Wall Street Has Given Up on These 3 Stocks, and That's a Huge Mistake

The market's shortsightedness has it missing the long-term upside at this biotech, logistics specialist, and pipeline company.

Matthew DiLallo
Matthew DiLallo, George Budwell, and Rich Duprey
Jun 30, 2019 at 10:17AM
Health Care

Wall Street focuses much of its attention on a company's short-term outlook. Because of that, near-term headwinds can cause it to miss the bigger picture for the future. 

That certainly seems to be the case with biotech Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ:PBYI), logistics and transportation company XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO), and energy infrastructure operator Tallgrass Energy (NYSE:TGE). While Wall Street seems to have given up on this trio due to some short-term headwinds, these three Motley Fool contributors think that could be a huge mistake, given their long-term growth potential. 

Wall Street traders looking at stock screens.

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A falling knife that might be worth catching

George Budwell (Puma Biotechnology): By all accounts, Puma has had a terrible year. After it reported disappointing first-quarter results last May, Wall Street decided to slash peak sales estimates for the company's struggling breast cancer drug Nerlynx. Puma's shares, in kind, lost over half their value in the following weeks. This dramatic sell-off, though, may have created an outstanding entry point for risk-tolerant investors.

Puma's shares hit the skids due to concerns over Nerlynx's side-effect profile. While this issue is nothing new, the company reported an alarming rate of discontinuations in the most recent quarter due to severe side effects. The net result is that the drug's sales fell by 25% quarter over quarter. That's not a good sign for a novel cancer drug fairly early into its launch. 

There is a huge silver lining to this recent downturn from an investing standpoint, however. Even though Nerlynx is no longer expected to come anywhere near blockbuster status (annual sales exceeding $1 billion), the drug should still manage to haul in roughly $550 million at peak within a few years. Puma's present market cap is currently below this figure, so this beaten-down biotech is an outstanding bargain at these levels. Most biotechs with an FDA-approved cancer drug, after all, tend to garner significant premiums in the range of three to five times their forward-looking peak sales forecast.

Is it time to buy now? Wall Street is clearly cautious with Puma following these underwhelming financial results, and that might be a wise strategy -- at least until the company reports its second-quarter earnings later this year. That said, this stock could also take flight if Nerlynx's sales rebound as the year unfolds. Growth-oriented investors, therefore, will definitely want to keep a close eye on this stock over the remainder of 2019.     

A rebound ready to happen

Rich Duprey (XPO Logistics): Shares of XPO got crushed when Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) pulled $600 million worth of business from the company, with the remaining $300 million still at risk. That's obviously led to a hit to revenue and earnings, but its first-quarter results were not nearly as bad as analysts had projected, indicating there's still a lot of fight left in this company.

E-commerce continues to grow, and that has become the lifeblood of the logistics and transportation industry. FedEx, which recently turned the tables on Amazon by saying it would no longer handle the retailer's Express business, foresees the demand for e-commerce delivery doubling by 2026. It wants to ensure it has the capacity to handle that growth, even if Amazon will account for a lot of it.

It means there is a lot of opportunity still available in the market, and XPO Logistics remains a top provider even if it loses all of Amazon's business. Certainly there are risks, not least of which is Amazon entering the freight logistics market itself as a competitor carrying third-party packages.

Yet the market has just about priced XPO as if it's about to go out of business, which is the furthest thing from happening. It is priced at just 14 times projected earnings and at a fraction of its sales. Analysts forecast XPO is going to grow its earnings at a compounded 26% annual rate over the next five years, which -- when compared with how the market is valuing the company -- gives it a discount. Moreover, XPO is valued at just 10 times the free cash flow it produces, making it a bargain-basement stock.

Giving up on a stock is smart when the investment thesis for it no longer exists. That's not the case with XPO Logistics, and investors can still capitalize on the market's myopia.

A Recovery and Growth bar chart drawn on a blackboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

Missing the upside potential

Matt DiLallo (Tallgrass Energy): Wall Street analysts don't have a very favorable opinion on midstream company Tallgrass Energy. Of the 13 who are covering the company, nine of them rate it a hold or at underperform. Goldman Sachs, for example, recently downgraded the stock from buy to neutral. The Wall Street bank is concerned about upcoming contract expirations on its Rockies Express (REX) and Pony Express pipelines as well as how it will finance two large-scale projects.

These concerns, however, seem to be misplaced. While the company does have several capacity agreements about to expire on its two key pipelines, that could turn out to be a positive. On REX, Tallgrass believes that it can sign new contracts at higher rates due to strong capacity demand. In the company's view, it could capture an incremental $100 million to $150 million of earnings as it signs higher-rate contracts. Meanwhile, the company is boosting the capacity of Pony Express from 400,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 420,000 BPD to support growing demand. On top of that, the company is working on a potential joint venture that would add another 550,000 BPD of capacity to its Pony Express system.

Meanwhile, the funding concerns also seem overblown. That's because private equity giant Blackstone recently bought a controlling interest in the company. Blackstone has been a major investor in midstream infrastructure in recent years, and would likely help fund some of Tallgrass Energy's expansion projects.

While Wall Street sees the upcoming contract expirations and expansion projects as risks, they represent significant upside opportunities for Tallgrass. That's why the currently dour view of the company appears to be a big mistake.