With the mini-banking crisis ebbing, the Fed poised to stop raising interest rates, and strong economic growth, it’s a good time to find undervalued growth stocks to buy.
Significant parts of most of the American banks that have failed in recent weeks have been acquired, while a troublesome European bank, Credit Suisse, was bought by UBS (NYSE:UBS). Meanwhile, the flow of deposits from small banks to large banks “has slowed to a trickle in recent days, CNBC reported on March 25. The latter data indicate that the banking sector is quickly returning to normal after the mini-crisis. As a result, the mini-crisis is unlikely to trigger a recession and almost certainly won’t result in a credit crunch.
Further, the Fed is poised to finally take its foot off the brake, as most Fed officials expect to raise rates minimally for the rest of this year.
On the economic front, the labor market continues to be very strong, and the central bank expects the economy to grow at a scintillating, annualized pace of 3.2% this quarter.
Here are seven undervalued stocks to buy that will enable investors to take advantage of these favorable macro conditions.
Undervalued Growth Stocks: Roku (ROKU)
As I’ve pointed out in past columns, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) provides the leading operating system for streaming TV, which has become consumers’ favorite way to watch television. And I’ve noted that the supply chain and ad issues that have plagued the company in recent years should ebb as supply chains continue to improve.
Now the Street is catching on to ROKU stock’s strong, positive catalysts. That’s because investment bank Susquehanna raised its rating on ROKU to “positive” from “neutral.” The firm thinks the company’s financial results are “bottoming,” It will benefit over the long term as marketers move more ads to streaming channels.
The firm reported that the ad market appears to be improving, while Roku could soon start selling ads to other digital platforms. According to the investment bank, the latter initiative could enable Roku to collect additional “high margin revenue.”
ROKU is currently changing hands at a relatively low forward price-sales ratio of 2.35. Given Roku’s tremendous growth potential, I think the shares are meaningfully undervalued at current levels.
Plug Power (PLUG)
Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) continues to progress toward becoming a green-hydrogen giant. Specifically, the company announced on March 21 that it had found a way to make hydrogen-powered forklifts economical for the first time “for warehouses that operate fewer than 100 electric forklifts.”
According to PLUG, such warehouses buy “more than 25% of all forklifts sold in the U.S.”
Moreover, Plug provided hydrogen fuel cells for a recent successful test flight of a small plane that was partially powered by hydrogen. The plane is owned by Universal Hydrogen, which carried out the test and has made a deal to supply hydrogen to American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) “by 2025.” And America’s smaller, main planes are expected to start utilizing hydrogen around 2029.
Since PLUG is a major supplier of green hydrogen and is working with Universal Hydrogen, the latter company will likely buy a great deal of green hydrogen from Plug Power, lifting Plug’s financial results and PLUG stock in the process.
Plug Power is trading for just 1.3 times its 2026 revenue guidance of $5 billion, making the shares’ valuation quite attractive.
Darden (NYSE:DRI), which owns and operates many casual-dining restaurants, delivered beat-and-raise quarterly results on March 23.
Specifically, the company’s revenue soared 14% year-over-year, while its same-store sales climbed 11.7%. Meanwhile, Darden’s earnings per share came in at $2.34, and it increased its fiscal 2023 EPS estimate to $7.85-$8 from $7.60-$8.
Bank of America responded to the news by raising its price target on DRI stock to $172 from $170. The firm is upbeat on the company’s low-price strategy, and it thinks that DRI could beat its same-restaurant-sales-growth guidance of 3%-5% for the current quarter. The bank maintained a “buy” rating on the shares.
And calling Darden’s Q3 results “solid,” RBC Capital raised its price target on the shares to $165 from $160. The bank says that commodity prices are trending downwards, which maintained an “outperform” rating on DRI stock.
Given Darden’s strong growth, its forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16.8 times is quite attractive regarding undervalued growth stocks.
