Time to Bottom Fish? 3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks That Are Down Over 40% This Year

Everyone is hoping the market might be bottoming and by the recent actions of Bank of America clients, some evidently think the lows must be in sight. Last week, BofA customers splashed out $6.1 billion on US stocks, in what amounted to the third largest inflow since 2008.

While the bank has stated it is not as confident the bottom is quite so close, it’s not hard to see why investors feel the time is right to lean into equities. The widespread losses have left scores of beaten-down stocks looking quite cheap, so it might be time to get the stock picking rod out and go for some bottom fishing.

With this in mind, we dived into the TipRanks database and pulled out three such names that have taken it on the head in 2022. All are down by more than 40% this year, but that quirk aside, they also share another characteristic; all 3 are rated as Strong Buys by the analyst consensus and are projected to pick up steam in the months ahead. Let’s see why the Street’s experts think these names make good investment choices right now.

Sprinklr, Inc. (CXM)

If we’re on the subject of beaten-down names, then a good place to start would be in the tech sector, a corner of the market that has been particularly hard-hit this year. Sprinklr is a SaaS company specializing in customer experience management solutions. The company’s AI-powered platform, Unified-CXM, helps its clients monitor and interact with customers with the aim of delivering better experiences. Some of the world’s biggest brands are clients, including Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle, amongst others.

Sprinklr is relatively new to the public markets, having held its IPO in June 2021, in a downsized offering for which the company raised $266 million. The shares were priced at $16 each but have had a rough time so far. In 2022 alone, the shares are down by 44%.

That said, the share losses have come against an expanding top-line, with revenues steadily growing in each subsequent quarter. In the latest report, for FQ2, revenue increased by 26.9% year-over-year to reach $150.6 million, edging ahead of the consensus estimate by $3.15 million. There have also been consistent beats on the bottom-line; adj. EPS of -$0.03 beat the -$0.06 expected by the analysts.

Assessing this company’s prospects, JMP analyst Patrick Walravens come down squarely in the bull-camp.

“Overall, we see Sprinklr as an attractive opportunity for long-term capital appreciation for a number of reasons, including: 1) Sprinklr’s AI-powered platform that is designed to listen to and manage customer experience data at massive scale across 36 channels (including TikTok) and has lots of high-value, vertical use cases; 2) the company is pursuing a large market opportunity, which is estimated to be ~$60B; 3) we like the leadership of CEO Ragy Thomas and CFO Manish Sarin, who joined in January and is helping focus the company on profitable growth; 4) we think in a tough macroeconomic environment, Sprinklr is benefiting from a trend to consolidation of solutions,” Walravens wrote.

As such, Walravens rates CXM stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy) while his $22 price target makes room for 12-month gains of a strong 150%. (To watch Walravens’ track record, click here)

Overall, most agree this stock is one to own; the ratings split 6 to 2 in favor of Buys over Holds, providing this name with a Strong Buy consensus rating. At $15.29, the average target implies shares will climb ~74% higher over the one-year timeframe. (See CXM stock forecast on TipRanks)

NanoString Technologies (NSTG)

The next beaten-down stock we’ll look at is NanoString, a specialist in the field of spatial biology. That is, the study of molecules in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional context.

In layman’s terms, the company develops advanced instruments which are used in labs for scientific and clinical research. The company offers 3 main products; the nCounter Analysis System, the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler (DSP) and the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager (SMI) platform.

NanoString also recently unveiled its new AtoMx Spatial Informatics Portal (SIP), an integrated ecosystem with streamlined workflows which corresponds with its other platforms. The commercial launch is expected this fall.

2022 has been brutal for this stock, which is down by 76% year-to-date. The share losses have come alongside real world decline, as exhibited in the latest quarterly statement – for 2Q22. Revenue fell by 4.8% from the same period a year ago to $32.22 million while the losses widened too; EPS of -$0.85 dropped from the loss of -$0.60 in 2Q21. Additionally, the company lowered its outlook; total product and service revenue for the year is now expected in the range between $140 and $150 million, vs. the prior guidance of $150 to $160 million, while the company expects an adjusted EBITDA loss of $75 to $85 million, whereas beforehand NanoString called for a loss of $65 to $75 million.

While investors have voted with their thumbs down this year, Canaccord analyst Kyle Mikson remains fully behind this name.

