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12 Best Depressed Stocks to Buy Now

In this article, we shall discuss the 12 best depressed stocks to buy now. To skip our detailed analysis of the global economic outlook in 2022, go directly and see 5 Best Depressed Stocks To Buy Now.

The global macroeconomic outlook continues to be in free-fall, with an increasingly grim outlook for the rest of 2022 and a below-trend growth forecast for 2023. According to the latest report by the International Monetary Fund, with winters approaching, an energy crisis looms large over the European continent, and is coupled with skyrocketing costs of living, a sharp tightening of global financial conditions, and an economic slowdown in China. These factors are adding to the headwinds perpetrated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February and the subsequent supply chain disruptions; surging inflation and high interest rates, and soaring fuel prices, to drive the dimmed growth outlook, with the report predicting that the possibility of a recession in 2023 seems more apparent than ever.

According to baseline forecasts conducted by Euromonitor International, real GDP growth for Q4 2022 is set to decline to 1.7% by the end of 2022, and 0.8% in 2023. This points to a deceleration of 0.8 and 0.5 percentage points  respectively, relative to the preceding quarter as most negative growth drivers still remain dominant. The U.S. Federal Reserve's predatory monetary policies are expected to help curb inflation to an extent, but also take a heavy toll on investment and economic activity. Furthermore, exports in the United States are losing steam amid flailing external demand. As winter approaches, Europe is staring down the barrel of Putin's gun in the shape of a massive energy crisis. Price hikes are hitting manufacturers and households hard, and business, investment, and consumer confidence is on the decline. The Eurozone economy is set to significantly slow down to 0.6% in 2023. Germany is widely forecasted to enter a recession in the coming quarters, and though rebounding tourism may provide temporary relief to certain European economies, the long-term prospects do not seem favorable.  According to the report, as more economies delve deeper into a recession in 2023, the year is anticipated to be exceptionally tough for investors, businesses, and consumers alike. There are only a few countries that are thriving in this environment (see the 15 fastest growing economies in 2022).

However, even in the midst of such grim macroeconomic conditions, there is opportunity for long-term investors, who are looking for the best depressed stocks to shield themselves from incurring massive losses. A depressed stock is undervalued in comparison to other similar stocks in the same industry and is trading at a price thought to be significantly below its intrinsic value. In this article, we have outlined 12 of the best depressed stocks to buy now, including some mega-cap stocks that are facing temporary headwinds.

Our Methodology

We picked stocks that are currently down 20% or more year-to-date (as of November 9) but show catalysts for strong long-term growth, due to factors like positive analyst ratings, solid financials, and significant growth predictions. These stocks provide attractive entry points for long-term investors. The stocks have been ranked according to the number of hedge funds which hold stakes in them, from lowest to highest.

Insider Monkey’s extensive database tracking 895 elite hedge funds in Q2 2022 was used to gauge hedge fund sentiment around each stock.

12 Best Depressed Stocks To Buy Now

12. Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 30 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 21.05%

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D) is a North American power and energy company which supplies electric power and natural gas to multiple U.S. states, including Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. As of Q3 2022, the company beat EPS estimates of $1.08 by $0.03, generating earnings of $1.11 per share. Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D) also posted a total revenue of $4.39 billion in Q3 2022. Like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and Salesforce Inc. (NYSE:CRM), Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D) is one of the best depressed stocks to buy.

On October 31, Guggenheim analyst Shahriar Pourreza lowered the price target on Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D) to $75 from $90, maintaining a Buy rating on the shares. Although the analyst lowered the baseline utility valuations across the board due to skyrocketing interest rates and forward yield expectations, he also refreshed certain selected estimates from the Q3 earnings season from the Power and Utilities sector to reflect well-known and measurable year-over-year items. This was done to  adjust for seasonality and to realign the stock according to the latest commodity curves.

11. Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 36 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 38.69%

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) is an American technology and specialty materials company which is one of the world's largest producers of acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer. The company operates more than 25 production plants and six research centers in 11 countries globally. As of the second quarter of 2022, Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) has managed to maintain investor interest, with 36 funds long the stock in Q1 and Q2 of 2022. Furthermore, the company generated a total revenue of $2.3 billion in Q3 2022.

On November 10, Deutsche Bank analyst David Begleiter lowered the price target on Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) to $130 from $150, maintaining a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst notes that although the company is currently battling headwinds around the macroeconomic outlook and leverage, Celanese's (NYSE:CE) has the right management team which is creating opportunities and value in the global business platform. The company's low valuation is currently providing the perfect entry point for long-term investors, and according to Begleiter, Celanese's (NYSE:CE) Mobility and Materials acquisition is perfectly geared to achieve higher profitability. Furthermore, the company is a dividend payer, with an annual dividend yield of 2.68% and a quarterly dividend amount of $0.70.

