Penny stocks, they divide the Street like no other. These names trading for less than $5 per share send some investors immediately running for the hills while others just can’t get enough of them. Nevertheless, regardless of their controversial nature, penny stocks certainly have pros and cons.
One clear advantage is that the bargain price tags allow investors to get more bang for their buck. Additionally, because the shares are priced so low, even a small gain in value quickly translates to a hefty percentage gain in relation to the trading price. Of course, it’s wise to remember that there could be a very good reason these shares are priced so low. This can be poor fundamentals or headwinds that are too strong to overcome.
Given the risk involved with these plays, they are not for the faint-hearted. That said, Wall Street pros can help investors pinpoint the penny stocks poised to outperform the rest.
And that’s where top investment banking firm Needham comes in. The firm has developed a reputation for expertise in the stock market, with its solid track record earning it a top 5 spot on TipRanks’ list of Top Performing Research Firms.
Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to learn more about three penny stocks backed by Needham. As it turns out, the firm’s analysts projecting at least 100% upside potential for each.
comScore, Inc. (SCOR)
We will start with Comscore, a small-cap company in the marketing analytics niche. The company provides media measurement and analysis for multimedia marketing firms.
In February, SCOR announced that it had reached an agreement with Comcast to integrate set-top box viewing data from Comcast homes into its local and national measurement services. This deal could be a game-changer for SCOR as it could lead to meaningful revenue contribution in 2021.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, revenue dropped 12.5% in Q1 to $89.5 million, and EPS came in at a 19-cent net loss. That, however, represented a win of sorts, as the forecast had expected a net loss of 30 cents per share, and the year-ago figure, a net EPS loss of 46 cents, was far worse.
With a $2.84 share price, 5-star analyst Laura Martin believes SCOR's price tag could present investors with an attractive entry point.
“At current price levels, the risk/reward ratio makes us buyers of SCOR because: a) our sum of the parts analysis indicates that SCOR is undervalued today; b) strategically, the US TV ecosystem has $70B/year of TV advertising revenue each year and all parties we talk to want a 3rd party independent measurement alternative to Nielsen; c) SCOR’s granular data sets are best positioned to measure ever-smaller audiences across fragmenting devices, screens and services, including the new OTT streaming services; and d) from a valuation point of view, we see SCOR as a low cost-way to participate in the shift toward OTT viewing in the US," Martin wrote.
Martin’s $6 price target suggests a 110% upside for the coming year, and fully supports her Buy rating on the stock. (To watch Martin’s track record, click here)
GTY Technology Holdings (GTYH)
Next on our list is a holding company, GTY, whose subsidiaries bring SaaS cloud tech to the public sector. The company operates in the government technology sector, offering a range of solutions for state and local authorities to track and manage the budgeting, grant, payment, permitting, and procurement processes.
While the corona pandemic disrupted sales and activities in the first quarter, GTY still received over 300 inquiries from governmental organizations into the company’s COVID-19 emergency care program. In response to current conditions, GTY’s management withdrew their previous 2020 guidance. But, company performance now points toward 20% revenue growth for the fiscal year 2020, and a shift to positive cash flow in the second half.
At $3.62 apiece, Needham's 5-star analyst Scott Berg believes the stock is undervalued.
"[T]he company secured a 12-month term loan credit facility, which we believe can yield enough financial flexibility until GTY reaches a breakeven FCF level. We believe the new CEO, TJ Parass, is taking aggressive action to rationalize the cost base of GTY to prepare for a potentially challenging multi-quarter period depending on the duration of challenges associated with COVID-19. We believe a potential positive catalyst for shares over the next couple quarters would be a relief bill for state and local government that would help ensure current technology projects still occur," Berg wrote.
To this end, Berg rates GYTH a Buy along with a $10 price target. The analyst believes the stock has room for a hefty upside in the coming year – up to 178%. (To watch Berg's track record, click here)
36Kr Holdings, Inc. (KRKR)
Last on our list is a Chinese company, 36Kr. The company is part of the ‘New Economy,’ transforming China’s economy for the digital age. 36Kr, through its subsidiaries, offers customers online advertising, value-added enterprise services, digital upgrades, and much more.
The company went public in the US markets just last November, and promptly took the coronavirus hit. Share prices dropped sharply in the first half of this year, even though KRKR reported some positive metrics in Q1. Those include an impressive 110% year-over-year increase in average monthly page views. During Q2, the company announced a share repurchase program, to support the trading price. This move came at a time when many companies are reducing or suspending such actions.
With a price tag of $3.83 per share, Needham’s Vincent Yu believes that now is the time to pull the trigger.
“In industries such as online education and telecommuting, companies were positively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, and their spending on 36Kr's platform has increased meaningfully. 36Kr now serves all major online education platforms in China, which illustrates 36Kr's unique value for companies in their growth stages, while looking for media exposure as well as connections within industries,” Yu opined.
Yu rates KRKR a Buy, and supports that view with an $8 price target, suggesting a 109% one-year upside potential for the shares. (to watch Yu’s track record, click here)
To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.