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3 Extraordinary Value Stocks to Buy for 2021

By Zhiyuan Sun - Mar 29, 2021 at 8:01AM

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Value investing has once again become a wildly profitable operation. Here are the best stocks that fit this category.

If you think the practice of value investing has been made redundant by the emergence of high-growing tech stocks, you are mistaken. Amidst an overvalued stock market and near-zero interest rates, yield-hungry investors are increasingly turning to value stocks for better returns.

Shares of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY -6.24%), ad-tech firm Criteo (CRTO -6.46%), and pot grower Cresco Labs (CRLBF -5.31%) have delivered stunning returns of 270% to 382% to investors over the past year. Today, let's look at why they are still inexplicably at bargain valuations and how they can further enrich shareholders. 

Woman satisfied while shopping - value for money concept.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Bed Bath & Beyond

Trading at just 0.4 times forward revenue, Bed Bath & Beyond appears to be another brick-and-mortar business investors think will fall to the wrath of e-commerce giant Amazon and its ilk. Indeed, during the third quarter of 2020 (ended Nov. 28), Bed Bath & Beyond's sales were down by 5% year over year to $2.618 million. 

However, if we were to dig deeper, then we would find its revenue decline was primarily a result of closing down 120 of its unprofitable stores. Its same-store sales actually increased by 5% over the same period last year, while its e-commerce segment grew by an astonishing 94% during that time. Its namesake app has a rating of 4.8/5 on Alphabet's Google Play, with 42,400 reviews.

Sales of kitchen appliances, food utensils, bedding and bath products, and home decorations all showed remarkable increases, and about a third of the company's revenue now comes from online orders. In addition, its gross margins increased by 3.1 percentage points over Q3 2019 to 35.4%.

Bed Bath & Beyond is also surprisingly profitable, bringing in $244 million in operating cash flow in the quarter while paying back $500 million of its $3.6 billion debt outstanding. Facing little liquidity risk ahead, the company is also allocating $825 million to buying back its stock as an effort to boost earnings per share. Given its fantastic performance despite a challenging environment, this is one resilient retail stock you don't want to miss out on. 

2. Criteo 

Nowadays, it's almost unheard of for investors to buy tech companies at 2.3 times revenue -- but that is precisely what Criteo stock has to offer. The company had been making bank over the past decade from using third-party cookies in web browsers to track consumer behavior and deliver ads to them on advertisers' behalf. The practice, known as ad-retargeting, is at risk of becoming completely obsolete as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox have all banned third-party cookies on their platform, citing privacy concerns.

As a result, many investors thought that Criteo's business was doomed, and its stock was on a slow but sure path to zero. Against all odds, however, the company projects that it will grow its revenue by about 5% this year. In 2020, Criteo still had a mind-boggling $2.07 billion in sales and $120 million in free cash flow. 

Seeing the aforementioned existential threat, Criteo made the smart move of diversifying its business away from retargeting. It now develops software solutions that can help its clients improve their media outreach, boost e-commerce volume, optimize their products on search engines, etc. Finally, and perhaps ironically, it is now venturing into data rights management, offering solutions to protect consumers' privacy during web browsing.

This year, Criteo's non-retargeting operations will account for nearly 20% of its overall sales, and the segment is growing by more than 50% year over year. The company did not take on any debt in pursuing these new ventures, and it still has an impressive $530 million in cash on its balance sheet. For investors looking for a bargain tech company with excellent financials and impressive growth, Criteo is an enticing bet.

3. Cresco Labs 

Last year, marijuana wholesale distributor Cresco Labs grew its sales by a mouthwatering 271% year over year to $476.3 million. It also managed to break even in terms of pre-tax income, compared to a loss of $50.8 million in the same metric last year.

There are now more than 830 dispensaries offering Cresco's marijuana. The company also operates 19 dispensaries of its own across the U.S.; that number will grow to 33 this year after its $371 million acquisitions of Bluma Wellness and Cultivate, which are among the top two, respectively, in market share among the medical cannabis industry in Florida and the recreational cannabis sector in Massachusetts.

Surprisingly enough, the company is only trading at 3.5 times forward revenue despite its incredible trajectory of growth. This is definitely a top pot wholesaler that you don't want to miss. 

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Stocks Mentioned

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Stock Quote
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
$7.81 (-6.24%) $0.52
Criteo S.A. Stock Quote
Criteo S.A.
$24.04 (-6.46%) $-1.66
Cresco Labs Inc. Stock Quote
Cresco Labs Inc.
$3.92 (-5.31%) $0.22

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

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