the remainder of the year. The company now expects revenues to hit $2.6 billion this year, compared to prior estimates of $2.56 billion. Projected earnings per share was raised 9% to $1.54.

    Short interest has also been steadily falling, which is a strong signal that bears are throwing in the towel. Less than 10 million shares are now sold short, down from 14 million last year.

    Most importantly, Datadog finds itself on the “right” side of the AI revolution. The company provides cloud-based monitoring services, and the rise of AI means enterprises will need to increasingly worry about spiraling costs. Datadog’s services both help customers migrate to these cloud servers and monitor their usage afterward.

    That tells us that concerns over succession are likely overblown. Agarwal will remain on the board, and the company’s youngish CEO (age 47) still has plenty of time to find a successor.

    Bottom line: ҴýMaster AI gives DDOG an “A+” grade and 8.6% expected outperformance.

    What About Nvidia (NVDA) and Super Micro (SMCI)?

    D-rated Nvidia is only expected to churn out 3% returns by December. Shares of this hot stock have risen too quickly, and history tells us that a pullback could last longer than most expect. F-rated Super Micro (NASDAQ:SMCI) has even worse prospects. ҴýMaster AI believes that, on average, companies like Super Micro will lose 0.7% relative to the market. Only three companies score lower in this update.

    In other words, traders should be increasingly cautious about chasing the market too much higher. In August 2023, The Wall Street Journal compared the AI stock mania to the dot-com bubble. Reuters made the connection even earlier. And now that the selloff of AI stocks has finally begun, traders should be careful about buying the dip.

    That said, there are plenty of high-quality firms that still show good value. And though the days of 5x upside in the AI world are likely behind us, there are still plenty of opportunities for patient investors who are willing to wait for a turnaround to happen.

    On the date of publication, Thomas Yeung held no positions in stocks mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Thomas Yeung is a market analyst and portfolio manager of the Omnia Portfolio, the highest-tier subscription at InvestorPlace. He is the former editor of Tom Yeung’s Profit & Protection, a free e-letter about investing to profit in good times and protecting gains during the bad.

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    <![CDATA[3 Penny Stocks Poised for Major Upside Over the Next 5 Years]]> /2024/06/3-penny-stocks-poised-for-major-upside-over-the-next-5-years/ For investors looking for deep value, here are three options to consider n/a pennystocks1600 the words "penny stock" on a black label over a black and white image of hundred dollar bills. Penny Stocks to 10X Investment. penny stocks to buy ipmlc-2995162 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 09:00:00 -0400 3 Penny Stocks Poised for Major Upside Over the Next 5 Years NILIF,SVRA,EGY Chris MacDonald Wed, 19 Jun 2024 09:00:00 -0400 Though risky, there are certainly plenty of penny stocks to buy that have the potential to significantly boost portfolio returns. Of course, patience and a growth-friendly market are required for the kind of major upside most growth investors are looking for over a five year time frame. But it’s precisely these companies’ volatility and upside potential that many seek out, in the higher-risk portion of portfolios.

    The three companies on this list are among the best-positioned in their respective sectors to see future growth and profitability. These companies are certainly in the higher-risk bucket, and should be treated as such. Position sizing and risk management are going to be important when considering how much and when to add positions (and when to get out). But for those looking to take a risk-on approach to this market, here are three penny stocks to buy that I think are worth considering right now.

    Surge Battery Metals (NILIF)

    Graphic of Lithium scientific symbol (Li) in the shape of a big white gear with construction equipment and mountain around it. favorite Lithium stocksSource: GrAl / Shutterstock.com

    Surge Battery Metals (OTCMKTS:NILIF) is a notable yet low-profile lithium exploration company focused on key deposits in Nevada. The company recently released its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, revealing their lithium project in Elko County, Nevada, as the highest-grade lithium resource in the U.S.

    CEO Greg Reimer stated that the results confirm the Nevada North Lithium Project (NNLP) as a significant and high-grade lithium clay deposit. Located 87 miles northeast of Elko, the NNLP is in early development stages, with the company actively progressing the project.

    In a March 26 webinar, Reimer highlighted the project’s significant progress over the past 14 months. Following promising surface lithium grades, they initiated a drill program in fall 2022, drilling eight holes. The findings confirmed substantial subsurface lithium in the Granite Range, averaging around 3,300 parts per million.

    VAALCO Energy (EGY)

    EGY Stock

    Although slightly above penny stock range (depending on the day), VAALCO Energy (NYSE:EGY) remains an intriguing option for value investors. The company’s attractive valuation and 4% dividend yield make this a stock worth considering. Operating in Canada, Egypt and Gabon, the company benefited from the wars in Russia and Ukraine. In the last three quarters, revenues surged 43% and beat estimates. Strategic acquisitions and resumed operations at the Baobab field significantly enhanced output.

    In the last quarter, Houston-based VAALCO Energy beat expectations with adjusted earnings of 35 cents per share and $68.7 million in revenue. Higher production and commodity prices drove these results. The average oil price of EGY increased to $109.65. This benefitted from geopolitical tensions and boosted its Q1 2024 revenues and cash flows.

    Over the past month, the stock declined approximately 9% due to uncertain prospects. Yet, considering EGY’s dividend, well-supported by cash flow, it could mitigate some of these concerns.

    Savara (SVRA)

    a scientist with protective equipment and microscope in a lab, OBSV stock. penny stocks to buySource: luchschenF / Shutterstock.com

    Savara (NASDAQ:SVRA) is an emerging player in the biopharma sector, focusing on treatments for respiratory diseases lacking effective therapies. Its lead candidate, molgramostim, targets autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (aPAP) and is currently in phase 3 trials. 

    Recently presented positive results at the ATS International Conference 2024 underscore its potential. With FDA designations in hand, Savara’s pipeline shows promise, supported by a strong cash position sustaining operations until 2026.

    Analysts set an average twelve-month target price of $9.17, with recent updates reflecting positive sentiments. Key analysts at HC Wainwright, Oppenheimer, Piper Sandler, JMP Securities and Evercore ISI reiterated or adjusted their bullish ratings and price targets in recent reports.

    On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not hold (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.

    Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

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    <![CDATA[Blue Chip Lovers: 3 Safe Stocks to Double Your Money by 2030 ]]> /2024/06/blue-chip-lovers-3-safe-stocks-to-double-your-money-by-2030/ These are three high-quality blue chip stocks to buy provide both growth and stability n/a bluechip1600 ipmlc-2996911 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 Blue Chip Lovers: 3 Safe Stocks to Double Your Money by 2030  GOOG,GOOGL,MSFT,META,MA,AMZN Terel Miles Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 Investing in the top blue chip stocks to buy has long been a strategy favored by both seasoned and beginner investors. While the stock market is without risk, blue chip stocks tend to provide investors with an extra layer of security and stability. 

    For those looking to double their money by 2030, focusing on high-quality blue chip stocks can be a prudent strategy. These companies not only offer the potential for significant capital appreciation but also often come with the added benefits of dividends. Moreover, investors can sleep peacefully at night without having to endure significant swings in their portfolio values.

    While they may not offer the explosive growth potential of smaller, riskier stocks, their consistent returns make them attractive options. This allows investors to build wealth over time and decrease their chances of losing money.

    Now, let’s discover the top three blue chip stocks to buy to potentially double your money by 2030.

    Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) 

    Alphabet (GOOGL) - Quantum Computing Stocks to Buy

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), the parent company of Google, is undoubtedly one of the best blue chip stocks to buy in 2024. Its dominance in search engine technology and recent push into artificial intelligence significantly make it a top contender to double. 

    Alphabet is off to an incredible start in 2024 as management continues to make strategic investments in generative AI. The company continues to integrate artificial intelligence across its entire technology stack, significantly boosting its growth across all platforms. More specifically, AI is powering its Google Search and YouTube growth engines. This is driving increased user engagement, higher click-through rates, and increased advertising revenue.

    In Q1 FY24, revenue increased 15% year over year to $80.5 billion. Growth was primarily led by Google Cloud, with revenue swelling 28% year over year to $9.57 billion. Additionally, operating income increased 32% year over year to $25.47 billion. Alphabet’s cloud computing business is seeing notable market share gains, as it battles with leading companies Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure. With the era of AI driving diversified growth, investors can anticipate significant growth for Alphabet through 2030.

    Meta Platforms (META)

    META stock logo is shown on a device screen. Meta is the new corporate name of Facebook.Source: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock.com

    Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is a social media giant that has been one of the leading technology stocks over the last decade. Its robust advertising platform and key investments in artificial intelligence and the metaverse provide fertile ground for growth in the years ahead. 

    Meta had a transformative year in the 2023 fiscal year after its chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg dubbed it as the “year of efficiency.” The year primarily focused on cutting costs, which significantly bolstered its operating income and free cash flow. In fiscal year 2023, Meta’s operating income increased 62% year over year to $46.75 billion. Free cash flow more than doubled to $44.06 billion, as the company’s data center initiatives boosted operational efficiency. Additionally, Meta cut its workforce tremendously, with its headcount decreasing by 22% in the 2023 fiscal year.

    These measures have strengthened its liquidity, and management plans significant capital expenditures for 2024. Chief Financial Officer Susan Li has guided infrastructure investments in the $35 to $40 billion range in Q1 FY24, primarily to develop the company’s AI roadmap. With the advertising market showing signs of strength, META stock remains one of the top blue chip stocks to buy in 2024 and beyond. 

    Mastercard (MA)

    Close up of a pile of mastercard credit load debit bank cards.Source: David Cardinez / Shutterstock.com

    Mastercard (NYSE:MA), a global leader in payment processing, is another top blue chip stock to double your money by 2030. The company’s extensive network, strong brand recognition, and growing cross-border payment volume position it as a key player in the fintech revolution. 

    Mastercard’s growth strategy includes expanding its presence in digital payments, e-commerce, and fintech. Its strategic investments in new technology, such as blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, significantly enhance its payment processing prowess. Additionally, Mastercard’s strong financial performance, characterized by its growing revenue, expanding margins, and impressive free cash flow profile is another strategic advantage.

    In Q1 FY24, revenue increased 10% year over year to $6.3 billion. Net earnings increased 27% year over year to $3.01 billion, with operating margin up 2.2% to 56.8%. Moreover, its cross-border volume was up 18% year over year on a local currency basis. The company continues to drive growth in electronic payments, with innovative technologies like tokenization gaining traction. As inflation comes down going into 2025, MA stock remains one of the best-in-class blue chip stocks to buy in June 2024.

    On the date of publication, Terel Miles 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.

    Terel Miles is a contributing writer at InvestorPlace.com, with more than seven years of experience investing in the financial markets.

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    <![CDATA[3 Energy Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024]]> /2024/06/3-energy-stocks-to-buy-now-june-2024/ Here are some of the top energy stocks to buy and hold n/a energy-stocks-1600 Person holding the glowing world in their hands with icons with different types of energy. AI Recommended Energy Stocks in July ipmlc-2997943 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 3 Energy Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024 NEE,KMI,BE,PCG,ETR,INTC Ian Cooper Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 Some of the best energy stocks to buy now are associated with artificial intelligence.

    For one, there are projections that data center power demand will double by 2030, thanks to artificial intelligence. Two, Goldman Sachs is bullish, estimating about 47 gigawatts (GW) of additional power generation capacity will be needed to accommodate growth. Three, electric utility companies, like Sempra (NYSE:SRE) expect to see a substantial amount of new power demand from data centers.

    “In terms of macro numbers, by 2030 AI could account for 3% to 4% of global power demand. Google said right now AI is representing 10% to 15% of their power use or 2.3 TWh annually,” says S&P Global.

    In addition, electric companies, like PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) expect a tidal wave of new power demand from data centers powering technology like generative artificial intelligence. 

    That being said, here are just a few hot energy stocks to buy now. 

    NextEra Energy (NEE)

    Person holding mobile phone with logo of American energy company NextEra Energy Inc. on screen in front of web page. NEE stockSource: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S.

    For one, while NEE pulled back on guidance that came in lower than expected, weakness is a buying opportunity. Goldman Sachs said the same:

    “We believe the pullback on the day, with NEE shares down 5.5%, represents a buying opportunity, and we attribute the weakness to positioning following strong performance over the last three months and a resetting of expectations on near-term growth opportunities,” said the firm, as quoted by CNBC.

    Third, the U.S. is forecast to build 375 GW to 450 GW of new renewable energy projects between now and 2030. That’s almost double the capacity of the last 30 years. All of which should help fuel even more upside for dividend-paying NextEra Energy.

    Plus, its recent joint development agreement with Entergy (NYSE:ETR) will allow it to accelerate the development of about 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of new solar generation and storage projects over the next five years. That’s significant for the company.

    Kinder Morgan (KMI)

    Kinder Morgan logo on a sign outside the company headquarters in Houston.Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

    Another one of the top energy stocks to buy now is Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI). 

    It’s also another one of the top energy beneficiaries of the artificial intelligence story. For one, skyrocketing electricity loads will need another energy source if renewables cannot generate enough power, says CNBC. That other energy source is natural gas. And it could provide about 60% of the power demand growth from AI and data centers, they added.

    “As much as 8.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas could be required additionally to match the rise in demand,” says Tudor Pickering, as noted by Reuters.

    Even better, while we wait for further upside in the Kinder Morgan stock, we can always sit back and collect its current yield of 5.85%. Helping, analysts at Wells Fargo just upgraded KMI to an overweight rating with a price target of $22. 

    Bloom Energy (BE)

    BE stock Bloom Energy logo on a buildingSource: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

    Even Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) may be a strong beneficiary of the AI boom.  

    For one, Bloom Energy can provide fuel cells that run on natural gas or hydrogen. Two, the company just signed a contract with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to install fuel cell-based services at Intel’s computing data center in Santa Clara, California. 

    That should draw even more attention for Bloom with its focus on the data center market, which is quickly growing.

    Bloom Energy was even featured as a top pick in Barron’s as a stock poised to benefit from energy demand from AI data centers.

    Helping, RBC Capital analysts reiterated a buy rating on Bloom Energy with a $15 price target. Analysts at BTIG also have a buy rating on Bloom Energy with a price target of $21. Even hedge funds, like Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, just bought 111,500 shares of Bloom at the end of March. Squarepoint also just bought 468,730 shares of Bloom in March.

    On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.

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    <![CDATA[The 7 Best REITs to Buy in June 2024]]> /2024/06/the-7-best-reits-to-buy-in-june-2024/ Here are just a few of the top REITs to buy and hold n/a IVR stocks reits1600b Real estate investment trust (REIT) on a black notebook on an office desk. ipmlc-2990353 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 The 7 Best REITs to Buy in June 2024 DLR,EQIX,IRM,DTCR,AMT,CCI,DBRG,STAG,APLE,MAR,H,ADC Ian Cooper Wed, 19 Jun 2024 08:00:00 -0400 One of the best ways to protect your portfolio, and generate consistent income is with some of the best REITs to buy.

    Look at Digital Realty (NYSE:DLR), for example. With a yield of 3.26%, it’s getting swept up in the artificial intelligence boom. Now, thanks to artificial intelligence,  data center demand is expected to rise at a 15% CAGR until 2030, according to Goldman Sachs

    “Almost every industry is now looking for new AI functionality that can streamline processes and improve results. In this new digital landscape, data centers are uniquely positioned to both provide and benefit from AI applications,” says Digital Realty.

    And until the AI boom slows, which won’t happen any time soon, data centers will continue to see significant demand. All of which will drive some of the best REITs to buy, like Digital Realty to new highs. Better, it could drive dividend payouts higher, too.

    That being said, we’ve included more data center REITs on this list of the best REITs to buy.

    Equinix (EQIX)

    corporate building with Equinix (EQIX) logo on itSource: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

    With a yield of 2.22%, data center REIT, Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX) provides the data center backbone that fuels Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVD) operations. Better, Nvidia’s dominance with artificial intelligence puts Equinix at the top of the list of top data center REITs to buy and hold for the long term.

    In recent weeks, the REIT dropped from about $809 to $747.65, where it’s again a buying opportunity – especially with data center demand on the rise.

    Moreover, Barclays’ analysts just raised their price target on the REIT to $671 with an equal weight rating. The REIT also just paid out a dividend of $4.26, which was payable on June 19. If you missed this one, more are on the way.

    Even more impressive, hedge funds are tripping over each other to buy. Billionaire Steven Schonfield, for example, increased his firm’s stake in EQIX by 3,688%, buying another 28,400 shares at the end of March. Billionaire investor Dmitry Balyasny also just increased his firm’s stake in EQIX by 594%.

    Iron Mountain (IRM)

    a person in a suit holds a tiny house to represent reits to buySource: Shutterstock

    The last time I mentioned Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM), I said, “The REIT – which is aggressively expanding its data center capacity to meet the demand of the generative artificial intelligence (AI) boom is just as attractive as Digital Realty Trust.”

    That was on June 5 as IRM traded at about $81. Today, after hitting a high of $89.21, it’s now back to $87.77 and is still a good buy at current prices.

    Plus, earnings have been solid. In its first quarter, the company posted stronger-than-expected numbers. Adjusted funds from operations came in at $1.10 compared to expectations of 92 cents. Total revenue of $1.48 billion beat estimates of $1.45 billion. It also reiterated its funds from operations per share of $4.39 to $4.51, revenue of $6 billion to $6.15 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of $2.175 billion to $2.225 billion.

    Even better, it declared a 65-cent quarterly dividend, payable July 5 for shareholders of record as of June 17. 

    Data Center & Digital Infrastructure ETF (DTCR)

    network server room with computers for digital tv ip communications and internet,3d rendering. Tech stocksSource: Connect world / Shutterstock.com

    Or, if you want to diversify with data center REITs, there’s the Data Center & Digital Infrastructure ETF (NASDAQ:DTCR), which last traded at $15.21 a share. While this ETF only yields about 1.11%, it’s a solid way to diversify at a lower cost with top data center stocks. All of which are getting caught up in the artificial intelligence demand boom.

    With an expense ratio of 0.50%, the ETF holds 25 related stocks, including, Equinix, American Tower (NYSE:AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI), Digital Realty Trust, and Digital Bridge (NYSE:DBRG). 

    All of which should benefit from global data center investments “expected to increase from $321bn in 2022 to $410bn in 2025 to support the growth of 5G, smart grids, and other forms of tech-based infrastructure,” says Global X ETFs.

    After bottoming out around $13.85, the REIT is now up to $15.21, where it’s still a buy. From here, we’d like to see it initially retest at $16.

    DigitalBridge (DBRG)

    Image of computer servers lined up in a dark roomSource: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

    Another one of the best REITs to buy that’s getting caught up in the AI demand story is DigitalBridge.

    With a yield of 0.31%, the REIT’s nearly 300 data centers are a big part of its growth trajectory. The company’s CEO Marc Ganzi also believes global data center capacity will need to grow by about 300% to meet the demands of AI. All of which could fuel further upside for DBRG.

    Earnings have been solid, too. EPS of a penny beat estimates for a loss of seven cents. Revenue also jumped more than 302% to $74.39 million.

    Last trading at $12.85, it’s a buy. From here, I’d like to see it refill its bearish gap at around $16.50 with AI demand gaining momentum.

    Billionaire Steven Schonfield also increased his firm’s stake in DBRG by 436% by adding another 676,450 shares at the end of March. Israel Englander also increased Millennium Management’s stake in DBRG by 637.5%.

    STAG Industrial (STAG)

    stocks to buy: warehouse interior with shelves, pallets and boxes DSource: Don Pablo / Shutterstock.com

    Outside of the data center REITs, another one of the best REITs to buy is STAG Industrial (NYSE:STAG).

    With a yield of 4.24%, the REIT has been paying a monthly dividend of 12.3 cents throughout the first three months of the year. In addition, the REIT – which leases industrial properties, such as warehouses and distribution centers to e-commerce companies – is also benefiting from consumers shifting to online shopping.

    We also have to consider that online shopping is only expected to increase. After all, it’s much easier to shop in the comfort of your home than deal with the public. According to estimates, global e-commerce sales could grow to $58.74 trillion by 2028. Plus, the number of online shoppers is expected to grow from 268 million in 2022 to 285 million by 2025. All of which will benefit REITs like STAG Industrial.

    Plus, earnings haven’t been too shabby. In its first quarter, funds from operations came in at 59 cents, which beat estimates by a penny. Revenue of $187.54 million, up 8.1% year over year, beat by $3.23 million. 

    Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE)

    Woman standing in hotel room with luggage looking at the view. Hotel stocks.Source: Boyloso / Shutterstock

    Another one of the best REITs to buy is Apple Hospitality REIT (NYSE:APLE), which yields 6.54%.

    At the moment, APLE owns about 224 hotels in 87 markets throughout 37 U.S. states. All of which should benefit from the upcoming travel season. It’s also about to pay a dividend of eight cents per share on June 17 to shareholders of record as of May 31. And if you missed this one, don’t worry about it. More are coming.

    Some of its top tenants include hotel chains such as Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) and Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) – most of which are likely to benefit as millions prepare to take summer vacations. In addition, earnings have been solid. Its Q1 FFO of 34 cents was in line with expectations. Revenue of $329.51 million – up 5.8% year over year – beat by $2.16 million.

    After catching double-bottom support at around $14, the APLE REIT is slowly starting to pivot higher again. I’d buy it here with an initial price target of $16. In the meantime, while we wait for that to happen, we can collect its 6.54% yield.

    Agree Realty (ADC)

    Group of colleagues discuss something in an office conference room. commercial real estateSource: GaudiLab / Shutterstock

    Let’s also take a look at Agree Realty (NYSE:ADC), which acquires and develops properties net leased to industry-leading, omnichannel retail tenants. As of March 31, the REIT owned and operated a portfolio of 2,161 properties, located in 49 states and containing approximately 44.9 million square feet of gross leasable area.

    Better, the monthly dividend-paying REIT just declared a dividend of $0.250 per share or $3 annualized. It’s payable July 15 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 28.

    Earnings have been solid here, too. In its first quarter, FFO of $1.01 beat by a penny. Revenue of $149.45 million, up 18% year over year, beat by $1.09 million. 

    Hedge funds love ADC, too. Steven Cohen’s Point72 for example just increased its stake by 8,471%, adding 321,930 shares at the end of March. Israel Englander also increased his firm’s stake in ADC by 2,259%, adding 354,560 shares. Even Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors just increased its stake by 8,463%.

    In short, follow the smart money and collect its yield.

    On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.

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    <![CDATA[3 Under $10 Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024]]> /2024/06/3-under-10-stocks-to-buy-now-june-2024/ These stocks under $10 may be cheap, but they have tons of potential n/a ten_dollar_bill_1600 A folded ten dollar bill sits on a wooden surface. ipmlc-2997148 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:48:30 -0400 3 Under $10 Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024 ASTS,RKLB,CRCT,VLY Jeremy Flint Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:48:30 -0400 Picking stocks under $10 to buy now isn’t easy, particularly in light of today’s mega-caps making up so much of the wider market’s movement. Typically, stocks under $10 fall into one of just a handful of camps: penny stocks destined to struggle to break free from micro-cap status, once-great winners slowly circling the drain, or highly speculative stocks with massive upside potential buffered by equally significant downside risk. AST SpaceMobile (NASDAQ:ASTS) being a prime example of the lattermost segment among former stocks under $10.

    However, plenty of stocks under $10 offer value, growth, and upside potential without the inherent risk associated with penny plays or the most speculative stocks. These three stocks under $10 to buy now are prime examples of that select category. While they’re still priced to buy, they may not remain that way for long, as each has plenty of internal upside potential helped along by sector-specific tailwinds moving forward.

    Rocket Lab USA (RKLB)

    Person holding smartphone with logo of aerospace company Rocket Lab USA Inc. (RKLB) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    Rocket Lab USA (NASDAQ:RKLB) isn’t just another stock under $10 to buy now — it typifies a massive opportunity to invest today in tomorrow’s trillion-dollar space industry. The space stock made waves last year with a record number of launches in 2023. This year, it solidified its appeal in the under $10 stock category, buoyed by a government contract exceeding $500 million and a robust earnings report last month.

    Rocket Lab’s launch and contract backlog, currently standing beyond $1 billion, while not ironclad as clients may cancel, still acts as a forward-looking indicator for potential revenue. With first-quarter revenue at $92.7 million, this backlog points to substantial future growth opportunities.

    Space enthusiasts marked another major win for Rocket Lab this week, as the company signed a deal with Japanese firm Synspective for ten Electron launches through 2027. This deal cements Synspective’s preference for Rocket Lab as a space-based operator and delivery system for its satellites. While terms weren’t disclosed, the contract reinforces the role of the under $10 stock in the global space sector.

    Cricut (CRCT)

    A photo of someone using a Cricut machine.Source: rblfmr/Shutterstock.com

    Cricut (NASDAQ:CRCT) is a favorite among craft enthusiasts and DIYers, yet it remains somewhat overlooked by investors. Despite experiencing a minor revenue dip in its latest earnings report, Cricut maintains a 1.93% trailing dividend yield and stands to gain from a rebound in consumer sentiment. More individuals are turning to affordable, at-home hobbies, boding well for Cricut as new users begin to buy crafting supplies.

    Sales decreased by 8% in the first quarter of 2024, but this was partly mitigated by increased paid subscribers and machine sales. This uptick in new users indicates potential future sales growth from ongoing supply purchases, although the long-term economics of the spike in consumer interest will likely take a few quarters to pan out.

    But that’s just one reason that investing in the stock under $10 today is a timely decision. Cricut declared a one-time dividend of $0.40 per share, payable on July 19th to shareholders recorded as of July 2nd. This special dividend presents an attractive incentive for potential investors. It could serve as a dollar-cost-averaging plan to build a position if you elect to reinvest those distributions.

    Valley National Bancorp (VLY)

    Business marijuana leaves cannabis stocks success market price green arrow up profit growth charts graph money display screen up industry trend grow higher quickly / Commercial cannabis medicine moneySource: Bigc Studio / Shutterstock.com

    Finally, as the best value-based play among these stocks under $10 to buy now, Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) sits at the intersection of value and growth opportunities, given its unique and niche role within the cannabis sector.

    The cheap bank stock offers a standout 6.82% total yield. It also provides unique exposure to the emerging cannabis market through its cannabis banking initiatives. As one of the most attractively priced regional bank stocks, it trades at just 0.53x book value and 7x earnings, positioning it as both undervalued and often overlooked. The bank maintains a strong balance sheet with a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. This is significantly below the industry average of 1.2, highlighting its minimal leverage relative to its peers. Its recent stock buyback bid and dividend yield outperforming Treasury Bills further demonstrate its financial health.

    Analysts predominantly view Valley National as undervalued, with an average price target of $9.44 — more than 30% above its current share price. Ҵý sentiment toward the bank has improved markedly, with 44% of analysts now advising a hold, indicating a 300% increase in positive sentiment compared to the previous period. This positions Valley National as an appealing option for investors looking for stable investments to augment their stocks under $10 portfolio.

    On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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    <![CDATA[3 Meme Stocks Under $10 That Will Double in 3 Months]]> /2024/06/3-meme-stocks-under-10-that-will-double-in-3-months/ The meme frenzy will be backed by positive business growth catalysts n/a meme stocks1600 Young Chinese man wearing thug life glasses throwing dollars over isolated blue background. meme stocks ipmlc-2997667 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:41:15 -0400 3 Meme Stocks Under $10 That Will Double in 3 Months CRON,JOBY,BITF,BTC-USD,RIOT Faisal Humayun Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:41:15 -0400 Equity markets go through different levels of bullishness. There are times when blue-chips rally and growth stocks are subdued. Further, after a big correction in growth stocks in the post-pandemic market, only selective growth ideas surged. Others witnessed price and time correction. The most bullish phase is when there is a broad-based rally for growth and blue-chip stocks. In my view, that’s likely in the coming quarters and I would consider exposure to high-risk meme stocks under $10 for 100% returns in quick time.

    The biggest reason to be bullish on equities is expansionary monetary policies. I believe that central banks around the world will cut interest rates in the next 12 to 18 months. While the objective is to boost growth, easy money translates into speculation across asset classes.

    Therefore, it’s a good time to buy meme stocks for multibagger returns at the blink of an eye. This column discusses three meme stocks to buy with reasonably good fundamentals and positive business catalysts that are likely to support the big rally.

    Bitfarms (BITF)

    Bitcoin and crypto mining farm. Big data center. High tech server computers at work. Bitfarms (BITF) mines crypto.Source: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek / Shutterstock.com

    Bitfarms (NASDAQ:BITF) is a Bitcoin (BTC-USD) miner with some interesting developments in the recent past.

    The mining company received an offer of $2.30 per share from Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT) earlier this month. However, Bitfarms rejected the offer and the stock has trended higher. It’s a clear indication that BITF stock is undervalued. It’s worth noting that Riot has increased its stake to 14% in Bitfarms.

    On the business front, the Bitcoin miner has a robust liquidity buffer and is planning aggressive hash rate capacity expansion. Currently, Bitfarms has a capacity of 7.5EH/s and plans to increase capacity to 21EH/s by the end of the year. Recently, the miner announced a guidance of over 35EH/s by the end of 2025.

