U.S. equities are holding near major technical support levels — the 2,800 mark on the S&P 500 and 26,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average — as traders digest the latest Federal Reserve policy decision. Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a dovish message, which the Street had expected given the fresh memory of Q4 market volatility, a lack of inflation pressure, and recent softness in the economic data (aside from job gains).
Weighing on sentiment slightly was a disappointing earnings report and outlook from FedEx (NYSE:FDX), which called attention to weaker global trade growth trends.
Still, stocks overall are showing a desire to move higher with value hunters eager swooping in on any names that have lagged the epic surge out of the late December lows. There are still bargains if you know where to look. Energy, for instance, is benefiting from fresh strength in crude oil.
Here are seven stocks trading under the $4-a-share threshold that are worth a look:
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Weatherford (WFT)
Weatherford (NYSE:WFT) shares continue to consolidate below the $1-a-share level but are riding on the back of a rising 50-day moving average. Watch for a breakout from its five-month trading range, setting up a run at the 200-day moving average that would be worth a gain of 132% from here.
The move comes despite a downgrade from analysts at BMO Capital Markets in January. The company, based in Switzerland, is an oilfield service company that supports the drilling, evaluation, completion, and production of oil and gas wells. The company is trying to return to profitability, and trades at just a 0.14 price to sales ratio.
Northern Oil and Gas (NOG)
Shares of Northern Oil and Gas (NYSEAMERICAN:NOG), an independent energy producer, are looking ready for another breakout attempt from its five-month consolidation range, making another challenge on its 200-day moving average. Watch for a run to the November reaction high, which would be worth a gain of 23% from here.
The company last reported results on March 12. Earnings of 25 cents per share beat estimates of 14 cents on revenues of $152.6 million vs. the $153.6 million that was expected.
Management noted an expectation for capital expenditures to be upwards of $285 million in 2019.
Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) are continuing to rise alongside their 50-day moving average, continuing a three-month uptrend. The 200-day moving average has been a hurdle since the stock peaked last summer, so watch for another run to prior resistance near the $4-a-share level. Management has been focusing on higher-value customers and being more efficient with its marketing spend.
The company will next report results on May 8 after the close. Analysts are looking for no earnings on revenues of $552.8 million. When the company last reported on Feb. 12, earnings of 10 cents per share missed estimates by three cents on an 8.4% decline in revenues.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
Shares of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) are extending a three-month uptrend pattern as it closes in on its 200-day moving average. Watch for a run to the 200-day moving average, which would be worth an easy 10% gain from here. That should be helped by energy prices broadly pushing higher heading into the summer driving season — benefiting U.S. shale operators like CHK. In January, Imperial Capital analysts noted management continues to focus on capital discipline and improving its balance sheet.
The company will next report results on May 1 before the bell, according to Nasdaq.com. Analysts are looking for earnings of 12 cents per share on revenues of $2.3 billion.
When the company last reported on Feb. 27, earnings of 21 cents per share beat estimates by four cents on a 21.8% rise in revenues.
The9 Ltd. (NCTY)
The9 Ltd. (NASDAQ:NCTY) is a Chinese online game developer in China, creating online and massively multiplayer franchises. It was formerly known as GameNow.net and has been around since 1999. Properties include the CrossFire brand mobile shooting games and FireFall.
This is an extremely speculative pick, but has been benefiting from the rising interest in Chinese equities on hopes of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing. The company has also pushed into the blockchain space, forming a technology group to explore opportunities in that area.
Nabors Industries (NBR)
Shares of Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) continue to enjoy a smooth, three-month uptrend after suffering a massive 90% decline from its early 2017 high. Watch for shares of the company to make a run at its 200-day moving average, which would be worth a gain of 35% from here. The company provides drilling and drilling-related services to land-based and offshore energy wells.
The company will next report results on April 30 after the close. Analysts are looking for a loss of 25 cents per share on revenues of $776.3 million.
When the company last reported on Feb. 26, a loss of 55 cents per share missed estimates by 38 cents on a 10.4% rise in revenues. But this cheap stock could be ready to rebound.
Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE)
Shares of Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE), operator of natural gas stations for alternative-fuel vehicle fleets such as heavy-duty trucks and buses, are surging higher nearly doubling off of the low seen in late December. This returns the stock to the middle of the trading range that has been in place over the past three years — providing a solid base of support to any extension to the upside.
On March 12, the company reported that quarterly revenues grew 7.7% from the year prior on a 14.2% rise in the amount of natural gas delivered. While electric vehicles get all the attention these days, natural gas vehicles are often a cheaper and easier solution especially for long-haul operators.
As of this writing, William Roth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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