Here is what Vltava Fund had to say about Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) in their Q1 2022 investor letter:

“We then used the money freed up to, among other things, open three new positions. The stock price declines during the Russian invasion brought a lot of good prices to the market. Out of all the possibilities we considered, we picked the stocks of Celanese (CE).

Celanese is the world’s largest producer of acetic acid and its chemical derivatives, including vinyl acetate monomers and emulsions. Their applications are used in a wide range of industries, such as automotive tobacco, coatings, construction, energy, telecommunications, food, and medical. Celanese recently closed the acquisition of a large part of DuPont’s business, which will make Celanese an even bigger player in the industry while reducing the cyclicality of it business. The acquisition is quite large and should deliver significant value to shareholders that in our view is not at all presently reflected in the share price. Celanese is a business that stands more or less aside from the main interests of most investors, but it is a company with very high returns on capital, strong free cash flow, and historically very efficient resource allocation.”

10. Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 45

YTD Decline (As of November 9): 28.82%

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is an American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company which focuses on RNA therapeutics, primarily mRNA vaccines. As of Q2 2022, hedge fund sentiment around Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) increased, with 45 funds long the stock, up from 41 in the preceding quarter.

On November 7, Chardan analyst Geulah Livshits lowered the price target on Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) to $186 from $188, keeping a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst attributed the rating to the company's stellar Q3 2022 returns and reiterated that upcoming data readouts from its respiratory and personalized cancer vaccine program are expected by the end of 2022. While the company's near term valuation in predominantly attributable to COVID, there are multiple modalities and programs currently in pipeline, which possess relevant catalysts that are well-leveraged to support long-term growth, especially as evidence of concepts emerge.

9. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 46 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 35.12%

Based in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is an American multinational automobile manufacturer which specializes in the manufacture and sale of automobiles, commercial vehicles, and luxury cars. As of the third quarter of 2022, the company beat EPS estimates of $0.27 by $0.03, posting earnings of $0.30 per share. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has also managed to maintain hedge fund sentiment around the stock as of Q2 2022, with 46 hedge funds long the stock in Q1 and Q2 of 2022. The stock is a huge dividend payer, with an annual dividend yield of 4.23% compared to the Auto and Truck Manufacturers industry mean of 0.0%. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has been a regular dividend payer since 1973, having a quarterly dividend amount of $0.15.

Like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and Salesforce Inc. (NYSE:CRM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is undervalued at its current valuation. The company's Q3 2022 bottom line has beat market expectations, with investors holding a favorable outlook on the company's latest earnings beat. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) management lifted its free cash flow guidance for the fourth quarter of 2022, and revisited its 2022 EBIT guidance, maintaining that it completely outshined market expectations. The company's revenue rose by a reasonably strong 10% year-over-year, as of the third quarter of 2022, posting $39.4 billion against consensus $36.25 billion. The company also exudes brand loyalty, which adds considerably to overall value of the stock. And although macroeconomic pressures and inflationary risks persist, the company's favorable history of high dividend payouts and valuation metrics could potentially attract long-term investors into a bargain purchase.

Here is what Leaven Partners had to say about Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) in their Q3 2022 investor letter:

“In our last quarterly letter, I briefly mentioned that the consensus estimates for corporate profits appeared to be a bit too sanguine. I referenced a Reuters article that reported, as of June 17, Wall Street expected S&P 500 earnings to grow by 9.6% in 2022, which was up from 8.8% in April and from 8.4% in January. That tune began to change at the end of July and accelerated in August and September, as major players, such as Ford (NYSE:F), has recently issued profit warnings and/or have withdrawn guidance. In response, Wall Street has altered its outlook: lowering third-quarter profit growth to 4.6%[2] from 7.2% in early August and slashing full-year profit growth to 4.5%.”

8. ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ:ASML)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 47 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 30.68%

Based in Veldhoven, ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) is a Dutch multinational corporation which specializes in the the development and manufacturing of photolithography machines, which are essential in the production of computer chips. As of 2022, ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) is the largest semiconductor  supplier in the industry.

On November 8, Morgan Stanley analyst Lee Simpson initiated coverage of ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) with an Overweight rating and a $665.8 price target. According to the analyst, ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) is a defensive play within the cyclical semiconductor industry and the high-quality brand name dominated the lithography system supply market, which will shield the company from macroeconomic pressures and high interest rates. The company's Q3 2022 returns were extremely favorable, completely outperforming expectations and showing strong indicators for growth. As of Q3 2022, the company's backlog also increased due to record sales, which points to strong demand for the company's product. And although the stock is currently depressed, strong fundamentals, positive analyst sentiment around the stock, and an annual dividend yield of 1.16% make it an ideal pick for long-term investors.