“We remain bullish on NSTG’s spatial biology opportunity,” the analyst said. “We continue to believe that CosMx and GeoMx (combined with AtoMx) should be complementary going forward. Despite recent ‘self-inflicted’ commercial execution issues, we believe NanoString will be able to right-size its sales force to support its full CosMx launch in 2H22. We believe the shares are highly attractive at current levels.”

Mikson isn’t just predicting a strong future, he’s backing his stance with a Buy rating and a $30 price target that implies ~175% one-year upside potential. (To watch Mikson’s track record, click here)

4 other analysts join Mikson in the bull corner, and one skeptic can’t detract from the Strong Buy consensus rating. The forecast calls for 12-month gains of 152%, considering the average target clocks in at $275. (See NSTG stock forecast on TipRanks)

Maravai LifeSciences (MRVI)

From one life sciences company to another; Maravai develops and provides essential products utilized for the purpose of new drug development, diagnostics, human disease research and next-gen vaccines.

The last bit is important as Maravai’s products are being widely used in mRNA-based production and Maravai has enjoyed the prominence seen by mRNA technologies in Covid-19 vaccines.

The most frequently used Covid vaccination on a global scale is the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine, COMIRNATY, which uses Maravai’s CleanCap mRNA capping technology.

This achievement should bolster Maravai’s prospects for success in the 500+ mRNA vaccines and therapies being developed. It has also provided the company with a sales boost (65% of 2020 to 2022e sales are driven by COVID-vaccines).

That sales bump was still reflected in the company’s most recent earnings report – for 2Q22. Revenue rose by 11.5% year-over-year to $242.73 million, while beating the Street’s call by $9.51 million. EPS of $0.53 also came in well above the $0.38 consensus estimate.

That said, Maravai has been unable to withstand the bearish market forces and the shares have tumbled ~55% this year.

There are also questions regarding the future growth trajectory once the Covid tailwind completely subsides. However, this is not a concern for Credit Suisse’s 5-star analyst Dan Leonard, who points out the growing prevalence of mRNA technology.

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trajectory of mRNA technologies by multiple years, according to our diligence. The pipeline product candidates for Maravai’s raw materials are broad and deep. According to market research by L.E.K., mRNA/cell and gene therapy assets in development are expected to grow 4x from 2022 to 2027. The FDA expects more than 200 cell and gene therapy INDs per year and 10-20 approvals per year (from nine in total today) starting in 2025. Funding for cell and gene therapies companies totaled ~$20B in 2020,” Leonard explained.

“All in, we view it as an attractive market for suppliers, with Maravai most exposed in our coverage,” the analyst summed up.

Conveying his confidence, Leonard’s Outperform (i.e., Buy) rating is backed by a $34 price target, suggesting an 80% upside from current levels. (To watch Leonard’s track record, click here)

Like Kulkarni, other analysts also take a bullish approach. MRVI’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 6 Buys and zero Holds or Sells. Given the $35 average price target, the upside potential lands at ~85%. (See MRVI stock forecast on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.


Source: Time to Bottom Fish? 3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks That Are Down Over 40% This Year


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Microsoft Boosts Revenue Forecast, Alphabet Growth Slows

It was a tale of two tech companies and their quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.

Microsoft reported the tech equivalent of a hat trick. For the quarter, Microsoft reported profit and revenue that topped expectations, and the company forecast double-digit revenue growth for the next fiscal year.

The key driver being demand for cloud computing services, and its shares jumped about 4%.

Microsoft forecast Intelligent Cloud revenue of $21.1 billion to $21.35 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter. That is compared with a Wall Street consensus of $20.933 billion, according to Refinitiv data. Microsoft & Google’s parent Alphabet recorded results on Tuesday

“It was a record third quarter, driven by the continued strength of the Microsoft Cloud, which surpassed $23 billion in revenue, up 32% year-over-year,” said CEO Satya Nadella, in the post-earnings call. “Going forward, digital technology will be the key input that powers the world’s economic output.”

The company reported revenue of $49.36 billion, compared with $41.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $49.05 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income rose to $16.73 billion, or $2.22 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $15.46 billion, or $2.03 per share, a year earlier. That topped analyst targets of $2.19.

In contrast, Google parent Alphabet Inc reported that Google Cloud’s growth rate in the first quarter fell slightly to 43.8%, from 44.6% in the 2021 fourth quarter. Alphabet’s first-quarter revenue came in below expectations.

Shares were down 4% in after-hours trading after the company posted its slowest quarterly revenue growth since 2020.

