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Have $500? 3 Absurdly Cheap Stocks Long-Term Investors Should Buy Right Now

In Business
May 07, 2024

Stocks have roared higher in this new bull market, with major indexes reaching record highs in recent months. But this doesn’t mean you need a fortune to participate in the action and score a win. Some top-quality stocks have missed out on the gains as investors favor today’s highest-momentum players: technology stocks.

Of course, many tech stocks make fantastic buys, but it’s important to remember diversification — which could maximize gains and limit losses over time — and consider some of the left-behind players in other industries. They may be stock performance stragglers right now, but over time, they could significantly boost your portfolio. And today, with just $500, you can pick up three of these absurdly cheap stocks that may deliver big over the long term. Let’s check them out.

Four people walk up the shore with a cruise ship in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Carnival

Carnival (NYSE: CCL) (NYSE: CUK) suffered during the earliest phase of the pandemic as the health crisis put a halt on sailings. The world’s biggest cruise ship operator built up a wall of debt to stay afloat (excuse the pun) and swung from years of profitability to losses.

But Carnival quickly turned its focus to recovery, taking steps to address debt and work its way back to profit. For example, the company eliminated older ships and replaced them with new fuel-efficient ones — a step that lowers expenses over the long haul and is environmentally friendly. Carnival also started paying down its debt, with a focus on lowering variable rate borrowings — this makes the company less sensitive to rate hikes.

On top of this, Carnival has benefited from renewed demand for cruise travel, resulting in record booking volumes and revenue in the most recent quarter. And the company expects its cash from operations — $1.8 billion in the quarter — to help it continue to pay down debt.

Today, Carnival shares trade for 0.8 times sales, around their lowest ever by this measure — a fantastic buy for this recovery story that’s quickly turning into a high-growth story.

2. Chewy

Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) is a leader in the world of online pet supplies, selling everything from toys and food to pet insurance. The company is present in the $144 billion U.S. pet market and recently expanded into the $10 billion Canadian pet market.

Chewy recently posted its second fiscal year of profitability, and continues to grow key metrics such as sales, gross margin, and free cash flow. This is thanks to Chewy’s ability to connect with customers and build solid relationships — so that they’ll keep coming back. Proof of this is Autoship, a service that automatically reorders and ships your favorite products right to your door. Autoship orders make up 76% of the company’s total sales — and growth in Autoship sales increased 15% for the full year.

The e-commerce player should benefit from the trend of pet supply sales moving progressively online, and last year’s expansion into Canada may add to growth too. Chewy also has announced the launch of its own veterinary practices, which could be a great way of diversifying its revenue stream.

Chewy shares trade for 19 times forward earnings estimates, a steal considering the company’s earnings track record and recent moves to power long-term growth.

3. Etsy

If you shop online for gifts, you may be familiar with Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY). The company offers a wide variety of handmade and vintage items from artisans around the world. Etsy’s sales took off in the earlier stages of the pandemic as people stayed home to shop, but recent times have been more challenging. Consumers, in a higher interest rate environment, have less money to spend on discretionary purchases, and that’s weighed on Etsy.

But I think this is a short-term problem, and thanks to Etsy’s customer loyalty, business structure, and solid cash position, it’s one the company can surmount. So, let’s talk about these positive points. Though Etsy’s gross merchandise sales declined in the recent quarter, the company continues to increase active buyers — they reached a record of 91.6 million. And repeat buyers rose nearly 3%.

I like Etsy’s capital light business model, which allows the company to transform most of its adjusted EBITDA into free cash flow — more than 90% in the past quarter. Finally, Etsy ended the quarter with more than $1.1 billion in cash.

Considering all of this, Etsy shares look like a steal trading for only 14 times forward earnings estimates — making them a terrific buy for investors with a long-term view.

Should you invest $1,000 in Carnival Corp. right now?

Before you buy stock in Carnival Corp., consider this:

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Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Chewy and Etsy. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival Corp. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Have $500? 3 Absurdly Cheap Stocks Long-Term Investors Should Buy Right Now was originally published by The Motley Fool

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