There are plenty of low-priced stocks out there, and most of them aren't worth your time as investments. A lot of the names fetching single-digit prices are too small, or are broken companies with no near-term chances to turn things around.
Blue Apron Holdings (NYSE:APRN), Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI), and Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) were all trading for under $7 as of Wednesday's close (with those prices given below). I think they're among the few winners in the low-priced pool of stocks. If my bullish theses play out, they should all be trading above $7 by the end of next year.
Blue Apron Holdings ($5.25)
The early player in gourmet meal kits has had a rough time since going public at what would be a split-adjusted price of $150 in 2017, but it has already more than doubled since bottoming out in March. Blue Apron's struggles provide a cautionary tale for IPO investors, but things finally appear to be turning the corner.
After 10 brutal quarters of year-over-year declines in revenue, Blue Apron is finally moving in the right direction. Revenue rose 10% in the second quarter, accelerating to a 13% clip in its latest report. The same company that was initially looking to be acquired is now ready to thrive on its own.
This isn't a perfect turnaround. The company experienced a sequential decline in customers in its latest quarter, and the average revenue per account is also slipping as customers place fewer orders. The second quarter also remains the only profitable report in Blue Apron's history.
However, the second quarter was going to be an anomaly during the early stages of the pandemic, with folks smitten by the novelty of cooking and eating at home. The key here is that Blue Apron is in a good groove of double-digit growth after a long dry spell. The stock is trading 96.5% below its IPO price, but the present and the future are more compelling than the past.
Sirius XM Holdings ($5.89)
Satellite radio may seem more a relic of the past than the future, but there's a bullish case to be made for Sirius XM here. We should probably address the 800-pound bear argument in the room.
After 11 consecutive years of generating positive returns, Sirius XM is trading lower year to date. Revenue declined 5% in the second quarter, its first year-over-year dip as a public company. Sirius was an early casualty of the pandemic: Car sales plummeted, and with sheltered-in-place families driving less, it was easy to justify nixing their satellite radio subscriptions.
Sirius XM's third quarter would show signs of life. Revenue rebounded to a modest 1% increase, but it was a welcome contrast to the decline that analysts were expecting. Growth itself is impressive, especially since there has been no help coming from its Pandora acquisition, with the streaming platform's shrinking audience and sluggish ad market. Churn is improving and Howard Stern, the platform's biggest star, is on the cusp of a multiyear contract extension, so the ingredients are in place for Sirius XM stock to resume its winning ways in 2021.
It's now been more than a year since Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google announced a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Fitbit. The all-cash deal would pay Fitbit investors $7.35 a share, but with Alphabet and other tech giants facing a little more antitrust criticism than usual, this is why we're still now more than 12 months into the process.
Fitbit was a pioneer in wearable fitness devices, but it was starting to struggle with its fitness trackers and smartwatches ahead of Google's lifeline. The reason Fitbit makes the cut here is that it's in a win-win position. If Google is able to close the deal in the coming weeks or months, investors get a nearly 6% gain from here. If Alphabet has to pull out of the deal, things might still turn out fine for Fitbit.
The company's third-quarter report on Wednesday was promising. Revenue growth turned positive for the first time since the Google deal was announced. Margins improved, and it has posted smaller than expected losses in back-to-back quarters.
Fitbit will be fine on its own. It has a cash-rich balance sheet, and the $250 million that Alphabet would have to pay if the deal falls apart translates to roughly a sixth of its $1.5 billion enterprise value. Fitbit has two paths to take here, and both point to higher stock prices.