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2 Top Value Stocks to Buy Right Now

By Will Ebiefung - Jan 16, 2021 at 11:36AM

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The stock market is getting pricey, but these affordable companies can give your portfolio the edge.

Everyone wants a good deal in the stock market. But you won't find undiscovered value in high-flying growth stocks that have massive expectations already built into their prices. General Motors (GM 4.00%) and Dollar General (DG 13.71%) are good alternatives for bargain-hungry investors. Let's dig deeper to find out why these companies can leverage their established brands to pivot to new opportunities in electric vehicles and discount retail. 

1. General Motors 

With a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 22, General Motors is a compelling value compared to the S&P 500 average of 38. The large-cap American automaker is known for its iconic auto brands like Cadillac, GMC, and Chevrolet. But its future could be defined by electric vehicles -- making the stock an attractive alternative to faster-growing rivals like Tesla, which already has massive expectations built into its stock price. 

Bull's eye on dollar symbol.

Image source: Getty Images.

Analysts at Markets and Markets expect the electric-vehicle market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% until 2030 because of favorable government policies and evolving social attitudes. GM doesn't plan on missing the opportunity. The automaker says it is committed to an "all-electric future." Management plans to spend at least $27 billion to develop 30 electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025. 

Last week, GM unveiled its all-new EV600 electric delivery van, which is scheduled to go on sale later this year. The vehicle will be the first of many to launch through the company's BrightDrop subsidiary. BrightDrop will offer a range of electric products for commercial customers, not just vehicles, according to Pam Fletcher, GM's vice president of innovation. 

It's hard to compare GM (with its P/E multiple of 22 and market cap of $72 billion) to Tesla, which boasts a trailing P/E of around 1,600 and a market cap of roughly $800 billion. Put mildly, Tesla's valuation is unusually optimistic, and the company seems to have decades of projected growth already baked into its stock price. GM is a better alternative for investors who want to bet on the promising electric vehicle industry without the hype and speculation. 

2. Dollar General 

Retail may not be the most exciting industry in the economy, but it can be a gold mine for value investors. Retail is full of modestly valued companies with business models that can perform well in any economic environment. Dollar General is a top retail stock because of its low valuation and competitive business strategy. 

Unlike "true" dollar stores like Dollar Tree, which sell almost everything for $1 or less, Dollar General is more flexible with its pricing. This strategy helps the company stock a wide range of items and outperform its rival on efficiency metrics. According to research company Statista, Dollar General generated net sales of $237 per square foot of retail space compared to just $196 per square foot at Dollar Tree. 

Dollar General stock looks like a bargain, with a trailing P/E ratio of 21, compared to 27 for Dollar Tree and 91 for Amazon

Last quarter, Dollar General's net sales jumped 17% to $8.2 billion and earnings per share (EPS) increased by 63% to $2.31 as more customers turned to discount stores during the coronavirus pandemic. Management plans to continue the momentum by pivoting to new growth opportunities such as DG Pickup, which will allow customers to complete their orders online. 

Better safe than sorry 

It may be tempting to buy shares in hyped-up growth companies with soaring stock prices. But those companies are often priced for perfection. Things can end badly for investors if they don't live up to the market's overly optimistic expectations. 

Modestly-valued stocks like GM and Dollar General can allow you to tap into the same opportunities -- in this case, electric vehicles and discount retail -- without as much risk of a speculative crash.

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Stocks Mentioned

General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
$37.42 (4.00%) $1.44
Dollar General Corporation Stock Quote
Dollar General Corporation
$222.13 (13.71%) $26.79

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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