Alphabet’s revenue during the January-March period totaled $68 billion, a 23% increase from the same time last year. The figure fell about $40 million below the average estimate among analysts polled by FactSet Research.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 270.22 -10.50 -3.74%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 2,373.00 -88.48 -3.59%

The first-quarter profit drooped 8% from last year to $16.4 billion, or $24.62 per share. That was also below the average analyst projection of $25.47 per share, according to FactSet.


Google’s ad sales totaled $54.7 billion, during the first quarter, a 22% increase from the same time last year.

Source: Microsoft boosts revenue forecast, Alphabet growth slows | Fox Business



By: Peter Cohan

Wall Street’s favorite FAANG is mired in its worst monthly stock performance in two years and analysts are counting on earnings to pull it out of the tailspin. Google owner Alphabet Inc. is down about 13% in April, erasing $237 billion in market value as jittery investors dump growth stocks amid fears of bigger and faster rate hikes thanks to rising inflation.

Investors still love shares of companies that beat expectations and raise guidance. So it’s no wonder that Alphabet shares were up some 11% to an all-time high in pre-market trade on February 2.

The catalyst is the company’s fourth quarter revenue and earnings — which exceeded investor expectations. According to CNBC, Alphabet’s revenue increased 32% to $75.33 billion — $3.17 billion more than expected while its earnings per share of $30.69 was 12% above the Refinitiv consensus.

Alphabet has another advantage when it comes to boosting its stock price — most people in the world use its services many times a day. Those satisfied customers might be inclined to follow the dictum of Fidelity Magellan ex-honcho, Peter Lynch, and invest in what they know.

Sadly, that has been difficult in the last several years because of Alphabet’s high stock price. But that problem could be alleviated through Google’s plan for a July 15 “20-for-1 stock split in the form of a one-time special stock dividend,” according to Bloomberg.

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Why Big Investors Are Quitting Chinese Stocks – Bloomberg Wealth

Chinese companies once ticked a lot of boxes for investors trying to follow the market’s old adages.

Diversify, they say. Well then, why not look beyond the world’s largest economy to its second? Maybe you’ve got Facebook, Amazon and Google in your portfolio already. Shouldn’t you also be thinking about Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu? You can buy them on Robinhood, after all.

Check your politics at the door, they say. So in an era when China is a bipartisan flashpoint, why not tune out the rhetoric and focus purely on returns?

That all sounds promising in a theoretical world. But in the practical one we inhabit, investing in China has become riskier, particularly this summer. In this excellent breakdown, Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion explains in terms you will actually understand how opaque it is to own U.S.-listed China stocks.

When you buy shares of a Chinese company listed outside of China, what you are actually buying is “an empty shell that has certain contractual relationships with the Chinese company,” Levine explains.

Sound tenuous? SEC Chair Gary Gensler thinks so. The commissioner worries that Americans just don’t know enough about Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges. A few weeks ago, he blocked initial public offerings of certain firms until they boost disclosures of risks posed to shareholders.

This is all coming in the context of some serious developments in China. There are mounting concerns about human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong. Both have led to negative views of the country globally and pose ethical and financial dilemmas for investors increasingly thinking about the moral side of investing.

And a Chinese clampdown on capitalism has spooked investors. At its most extreme, it erased $1.5 trillion from Chinese stocks. It has hit Chinese tech companies hard. It’s prompted superstar fund manager Cathie Wood to pare her China exposure. Wood’s ARKK ETF is now sitting with no exposure to shares of companies in the world’s second-biggest economy. Other high profile investors have taken similar steps, including George Soros and Paul Marshall, co-founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds.

And it’s not just tech. In mid-June, Chinese President Xi Jinping indicated that private tutoring — a huge expense for middle-class Chinese families — should not be such a burden. The country went on to ban for-profit tutoring, a huge deal in the $100 billion education tech sector.

Yet with proof that there is an adage for almost any angle, I offer you another: Buck the consensus view. HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker says investment opportunities in China are “too big to ignore.” And while he wouldn’t recommend Chinese equities in general, one market expert in our latest “Where to Invest” series says he would recommend two ETFs that have exposure to Chinese solar and battery technology.

Where do these adages lead us? Probably to another: Trust yourself, not some old saying. — Charlie Wells


Source: Chinese Stocks: Should You Invest in the World’s Second-Largest Economy? – Bloomberg


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Amazon Stock Loses $130 Billion In Market Value After $885 Million Fine And Disappointing Earnings Report

Shares of Amazon fell as much as 8% Friday after the e-commerce juggernaut disclosed a massive fine from European regulators for allegedly breaking regional privacy laws and posted second-quarter earnings results that failed to meet Wall Street expectations, putting the longtime market leader on track for its worst day in more than a year.