    With Bitcoin likely to remain in an uptrend, I expect robust revenue and cash flow upside for Bitfarms in the next 24 months. This is likely to translate into significant upside from current levels.

    Cronos (CRON)

    marijuana leaf in green traffic lightSource: Shutterstock

    A big impending catalyst for cannabis stocks is the likely reclassification of cannabis as a Schedule III drug. In my view, this change is likely in the next few months and cannabis stocks are likely to go ballistic.

    Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON) stock seems best positioned to benefit from relatively a friendly regulatory stance. The company has a strong cash buffer of $855 million that’s likely to be used for organic and acquisition driven growth.

    It’s worth noting that the cannabis company’s cash is 95% of the current market valuation. This puts into perspective the potential for upside in the foreseeable future.

    I must add that Cronos has made an entry into Germany in 2023. With the legalization of cannabis in the country, Cronos is positioned for strong growth. Additionally, the company has entered new markets of Australia and the United Kingdom in the recent past. I therefore expect revenue growth to accelerate and this will support a sharp rally from current levels.

    Joby Aviation (JOBY)

    Person holding smartphone with logo of startup and aerospace company Joby Aviation (air taxi) on screen JOBY stock.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY) stock has been subdued with a correction of 32% in the last 12 months. I see this as a good opportunity to accumulate with the flying car company expected to commercialize eVTOL in 2025. It’s worth noting that JOBY traded at 52-week highs of $12. I would not be surprised if the eVTOL stock makes new highs in the next three months.

    In a recent development, Joby announced the acquisition of Xwing’s autonomous flight division. The latter is in the development of autonomous technology for aviation and has “250 fully autonomous flights and more than 500 auto-landings completed to date.”

    The acquisition is likely to provide Joby with a technological edge over peers. The company also expects to accelerate contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense with the autonomous technology advantage.

    I must add that besides the commercialization of eVTOL in the U.S. next year, Joby has partnered for expansion in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With visibility for healthy growth in 2025 and beyond, I expect a strong reversal rally for JOBY stock.

    On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun did not hold (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.

    Faisal Humayun is a senior research analyst with 12 years of industry experience in the field of credit research, equity research and financial modeling. Faisal has authored over 1,500 stock specific articles with focus on the technology, energy and commodities sector.

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    <![CDATA[3 EV Stocks to Buy as the Electric Vehicle Ҵý Revs Back Up]]> /2024/06/3-ev-stocks-to-buy-as-the-electric-vehicle-market-revs-back-up/ These EV stocks to buy will be the first ones to benefit as the EV demand improves n/a ev stocks1600 (2) Electric car or EV car charging in station on blurred of sunset with wind turbines in front of car on background. Eco-friendly alternative energy concept. best battery stocks to buy ipmlc-2997577 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:36:00 -0400 3 EV Stocks to Buy as the Electric Vehicle Ҵý Revs Back Up TSLA,LI,BYDDF,GM,C Vandita Jadeja Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:36:00 -0400 The global electric vehicle (EV) market has suffered more than anyone ever imagined it would. While Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) continues to make news, there is so much more going on in the EV industry. The sales have slowed over the past few months, and EV makers have already addressed this issue by cutting down on the production targets, which ultimately impacted EV stocks. However, there is a bright side to the current situation for investors looking for EV stocks to buy.

    The U.S. has incentivized the purchase of EVs through tax subsidies and grants. While the EV market is not expected to pick up anytime soon, one cannot deny the future is electric. Sooner or later, people will have to transition towards electric vehicles. Developing nations like India have started to see higher demand and adoption of EVs over the past year. If you can take a little risk and have the patience to hold onto your stock until the market improves, here are three stocks to buy.

    EV Stocks to Buy: BYD (BYDDF)

    BYD Company Limited logo in front of their website. BYDDY stock.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock

    In the period between Jan and May 2024, BYD (OTCMKTS:BYDDF) continued to hold the largest share in China’s EV market, taking the crown from Tesla. It holds a 33.4% passenger market share in China, with retail sales of 268,226 vehicles in May.

    During this period, the company’s sales rose by 20% year over year (YOY), giving it a top spot in the industry. Trading at $29 today, the stock is up 8% year-to-date (YTD) but down 11% in the past 12 months. BYDDF has become one of the best EV stocks to buy.

    BYD is a global powerhouse that is expanding at a rapid pace. Besides holding the largest market share for batteries, the company also beat Tesla in EV deliveries in 2023. The company is now entering the electric bus market in London and intends to replace the Boris Bus.

    BYD doesn’t have to worry about the high tariff concerns in the U.K. It has ample space to grow in Europe and will have the lowest additional tax levy. That means BYD can also enjoy pricing power in Europe and expand its market share. It is currently building a factory in Europe and will export to the E.U.

    The company is also building a factory in Hungary, making it the first Chinese automaker to build cars in Europe. The biggest benefit that BYD has is its global presence. It is already an established player in the industry and is set to benefit once the market revs up. Citi (NYSE:C) opened a 30-day upside catalyst watch and has a Buy rating for the stock.

    Li Auto (LI)

    Li Auto (Li Xiang) brand logo and electric car in store. A Chinese EV(electric vehicle) companySource: Robert Way / Shutterstock.com

    A top 2023 EV stock, Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) had a very slow start to 2024. Having reported impressive delivery numbers and fundamentals, the company saw a drop in EV demand, leading to lower production and sales.

    However, I think Li Auto is one of the best EV players out there. LI stock is trading for $18 today and has lost 49% of its value since the beginning of the year. The EV maker is focused on SUVs and enjoys a price advantage. The company started delivering EVs in 2019 and saw a tremendous upside in 2023. That allowed the company to turn profitable last year, and analysts are expecting to see a steady revenue increase this year.

    The company delivered a total of 80,400 cars in the first quarter and delivered nearly 61,000 vehicles in April and May combined. Li Auto is not the one to sit back and wait for the industry to improve. Instead, it is scaling up production, working on new marketing campaigns and ramping up the Mega shipments.

    It recently launched the Li L6. The company will also be investing over 6 billion yuan in building 5,000 charging stations. While the process may take time, it will open a new revenue line for the business. The company is profitable, setting it apart from several other EV companies.

    An improvement in the macro environment could boost the EV market, and Li Auto will be the first one to benefit. Once the sales stabilize, there is no going back for the company. LI is one of the best EV stocks to buy.

    General Motors (GM)

    Image of General Motors (GM) logo on corporate building with clear sky in the background.Source: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

    Automaker General Motors (NYSE:GM) has been in the industry for many years and has seen several market ups and downs. The company is investing heavily in the EV segment and managed to deliver 75,000 EVs last year and 9,500 EVs in May this year.

    It has committed to invest $35 billion in the sector in 2024. Once the economy recovers, we could see General Motors report tremendous growth. It managed to sell a total of 2.6 million cars last year, which shows its strong position in the auto industry

    It saw a 21% jump in EV retail customer deliveries in the first quarter and has ambitious goals to produce 200,000 and 300,000 EVs this year. The management announced a $6 billion share repurchase plan and also hiked its dividend by 33% in the quarter. General Motors is doing well as compared to its competitors, who are bleeding cash due to the slow EV demand.

    While the company has slowed down EV production, it will manage to return cash to shareholders. Once the market picks up, GM will be ready with its lineup. It is aiming to end gas-powered vehicle sales by 2035. The management will invest $850 million in Cruise, the self-driving car subsidiary this month to relaunch it.

    Trading at $47, the stock is up 33% YTD and is very close to its 52-week high of $49. The stock still looks undervalued to me and is a buy below $50.

    On the date of publication, Vandita Jadeja did not hold (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.

    Vandita Jadeja is a CPA and a freelance financial copywriter who loves to read and write about stocks. She believes in buying and holding for long term gains. Her knowledge of words and numbers helps her write clear stock analysis.

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    <![CDATA[3 Growth Stocks Set to Dominate Through 2030]]> /2024/06/3-growth-stocks-set-to-dominate-through-2030/ Hot growth stocks prove long-term potential and exciting momentum this year n/a arrow-graphic-growth-stocks-1600 Graphic of green and blue arrow against pale green background pointing up and to the right, symbolizing growth stocks ipmlc-2996146 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:30:00 -0400 3 Growth Stocks Set to Dominate Through 2030 CRWD,SHOP,NFLX Joel Lim Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:30:00 -0400 Many investors flock to growth stocks for consistent returns and high overall yield increases when the companies perform well. While some growth stocks suffer from high volatility, they can typically bounce back during harsh economic conditions. By holding them over time, investors also enjoy the return when these companies reach new heights.

    For example, each of the following companies have established a strong foothold in their respective markets. Further, they currently demonstrate excellent success, and projections indicate continued long-term prosperity.

    Let’s learn about the impressive demand, smart business models and diverse offerings propelling these stocks upward.

    Crowdstrike (CRWD)

    Mobile phone with website of American software company CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD) Inc. on screen in front of website. Focus on top-center of phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    With digitalization at an all-time high, the demand for cybersecurity amongst businesses and consumers subsequently increases. Texas-based Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) holds a perfect position within the cybersecurity market to profit from this uptick. In fact, it has been riding a surging trend for over a year. 

    What makes Crowdstrike such an excellent growth stock is its solid earnings and the years of experience over newer cybersecurity players. Crowdstrike has been in the game since 2011 and has one of the most effective cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-integrated platforms available, its Falcon platform.

    Also, Falcon’s years of data-gathering history vastly improves the functions of its AI capabilities. However, more than speculation, the effectiveness of Crowdstrike’s platform is demonstrated in the numbers. Crowdstrike smashed earnings estimates and brought in revenue just short of $1 billion at $921.04 million in Q1.

    Moreover, customer loyalty and spending per customer continue to grow, meaning that every subscriber in their growing base spends incrementally more. The company has grown exponentially since its start and only shows a steeper upward curve.

    For growth investors, a hot, in-demand stock like Crowdstrike is a no-brainer and an excellent addition to any portfolio.

    Shopify (SHOP)

    Shopify (SHOP) on the phone display.Source: Burdun Iliya / Shutterstock.com

    Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is leading the charge for businesses transitioning their stores to digital or those looking to enhance their e-commerce sites. Online shopping has never been more popular, meaning businesses everywhere need a platform like Shopify to keep up with the times. 

    Not only does Shopify have steady, solid subscription revenue, but it also has several other streams, from payment processing to shipping labels and its app store. Shopify has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has impressive earnings that display just how profitable the business can be. 

    In Q1, Shopify beat revenue estimates, reaching $1.9 billion in revenue and demonstrating a 23% increase year over year. Of this revenue, $1.4 billion comprised revenue from Merchant solutions and the remainder from subscriptions. It is a comfortable spread, considering most of Spotify’s services are geared towards e-commerce merchants.

    The good news for investors is that the stock is valued better than ever, slightly below its peak price. Spotify will only continue to grow as it implements AI solutions and services targeting larger-scale businesses in its lineup, and investors do not want to let this chance pass them by.

    Netflix (NFLX)

    Netflix (NFLX) logo displayed on smartphone on top of pile of money.Source: izzuanroslan / Shutterstock.com

    Globally renowned streaming giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years. However, it has never been unable to bounce back from short-term losses and continues to prove itself as a top growth stock year after year.

    Furthermore, Netflix’s most recent news should excite growth investors looking for a long-term buy – its new business model. Now that the company is generating healthy cash flow and revenue, it has announced a strategy focusing less on gaining subscribers and more on earning profit. The company will cease reporting quarterly subscriber counts but shift toward revealing engagement numbers, or actual time viewers spend using the service.

    In Q1, Netflix reported a 15% growth in revenue year-over-year and $5.28 in earnings per share, up from $2.88 last year. The company expects very similar growth for Q2 and the remainder of 2024. 

    At $685 per share, Netflix isn’t a cheap stock. But it’s on track to maintain excellent growth at an incredible pace. Therefore, a big investment now will likely mean a big return in the future.

    On the date of publication, Joel Lim 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.

    Joel Lim is a contributor at InvestorPlace.com and a finance content contractor who creates content for several companies like LTSE and Realtor, along with financial publications, including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, Mises Institution and Foundation for Economic Education.

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    <![CDATA[Wall Street Favorites: 3 Auto Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024]]> /2024/06/strong-buy-auto-stocks/ 3 strong buy auto stocks that deserve a spot in your portfolio n/a auto stocks 1600 An angled side view of a row of parked cars. automotive stock picks ipmlc-2995687 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:18:00 -0400 Wall Street Favorites: 3 Auto Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024 RACE; NYSE Divya Premkumar Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:18:00 -0400 Amidst positive market trends and robust financial performance, several analysts have rated strong buy auto stocks to capitalize on the industry’s growth.

    The auto sector is well on its way to a strong recovery this year after a rough 2023. Much of this optimism is driven by the shift in market conditions with increasing supply and declining prices. Analysts predict this will be a tailwind for auto stocks, creating numerous investment opportunities that are too promising to overlook.

    A second catalyst for the industry is the electrification of cars. While the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is still in its early days, concerns over climate change give us good reason to believe that there will be a turnaround. Companies are making major advancements in EV technology to keep up with this anticipated demand.

    As the auto industry experiences a paradigm shift, driven by changing market conditions and technological breakthroughs, there is no better time to get behind highly rated names in the sector.

    General Motors (GM)

    2024 Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup truck at the New York Auto Show. GM stock.Source: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com

    General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) stock is on an upward trajectory after announcing a 33% increase in its dividend and a $10 billion share repurchase program earlier this year. The auto giant is appealing to its investors once again with an additional $6 billion in stock buybacks

    The news of the share buyback is reflective of GM’s increased profitability and commitment to rewarding shareholders for their loyalty. The company hopes to keep this momentum going through the fiscal year with annual earnings expected to increase by 22%.

    As anticipated, shares of the company gained 1.35% on announcing the share buyback program, and analysts reiterated their optimism toward GM stock. Among the positive sentiments was that of Bank of America, which reissued its buy rating, projecting a 53.48% upside on its current price. 

    Citi also maintained its buy rating, stating that recent proprietary surveys indicate a resilient, strong U.S. auto market, which further bolstered its confidence in the stock’s performance. The bank holds its target price for GM stock at $96.

    General Motors’ commitment to expanding the bottom line and rewarding shareholders through its buyback programs makes this one of the top strong buy auto stocks on the market. 

    Carvana (CVNA)

    Tower of Carvana cars in a 'car vending machine.'Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

    When it comes to auto stocks, the online used car giant Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) has become an investor favorite in recent months. After years of battling high logistical and fixed costs, the company developed a two-step cost and debt restructuring plan. This put it on a path of profitability. 

