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3 Top Mid-Cap Stocks to Buy Right Now

By Jeremy Bowman - Feb 1, 2020 at 2:06PM

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Get 'em while they're hot.

Mid-cap stocks, generally defined as stocks with market caps between $2 billion and $10 billion, can offer investors the best of both worlds. They have enough room to deliver serious growth but still offer investors a certain degree of security, as companies of this size generally have proven business models and are profitable or on their way to profitability.

If you're like Goldilocks and looking for a stock that's not too big and not too small, keep reading to see why Stitch Fix (SFIX -4.05%)ANGI Homeservices (ANGI), and Foot Locker (FL -1.45%) fit the bill.

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Stitch Fix

If you're looking for a company with disruptive potential, Stitch Fix has it in spades. The online clothier pioneered the online personalized styling service model and is the leader in its category. Stitch Fix's core offering sends customers five apparel items at a time; they keep what they want and send the rest back.

This model has delivered steady growth for the company, and it envisions long-term revenue growth of 20% to 25% from adding new customers, expanding to new categories and geographies, and adding new ways to shop. Its five-item box has served as the base from which the company is expanding.

Stitch Fix is currently experimenting with direct-selling models like Shop New Colors and Shop Your Looks, the second of which uses data on customers' past purchases to offer them a curated selection tailored to their preferences. Shop Your Looks is in its early stages, but it has proven to be a winner for Stitch Fix. The service leverages the company's customer data and proprietary algorithms and eliminates the hassle of searching for new clothes online or in stores. 

Stitch Fix is profitable, though the company is currently focused on top-line growth. Now looks like a great time to buy the stock, as it's trading well below its previous heights despite solid execution in recent quarters -- the company has crushed earnings estimates in its last four reports. As more brick-and-mortar retailers close stores and online shopping grows, Stitch Fix will benefit and the stock will eventually respond, likely sooner rather than later.

ANGI Homeservices

One of the best opportunities that the market gives to long-term investors is when stocks plunge for short-term reasons. Such an event happened last August to ANGI Homeservices -- the parent of HomeAdvisor, Angie's List, and Handy -- when profits tumbled due to challenges related to its marketing on Google. The company has largely solved those problems, yet the stock is still down more than 50% compared to where it was before that earnings report.

ANGI should have a long path of growth ahead of it as more millennials buy homes and turn to online marketplaces for home service needs such as kitchen remodels, painting, or just house cleaning. The company targets long-term revenue growth of 20% to 25% as it invests in popular new platforms like fixed-price services, which eliminates the hassle of communicating and haggling over pricing for both customers and service providers. The company recently returned Angie's List to growth after taking it over in an IAC-backed merger in 2017. Meanwhile, its marketplace segment, anchored by HomeAdvisor, delivered 27% revenue growth in the most recent quarter.

Online marketplaces tend to be high-margin businesses once they reach scale, and ANGI should see improving profit margins as it grows its network and reaps the investments it's currently making. The company's fourth-quarter earnings report, which comes out on Feb. 5 and will also provide guidance for 2020, offers a chance for the stock to redeem some of its recent losses. Analysts are expecting break-even earnings and just 16.6% revenue growth to $325.4 million, giving the company a low bar to jump over.

Foot Locker

Brick-and-mortar retail is a tough business, but Foot Locker has an ace up its sleeve: The nation's biggest sneaker retailer is a prized partner of Nike, and it derives about two-thirds of its sales from Nike products. The two companies are now collaborating on "Power" stores: shops that are bigger, more interactive, and offer some of Nike's own proprietary technology. These kinds of stores offer the kind of experiential shopping that has become a draw for customers in the age of e-commerce. 

You also might be surprised to learn that Foot Locker's comparable sales jumped 5.7% in its most recent quarter, thanks to a strong back-to-school season. This is a sign that it's bucking the general brick-and-mortar malaise. Comps were up 4.7% in its stores and 11.4% online, driving adjusted earnings per share up 19%. E-commerce now makes up 15.3% of sales, demonstrating that the company is building a successful online business.

If Foot Locker kept up that momentum during the holiday season, the stock could surge. Shares currently trade at a P/E ratio of just 8, which has enabled the company to aggressively repurchase stock, reducing its shares outstanding by about 7% over the last year. The stock's dividend yield is 4%, making it appealing for dividend investors.

While Foot Locker has closed some stores and faces some of the same challenges as other retailers, those headwinds seem more than priced into the stock now, especially given its third-quarter results. With the Nike partnership and momentum from the back-to-school season, Foot Locker shares could easily rise 50% just by recouping its 2019 losses.

Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Angie's List, Inc., Nike, and Stitch Fix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nike and Stitch Fix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Foot Locker, Inc. Stock Quote
Foot Locker, Inc.
$31.98 (-1.45%) $0.47
Angi Inc. Stock Quote
Angi Inc.
StitchFix Stock Quote
$7.81 (-4.05%) $0.33

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