Key Facts

As of 11:15 a.m. EDT, Amazon stock has plunged 7% Friday to about $3,349.50, pushing the firm’s market capitalization down below $1.7 trillion and wiping out nearly $130 billion from a closing level above $1.8 trillion Thursday.

Ushering in the massive losses, Amazon posted second-quarter revenue after Thursday’s market close of $113.1 billion—up 27% year over year, but falling short of average analyst expectations totaling $115 billion.

Despite soaring more than 48%, net income of more than $7.7 billion also fell slightly short of estimates, which called for about $7.8 billion.

The stark decline also comes after Amazon disclosed a $885 million (746 million euros) fine, levied on July 16, by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection, which claims Amazon’s processing of personal data did not comply with European regulations.

In the filing, Amazon, which in a statement asserts no data breach has occurred, said it believes the watchdog’s decision is “without merit” and that it intends to appeal the ruling and defend itself “vigorously” in the matter.

Amazon’s Friday plunge puts it on track for its worst one-day decline since the height of pandemic uncertainty tanked the broader market in March 2020.

Crucial Quote

“Consumers’ online shopping levels are returning to more normal levels as they shift some spending to other entertainment sources and offline shopping,” Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff said in a Friday note. “Meanwhile, the company continues to add capacity [and costs] at a breakneck pace in order to meet customer demand and one day delivery,” Romanoff added, pointing out Amazon has already nearly doubled its footprint during the last 18 months.

Surprising Fact

Shares of Amazon are now down more than 10% from a record closing high of $3,719 earlier this month.


Amazon far underperformed the broader market Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which doesn’t include Amazon, ticked down just 0.2%, while the S&P 500, which counts the retail giant as its third-largest component, fell 0.4%.

Chief Critic

“Maintaining the security of our customers’ information and their trust are top priorities. There has been no data breach, and no customer data has been exposed to any third party. These facts are undisputed,” Amazon said in a statement Friday. “The decision relating to how we show customers relevant advertising relies on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is entirely out of proportion with even that interpretation.”

Further Reading

Amazon hit with $886m fine for alleged data breach (BBC)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com. And follow me on Twitter @Jon_Ponciano

Source: Amazon Stock Loses $130 Billion In Market Value After $885 Million Fine And Disappointing Earnings Report



With technology stocks garnering renewed scrutiny, it’s helpful to take a look back at one company that has weathered some of the most severe market downturns and serious doubts from Wall Street: Amazon. Betting on the online bookstore wasn’t always a sure thing. Amazon’s journey from tiny garage start-up to one of the most valuable companies in the world has paid off for investors, but shareholders needed a strong stomach.“Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”

In the early 1990s, Jeff Bezos walked away from a Wall Street career with an outlandish idea to sell books on the World Wide Web. In 1994, he launched Amazon.com. “I found this fact on a website that the web was growing at 2,300 percent per year,” Bezos told CNBC in a 2001 interview about his early foray into book selling. “The idea that sort of entranced me was this idea of building a bookstore online.”

The site experienced growth quickly, going public three years later with $16 million in revenue and 180,000 customers spanning more than 100 countries (according to its SEC filing). But even as the site began growing, many investors had their doubts about Amazon, instead favoring brick-and-mortar book-selling giant Barnes & Noble.

At an early meeting between Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio and Bezos, Riggio reportedly told Bezos he would “crush” Amazon. Barnes & Noble dwarfed the young start-up. The traditional bookseller had hundreds of stores and more than $2 billion in revenue. It was also tapping into major Silicon Valley talent to built its own sleek new website.

On top of that, it was suing Amazon over the start-up’s claim to be “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” But for those who took a chance and bought Amazon stock at the initial public offering, their investment has returned a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent since the IPO – outperforming the S&P 500 which had a total return of 10 percent annually over the same period.

Tech stocks have been under renewed pressure in recent weeks as the markets have experienced volatility. From September to November, Amazon stock lost a quarter of its value as the wider tech sector took major hits. Some analysts say it’s a good time to buy in. Others say Amazon’s growth rate has hit a ceiling as the company enters maturity.