    The results of these initiatives came to fruition in Q1 of 2024 when the company reported the best financial results in its history. Now with its troubles in the rearview mirror, analyst and investor sentiments towards this stock are at an all-time high. 

    In its most recent earnings, Carvana reported revenue of $3.1 billion, up from $2.7 billion a year ago. However, its most impressive metric was its net income of $49 million over a net loss from the same quarter a year ago. The company raised income levels by optimizing its tech operations and prioritizing vehicle reconditioning.

    While Carvana is still actively working to control debt levels, its ability to successfully cut costs signals brighter days ahead. If the company plays its cards right, it could be a huge winner in the next decade.

    Analysts seem to agree, anticipating a double digit upside for CVNA stock at the $115 to $125 range.

    The company’s impressive turnaround story makes this one of the best strong buy stocks in the auto sector today.

    Ferrari (RACE)

    Ferarri car on the streets of France.Source: Hadrian / Shutterstock

    Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) is perhaps most well known for its sports cars, but the company holds a strong lead in the luxury goods market. The diversity of its brand, which many consider a status symbol, has helped maintain its loyal customer base through good and bad times. A prime example of this: RACE stock took a hit after its recent quarterly earnings but still received a positive rating from Bernstein analysts.

    Investor sentiment toward Ferrari stock waned after the company’s delivery numbers took a hit in Q1. Across the region of Taiwan and China with Hong Kong, shipments dropped by 20% and remained flat globally compared to last year. However, analysts kept their weight behind the stock for its strong baseline performance. Ferrari reported a 11% uptick in revenue and maintained its revenue guidance at $6.4 billion. This was below analyst estimates but a 4% growth versus the prior year.

    According to Business Insider, RACE stock has a consensus buy rating with 22 analysts giving it a buy rating.

    Ferrari is a name that deserves a spot in your wallet. Its unique position in the luxury goods market and strong financials makes RACE one of the best strong buy auto stocks on the market. 

    On the date of publication, Divya Premkumar did not hold (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.

    Divya has a background in finance and accounting and has worked in FP&A roles at Fortune 500 companies. She is an avid reader and enjoys writing on a variety of topics including stocks, crypto, blockchain and global policy.

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    The post Wall Street Favorites: 3 Auto Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for June 2024 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    <![CDATA[3 Metaverse Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024]]> /2024/06/3-metaverse-stocks-to-buy-now-june-2024/ The potential of the future makes these metaverse stocks to buy now worth a second look n/a metaverse-1600 (2) Virtual character inside a virtual art gallery. Metaverse ipmlc-2997013 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:14:00 -0400 3 Metaverse Stocks to Buy Now: June 2024 META,AAPL,RBLX Joey Frenette Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:14:00 -0400 It’s been a few years since we heard about the metaverse as a hot theme of investment. Undoubtedly, virtual, augmented and mixed reality seems to have nothing on generative artificial intelligence (gen AI). And though the metaverse may very well represent the next big leap in computing, I’m still not sure just how many people will be willing to spend hundreds or, for higher-end headsets, thousands on a device that one may not even know how to utilize fully.

    Further, we don’t know if we’ll be consistent users of headsets or if they’ll sit on the shelf all day as we continue to use devices we’ve grown used to over the past few decades. Undoubtedly, there’s a great deal of risk for consumers when shelling out a big chunk of cash on a device whose future is highly uncertain.

    It’s up to the spatial computing pioneers to convince us to pay to plug into the metaverse. And until the hardware and software are in the right spot, the metaverse may be a somewhat abstract term for most people, perhaps akin to gen AI before ChatGPT. Regardless, here are some metaverse stocks to buy now for investors who believe that technology is the future.

    Meta Platforms (META)

    In this photo illustration the Meta logo seen displayed on a smartphone and in the background the Facebook logoSource: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

    Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, still desire to invest in the future of the metaverse, even though gen AI and other priorities have taken hold in recent years. Undoubtedly, the company has invested billions in creating the metaverse and will need to contribute billions more before Meta Quest headsets become as used as PCs.

    Though the metaverse headlines have stopped coming in at a rapid pace, while investors cool on the trend at large, I still view the metaverse as one of the biggest growth drivers for Meta over the next 20 years. Perhaps Meta’s gen AI expertise and its vast trove of data resources could help accelerate progress on the metaverse in the next 10 years.

    In any case, META stock stands out as thinking at least a decade ahead of the rest of us when it comes to mixed reality and the metaverse. When metaverse active users stand to really take off, though, remains the big unknown.

    For now, it’s not yet certain that the metaverse will be the next big technological marvel. If it is, I expect Meta will play a big part in the new market, which could see the next generation plug into worlds we cannot even begin to fathom.

    Roblox (RBLX)

    An illustration of the Roblox game is displayed on a smartphone screen.Source: Miguel Lagoa / Shutterstock.com

    Roblox (NASDAQ:RBLX) is a popular video game developer recently touted as an attractive metaverse play by analysts over at Macquarie. With RBLX stock in a rough spot, down more than 73% from its 2021 all-time highs, the intriguing metaverse pure-play certainly seems intriguing while it’s still grounded.

    Specifically, Macquarie is a fan of the socialization aspect. Undoubtedly, the metaverse isn’t just about gaming; it’s about interacting with friends in a so-called third space. And while third spaces may be declining realms of the physical, I do see their rise in the virtual realm as providing a long-term boon for Roblox.

    Indeed, Roblox’s social and experiential aspects are nothing new to investors. Arguably, Roblox and Meta Platforms are going after the same holy grail: becoming the go-to “place” to interact with friends and loved ones. With a modest $23 billion market cap, perhaps investors are underestimating the firm’s growth.

    Apple (AAPL)

    Apple store. Apple Inc. (AAPL) sells consumer electronics, computer software, services and personal computers.Source: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

    Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) just loves to give its unique take on various emerging technologies while steering clear of buzzwords. Whether we’re talking about limited use of the buzzy word “AI,” even during its latest unveiling of Apple Intelligence, or not using the term “metaverse” when referencing the potential of its Vision Pro spatial computer, Apple just loves to live up to its motto of thinking differently.

    With regard to the metaverse, perhaps Apple is smart to distance itself from Meta Platforms, a firm that pretty much coined the term. Either way, Apple is an impressive play on mixed reality, even though we’re more hyped up about Apple Intelligence rather than the Vision Pro, a profound device many investors don’t seem to care much about any longer.

    With the Apple Vision Pro device slated to hit new international markets this summer, it will be fascinating to see if the first iteration of the product will be met with upbeat demand. Specifically, China and Japan are top markets to watch closely as the device nears its launch.

    On the date of publication, Joey Frenette held shares of Apple. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.

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    <![CDATA[3 Tech Stocks That Will Rise Thanks to Google’s Demise]]> /2024/06/3-tech-stocks-that-will-rise-thanks-to-googles-demise/ These three stocks could easily gain should Google's revenues wane n/a tech-stocks-to-buy a big pile of smartphones ipmlc-2997853 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:01:00 -0400 3 Tech Stocks That Will Rise Thanks to Google’s Demise NVDA,GOOG,GOOGL,MSFT,AMZN,META Viktor Zarev Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:01:00 -0400 Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google has seen better days than the best tech stocks to buy now, like Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). While the company’s search engine still reigns supreme, its recent mishaps and setbacks in the artificial intelligence (AI) race have questioned its future dominance. 

    That’s because AI has the potential to upend and nullify the search engine industry completely. The reason for this is the nature of how AI answers questions. Rather than users plugging a question into a search bar and then digging through results to find the answer, AI aims to give the right answer immediately.

    Moreover, Google’s own Gemini AI had a rocky start this year. In February, the media lambasted it for its inability to accurately generate images of historical figures like the Pope and WWII soldiers. As a result, some of the best tech stocks to buy right now could be those quietly undermining Google’s prowess with their growth.

    Microsoft (MSFT)

    Wide angle view of a Microsoft sign at the headquarters for personal computer and cloud computing company, with office building in the background.. MSFT stockSource: VDB Photos / Shutterstock.com

    One of the most dominant tech stocks to buy right now is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), thanks to its strategic partnerships and advanced data center infrastructure. Whether it was foresight or just luck, Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services were primed for the AI revolution, and its ability to use them became even more efficient through its partnership with OpenAI.

    The company has focused on AI and the necessary architecture to support it. One example of this strategy is its new AI-powered laptop line. It achieves this primarily through its licensed ARM architecture computer chips and its rebranding of Bing AI into its Copilot AI suite.

    These technical decisions show MSFT’s confidence in AI’s potential to eat away at Google’s search revenues. They are also part of why Microsoft is now the world’s largest company by market cap. Despite its high stock price, many analysts agree that MSFT is still one of the best tech stocks to buy.

    Amazon (AMZN)

    Closeup of the Amazon logo at Amazon campus in Palo Alto, California. The Palo Alto location hosts A9 Search, Amazon Web Services, and Amazon Game Studios teams. AMZN stockSource: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

    Another mega-cap tech company, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), does not directly compete with Google for search revenue or large language model technology. Still, it stands to gain from a weakened Google cloud computing segment. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offer cloud computing services for startups and smaller businesses looking for offsite solutions, with AWS earning a larger global market share than GCP. 

    Should Google search revenues weaken due to AI integration into personal devices, Amazon could outpace Google’s ability to expand its data center networks, ultimately taking future market share for itself. That’s even more exciting when you consider that AWS revenue sits at around $43 billion per year compared to GCP’s $10 billion.

    Beyond this, Amazon continues aggressively expanding its reach into industries beyond tech, such as media, grocery and retail. These strategies have led AMZN stock to grow by 22.76% year-to-date, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down just yet.

    Meta Platforms (META)

    Threads app logo seen on screen. Instagram Threads app is a micro blogging platform, developed by Facebook Meta.Source: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

    The core of Google’s search revenue comes from advertising, much like Meta Platforms’ (NASDAQ:META). Another critical contributor to Google’s advertising revenue is YouTube, which derived $31.5 billion in revenue in 2023 and is now in direct competition with Meta’s Instagram for short-form content. Thanks to their popularization on Bytedance’s TikTok, these sub-one-minute vertical video feeds are now the dominant drivers of engagement for both Meta and Google.

    Should a TikTok ban take effect, Google will need to aggressively fill the vacuum in the U.S. market before Meta does, or it could lose out on substantial advertising revenues. However, if Google’s cash flows weaken by then, Meta could swoop in and outpace the growth of YouTube Shorts with Instagram Reels.

    While it’s hard to say when or how this could happen, it’s an example of how knowing which tech stocks to buy as they battle for market share can lead to generous returns.

    On the date of publication, Viktor Zarev 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.

    Viktor Zarev is a scientist, researcher, and writer specializing in explaining the complex world of technology stocks through dedication to accuracy and understanding.

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    <![CDATA[Uncharted Waters, Untapped Potential: 3 Stocks Ready to Make Waves]]> /2024/06/uncharted-waters-untapped-potential-3-stocks-ready-to-make-waves/ The best stocks to buy might be those you haven't heard much from yet n/a stocks to buy 1600 man's hand holding wads of cash. stocks to buy. russell 2000 stocks to buy ipmlc-2997850 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 Uncharted Waters, Untapped Potential: 3 Stocks Ready to Make Waves CCI,BROS,ASTS,T Viktor Zarev Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 Sometimes, the best stocks to buy are those talked the least about. But if you follow the institutional moves and see which major investment groups are picking up a stock then the clues for a strong rally are present. Moreover, when institutional interest and confidence in a stock grows, it signals a higher level of trust in its long-term prospects and business model.

    To see which stocks currently have untapped potential, investors should focus on the intrinsic value of the stock, which can be calculated by looking at the current cash flow and adding the estimated value of its future cash flow. This intrinsic value can then be weighed against its market capitalization, share price and liabilities such as debt and acquisition payments to determine if it’s among the right stocks to buy.

    That all said, math can only get you so far as an investor, and risk is ever-present as no one knows every detail about the inner workings of every company.

    Crown Castle International (CCI)

    Image of Crown Castle (CCI) logo on a web browser highlighted through the lens of a magnifying glassSource: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com

    Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) is a real estate investment trust company, that focuses its investments in wireless infrastructure for long-term contracting use. It has two segments of property which it manages, Tower and Fiber. The Tower segment focuses on allocating radio wave bandwidth to customers on its network through the 4G and 5G towers it operates across the U.S. 

    Its Fiber segment operates the same way but for internet and cellular networks based on fiber optic technology instead of radio waves. It owns and operates 40,000 towers and 90,000 miles of fiber across the two segments, which means it stands exceptionally well-positioned to take advantage of the bandwidth demand as a result of the AI industry’s growth.

    As a result, the company’s annual revenue for 2023 came in at just under $3.3 billion with a slight decrease forecasted for 2024 at $3 billion flat. This guidance has left the stock undervalued at around $96 compared to its intrinsic value of around $102.

    Dutch Bros (BROS)

    A Dutch Bros coffee shop representing BROS Stock.Source: Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

    Though consumer trends have shown a decrease in individual spending on coffee, Dutch Bros (NYSE:BROS) aims to recapture the average coffee lover with a different approach. Fast, friendly and convenient service has made Dutch Bros exceptionally successful across the Western United States where most of its locations operate.

    The reason it excels in this part of the country is its high-throughput drive-through business model which integrates perfectly into the car-dominated infrastructure of large western states. BROS has been able to highlight this efficiency with its financial results for the most recent quarter.

    It increased its number of shops from 716 to 876 for Q1 2024, marking a 22% increase in operations year-over-year. This growth came alongside a stunning 39% increase year-over-year for its quarterly revenue, bringing it from $197 million to $275 million. This growth alone has bumped the stock up 26% year-to-date, marking one of the best stocks to buy this year.

    AST SpaceMobile (ASTS)

    Mobile global internet communications. World wide web on phone via wireless satellite network technology. Smartphone digital connection at clouds services of all earth. Holographic abstract interface. ASTS stockSource: Andrey Suslov / Shutterstock.com

    Currently holding the title of the only company developing space broadband infrastructure for commercial cellular use, AST SpaceMobile (NYSE:ASTS) has a bright future ahead of it as demand for cell service across the United States increases. Though the trend of urbanization has more and more young people flocking to urban centers in the U.S. where cellular networks are robust, the accessibility of cellular networks from the more rural parts of the U.S. is still an exceptionally lucrative area of development.

    The company is now on track to deliver five Block 1 satellites to Cape Canaveral Space Center and has successfully locked in a 6-year commercial agreement with AT&T (NYSE:T) to introduce the SpaceMobile cell service program. These first five satellites will enable U.S. nationwide non-continuous service with 5,600+ cells in the premium low-band spectrum.

    Because the company is still relatively nascent and its programs require extensive upfront investment, ASTS is still in the red for income, but this could change in the coming years should its partnership with AT&T prove successful.

    On the date of publication, Viktor Zarev 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.

    Viktor Zarev is a scientist, researcher, and writer specializing in explaining the complex world of technology stocks through dedication to accuracy and understanding.

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    <![CDATA[3 Renewable Energy Stocks With Unstoppable Momentum]]> /2024/06/3-renewable-energy-stocks-with-unstoppable-momentum/ The U.S. aggressive move toward renewable energy makes these stocks hot bets n/a renewable-energy stocks-1600 Environmental protection, renewable, sustainable energy sources. Plant growing in the bulb concept. renewable energy stocks to buy ipmlc-2997568 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 3 Renewable Energy Stocks With Unstoppable Momentum FSLR,NEE,LIN Vandita Jadeja Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 Government laws and investments have given a push to the renewable energy sector in the U.S. Renewable energy accounted for 25% of the country’s total energy in the first half of 2023, making it a record-breaking year for the industry.

    The government is making significant commitments and setting aside funds to expand the sector. Hence, several companies are benefitting from the credits and tax benefits. This means investors should start considering the best renewable energy stocks to buy.

    Despite the obstacles, the U.S. is setting records in the adoption of renewable energy sources and the next five years will see acceleration in the industry. If you want to make the most of the sector, now is the time to invest in these three renewable energy stocks. Benefit as an early-mover and take home solid gains as the economy improves. Let’s delve in.

    NextEra Energy (NEE)

    Person holding mobile phone with logo of American energy company NextEra Energy Inc. on screen in front of web page. NEE stockSource: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    The largest electric utility company in the world, NextEra (NYSE:NEE) is up 17% year-to-date (YTD). It is exchanging hands for $7o as of Tuesday. The company has made investments in the renewable energy sector and enjoys steady income from the utilities business. 

    It saw a 9% year-over-year (YOY) jump in net earnings to $1.10 per share and added 1,640 megawatts of new solar. It has a backlog of 21.5 gigawatts of renewable projects and has an operating capacity of 34 GW. Additionally, it has 300 GW in the pipeline. Well-positioned in the industry, NEE generates steady cash flow which helps boost the dividend. 

    Moreover, management is aiming for a 6% to 8% dividend growth through 2027. The best part about investing in this company is that it is building a renewable energy business over a highly successful utility business. As the demand for electricity increases over the years, NextEra Energy’s business will keep expanding. 

    Also, this is a dividend stock that will keep rewarding every year. The management is aiming for a 10% dividend growth in 2026, and it has a yield of 2.81%.

    First Solar (FSLR)

    First Solar logo on smartphone in front of computer screen with graphs. FSLR stockSource: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

    First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) had an impressive run in 2023.

    The stock is up 51% YTD and over 300% in the past five years. Trading at $262, the rally isn’t stopping anytime soon. When I last recommended the stock, it was trading for $189. If you had bought it then, you’d be sitting on gains of 38%. One of the hottest stocks in the renewable energy space, First Solar still has room to run. It has become the world’s most valuable solar manufacturer. 

    The anticipated rise in the demand for electricity is set to benefit the company. It makes solar panels and photovoltaic power plants and has a strong presence across multiple industries. The company reported strong first-quarter results with a 44% jump in revenue to $794.11 million and an EPS of $2.2. 

    Despite competition, First Solar is in an excellent spot right now. It saw a 455% jump in net income and has a booking backlog of 78.3 GW. I believe the company will be able to meet the full-year guidance. Also, it is expanding its manufacturing capabilities and has invested $1.1 billion for the fifth manufacturing unit in the U.S.

    Linde (LIN)

    Logo of Linde AG (LIN) in Hanover, Germany - The Linde Group is a multinational chemical companySource: nitpicker / Shutterstock.com

    Ireland-based Linde (NASDAQ:LIN) doesn’t receive as much attention as it deserves. The industrial gas giant is set to make the most of the soaring hydrogen demand and already holds an edge in the industry. Linde has invested in the hydrogen sector, which shows its commitment to working in the emerging market.

    However, the best thing about Linde is its diversified business. It doesn’t rely on any single renewable energy source and can enjoy steady income throughout the year. The company builds equipment that produces industrial gases and it also offers processing services like natural gas plants, synthesis gas plants, and air separation plants.

    Trading at $440, the stock is up 7% YTD and 19% in the past 12 months. In the first quarter, the company saw a 10% rise in EPS at $3.75. Linde aims for an EPS of $15.30 – $15.60, with about 8% to 10% growth for the full year. 

    The company generates solid cash flow which allows it to reward investors and invest in the company without taking on a lot of debt. It has a dividend yield of 1.26% and ended the first quarter with a cash flow of $906 million. Therefore, Linde is a safe and reliable renewable energy stock that can steadily keep moving upward. 

    On the date of publication, Vandita Jadeja did not hold (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.

    Vandita Jadeja is a CPA and a freelance financial copywriter who loves to read and write about stocks. She believes in buying and holding for long term gains. Her knowledge of words and numbers helps her write clear stock analysis.

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    <![CDATA[3 Must-Buy Stocks for Long-Term Gains: June 2024]]> /2024/06/3-must-buy-stocks-for-long-term-gains-june-2024/ Analyze the strategic moves and financial standing of three must-buy stocks in the communication, healthcare, and consumer staples sectors n/a long-term-stocks 1600 A close-up shot of a hand stacking coins near the outline of a clock. represents long-term stocks to investing for the next decade. safest stocks for portfolio stability. cheap long-term stocks to buy soon ipmlc-2994556 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 3 Must-Buy Stocks for Long-Term Gains: June 2024 WBD,CVS,WBA Yiannis Zourmpanos Wed, 19 Jun 2024 07:00:00 -0400 Investors must be cautious about the kinds of stocks with the most growth potential and good fundamentals to maximize returns while minimizing risks. Key fundamentals should lie at the helm of the strategy. Additionally, understanding the industry landscape, competitive advantages, and potential risks is essential. A good understanding forms the core of picking stocks in 2024 for long-term gains. That is about more than just the financial data; it requires a comprehensive approach toward investing in equities.

    Such an approach will help investors make very informed decisions that best conform to the goals of investment and risk tolerance. Each company in the list is focused and seriously working on its diversification streams of revenues while improving financial performance through several innovative efforts in respective industries. Finally, the focus on cost-cutting measures driving long-term growth and margin expansion clearly defines these as must-buy stocks with a fair risk/reward balance.

    Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD)

    A close-up of the blue and yellow Warner Bros (WBD) sign.Source: Ingus Kruklitis / Shutterstock.com

    Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) leads in media and entertainment. The company has an extensive content portfolio across television, film, and digital platforms. Ad revenues signify sequential improvement, with a 70% increase in direct-to-consumer (D2C) advertising. This offsets a 7% drop in overall ad sales (Q1 2024). Strong revenue growth in important European countries like Germany, Italy, and Poland highlights the durability of legacy broadcast assets. Moreover, overall income volatility is reduced by offsetting decreases in traditional linear TV with notable increases in D2C advertising revenue. 

    Further, projects like the Ad-Lite service in Latin America and the next Disney and Hulu package demonstrate creative ways to increase income via collaborations. Seasonality notwithstanding, free cash flow increased by $1.3 billion in Q1 compared to Q1 2023, reaching over $400 million. The trailing 12-month free cash flow was $7.5 billion, which shows strong cash creation potential. Initiatives to reduce debt, such as a $1.1 billion payback in Q1, highlight the need for leverage management and financial restraint.

    Overall, Warner Bros. Discovery stands out as one of the top must-buy stocks due to its strategic shift towards D2C offerings and innovative advertising solutions. 

    CVS Health (CVS)

    The front sign for a CVS Pharmacy, CVS stockSource: Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

    CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is a diversified healthcare services company that combines pharmacy services, health benefits, and retail operations. In Q1 2024, CVS Health had an adjusted operating income of almost $3 billion. Despite difficulties, CVS Health generated adjusted earnings-per-share (EPS) for the quarter of $1.31, demonstrating its operational resilience in handling demands from the Medicare Advantage business and other areas. Despite weaker results than Q1 2023, the firm generated high cash flow from operations. This amounted to $4.9 billion in Q1, highlighting sharp financial liquidity and operational efficiency.

    Additionally, advancement and adaptability to market demands are reflected in CVS Health’s biosimilar endeavors through its Cordavis company and the introduction of transparent pharmacy models like CVS CostVantage. These programs improve client growth and retention and generate cost savings. Initiatives to increase margins, strategically reprice, and alter benefits for 2025 show a proactive strategy to boost profitability and position in the healthcare benefits market.

    To sum up, CVS Health’s inclusion in the must-buy stocks list is justified by its strong financial performance, robust cash flow generation, strategic initiatives in biosimilars, and transparent pharmacy models.

    Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

    Landscape Night View of Walgreen's Pharmacy Building Exterior. WBA stockSource: Mahmoud Suhail / Shutterstock.com

    Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) leads in retail pharmacy and healthcare services, offering products and services through its pharmacy chains. Due to reduced adjusted effective tax rates and higher profitability in the US Healthcare division, adjusted EPS climbed by 3.4% to $1.20, or 2.8%, on a constant currency basis. Further, for fiscal 2024, Walgreens Boots Alliance is expected to save $1 billion in costs, primarily via organizational reforms, site optimization, and enhancements to the operating models of pharmacies and retail stores.

    Moreover, even with the non-cash impairment costs associated with VillageMD and long-lived assets, Walgreens Boots Alliance has shown continued cost-cutting initiatives and increased profitability in areas like US healthcare. In addition to bolstering present profitability, the emphasis is on cost control and operational effectiveness, creating the groundwork for long-term development and margin expansion. These initiatives may boost working capital by $500 million. They will decrease CapEx by $600 million in fiscal 2024 and boost free cash flow.

    To conclude, Walgreens Boots Alliance earns its place in the must-buy stocks list by focusing on cost efficiency, strategic cost-cutting initiatives, and optimizing its retail and pharmacy operating models.

    As of this writing, Yiannis Zourmpanos held long positions in WBD, CVS and WBA. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

    Yiannis Zourmpanos is the founder of Yiazou Capital Research, a stock-market research platform designed to elevate the due diligence process through in-depth business analysis.

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    <![CDATA[3 Stocks on the Verge of a Massive Bull Run]]> /2024/06/3-stocks-on-the-verge-of-a-massive-bull-run/ Discover high-growth companies that are the top stocks to buy in 2024 n/a bullmarket1600 Financial symbols and bull stand for success in the stock market. Crypto Bull Run ipmlc-2997406 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:53:00 -0400 3 Stocks on the Verge of a Massive Bull Run NVTS,DTST,NTNX Yiannis Zourmpanos Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:53:00 -0400 Finding solid stocks to buy is vital for portfolio growth and stability in today’s adverse market environment. Businesses at the forefront of data management, infrastructure solutions and technical innovation provide attractive prospects as industries change quickly.

    Here are three exceptional businesses poised to benefit from significant market developments and game-changing technologies, set for a massive bull run driven by the rise of data centers and the increasing demand for computing power.

    Indeed, these companies’ contributions are reshaping their respective industries. They span fast technological advancements that power artificial intelligence (AI)-based data centers and electric vehicle (EV) chargers to strategic international market expansions, customized solutions for major enterprises, and dominance in hyper-converged infrastructure solutions for large enterprises. Those looking for solid stocks in 2024 should focus on these companies’ capacity for advancement, market expansion and value-added solution delivery. 

    Overall, these companies demonstrate resilience and growth potential in a very competitive field by maximizing data storage capacity, improving energy efficiency or simplifying IT systems. 

    Navitas (NVTS)

    a machine manufactures semiconductor chips in a factory setting. AI Semiconductor StocksSource: Shutterstock

    Navitas (NASDAQ:NVTS) specializes in advanced semiconductor solutions. The company has taken the lead in important areas. These include industrial applications, solar inverters, EV chargers and AI-based data centers. Higher efficiency and power capabilities in these industries have been made possible largely by adopting their Gen-3 Fast silicon carbide and GaN (gallium nitride) technology.

    For instance, improvements in the company’s GaNSafe technology will allow clients to raise the efficiency of the server power supply from 96% to 97% by the end of the year. The company wants to reach 8 to 10 kilowatt capacity. 

    Additionally, in several areas and sectors, Navitas has greatly increased the number of its clients and the pipeline of projects. Partnerships with significant organizations such as Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, GOOGL) Google, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS, and top automakers for electric vehicle (EV) applications are examples of specific engagements. Since December 2023, the pipeline of possible EV-related projects has risen by more than 50%, with $400 million in deals.

    To sum up, Navitas’ lead in these high-growth sectors to benefit from the global push towards energy efficiency and electrification makes it a compelling choice among top stocks to buy.

    Data Storage (DTST)

    The word value is written in the clouds over a blue sky.Source: Shutterstock

    Data Storage (NASDAQ:DTST) provides data management and cloud solutions. By integrating CloudFirst and its flagship subsidiaries, the company has increased efficiency, better leveraged technical teams and improved operations. Along with improving internal resource allocation, this strategic decision increases the potential of the company’s client base for cross-selling and upselling.

    Additionally, with the launch of a CloudFirst office in London, Data Storage has begun its global development. The company increased its operational area by over 40% without significantly raising costs. This was when the company moved to a new and expanded headquarters in Melville, N.Y. Hence, their growth plan is supported by this expansion, which can handle more technical, sales and marketing projects.

    Further, Data Storage now serves over 450 firms and it is growing both its clientele and its market share. In Q1 2024, Data Storage signed important contracts, including extending an agreement with a global telecommunications firm and obtaining a new agreement with one of the biggest insurance providers in the U.S.

    Overall, Data Storage’s extended market reach and ability to secure significant contracts with major multinational firms make it a top mark on the stocks to buy list. 

    Nutanix (NTNX)

    An image of a blue and green "Nutanix" logo on the front of a tan building, a row of windows below the sign, and the blue sky in the background.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

    The cloud computing company Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX) is a leader in hyper-converged infrastructure solutions and offers cloud software and services to large enterprises. Nutanix signed important agreements, including a large renewal and expansion with a Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods provider and an eight-figure annual contract value (ACV) contract with a Fortune 50 financial services business.

    Additionally, these wins demonstrate Nutanix’s capacity to join and grow big companies, demonstrating the strength of its product appeal and edge over competitors. The pipeline for prospects with an ACV of more than $1 million has expanded significantly, indicating a growth in business clients’ interest in Nutanix products. 