Air Products & Chemicals (APD)
InvestorPlace columnist Chris Markoch recently reported that Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) plans to spend “over $15 billion by 2027 to deliver large amounts of clean hydrogen.”
Thus, over the long term, APD will likely deliver strong growth as the demand for green hydrogen by trucking companies, airlines, and many other companies surges tremendously.
Supporting my theory, APD CEO Seifi Ghasemi said in February, “We continue to see significant opportunities…to bring green hydrogen to consumers around the world,”
And as Markoch points out, the company has low debt and a stable gas business, making the shares appealing to conservative investors. Also noteworthy is that APD expects its earnings per share, excluding certain items, to soar 9%-12% this year to $11.20-$11.50.
On March 7, investment bank Evercore added APD to its “Tactical Outpeform” list, citing the company’s favorable valuation and the strong outlook of its industrial gases business.
At the midpoint, that equates to a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 23.7 for APD stock. That valuation is very attractive, given the company’s strong profitability and a huge opportunity in green hydrogen.
Canadian Solar (CSIQ)
Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) reported very strong fourth-quarter results, showing that it’s benefiting a great deal from the very rapid proliferation of solar energy. Specifically, the company’s shipments of solar modules soared 68% year-over-year, while its net income jumped almost 300% to $77.8 million. Moreover, its gross margin came in at nearly 17.7%, near the upper end of its guidance range. And analysts, on average, expect its EPS to soar 69% in 2023.
Importantly CEO Shawn Qu, speaking on the company’s Q4 earnings call, stated that he thinks gross margins can reach “20% to 30%..in [the] mid to long term.”
And impressively, CSIQ stock has a Composite Rating of 89 from IBD, including an RS score of 90,. The latter score indicates that CSIQ stock has meaningfully outperformed the market in the last year.
CSIQ should continue to benefit from the quickly increasing use of solar energy in many parts of the world, especially China and Europe, and from the electrification of transportation.
The stock’s forward price-to-earnings ratio of 5.75x is extremely low, making it one of the top undervalued growth stocks.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) is clearly continuing to benefit from the ongoing growth of e-commerce and digital payments, along with strong consumer spending trends. Last quarter, its free cash flow climbed 4%, while it expects its earnings per share, excluding some items, to rise around 24% this quarter versus the same period a year earlier.
Going forward, the company may also get a boost from the accusations made by Hindenburg Research against Block (NYSE:SQ). First, some investors who have sold SQ stock because of the accusations could look to buy PayPal instead. And secondly, PayPal does compete with Block to some extent, and some small businesses could give up Block and turn to PayPal in the wake of Hindenburg’s charges.
Also noteworthy is that outgoing CEO Dan Schulman, on March 9, said that “I think across our business, we’re seeing strength that’s beyond what we expected.” Schulman said that a rebound of e-commerce, or “discretionary spending,” may be responsible for the rebound.
Alternatively, PayPal could be gaining market share, he stated.
PYPL stock has a very attractive forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15x.
Volkswagen’s (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) revenue climbed 11.6% last year, and it is second when it comes to global sales of automobiles. Additionally, the company’s earnings before taxes jumped 9.5% last year to 22 billion euros. And in the fourth quarter, its global auto sales climbed 11% compared to a year earlier.
Going forward, the automaker should benefit from improving economic trends in the EU. Indeed, the number of “new car registrations” in the bloc jumped 11.5% year-over-year last month.
Moreover, Volkswagen is a leader in the rapidly growing EV sector. Last quarter, its global EV sales jumped 24% year-over-year to 118,000. In the EU, overall EV sales soared 40% YOY last month, so Volkswagen’s leadership in the EV sector should boost its growth within Europe. And with the automaker planning to invest a great deal in its EV transformation going forward, it should benefit tremendously from the continued proliferation of EVs in Europe, the U.S., and China.
Despite all of these positive catalysts, Volkswagen has a tiny forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 4.9x. That makes it among the best undervalued growth stocks in my book.
As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer owned shares of PLUG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.