Has a seemingly cheap stock caught your eye? Such names look and feel like they offer you more bang for your investment buck as long as you can jump in while prices are low. All too often we learn these names are cheap for a reason, and end up staying cheap due to a lack of performance.
With this as the backdrop, here’s look at three low-cost stocks that aren’t at risk of falling into that trap. That is, they’re priced at relatively low valuations, but these valuations don’t fully or fairly indicate the likely growth that lies ahead for the underlying organizations. You just have to look more than a year down the road to see it.
Granted, Ford Motor (NYSE:F) was much more of a bargain just a few days ago, before it jumped 16% on updated electric vehicle plans. The company now anticipates that by 2030, 40% of its global unit sales will be electric cars and trucks. Even so, priced at just nine times next year’s expected earnings, Ford shares have lots of room to keep running.
Image source: Getty Images.
It’s curious. Those investors keeping tabs on the carmaker probably remember when then-Ford chief executive Jim Hackett boldly (and quite publicly) jumped into EV waters back in 2017, earmarking $11 billion worth of electric vehicle capital in 2018, to be deployed by 2022. Just last week current CEO Jim Farley recently ramped-up Ford’s EV development budget to $30 billion. It’s exciting stuff to be sure, but not terribly surprising — the venture was always going to require more money.
What’s arguably changed is investors’ receptiveness to the idea that any car manufacturer besides Tesla(NASDAQ:TSLA) could be a serious electric vehicle contender. Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E started this psychological shift, selling 6,614 units in the United States during the first quarter of the year, which — notably — stole market share from Tesla. The company also reports 70,000 purchase reservations for the new, all-electric F150 pickup truck unveiled just last week, underscoring the idea that Ford’s becoming a force within the electric vehicle market.
And well it should. Deloitte estimates global unit sales of electric vehicles will grow at an annual pace of 29% over the course of the coming 10 years, reaching a yearly pace of 31.1 million automobiles by 2030. The world’s going to need more than one manufacturer to make that happen.
The Goldman Sachs(NYSE:GS) name may not turn heads the way it used to. But, this Wall Street icon is still a stock worth owning, which you can for little more than a song.
Goldman does a little of everything, from investment banking to asset management to brokerage, and more. It’s even moving into the consumer/retail banking world under the moniker Marcus. No single arm accounts for more than 26% of its top line (that’s asset management), and while all of its business lines are ultimately tethered to the economy, managing five different arms curbs a great deal of the earnings volatility its competitors may face. The trade-off of this much revenue diversification is a cap on growth potential. One or two units might perform well in any given quarter, but it’s rare for all five to thrive simultaneously.
It’s worth it though, particularly right now.
With an end to the pandemic in sight in some countries and the global economy on a surprisingly good footing at it happens, Goldman is ready for whatever the rebound throws at it. Take investment banking as an example. Despite the disruption created by the COVID-19 contagion, the company says its investment banking backlog now stands at record-breaking levels. Making that detail even more incredible is that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is expected to swell in the foreseeable future, building on the M&A rebound that started to take shape in the latter half of last year. For perspective, a recent survey of corporate officers performed by Bain & Co. suggests mergers and acquisitions will drive 45% of corporate revenue growth in the foreseeable future, up from an average of 30% for the past three years.
Newcomers can plug into Goldman’s prospective piece of this growth at a very affordable forward-looking price-to-earnings ratio of 10.4.
The Boeing Company
Finally, add Boeing(NYSE:BA) to your list of bargain stocks to think about buying today.
Yes, Boeing is the company that botched the design of its highly touted 737 MAX passenger jets. This is also the same Boeing that’s seen demand for planes dry up since COVID-19 took hold, restricting air travel as a result; airlines aren’t interested in purchasing new aircraft until they’re sure they’re going to need them. This is even the same Boeing that’s now $62 billion in debt, more than $40 billion of which has been added just within the past year. A stock’s only a bargain if it’s got a legitimate shot at rising, and priced at 47 times next year’s projected profits, and given how much of its future earnings will be needed just to make interest payments, Boeing is pushing the limits of what could be considered a “bargain.”
Look one, two, and even three years down the road, though. Largely lost in the recent noise is that Boeing is in the process of digging its way out of this hole.
As for the 737 MAX, customers are finally committing to the now-fixed jet again. Southwest Airlines(NYSE:LUV) recently ordered 100 of the newest iteration of the passenger jet, though CEO Gary Kelly recently explained that the addition of Southwest routes could spur the need for as many as 500 new passenger jets. SMBC Aviation, Alaska Air Group, Dubai Aerospace, and United Airlines also account for just some of the 307 orders for the 737 MAX already placed just this year. It’s an encouraging indication of confidence in Boeing’s fix for the once-beleaguered plane.
This demand is also a vote of confidence in air travel’s rebound, as is the fact that Boeing is still sitting on a total of nearly 5,000 unfilled plane orders. To this end, although the International Air Transport Association (IATA) acknowledges it could take until 2023 and even 2024 for air travel to bounce back from the 52% of pre-COVID traffic we’re seeing now, the IATA foresees a recovery to 88% of pre-COVID traffic taking shape next year. Airlines, however, can’t wait until that many customers are ready to fly again to start procuring planes.
Boeing shares are well up from last March’s lows. With shares trading for 30% lower than 2019’s typical price though, investors continue to underestimate the scope and speed of the company’s recovery. In more normal years like 2017 or 2018, this aircraft maker can earn on the order of $10 billion, giving the company plenty of means to work on its debt and still reinvest in future growth.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.