It’s safe to say the “meme stocks” phenomenon is fully in the rearview mirror. “Meme kings” like GameStop (NYSE:GME), BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) have held onto a fair chunk of their “to the moon” gains. Secondary names, though? They’ve experienced the opposite, as most have tumbled to new lows. However, there may be an opportunity here, with the scores of meme stocks trading at a discount.
Admittedly, most of these meme plays had no business trading at the lofty highs they commanded at various points during 2021. Speculators active on Reddit and other platforms bid them up to unsustainable valuations. Yet, with the “Redditors now conquered,” as a Bloomberg commentator recently put it, many of the stocks that at one point became too frothy may offer value for bottom-fishing investors.
So, what are the meme stocks trading at a discount? Consider these seven firms, as each one has the potential to make a recovery on factors that go beyond mere hope and hype.
Meme Stocks Trading at a Discount: Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF)
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On the surface, iron ore mining and steelmaking giant Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) may not seem like a meme stock. However, for a brief period last summer, it briefly caught the fancy of the Reddit crowd.
In early 2022, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent spike in commodities prices, CLF stock zoomed to even higher prices. Since then, though, this basic material stock has plunged. This is due to the pullback in both iron ore and steel prices, due to China’s pandemic lockdowns, plus increased recession fears.
As a result, shares now trade at a discounted valuation. Its price-earnings (P/E) ratio is 2.6 times. Even when valuing it on 2023 results, which are expected to come in well below 2022’s numbers, Cleveland-Cliffs still looks cheap with a forward multiple of 4.2 times. If you believe the market is overly discounting its future results, make it a buy.
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During the original “meme wave” of January 2021, retailer Express (NYSE:EXPR) was one of the secondary plays that went parabolic. A micro-cap stock lacking the liquidity of the larger meme plays, it’s no surprise it saw a triple-digit move higher during this timeframe.
While pulling back soon after, subsequent meme waves helped keep EXPR stock at elevated prices. However, since late last year, it’s given back most of its gains. The stock now trades not too far above its pre-meme prices. So, with meme mania now over, what’s the appeal of buying it?
Even as retailers are being hit hard by inflation, Express continues to thrive. As InvestorPlace’s William White reported on May 25, it beat on earnings last quarter. It also provided investors with strong guidance. If it can deliver numbers in line with this guidance, the stock could stage a comeback; This time, on its own merits.
Greenidge Generation (GREE)
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With “crypto winter” still keeping Bitcoin (BTC-USD) prices depressed, it may seem wise to skip on Bitcoin miners right now. Then again, with this hot asset class out of favor at present, going contrarian by buying a stock like Greenidge Generation (NASDAQ:GREE) could not be a worthwhile move.
For those bullish on Bitcoin’s future, it may be a better move than buying the crypto itself. Why? Operating leverage. Much like with literal miners — think precious metals miners — or oil companies, production costs are largely fixed. This can mean outsized increases in profitability if the underlying commodities price moves higher.
In other words, even a modest recovery in BTC prices could enable shares — which are down more than 80% YTD — to make a much larger move higher. Continuing to expand its mining capacity, while the stock may be for now in the market graveyard, it’s not “game over” yet for GREE stock.
Meme Stocks Trading at a Discount: Robinhood Markets (HOOD)
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Much like the stocks its users like to trade, meme broker Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ:HOOD) has cratered in the past year. In fact, over the last twelve months, it’s dropped around 74%.
With retail investor enthusiasm taking a serious breather, its future operating performance, and eventual path to profitability, is highly uncertain right now. On the other hand, if you haven’t bought it yet, this high uncertainty could be to your advantage. Right now, HOOD stock trades for around its book value.
Collectively, it’s still sitting on more than $6 billion in cash. That’s not bad given its $7.33 billion market capitalization. The broker not only has plenty of cash to ride out the present downturn. It could use its ample war chest to acquire other fintech firms now selling at fire sale prices. While by all means still a risky, speculative play, things with Robinhood may be less dire than they seem.
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Much like Cleveland-Cliffs, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) was another of the unexpected meme stocks of 2021. Whether due to name recognition, or its low stock price, shares in the telecom equipment firm surged and sank during the January 2021 meme frenzy. And overall, shares of NOK stock performed well during other periods last year as well.
Now, though, NOK stock has become one of the meme stocks trading at a discount. At its current prices, it sports a low valuation with a forward earnings ratio of 11.3 times. As I argued last month, continued success with its turnaround is its current key catalyst. Continued turnaround success could happen, thanks to strong demand for its offerings due to the 5G rollout.
With all of this in mind, I wouldn’t buy Nokia in the hopes it makes another epic move like it did more than a year ago. Instead, this is more of a wager that progressive improvements in its operating performance will lead to gradual gains for shares.
Cassava Sciences (SAVA)
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First off, Cassava Sciences (NASDAQ:SAVA) is a moonshot stock. Its performance hinges entirely on whether this biotech company’s key candidate — Alzheimer’s treatment Simufilam — gets approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If it gets approved? It’s possible that SAVA stock, down by more than three-fourths, could zoom back toward its past 52-week high. If it fails to get approved? Shares could drop back to single-digit levels. That’s what the stock traded for in late 2020 when the buzz around Simufilam began to emerge.
Overall, Cassava is a very risky situation. Especially given that the company hasn’t moved completely beyond the data manipulation allegations that sank it in the first place last year. Nevertheless, in terms of its risk-return proposition, it may be favorable at its current stock price. To reiterate, this isn’t a stock to make a major holding, but it may still be worthwhile as a speculative position.
Meme Stocks Trading at a Discount: Sundial Growers (SNDL)
Many names in the cannabis sector became meme stocks last year. The most notable one may be Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), but in terms of the best one in the bunch to buy now, Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL) may be the one.
At around 31 cents per share, this pot penny stock trades at a discount to its tangible book value of 66 cents per share. That said, between cost synergies from its recent purchase of Alcanna, coupled with the expansion of its investment business, Sundial could make big progress in improving its operating performance.
In turn, this could help drive a big jump for SNDL stock from its current price levels. On top of all this, while it’s fallen to the back burner, U.S. pot legalization is still something that may emerge from left field. And if this happens, the headlines alone could really move the needle for this small pot stock.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel held BTC. He did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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