Strong Buyout Fund Returns Drive Private Equity Stocks Higher

Private equity

Over the past decade, as private equity firms like Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle Group have grown into a gargantuan size and raised buyout funds nearing or eclipsing $20 billion, one critique of their cash gusher was that it would inevitably drive fund returns lower. Now, as the U.S. economy emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic and markets soar to new record highs, recent earning results from America’s big buyout firms reveal a trend of rising returns even as funds surged in size.

Fueled by piping-hot financial markets, returns from the flagship private equity funds of Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle are on the rise. Mega funds from these firms that recently ended their investment period are all running ahead of their prior vintages and raise the prospect that PE firms can achieve net investment return rates nearing or exceeding 20%.

Carlyle, which reported first quarter earnings on Thursday morning, is the newest firm to exhibit rising performance. Its $13 billion North American buyout fund, Carlyle Partners VI, which was launched in 2014 and ended its investment period in 2018, is now being marked at a 21% gross investment rate of return and a net return of 16%, or a 2.2-times multiple on invested capital.

The fund has realized $8.8 billion of investments, like insurance brokerage PIB Group and consultancy PA Consulting, and sits on a portfolio marked at nearly $20 billion. The returns are two-to-three percentage points ahead of Carlyle Partners V, the flagship buyout fund it raised just before the financial crisis. That fund is on track to earn a net IRR of of 14%, or a multiple of 2.1-times its invested capital.

Rising fund profitability, even at scale, is helping to fuel Carlyle’s overall profitability. Net accrued performance fees from Carlyle VI ended the quarter at nearly $1.4 billion and Carlyle sits on a record $3.2 billion in such performance fees that will likely be fully realized in 2021. The firm’s once-lagging stock has recently risen to new record highs.

The trend is even more clear at Blackstone and KKR, which have both used spongy IPO markets to realize multi-billion dollar investment windfalls in recent months.

Blackstone’s flagship $18 billion private equity fund, Blackstone Capital Partners VII, was closed in May 2016 and ended its investment period in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 economic meltdown. After taking public or exiting investments like Bumble, Paysafe and Refinitiv, this fund is now marked at a 18% net investment rate of return, five percentage points better than its prior fund, which raised in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

In the past two quarters, the fund has been the single biggest driver of Blackstone’s record profitability, generating over $1.6 billion in combined accrued performance fees. In the first quarter, the fund was responsible for 82-cents in quarterly per-share profits, filings show. Overall, Blackstone sits on a record $5.2 billion in net accrued performance fees.

At KKR, it’s a similar story. The firm’s $8.8 billion Americas XI fund, which was raised in 2012 and ended its investment period in 2017, is generating net IRRs of 18.5%, or a 2.2-times multiple on invested capital, according to the its annual 10-k filing from February. That sets up the fund to be KKR’s most profitable buyout fund since the 1990s.

KKR’s first quarter results, set to be released in early May, may show even bigger windfalls and higher returns. Its recent public offering of Applovin looks to be one of the greatest windfalls in the firm’s history, bolstering returns and profits for its even newer $13.5 billion Americas Fund XII. Asia could also be an area of big returns as its $9 billion Asian Fund III monetizes investments.

As returns rise, PE firms have seen their stocks soar to new record highs.

Once a laggard, Carlyle is up 36% year-to-date to a new record high above $42, according to Morningstar data. The firm, now led by chief executive Kewsong Lee, has returned an annual average of 23% over the past five-years.

KKR has done even better, rising 40% this year alone and 125% over the past 12-months. It’s five and ten-year total stock returns are now 33% and 13.5%, respectively.

The top performer in the industry is Blackstone Group, which recently eclipsed a $100 billion market value. Up 39% this year alone, Blackstone’s generated an average annualized total return of nearly 19% over the past decade, which is about five-percentage-points better annually than the S&P 500 Index.

Bottom Line: With public markets hitting new record highs, buyout firms are reporting LBO returns not seen since the 1990s. Their stocks, which once badly lagged the S&P 500, are beginning to beat the market.

I’m a staff writer and associate editor at Forbes, where I cover finance and investing. My beat includes hedge funds, private equity, fintech, mutual funds, mergers, and banks. I’m a graduate of Middlebury College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and I’ve worked at TheStreet and Businessweek. Before becoming a financial scribe, I was a member of the fateful 2008 analyst class at Lehman Brothers. Email thoughts and tips to agara@forbes.com. Follow me on Twitter at @antoinegara

Source: Strong Buyout Fund Returns Drive Private Equity Stocks Higher


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