    Moreover, in Q3 2024, the company exceeded the projected range of around 85% to achieve a non-GAAP gross margin of 86.5%. In Q3, the non-GAAP operating margin exceeded the projected range of 7.5% to 8.5% by a substantial margin, reaching 14%. Higher revenue, improved gross margin performance, and decreased operational costs –including one-time gains from partnership agreements — were the main drivers of this increase.

    To conclude, Nutanix’s ability to secure substantial contracts, strong market position, and attractiveness in the cloud computing and infrastructure sectors support its presence as one of the top stocks to buy.

    On the date of publication, Yiannis Zourmpanos did not hold (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.

    Yiannis Zourmpanos is the founder of Yiazou Capital Research, a stock-market research platform designed to elevate the due diligence process through in-depth business analysis.

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    <![CDATA[3 High-Growth Penny Stocks to Buy Before They Blast Off]]> /2024/06/3-high-growth-penny-stocks-to-buy-before-they-blast-off/ Three high growth penny stocks to buy that could defy expectations n/a penny stocks to buy Stacks of pennies, penny stocks. ipmlc-2992858 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:53:00 -0400 3 High-Growth Penny Stocks to Buy Before They Blast Off PPSI,ENIC,SIRI Nikolaos Sismanis Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:53:00 -0400 Penny stocks often carry a stigma in the investment world for good reason — they tend to be associated with high risk and volatility. These stocks, priced under $5 per share, usually represent companies in the early stages of development or facing notable challenges. Most financial advisors will caution you against investing in penny stocks precisely due to their highly speculative nature and potential for abrupt losses — and they are right.

    However, along with the inherent risks linked to penny stocks, rare exceptions exist where investors can uncover extraordinary opportunities. Such opportunities usually arise from overlooked gems in the market — companies with innovative technologies, solid business models or compelling growth narratives that could potentially lead to substantial gains.

    This article will explore three high-growth penny stocks that could defy typical expectations. Despite their smaller scale and uncertain prospects compared to larger industry counterparts, these penny stocks to buy display compelling attributes that could position them as long-term winners. Nonetheless, anticipate volatility in the journey ahead.

    Pioneer Power Solutions (PPSI)

    Pennies in a jar on top of a background of pennies. Pennies. Cheap stocks.Source: John Brueske / Shutterstock

    My first pick is Pioneer Power Solutions (NASDAQ:PPSI). The stock is currently trading at just over $4.0, and its performance has historically been volatile. However, Pioneer seems to have compelling prospects moving forward due to its robust position in the power solutions industry.

    The company’s product line includes transformers, switchgear and state-of-the-art power generation solutions, catering to a diverse range of clients in several industries. Its diversified portfolio enables Pioneer to capitalize on the increasing demand for reliable and efficient power solutions.

    Pioneer’s growth has registered positive signs recently, driven by the ongoing global transition towards renewable energy and smart grid technologies. The company’s revenues jumped by roughly 51% to $40.8 million last year. Further, Pioneer’s FY2024 outlook targets revenues of $52 million to $54 million, representing year-over-year growth of about 30%, suggesting sustained growth moving forward.

    My cautionary note is that Pioneer remains unprofitable. The company posted a net loss of $3.6 million last year. Nevertheless, its balance sheet is clear, with a net cash position of $6.1 million to support its operations while it scales.

    Enel Chile (ENIC)

    electricity pylons and lines at duskSource: snvv18870020330 / Shutterstock.com

    Enel Chile (NYSE:ENIC) is the second penny stock to buy. Despite its penny stock status, with shares trading close to $2.73, Enel Chile is a leading and rapidly growing player in the energy sector within Chile. It generates, distributes and commercializes electricity, serving millions of customers nationwide.

    What sets Enel Chile apart among high-risk penny stocks is its status as a subsidiary of the €65.5 billion Italian global energy powerhouse Enel SpA (OTC:ENLAY). Enel Chile can leverage the extensive resources of its parent company to drive growth without resorting to highly dilutive equity offerings or taking on highly expensive debt.

    Another factor that has aided Enel Chile’s growth is Chile’s relatively favorable regulatory environment and government stimuli for renewable energy projects, which have formed a supportive setting for the company’s expansion plans.

    Apart from its rapid growth, investors are also usually attracted to Enel Chile because of its impressive dividend history. Although the stock’s double-digit dividend yield underscores the associated risks, such as FX fluctuations and variable dividend per share (DPS) rates, Enel Chile has historically delivered generous payouts. Notably, last year’s DPS translates to an extraordinary yield of 9% at the current stock price.

    Sirius XM (SIRI)

    Person holding mobile phone with logo of US broadcasting company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) on screen in front of web page. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) is my third and final penny stock pick. While it is classified as a penny stock, trading at just $2.61 as of writing this article, Sirius leads the satellite radio and digital entertainment space. The company has solidified its position as a top provider of subscription-based radio services, with a huge subscriber base of 33 million that continues to expand consistently.

    A noteworthy competitive advantage of Sirius XM is its exclusive content agreements. For instance, partnerships with major sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA have enabled the company to offer exclusive broadcasts of games and events, drawing new subscribers to its platform and retaining existing ones. This is why you will hardly see any significant revenue fluctuations over the years. Instead, growth has been steady, with revenues advancing at a CAGR of about 9% over the past decade.

    Further, Sirius is a rather profitable company, another characteristic that sets it apart from most penny stocks. Therefore, the company has been able to afford a growing dividend in recent years. Its DPS has grown for seven consecutive years, while due to shares sliding over the past year, the stock’s dividend has advanced to a rather notable 4.1%.

    On Penny Stocks and Low-Volume Stocks: With only the rarest exceptions, InvestorPlace does not publish commentary about companies that have a market cap of less than $100 million or trade less than 100,000 shares each day. That’s because these “penny stocks” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. If we ever do publish commentary on a low-volume stock that may be affected by our commentary, we demand that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.

    Read More: Penny Stocks — How to Profit Without Getting Scammed

    On the date of publication, Nikolaos Sismanis did not hold (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.

    Nikolaos Sismanis is a professional research analyst with five years of experience in the field of equity research and financial modeling. Nikolaos has authored over 1,000 stock-related articles that focus on uncovering deep value opportunities, identifying growth stocks at reasonable valuations, and shining a spotlight on overlooked international equities.

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    <![CDATA[3 Reasons to Dump Intel Stock Before It’s Too Late]]> /2024/06/3-reasons-to-dump-intel-stock-before-its-too-late/ Intel faces ever-present operational and competitive risks n/a intc1600 Close up of Intel (INTC) sign at entrance of The Intel Museum in Silicon Valley. Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company. ipmlc-2994544 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 3 Reasons to Dump Intel Stock Before It’s Too Late INTC Tyrik Torres Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) stock has sort of fallen by the wayside in recent years. The successful emergence of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), a fabless chipmaker, has already eaten away at much of Intel’s market share.

    These days, Intel also faces an uphill to climb in terms of developing artificial intelligence-enabling chips that are on par with those from Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA).

    INTC have plummeted 39% since the start of the year, despite a significant rally in 2023 that saw its share price nearly double. Below are 3 reasons to get rid of your Intel stock holdings if it’s still in your portfolio.

    Intel’s AI “achievements” are behind the competition

    These days, the market craze is still around artificial intelligence-related technologies. Chipmakers that design that CPUs and GPUs that generate enough processing power to help develop large language models.

    Nvidia has been the clear leader in churning out powerful chips for AI development. Most recently, the Nvidia Blackwell series, set to be released the second half of 2024, are years ahead of the competition.

    Intel announced their Gaudi 3 processor earlier in the year, and the chipmaker touted that the chips performance is on par with that of Nvidia’s popular H100 chipset.

    High-bandwidth memory is critical component of performance for these high-end chips and, thus, serve as a good point of comparison between differing chipsets.

    The Gaudi 3 has more HBM than the H100 but less than Nvidia’s H200 and B200 as well as AMD’s MI300 chip series.

    That is all to say, in terms of performance, Intel’s newest AI chipset is behind the latest and greatest of its competitors. With the Gaudi 3 not available on the market until later in the year, investors do not have a lot to be hopeful about.

    The Foundry business’s financials remain underwhelming

    In recent years, Intel has attempted to turnaround its Foundry (or chip manufacturing business).

    The Foundry came under scrutiny when the company had to delay the release of its 7nm CPUs due to ongoing manufacturing issues way back in 2020. This occurred during the same year in which competitor AMD had already been shipping chips of that node size.

    Intel’s response to its lagging manufacturing capabilities was to give its Foundry business more autonomy. That is, the business would run separately from Intel’s others and would be allowed to take on manufacturing services for third-party clients.

    Still, even with those meaningful strides, the Foundry business continues to churn out sizable losses. The manufacturing unit generated $18.9 billion in revenue (a 30% decrease from 2022).

    It also reported $7 billion worth of operating losses in 2023, which had expanded upon the $5.2 billion loss figure of 2022.

    As Intel continues to ail its manufacturing woes, investors can probably expect to see more losses going forward.

    Despite a low valuation, most of Wall Street is lukewarm

    For Intel optimists, the chipmaker’s valuation is something positive worth noting. Intel currently trades at 24.0x forward earnings.

    This valuation multiple happens to be well below that of both AMD and Nvidia, which trade at 39.6x and 45.5x forward earnings, respectively.

    Typically, a lower multiple in a competitive landscape presents a key opportunity for an investor to possibly benefit from holding an “undervalued” stock.

    Unfortunately, the reason Intel is trading below its peers is not because there is some hidden value that most of the market has yet to realize.

    No, it is largely due to the lack of innovation and growth the chipmaker has delivered in recent years. The gap will likely widen as Intel continues to lag behind in node size capabilities.

    Wall Street is also feeling lukewarm on INTC shares. According to Koyfin, there are 47 analysts that cover the stock and 31 have it rated as a “Hold.”

    On the date of publication, Tyrik Torres 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.

    Tyrik Torres has been studying and participating in financial markets since he was in college, and he has particular passion for helping people understand complex systems. His areas of expertise are semiconductor and enterprise software equities. He has work experience in both investing (public and private markets) and investment banking.

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    <![CDATA[3 Air Conditioner Stocks to Buy on the Dip Before They Heat Up]]> /2024/06/3-air-conditioner-stocks-to-buy-on-the-dip-before-they-heat-up/ Beat the heat with these cool air conditioner stocks n/a wheat-field-1600 A photo of a wheat field taken as the sun is beginning to set. ipmlc-2997922 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 3 Air Conditioner Stocks to Buy on the Dip Before They Heat Up FIX,TT,AAON Omor Ibne Ehsan Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 Air conditioner stocks have been some of the hottest investments over the past few years, and I think they’ll only get better from here. Now, many air conditioner stocks have seen a slight dip from their peaks recently. However, I think it makes sense to buy this near-term cooldown before the summer starts in full swing. I think these companies could post excellent earnings once again, as many parts of the country are seeing temperatures soar.

    Naturally, this will lead to a lot of demand for air conditioner stocks. Last year was by far the best year for most of these companies, and some scientists warn there is a strong chance 2024 could beat 2023 as the warmest year on record. Thus, I think it makes sense to buy the following air conditioner stocks.

    Comfort Systems USA (FIX)

    illustration of a thermometer with red temperature gauge rising and blue sky with sun in backgroundSource: shutterstock.com/Marian Weyo

    Comfort Systems USA (NYSE:FIX) provides mechanical and electrical contracting services. The company is riding high on the mega trends of strong construction activity, especially in warmer climates, and the growing demand for modular solutions. I believe these tailwinds could propel FIX stock to new heights this summer.

    In Q1 2024, Comfort Systems knocked it out of the park with a 31% revenue surge to $1.5 billion, trouncing estimates by nearly 5%. The company’s bottom line performance was even more impressive, with earrings per share of $2.69 crushing expectations by almost 30%. This company has a history of crushing estimates.

    Comfort systems revenue beats. Air Conditioner Stocks.
    Click to Enlarge
    Source: Chart courtesy of GuruFocus.com

    Same-store revenue growth clocked in at a scorching 23%, while the company’s electrical segment achieved record margins of 22.6%.

    Importantly, the company also has a backlog of $5.9 billion, which is up on a year-over-year and sequential basis. Management expects at least mid-teens same-store revenue growth for the full year. But given the momentum, I wouldn’t be surprised to see high teens growth moving forward. FIX stock has already more than doubled over the past year, but I think there’s plenty of gas left in the tank for this air conditioning juggernaut to continue higher.

    Trane Technologies (TT)

    Interest rate and dividend concept. Businessman with percentage symbol and up arrow, Interest rates continue to increase, return on stocks and mutual funds, long term investment for retirement. Dividend stocksSource: LALAKA / Shutterstock.com

    Trane Technologies (NYSE:TT) is a global leader in climate control solutions for buildings and homes. I believe the company is well-positioned to capitalize on powerful mega trends like energy efficiency, decarbonization, and digital transformation. As the urgency to address climate change intensifies, demand for Trane’s innovative solutions should continue to surge.

    The company’s Q1 results were nothing short of stellar. Bookings hit an all-time high of over $5 billion, up 17% organically. Trane also trounced top-line estimates by nearly 5.6% while expanding adjusted operating margins by an impressive 230 basis points. This exceptional performance propelled adjusted earnings per share growth of 38%.

    With TT stock already up 80% over the past year, Trane’s 1% dividend yield provides an attractive sweetener for investors. While there are debates about its valuation, I believe the company can see its valuation hold up as global heatwaves worsen. If the company’s management team continues to execute flawlessly, Trane appears poised to keep beating expectations and delivering market-beating returns.

    AAON (AAON)

    Hot business growth. Businessman using tablet analyzing sales data and economic growth graph chart. Business strategy, financial and banking. Digital marketing. Hot stocks.Source: PopTika / Shutterstock.com

    AAON (NASDAQ:AAON) makes premium commercial and industrial HVAC equipment. I believe AAON is poised to capitalize on several tailwinds that could propel the stock higher this summer. With their advanced fully electric heat pump technology and Alpha Class branded products, the increasing focus on electrification and the transition to lower GWP refrigerants plays right into AAON’s wheelhouse.

    While most air conditioner stocks have held up relatively well, AAON remains an outlier, still down 16% from its highs. However, the stock appears to have bottomed and has already rebounded over 10% from the lows. Analysts see juicy upside from here.

