A $5 bill may not seem a lot, but it can go a long way if you're willing to risk it on some of the market's lower-priced stocks. As you can imagine, there's usually a pretty good reason a stock is fetching a price that's less than a fast-food chain's value meal.
The company behind the low-priced stock could be in a challenging turnaround situation. It could also be that a company has just issued too many shares over the years. Or we could be talking about an obscure company, and that's where we'll let the speculators lose their shirts on penny stocks.
I prefer to concentrate on larger low-priced stocks, including some that may be household names. It's true that they're either broken or forgotten, but I should point out that I've been examining stocks in the single digits for more than 15 years. This isn't my first time at the rodeo, and that's fitting, because there are plenty of bucking broncos in this niche.
Let's give this another shot, looking a few interesting companies with stocks trading below the $5 mark. They're risky, of course, but the payoff could be substantial if things pan out.
Frontier Communications (OTC:FTR) -- $4.87
Income investors have been wooed by Frontier Communications for its chunky payouts. The telco specializing in underserved rural markets is sporting a current yield of 8.6% that may not be sustainable in the future, but it at least returns some money to stakeholders in the meantime.
Frontier turned heads when it agreed to shell out $10.5 billion for Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) wireline operations in California, Texas, and Florida. That's a lot of money for a fading form of communication as folks swap out landlines for mobile connectivity, and it also doesn't help that Frontier's reputation isn't great. It ranked last as an ISP in the 2016 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Telecommunications report.
There is gradual erosion to its nearly 3.1 million residential customers and 284,400 business accounts, but the Verizon deal closed at the beginning of the current quarter. If Frontier is able to achieve economies of scale and make the most of its fatter customer list to cross-market services, it can hold out long enough to keep its healthy dividend checks coming.
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) -- $2.43
The original social-gaming darling has fallen out of favor in recent years. Folks just aren't playing FarmVille or Mafia Wars the way they used to. However, after seeing mobile-gaming peers King Digital and Clash of Clans publisher Supercell get acquired, one has to wonder if someone is going to take a chance on Zynga.
Zynga keeps putting out new games, and it has become a major player in online gambling through slot machine and poker simulations. Its three most productive games -- accounting for nearly half of its revenue in its latest quarter -- were slot and poker titles. Zynga also has a balance sheet that's flush with $857 million in cash, accounting for more than 40% of its market cap. It has the financial resources and the pedigree to crank out more hit releases, inevitably finding a buyer.
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) -- $3.88
Satellite radio has come a long way since the combination of Sirius and XM created a media monopoly with ridiculously profitable results. Sirius XM was on the brink of bankruptcy in early 2009, but it has now rattled off 21 consecutive quarters of profitability.
It closed out its latest quarter with 30.1 million subscribers. Revenue is growing, and margins are expanding. There are non-believers out there. Sirius XM's short interest has ballooned north of 200 million shares this month. However, the catalysts are there for a short squeeze as long as it continues to build on its role as the undisputed champ of premium radio.