Robinhood's trading platform is often associated with high-risk, speculative investments. And while there are arguably many bad-outlook or expensive investments on the Robinhood Top 100 list, there are also some good buys that are underperforming today but could pay massive returns over the long haul. If you've got $5,000 to invest, there are a couple of cheap stocks that deserve your attention.
Two top Robinhood stocks trading near their lows are Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Although they're not doing terribly well in 2020, given their low prices and the income they'll generate in the form of dividends, these stocks could make investors rich in the long run if bought today.
1. Gilead Sciences
Shares of Gilead fell below $60 this month, hitting a new 52-week low for the year. The stock is down almost 8% in 2020, far below the S&P 500's positive 5% returns. The big reason for the stock's volatility this year is the antiviral medication, remdesivir. The COVID-19 treatment has failed to live up to the expectations many people had for it at the outset of the pandemic. One report from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which was released on Oct. 8, found that while the drug did improve recovery times, it didn't cause a significant reduction in fatalities. Over a 29-day period, 11.4% of people with COVID-19 who took remdesivir died, compared with 15.2% of people who took a placebo. The World Health Organization's (WHO) Solidarity clinical trial for remdesivir and three other COVID-19 treatments also did not find that the antiviral significantly decreased in-hospital mortalities.
However, despite inconsistent results, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved remdesivir on Oct. 22. It's the first treatment permitted by the regulator to treat COVID-19 patients who are 12 years or older, weigh 40 kg or more, and require hospitalization. The drug is still approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that permits its use on pediatric patients who are under 12 years of age and weighing less than 40kg (but with a minimum weight of 3.5kg).
The FDA approval confirms that the drug is effective and safe, but it's probably not a silver bullet for treating all COVID-19 patients, as evident from the NEJM and WHO studies. It doesn't help that remdesivir is an expensive option, costing no less than $2,340 for a typical treatment course and as much as $3,120 for patients with insurance. Gilead is still looking at other ways to test remdesivir's effectiveness. In July, the company began phase 1a clinical trials of an inhaled version of the drug.
But the company's operations don't hinge on the success of a COVID-19 treatment. Through the first two quarters of the year, Gilead's generated $10.7 billion in revenue -- down just 2.5% year over year. That's not a bad performance amid lockdowns, as fewer patients visit the doctor's office and have less access to Gilead's medications. HIV drugs Biktarvy and Genvoya generated $3.3 billion and $1.6 billion in sales, respectively, during the first six months of the year, and accounted for 46% of Gilead's top line.
Gilead is heavily dependent on its HIV drugs for overall sales, but it's hoping that filgotinib, a potential rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment, could be another key sales driver. Filgotinib could bring in $3 billion in annual revenue once able to capture its full accessible market. The FDA rejected the company's application for filgotinib earlier this year and is requesting more information from the company's trials. This is only a setback for now. Gilead can refile the submission and could obtain FDA approval by 2022.
At its low price, Gilead could be a great buy today. The stock's trading at a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of just 0.44. Investors can calculate the PEG by taking the price-to-earnings ratio and dividing it by the rate that the company's earnings are likely to grow at in the future (using analyst expectations). Anything less than a PEG of one indicates you're getting good value for your money.
Not only can Gilead generate strong returns -- it also pays a solid dividend. Today, Gilead pays a cash dividend of $0.68 every quarter, yielding 4.5%. This is well above the typical S&P 500 stock, which yields 2% on average.
2. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is another stock you'll want to keep on your watchlist. Not only is it trading near its 52-week low, but prior to this year, the stock hasn't been this cheap since 2011. There are certainly plenty of reasons to be negative on this stock. The company doesn't have the greatest reputation on Wall Street. Earlier this year, it agreed to pay $3 billion to settle legal problems tied to its fake account scandal where the bank's employees created fictitious accounts to help make their sales numbers. And a struggling economy is no small reason to be down on financial stocks, either.
But Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway continues to hold a 3.3% stake in the big bank. Buffett loves bank stocks because regardless of how they perform in the short term, they're generally safe long-term investments. And while things may not be going that great for the financial industry right now, the market will inevitably go up -- the stock market has made up every single loss in its history.
On Oct. 14, the company released its third-quarter results for the period through September, in which it was already showing signs of bouncing back. In Q3, it reported a profit of over $2 billion, which was a big improvement from the $2.4 billion loss it incurred in the previous quarter. The big difference was that its provision for credit losses was just $751 million for loans -- down from $9.6 billion in Q2 and $3.8 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. It's a positive sign that could suggest the worst may be over and that the bank's set aside enough for potential losses.
With brighter days ahead, the stock may be another bargain for investors to add to their portfolios. The stock's trading at just 0.6 times its book value -- down from around 1.2 a year ago.
The bank is a good income-generating investment even though it slashed its dividend payments earlier this year. Today, it pays shareholders $0.10 per quarter, which yields just 1.7% today. However, as the economy recovers, so too should the bank's dividend payments. During the financial crisis over a decade ago, Wells Fargo also cut its payouts and eventually got back to hiking them again. The same is likely to happen once concerns around the coronavirus pandemic subside and the economy gets back to growing.
Two great stocks whether you're a Robinhood investor or not
These stocks are still in the Robinhood Top 100, but regardless of whether you're a millennial investor or not, they'll look great in your portfolio. If you're looking for value or dividend income, both of these stocks can be great investment options today, helping you grow your $5,000 over the years. Together, they can also help diversify your portfolio, an important strategy for the long-term.
Year to date, Wells Fargo's been the far more painful stock to own thus far:
But with conditions improving and the San Francisco-based company coming off an improved earnings report, it certainly suggests that investors should be a bit more bullish on the stock. Gilead is also likely to post some better numbers now that many states are lightening up on lockdowns. These stocks aren't getting much love these days, whether it's from Robinhood investors or anywhere else. But for Foolish investors, it's an opportunity to scoop up some deals before the markets notice them and watch your $5,000 investment in one or both of these stocks soar.
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David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and Gilead Sciences and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short December 2020 $210 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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