    AAON stock price targets
    Click to Enlarge
    Source: Chart courtesy of GuruFocus.com

    Yes, AAON did miss Q1 estimates badly, with revenue of $262.1 million falling short by $22.7 million. But I expect the company to make a full recovery once the summer heat wave hits and demand surges. AAON’s order trends remain solid, with total backlog increasing for the second straight quarter. Plus, significant opportunities in the data center market provide additional upside potential.

    With AAON strategically positioned from a pricing and product development standpoint, I anticipate a strong second-half rebound for the stock.

    On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan did not hold (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.

    Omor Ibne Ehsan is a writer at InvestorPlace. He is a self-taught investor with a focus on growth and cyclical stocks that have strong fundamentals, value, and long-term potential. He also has an interest in high-risk, high-reward investments such as cryptocurrencies and penny stocks. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

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    <![CDATA[DOC, VZ, APAM: 6% Dividend-Yielding Bargains to Buy Now]]> /2024/06/doc-vz-apam-6-dividend-yielding-bargains-to-buy-now/ These three high-yield dividend stocks to buy are bargains right now n/a dividend stocks1600 (4) Notebook with Tools and Notes about Dividends. Dividend stocks. Safe Dividend Stocks ipmlc-2997883 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 DOC, VZ, APAM: 6% Dividend-Yielding Bargains to Buy Now WBA,DOC,TMUS,VZ,T,SCHD,APAM Will Ashworth Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 The average dividend yield of the 503 stocks in the S&P 500 is 1.3%. That makes it difficult to find high-yield dividend stocks to buy. 

    According to Finviz.com, there are 10 stocks in the index, yielding 6% or more. Not all 10 are bargains. Some, like Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), might be considered “value traps” by many investors even after falling 42% in 2024. 

    Nonetheless, of the 9 remaining stocks yielding 6%, I don’t think there’s any doubt at least three are bargains despite such a high yield. 

    If you expand the search to all U.S.-listed stocks yielding 6% or more and a market capitalization over $2 billion, the field widens to 141. It is from here I will select three high-yield dividend stocks to buy. 

    To make things interesting, I’ll pick one from the S&P 500, one from the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one from the Russell 2000

    Healthpeak Properties (DOC)

    AmazonSource: Shutterstock

    Healthpeak Properties (NYSE:DOC) is a healthcare-focused REIT (real estate investment trust) based in Denver. Its annual dividend rate of $1.20 yields 6.2%.

    On March 1, the REIT completed its all-stock merger of equals with Physicians Realty Trust. The transaction valued the combined companies at $21 billion. Shareholders received 0.674 Healthpeak shares per Physicians Realty Trust share.

    Physicians brought to the table an internal property management platform and established industry relationships. It expects the merged entity to generate up to $60 million in annual synergies by the end of 2025. 

    The combined REIT has 52 million square feet of healthcare space, including one of the largest outpatient medical portfolios with 40 million in high-growth markets and affiliated with leading hospitals and health systems. Its top three markets are San Francisco, Boston and Dallas, with 13.7 million square feet.

    Its balance sheet is top-notch, with just $1.7 billion of its long-term debt maturing before 2028. The weighted average interest rate of its $8.73 billion in total debt (not including lease liabilities) is a reasonable 3.8%. 

    On the same day it closed its merger, the company obtained a new $750 million, 5-year unsecured term loan with a fixed interest rate of 4.5% for the entire period. Its net debt is just 5.2x its adjusted EBITDA. 

    Verizon Communications (VZ)

    Verizon Wireless sign and trademark logo.Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

    Admittedly, I prefer T-Mobile U.S. (NASDAQ:TMUS) to either Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) or AT&T (NYSE:T). However, of the two biggest, Verizon is a better buy than AT&T. 

    In May, I argued that Verizon’s free cash flow growth made it a good dividend stock to buy from the Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:SCHD). While analysts don’t love it, it trades at a low 8.4x its 2025 earnings per share estimate of $4.71.

    Verizon’s quarterly dividend amounts to an annual payment of $2.66 a share, a yield of 6.8%. Income investors ought to like that. 

    One quarter into 2024, Verizon’s wireless revenues were up 3.3%, to $19.5 billion, while its free cash flow in the first quarter was $2.7 billion, 17% higher than a year earlier. Its trailing 12-month free cash flow is $13.44 billion.

    On a price-to-sales basis, its market cap is 1.24x sales, lower than its five-year average of 1.48x. Its forward price-to-earnings ratio is 8.62x, less than its five-year average of 9.58x.

    While it’s not nearly as cheap as it was last October, the high yield more than makes up for it.

    Artisan Partners Asset Management (APAM)

    Artisan Partners (APAM) logoSource: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

    I’ve recommended Wisconsin-based Artisan Partners Asset Management (NYSE:APAM) in the past. 

    In January 2022, I included it on my dividend-income ladder from 1% to 10% yields. It was 10.3% back then. A part of that yield was because of the 31-cent special dividend it paid out in 2021. 

    Year-to-date, it’s paid out $1.63 in dividends — February payment of 68 cents, February special dividend of 34 cents and May dividend of 61 cents — with approximately $1.26 to be paid out over the final two regular payments of the year. Based on $2.44 in annual dividends and a share price of $40, it’s currently yielding 6.33%. 

    One of the things I like about Artisan is that nearly 13% of its voting shares are controlled by directors and executive management. They are, as they say, “Eating their own cooking.”

    As of May 31, it had assets under management (AUM) of $158.6 billion, with its funds business accounting for 49% and separate accounts for 51%. Its Q1 2024 adjusted operating income was $81.6 million, 16.6% higher than a year earlier, on $264.4 million in revenue, 12.8% higher year over year. 

    Whenever it trades around $30, load up the truck and grab yourself an enhanced dividend yield.

    On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not hold (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.

    Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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    <![CDATA[7 Stocks With Impressive Earnings Growth: Real or Engineered?]]> /2024/06/7-stocks-with-impressive-earnings-growth-real-or-engineered/ These growth stocks have shown impressive earnings increases but not all earnings growth is the same n/a growth_h_1600 An image of three yellow arrows on a red background. ipmlc-2990674 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 7 Stocks With Impressive Earnings Growth: Real or Engineered? TM,ISRG,AMD,NVDA,NVO,LIN,SO,MELI,NVDA Alex Sirois Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:45:00 -0400 Earnings are exactly what they sound like. They’re everything that’s left over after everything else has been paid. Earnings are analogous to the money you and I have after we pay all of our bills. Not much is more important in personal finance. It should come as no surprise then that stocks with impressive earnings growth are attractive. 

    Earnings growth is one of the most important factors that causes a stock’s share price to rise or fall. However, two companies with similar reported earnings growth might not be as similar as they appear. If one of those companies has used stock buybacks to increase earnings per share while the other has not, there is a difference. One has real growth and the other has engineered it. Buybacks are generally considered positive but other forms of engineering are less desirable. Let’s get into it and see which of the fast-growing stocks below are real.

    Toyota Motor Corporation (TM)

    Toyota motor corporation logo on dealership buildingSource: josefkubes / Shutterstock.com

    Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) had a very strong year in 2023. Actually, the company ends its fiscal year at the end of March, so we’re really talking about the 12 months ended March 31 of this year. That caveat aside, let’s look at the stock with a particular focus on impressive earnings.

    Earnings are a function of overall sales so it’s important to start with sales. Fortunately for Toyota, sales were strong during the 12 months ended December 31, 2023. Vehicle sales increased 7.2% during that period which was the first time Toyota saw an annual sales increase in the previous two years.

    Toyota’s revenues increased by more than 21% in 2023. That led to an increase in earnings of more than 100%. 

    The impressive earnings growth was primarily a function of strong volume growth and price increases. Most of Toyota’s increase in earnings per share is attributable to real growth although the company does and plans to continue engaging in share buybacks. Share buybacks generally indicate financial stability which is certainly the case with Toyota, but in some cases are used to artificially inflate per-share earnings.

    Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

    A sign with the Intuitive Surgical logo standing outside of a company office. ISRG stock.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

    Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is a healthcare device manufacturer best known for its leading product, the Da Vinci Surgical System. It’s also a stock that is quite well regarded at the moment due to growth in AI and robotics in particular. Investors are hoping that advancements and innovation in those fields will further the growth of the company, improving the stock in the process.

    Revenue grew by 14.5% in 2023, leading to earnings growth of 36%, and per-share earnings growth approaching 38%. A company can do all kinds of things operationally to increase earnings growth above revenue growth so that disparity doesn’t bother me. 

    However, there’s something about Intuitive Surgical that does bother me. The company paid $262 million of income taxes on $1.59 billion of pre-tax income in 2022. The company only paid $142 million of income taxes in 2023 while pre-tax income increased to $1.94 billion. 

    I don’t know about you, but I certainly couldn’t get away with that as an individual taxpayer. I’m reading a book about Warren Buffett’s investing style and it is one of the things mentioned as a red flag. If Buffett sees tax payment rates below 35%, he bolts. Thus, Intuitive Surgical may be engineering its earnings growth. 

    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

    Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) logo in the building at CNE in Toronto. AMD is an American semiconductor company.Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

    Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) continues to be the second most popular AI chip stock overall. it has grown impressively in 2024, up 10% and up more than 60% since November. 

    Investors continue to love AMD simply because it is the clear challenger to Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) dominance in the AI chip space. AMD makes chips that are slightly less powerful but much less expensive than those produced by Nvidia. That value proposition continues to be highly attractive and generally explains its share price growth in the last 6 to 8 months.

    That aside, let’s look at earnings for AMD and what they say about the company. There’s nothing out of order concerning earnings at AMD. The company reported a per-share earnings loss of nine cents during the first three months of 2023. That became eight cents of earnings per share during the first three months of 2024. 

    Earnings are not engineered but I think what may surprise some readers is just how much AMD struggles to produce positive earnings margins. 

    Novo Nordisk (NVO)

    Novo Nordisk logo on a corporate buildingSource: joreks / Shutterstock.com

    Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) stock continues to grow very rapidly on the success of its weight loss drugs, Wegovy in particular. Year to date, NVO stock has provided more than 40% returns.

    Investors wonder if the company can continue to substantiate its prices given the fact that P/E ratios are historically high at the moment. I believe the answer is ‘yes’ for a few reasons. One, it is still very early in the weight loss drug life cycle. Novo Nordisk has massive opportunities ahead and the capability to capitalize on them. It clearly has a first-mover advantage but can grow much more especially if the company sorts out supply chain issues. Two, Novo Nordisk is among the leaders developing an orally administered weight loss pill

    The next wave of impressive pharmaceutical stock earnings will come from the commercialization of orally administered weight-loss drugs. Novo Nordisk has as good a chance as any other pharma firm to capture that opportunity. Massive earnings growth at the company in 2023 was a result of real improvements company-wide. Investors should still consider Novo Nordisk to be one of the best pharma stocks even after it has grown so rapidly.

    Linde (LIN)

    Logo of Linde AG (LIN) in Hanover, Germany - The Linde Group is a multinational chemical companySource: nitpicker / Shutterstock.com

    Linde (NYSE:LIN) produces and sells industrial gases globally. Many investors will have heard of the stock more recently because it is associated with the potential of hydrogen and is a major hydrogen producer. However, unlike many up-and-coming hydrogen stocks, Linde is very stable and represents a very solid investment overall. 

    One of the primary reasons Linde is so stable and such a solid investment overall is that the company is very well-operated. Linde’s recent earnings are an excellent case in point. 2023 sales declined by 2% but the company managed to produce per-share earnings growth of nearly 53% during the same period. 

    The company did this by drastically slashing operating expenses another line item called ‘other operating expenses’. That increased to $2.6 billion in operating income, spiking net income growth. 

    Linde is a highly respected and stable firm overall so no one should be surprised that earnings growth, though impressive, was real. 

    The Southern Company (SO)

    Source: Shutterstock

    The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) is going to continue to be a stock worth investing in for several reasons. One of the most obvious is that utility companies in general continue to be undervalued at the moment. The benefit there is that many, The Southern Company included, currently pay a higher yielding dividend as a result of lower prices.

    The Southern Company’s 3.66% dividend is a good reason to buy the stock overall. Utilities stocks are very stable and dependable and for certain investors that’s highly attractive.

    Company-wide revenues declined 13.75% in 2023. While that may discourage some investors, there’s a strong narrative that favors The Southern Company anyway. Primarily, the company is very well operated and managed to grow earnings per share by 11% despite shrinking revenues. 

    It starts with decreasing the cost of sales by 24%. So, despite shrinking revenues The Southern Company was still capable of increasing gross margins. For those who care to continue reading down the income statement, it was more of the same. The Southern Company judiciously slashed expenses leading to increasing per share earnings for shareholders. It’s exactly what any investor should want from a stock.

    MercadoLibre (MELI)

    MercadoLibre (MELI) homepage on a smartphoneSource: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

    Let me just start by saying that nothing about MercadoLibre’s (NASDAQ:MELI) financial statements suggests that its growth is engineered. Instead, what I see is a stock very much worth buying in a company that looks to be hitting its stride.

    MercadoLibre very much looks like one of the cleanest companies overall. There doesn’t look to be any type of engineering going on whatsoever. Case in point, net income grew by 104% in 2023 and earnings per share grew by 104%. Furthermore, MercadoLibre is paying an amount of taxes on pre-tax income that one would generally expect to see.

    Anyway, investors really should consider MercadoLibre because the company is growing very quickly. When I say growing very quickly, that means overall revenue growth but also growth at the bottom line level. MercadoLibre only began producing net gains in 2021. Those net gains amounted to $83 million in that year and ballooned to $987 million in 2023. It’s a well-run company experiencing massive growth. The only potential issue is that share prices are very high, exceeding $1,500. Perhaps the company might enact a forward stock split a la Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) in the future. 

    On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.

    Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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    <![CDATA[3 Compelling Chip Stocks to Buy if You Already Own Nvidia and AMD]]> /2024/06/3-compelling-chip-stocks-to-buy-if-you-already-own-nvidia-and-amd/ Nvidia and AMD are the most compelling chips stocks to buy but there are many others investors must consider n/a chip stocks1600 (1) Silicon Dies are being Extracted by a Pick and Place Machine from Wafer and Attached to Substrate. Computer Chip Manufacturing at Factory. Close-up of Semiconductor Packaging Process. Chip stocks ipmlc-2990767 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:41:00 -0400 3 Compelling Chip Stocks to Buy if You Already Own Nvidia and AMD NVDA,AMD,TSM,QCOM,NXPI,SMCI Alex Sirois Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:41:00 -0400 Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) are the most popular and compelling chip stocks to buy. Although Nvidia dominates the AI chip space, AMD is a clear challenger to the company for dominance. That one-two positioning for AI preeminence has positioned the two stocks as leading investments.

    With AI expected to continue booming, investors want to know where the next compelling chip stock opportunities are. 

