On the count of three, everybody panic!
OK, not really. As shrewd investors know, wildly vacillating markets often provide outstanding buying opportunities as share prices swirl like cows in a tornado. But when chaos abounds, it's hard to keep track of what companies you like, which look like bargains, and which have made the jump from "vaguely intriguing" to "screaming buy." As one guest of our marathon live chat (a truly valiant effort, guys!) wrote, "Days like this underline the usefulness of a watchlist. I saw a couple tempting bargains on mine today."
As head of Fool.com, I've had the chance to interview most of our Foolish analysts over the past year about the stocks they're watching, and I've slipped many of the most compelling ideas onto my personal watchlist. Without further ado, here are the companies on my watchlist that seem most interesting at the moment.
Has lumber hit the floor?
In my analyst chats, Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL ) emerged as a fan favorite, with several of our top investors pointing to the no-frills supplier of hardwood flooring straight to consumers from the mill. As Motley Fool Hidden Gems analyst Jeremy Myers said in his praise of the company back in November, "$22 is my magic number." Today, it trades below $15 a share and, according to analysts such as Brian Pacampara, it's poised to pop.
Similarly, analyst Eric Bleeker raved about storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC ) in a conversation we had in November, but he was somewhat reluctant to buy at that point because of a fairly rich valuation. Back then, it traded at a P/E of about 28. Today, that ratio is less than 23, a valuation that led Eric to recently write, "I like cheap stocks, but I love 'are you kidding me?' cheap stocks."
A dividend not to be trashed
In January, my colleague Jeremy Phillips not only praised Waste Management (NYSE: WM ) , he called it the most outstanding dividend stock he knew and backed up the proverbial truck to load up on the stock. Well, the leading waste and environmental services company with the attractive dividend is potentially even more outstanding now that shares have dropped to less than $30 a pop.
All three of these companies are on my watchlist, and I'll be buying shares in at least one of them as soon as the Fool's trading guidelines allow. You should get them on your watchlist, too. If you don't have a watchlist, you need to start one now. Just click one of the links.