Stocks to buy

Wall Street is slowly coming around to three ideas that I’ve advocated for months: the notion that most stocks can only go up when the Fed is cutting interest rates is ridiculous, America is not headed for a recession, and we’re likely on the verge of a bull market or already in one. The latest evidence of the Street’s new-found optimism came on Feb. 13, when Wells Fargo proclaimed that “the bear market is over.” While the firm refused to concede that we’re in a bull market or about to be in one,  the fact that it’s willing to announce the demise of “the bear” is a very good sign for stocks in general and comeback stocks in particular.

Comeback stocks — which I define as well-positioned growth names that tumbled sharply during the bear market — should do especially well now that the Street realizes that we can exit “the bear” while the Fed is still raising rates. That’s because, with the “don’t fight the Fed” rule discarded, big-time investors are quite likely to see that another closely related, misguided “law” — growth stocks can’t go up while the Fed is raising rates — also needs to be thrown in the dumpster. Here are seven comeback stocks that investors can use to exploit the Street’s awakening.

FSLY Fastly $12.96
NEE NextEra Energy $75.97
EVGO EVgo $6.30
GEVO Gevo $2.04
PUBM PubMatic $15.26
LIT Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF $68.47
SPWR SunPower $15.80

Comeback Stocks: Fastly (FSLY)

Source: Epic Cure / Shutterstock

As I noted in a Feb. 13 article, Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) soared after Bank of America upgraded the stock to “buy” from “underperform.” The firm noted Fastly’s “underlying fundamentals” were solid, and that it was upbeat on the changes made by its new CEO, Todd Nightengale.

In 2020, I was bullish on FSLY stock, citing the innovations that the company used to make life easier for its companies’ developers, along with the extremely positive reviews that it received from many of its users. But that call turned out to be totally wrong, as a number of developments, including the bear market, caused the shares to tumble roughly 90% from their Jan. 2021 peak. However, I believe that Nightengale’s changes, combined with improved sentiment, and the relatively low valuation of FSLY, will help FSLY make a triumphant return.

Comeback Stocks: NextEra Energy (NEE)

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The decline in NextEra (NYSE:NEE) should be short-lived, especially with its clean energy unit, NextEra Energy benefiting from the recent anti-climate change law.  Also noteworthy is that NEE’s Florida Power & Light Company, which it described as “America’s largest electric utility.”

In addition, in the fourth quarter, NEE’s revenue jumped 22% year-over-year, while its earnings per share, excluding certain items, came in at 51 cents, up from 41 cents during the same period a year earlier. For all of 2022, its adjusted EPS climbed 14%. For 2023, NEE expects its adjusted EPS to be $2.98-$3.13. up from $2.90 last year. At the midpoint of that range, NEE is trading at a forward price-earnings ratio of 25. Given its growth outlook and growth potential, that’s an attractive valuation.

Comeback Stocks: EVgo (EVGO)

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

EVGo (NASDAQ:EVGO) should benefit from the rapid proliferation of EVs, government assistance, and impressive partnerships. When it comes to EV proliferation, a staggering 24.2% of all light vehicles sold in California last quarter were plug-in vehicles. The share of all-electric vehicles jumped to 21%. Of course, California is a huge market on its own, but it’s safe to assume that many other states are poised to follow California’s lead in the coming quarters and years.

On the government assistance front, the U.S. Department of Transportation is poised to spend $5 billion this year on subsidizing not only the deployment of EV chargers. Among Evgo’s impressive partners are General Motors (NYSE:GM), whose Bolt EVs “were the bestselling mainstream EVs in the second half of the year,” and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), a leader in the ride-sharing market.

Gevo (GEVO)

Source: Zurijeta / Shutterstock.com

Down about 80% from its Jan. 2021 peak, Gevo (NASDAQ:GEVO) continues to progress towards becoming a leading supplier of sustainable airline fuel. Gevo has also established multiple, impressive partnerships, including a five-year $165 million deal with Spain’s Iberia Airlines, which is expected to kick off in 2028.

In addition, in Oct., the company announced that Qatar Airways would purchase five million gallons annually of SAF starting in 2028. Among Gevo’s other major, future customers are American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Ireland’s Aer Lingus. Gevo continues to expect its first major factory to open in 2025.  It also expects to generate EBITDA of $300 million to $325 million annually.

PubMatic (PUBM)

Source: shutterstock.com/CC7

As I noted in a previous column, PubMatic’s (NASDAQ:PUBM) “cloud infrastructure platform enables real-time programmatic advertising transactions.” Amid the Street’s aversion to growth stocks and a slowdown of the growth of digital-ad spending, PUBM has tumbled 65% from its peak of $64.81, set in Feb. 2021.

However,  as I discussed in the introduction to this column, the Street’s view of growth stocks is likely to become much more favorable soon. Meanwhile, I believe that reduced spending on digital ads was largely due to fears about a recession that, barring a cataclysmic geopolitical event or a large amount of turbulence in energy markets, is not going to materialize this year or in 2024. As that reality becomes apparent to companies, the growth of digital ads should accelerate meaningfully.

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT)

Source: Freedom365day / Shutterstock.com

Lithium prices will remain elevated, as demand for electric vehicle batteries soars. Those dynamics should greatly boost the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (NYSEArca:LIT), which has tumbled 25% from its peak of $93 set in Nov. 2021.

S&P Global reports that “Lithium prices will likely see strong support in 2023, with supply expected to remain tight amid bullish demand from the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles across the globe.” Meanwhile, the global EV battery market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20% between 2022 and 2027.

SunPower (SPWR)

Source: AdityaB. Photography/ShutterStock.com

SunPower’s (NASDAQ:SPWR) decline appears to have been sparked by California’s decision to reduce the amount that the state pays homeowners for the electricity that they provide to the state’s electricity grid. Adding to the fears was a January note on SPWR stock from Barclays, which downgraded SPWR “underweight” from “equal weight.”

But I believe that the Street in general and Barclays, in particular, are greatly underestimating the impact that the combination of rising electricity prices, the proliferation of electric vehicles, and increased tax credit for solar installations will have on the residential solar market going forward. That trifecta, I believe, will dwarf the impact of California’s decision.

As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer owned shares of PUBM and EVGO,  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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