    Fear not if you own both Nvidia and AMD. There are many good chip shares to invest in today. Although I don’t discuss it in this article, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) is an excellent example. It’s up nearly 70% in 2024 and is likely to charge higher prices to Nvidia and other leading firms that it supplies with chips. 

    Qualcomm (QCOM)

    Qualcomm (QCOM) logo on an outdoor signSource: Akshdeep Kaur Raked / Shutterstock.com

    Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock has soared in 2024, rising by more than 53%. I like Qualcomm for its dividend, which helps smooth out the lows, but the company’s opportunity is about AI.

    Qualcomm provides AI chips with strong end markets in the smartphone vertical and automotive sectors. The ongoing opportunity in the smartphone and automotive spaces is one of the strongest reasons to believe that Qualcomm can continue to rise higher. 

    Mizuho recently raised its target price for Qualcomm to $240, citing the utility of Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 3 chips in AI-enabled handsets.

    The markets continue to appreciate Qualcomm for its strength in the automotive sector. Revenues from the automotive sector grew by 35% during the most recent quarter. Based on Qualcomm’s growth during the period, it’s very fair to say that the company is taking advantage of the $45 billion design win pipeline.  

    Qualcomm stock likely will grow further in June.

    NXP Semiconductors (NXPI)

    A sign on a brick well for NXP Semiconductor. NXPI stock.Source: Lukassek / Shutterstock.com

    NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) is an excellent stock to invest in for those seeking exposure to the automotive sector chip opportunity.

    Sales from within the automotive segment comprised more than $1.8 billion of the company’s nearly $3.13 billion quarterly revenues in Q1. Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile are the company’s next biggest revenue producers. However, those two segments combined produce roughly half the automotive segment’s sales. The point is that NXP Semiconductors is well positioned to grow on the presumed resurgence of the automotive industry, particularly electric vehicles.

    That isn’t to suggest that NXP Semiconductors is currently suffering; it isn’t. Shares are up more than 21% this year. 

    One of the other important pieces of information about NXP Semiconductors is that the company is responsible. In the first quarter, the company lowered its overall debt by nearly $1 billion.

    That fundamental improvement and the automotive opportunity make NXP Semiconductors a strong choice for those already owning Nvidia and AMD.

    Super Micro Computer (SMCI)

    Person holding cellphone with logo of US company Super Micro Computer Inc. (SMCI) (Supermicro) in front of business webpage. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

    Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ:SMCI) is essentially a chip stock, although the company does not primarily produce or sell semiconductors. Instead, it makes high-performance rack servers and storage solutions. Super Micro Computers’ sales are booming because they serve the thriving data center sector, which is, in turn, consuming massive quantities of chips. Therefore, I’ve chosen to include it as a chip stock.

    Super Micro Computer is a compelling choice for investors who already own Nvidia and AMD. Investors simply need to look at the company’s forecasts to understand why. Revenues and per share earnings are both expected to more than double in 2024, and that opportunity is expected to continue into 2025 and beyond.

    Super Micro Computer supplies enterprises that require high-powered rack solutions that integrate leading chips. It remains one of the better data center stocks to consider. The shares themselves continue to have a very strong upside.

    On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.

    Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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    <![CDATA[Stop Right There! Don’t Get on the Wrong Path With UiPath Stock.]]> /2024/06/stop-right-there-dont-get-on-the-wrong-path-with-uipath-stock/ UiPath stock is far from being on the path to recovery n/a path1600 In this photo illustration the UiPath (PATH) logo is displayed on a smartphone. ipmlc-2997394 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:40:00 -0400 Stop Right There! Don’t Get on the Wrong Path With UiPath Stock. PATH Thomas Niel Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:40:00 -0400 UiPath (NYSE:PATH) has steadily tumbled lower since its public debut in 2021. The latest sell-off for UiPath stock, which transpired last month, followed a highly disappointing earnings release chock full of takeaways that were anything but promising.

    But with shares in this purveyor of robotic process automation (RPA) software, a type of business automation software, now changing hands at rock-bottom prices, is it time to buy in at the bottom? Not so fast!

    Yes, it’s possible that PATH has finally bottomed out. The stock now trades at a far more reasonable valuation.

    However, considering what was revealed at the earnings release, alongside additional factors, it’s hard to see this situation changing for the better soon. Instead of “buying the dip,” holding off for now is a better move. Here’s why.

    Why UiPath Stock Collapsed After Earnings

    Take a look at PATH on a stock chart, and you may think what I said above about a “post-earnings sell-off” is an understatement.

    On May 30, right after UiPath’s latest quarterly earnings release, the stock fell by a staggering 34.1%, and that was after steadily sliding in the week leading up to the earnings report.

    So, what was so bad about the UiPath stock earnings release as to cause such a negative reaction by the market?

    Although the company beat on both revenue and earnings, the market focused instead of two key negative developments revealed alongside the latest results. First, news of Rob Enslin’s abrupt exit as CEO, replaced by UiPath co-founder Daniel Dines.

    The company revised its full-year revenue guidance downward. UiPath previously projected revenue of $1.55-1.56 billion for fiscal year ending January 2025, but now expects $1.405-1.41 billion. CFO Ashim Gupta suggested increased customer scrutiny of UiPath’s deals.

    With all of this in mind, the market’s strong negative reaction was not an overreaction. Rather, it was an appropriate response to news of material changes in circumstances.

    An Uncertain ‘Path’ Back to High Growth

    Based on UiPath’s latest full-year guidance, the company is on track experience a sharp deceleration in growth.

    Based on the aforementioned outlook, annualized revenue growth is set to fall from around 23.6% in fiscal year 2024, to the high single-digits this fiscal year.

    With this, UiPath stock is giving off serious “busted growth stock” vibes right now. The market can often be harsh on companies experiencing growth deceleration.

    That’s why, in response to the downward revisions to guidance, investors have downwardly-revised PATH’s valuation. Shares today trade for 30.75 times forward earnings.

    As this represents a reasonable price for a SaaS stock still experiencing moderate levels of growth, UiPath may be able to sustain this valuation.

    However, to garner a market re-rating, and hence return to higher prices for shares, management must prove that UiPath is getting back on the “path” to high growth. Put simply, this could end up being easier said-than-done.

    UiPath may be considered an AI stock, but the rise of generative artificial intelligence has made this RPA software provider’s future far more uncertain.

    Management continuse to assert that its integration of gen AI features into its platform will allow it to benefit from this trend. However, the negative takeaways from the latest earnings release call this into question.

    Lost in the Woods for Now, So Stay Away

    Let’s be clear. UiPath isn’t getting out of the woods anytime soon. Barring a stunning earnings beat next quarters, chances are that the company and shares are going to remain lost in the woods. In turn, the market will maintain a “show me” stance about the stock.

    This could mean PATH merely languishes at or near current prices. Or worse, slips down to prices south of $10 per share. There is, however, a silver lining to these past and likely future price declines.

    With shares beaten down so much, if/when the company begins to more strongly convey that it stands to benefit from the gen AI trend, even after starting to rebound sharply, you’ll likely be able to dive back in at a reasonable price.

    Keep an eye on UiPath stock, but until a recovery begins, stay away.

    On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not hold (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.

    Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.

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    <![CDATA[Why the Palantir Stock Rebound Is Just Getting Started]]> /market360/2024/06/why-the-palantir-stock-rebound-is-just-getting-started/ Investors are bidding Palantir stock back up, for reasons beyond hope and hype n/a pltr1600 (5) In this photo illustration, the Palantir Technologies (PLTR) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. ipmlc-2997703 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:35:00 -0400 Why the Palantir Stock Rebound Is Just Getting Started PLTR,ORCL,ETN Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:35:00 -0400 Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) entered rebound mode last month, and appears set to stay there for quite some time. Now back above $25 per share, a move to even higher prices may be just around the corner for Palantir stock.

    Investors are warming back up to the AI enterprise software company’s shares, for reasons that go beyond mere hope and hype.

    We’re not the only ones who have recently taken notice about Palantir’s success in generative AI software, and its impact on driving a growth resurgence.

    Besides market participations increasingly coming to this conclusion, so too has a Wall Street sell-side analyst, who this week issued a bullish research note on PLTR.

    Although subsequent gains may arrive more gradually, here’s why you may want to seize the opportunity today, and enter a position.

    Palantir Stock and its Newest ‘Buy’ Rating

    On June 17, Argus Research’s Joseph Bonner issued a “buy” rating on PLTR, with a price target of $29 per share. In the research note, Bonner focused mainly on Palantir’s potential to continue capitalizing on growing AI software demand from commercial clients.

    Bonner highlighted Palantir’s AI Platform’s impact on revenue growth and improved profitability.

    Analyst predicts sustained earnings growth in the coming years. Bonner predicts an average annual earnings growth of 19% over the next five years.

    The market has responded positively to this buy rating. Palantir stock surged 6.15% on rating release day. Despite increasing bullishness for PLTR, we understand your hesitation to enter a position.

    After all, PLTR continues to sport a sky-high valuation of 75.8 times forward earnings. However, while Bonner honed into key aspects of the Palantir bull case, there is a lot more to it than that. Here’s why.

    Don’t Forget These Other Catalysts

    As we have pointed out in prior Palantir stock coverage, the company’s success in AI may not just be limited to its commercial segment.

    Based on recent results and contract wins, the launch of AIP and other AI endeavors appear to be having a positive impact on the performance of Palantir’s governmental business as well.

    Last quarter, governmental sales growth re-accelerated from 11% to 16%. Late last month, the company announced that it had won a $480 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense .

    This contract is for the development of a prototype for the DoD’s Maven artificial intelligence system. Subsequent company announcements could further indicate that the governmental segment is experiencing a much stronger growth resurgence.

    Taking into account both Palantir’s strong commercial and government growth prospects, forget about earnings rising by just 19% annually over the next five years. With Palantir scaling up faster than anticipated, this could translate into far more outsized levels of earnings growth.

    Again, don’t expect this bull case for PLTR to play out immediately. Count on it being a gradual process. That said, the next big run-up for Palantir may only be a little bit more than a month away.

    Bottom Line: Feel Free to Hop on the PLTR Bandwagon

    Investor enthusiasm for Palantir Technologies is heating back up, but it’s not as if this has become a “too hot to touch” situation. Buy in today, at around $25 per share, could prove profitable.

    Although the excitement could cool down for a bit after the recent “buy” rating, there’s plenty that could drive the next big boost.

    Namely, Palantir’s next scheduled quarterly earnings release, expected to occur sometime in early August. The latest results and updates to outlook could drive another wave of bullishness.

    Alongside this, the company in the coming months could announce additional contract wins and corporate collaboration agreements. S

    o far in 2024, Palantir has entered or expanded partnership deals with major companies like Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Eaton (NYSE:ETN).

    As the bull case gets even stronger, feel free to hop on the Palantir stock bandwagon.

    Palantir stock earns a B rating in Portfolio Grader.

    On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in PLTR. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

    The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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    <![CDATA[Chipotle Stock Is a Goldman Sachs’ Top Restaurant Pick for a Reason]]> /2024/06/chipotle-stock-is-a-goldman-sachs-top-restaurant-pick-for-a-reason/ The Mexican food restaurant is expected to continue growing rapidly boding well Chiptole stock n/a cmg1600 Chipotle - Sign on building, CMG stock ipmlc-2997718 Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:35:00 -0400 Chipotle Stock Is a Goldman Sachs’ Top Restaurant Pick for a Reason CMG Larry Ramer Wed, 19 Jun 2024 06:35:00 -0400 As I noted in a previous column, many Americans reported in a recent survey that they intend to spend more money on food going forward. That bodes well for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), which has become one of America’s most popular restaurant chains. What’s more, in the first quarter of the year, Chipotle’s comparable restaurant sales, profits and profit margins all increased by impressive amounts and the company is continuing to innovate effectively and open significant amounts of new restaurants.

    In light of all of these points, I view Chipotle stock as a buy at this point for investors looking for increased exposure to restaurants stocks.

    Macro Trends Are Favorable

    In a recent survey undertaken by the well-respected consulting firm, McKinsey, Americans’ confidence in the economy dropped and reached its lowest level since the end of last year. However, the firm reported that “Millennials and Gen X individuals said they intend to splurge more on food, including both dining out and purchasing food for home consumption.”

    Millennials’ desire to spend more on restaurants portends very well for Chipotle. That’s because the company reported that over 50% of its customers are in either the millennial or Gen Z generation. Moreover, Chipotle reports that its customers tend to be wealthier than average. Indeed, a recent study found that the company’s patrons were 20% more likely than average to earn over $125,000 annually. At a time when less well-to-do Americans are feeling squeezed by the high inflation of recent years, Chipotle should benefit from the relative affluence of its customer base.

    Chipotle’s Strong Q1 Results Should Keep It Shining

    In Q1, the restaurant chain’s top line jumped 14% versus the same period a year earlier to $14 billion, while its comparable restaurant sales advanced 7% year-over-year. Additionally, its restaurant-level operating margin improved by 1.9 percentage points versus Q1 of 2023 to 27.5%.

    For all of 2024, the company expects its comparable restaurant sales to climb between 5% to 9%. Also analysts, on average, predict that its earnings per share will rise to $55.73 this year from $44.86 in 2023. Finally, the mean estimate calls for earnings per share to advance to $67.07 in 2025.

    Innovating Effectively and Opening Many New Restaurants

    Chipotle has introduced a braised beef offering, called Braised Beef barbacoa. Featuring garlic and cumin, this hand-shredded offering strikes me as being rather original in the American fast-food sector. According to CEO Brian Niccol, the entree is becoming more popular while the ad campaign promoting it has been successful.

    Indeed, the company believes the new offering has raised its revenue. The success of this new product shows that Chipotle is still able to introduce appealing new food items and market them effectively.

    Meanwhile, the company plans to open about 300 new restaurants in 2024. This suggests that it can keep profitably growing its footprint in the U.S. The continued increase in its restaurant count should meaningfully boost its top and bottom lines going forward.

    The Street Remains Upbeat on Chipotle

    There are multiple signs that Wall Street remains enthralled with the company. For example, Goldman Sachs recently named Chipotle as one of its six top picks in the restaurant sector and started coverage of the name with a “buy” rating. The bank noted that although it thinks that some consumers are becoming more price-conscious, they “are still willing to pay for differentiated value.” As a result, the better-respected brands can gain market share going forward.

    Investor’s Business Daily gives Chipotle stock an Accumulation/Distribution rating of B+ , indicating large investors have been buying significant amounts of the shares over the past 13 weeks.

    On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (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

    Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been SMCI, INTC, and MGM. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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