Here is what Baron Funds had to say about ASML Holding's (NASDAQ:ASML) solid fundamentals in their Q2 2022 investor letter:

ASML Holding N.V. designs and manufactures semiconductor production equipment. It specializes in photolithography equipment, where light sources are used to photo-reactively create patterns on wafers that become printed circuits. ASML is the dominant leader across all types of lithography but, most importantly, is the only company selling equipment for extreme ultra-violet (EUV) lithography, the latest generation technology.

Indeed, because of the stalling out of Moore’s Law, advanced lithography of larger and multi-patterned silicon chips has been critical for leading-edge chip manufacturing and continued improvement in semiconductor chip performance over time. The company is well positioned to continue growing above industry rates as it rapidly adds capacity across its entire business to meet rising industry demand, especially from leading-edge customers continuing to invest to stay ahead of their competitors and drive chip performance forward.

Additionally, the introduction of high-NA EUV technology in the middle of the decade will add another leg to the growth opportunity.”

7. Bath & Body Works LLC (NYSE:BBWI)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 47 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 51.15%

Based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Bath & Body Works (NYSE:BBWI) is an American retail store chain that specializes in the production and sale of personal hygiene products, cosmetics, fragrances, and candles. Since the company's inception in 1990, it has expanded across 6 continents and is currently the largest bath shop chain in the United States. As of Q3 2022, Bath & Body Works (NYSE:BBWI) posted an EPS of $0.52, beating estimates of $0.47 by $0.05. This is largely attributed to the company's streamlined approach towards production and program development. The stock is also a huge dividend payer, with an annual dividend yield of 2.32% and a quarterly dividend amount of $0.20.

On October 21, Jefferies analyst Ashley Helgans assumed coverage of Bath & Body Works (NYSE:BBWI), lowering a price target on the stock from $47 to $43 and maintained a Buy rating on the shares. According to the analyst, the market for beauty brands is undergoing a quick shift but so far, beauty products have withstood the underlying shift from goods to services by remaining connected to socialization, occasions, and self-care regimens. The analyst forecasted a high-single digit percentage year-over-year sale across mass and prestige, and majority of the increase being attributed to the company's strong pricing model. Furthermore, Helgans maintains that the brand commands strong consumer loyalty and recognition within the market, and is significantly less vulnerable to inflationary and supply chain pressures compared to other players in the game. Therefore, she ascertains that like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and Salesforce Inc. (NYSE:CRM), the company's discounted valuation is not justified and is a bargain for the right investor.

6. Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE)

Number of Hedge Fund Holdings: 72 YTD Decline (As of November 9): 40.28%

Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is an American multinational corporations which primarily specializes in the design, development, manufacturing, global marketing, and sale of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. As of Q2 2022, hedge fund sentiment around the company increased, with 72 funds long the stock, up from 67 in the preceding quarter. Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) also beat EPS estimates of $0.92 by $0.01, posting earnings of $0.93 per share.

On October 29, Raymond James analyst Rick Patel initiated coverage of Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) with an Outperform rating and a $99 price target. The analyst contends that since the stock underperformed in the market in 2022, the market has de-risked the company's valuations in anticipation of a recession. However, the company's China segment is widely expected to rematerialize, with profits showing signs of rebound. Deutsche Bank has also reiterated its confidence in China's economy in Q4 2022, and since a China recovery can mitigate economic headwinds in the U.S, Patel remains positively confident that Nike's (NYSE:NKE) current discounted valuation can provide an excellent entry point to long-term investors.

Here is what Leaven Partners had to say about Nike's(NYSE:NKE) long-term prospects in their Q3 2022 investor letter:

Nike: NKE shares were a top detractor this quarter on higher inventory balances leading to lower-than-expected gross margins for the next couple of quarters. The company reported 1Q23 sales and EPS beats, but freight costs, markdowns, and the strong dollar weighed on gross margins. Nike continues to expect low double-digit currency-neutral sales growth, but the strong dollar will reduce overall sales growth and discounted inventory will further reduce gross margins for the year.

Nike is, by far, the leading athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment company in the world with over $46 billion in revenue, $6 billion in 2021 annual free cash flow, and over $4 billion of excess cash. After working through its near-term currency and gross margin issues, we expect the company to return towards management’s guidance of at least 10% annual revenue growth, and return to its accelerating profit growth, as longer-term we expect margins to be materially aided by rising average sales prices (from both increased pricing and a mix shift to more premium products), the company’s deep innovation pipeline, a secular shift from the company’s traditional wholesale channels to a more direct-to-consumer approach (now 35% of revenues up from 16% ten years ago), and a more streamlined supply chain. We believe that the continued global secular growth trend towards active wear will continue to aid Nike’s top-line growth, while we expect the combined gross and operating margin improvements from its initiatives will drive long-term mid-teens or higher annual EPS growth for the foreseeable future.”

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Disclosure: none. 12 Best Depressed Stocks To Buy Now is originally published on Insider Monkey: