As an investor, do you fear being penny-wise but pound-foolish? It's certainly one of the more complicated trappings of this business. Even if you've only been an investor for a short time, you probably have an "I shoulda been willing to pay that price after all" story.

The fact is, however, that no two prospective trades are quite the same. There's just as much to be said for holding out for a bargain as there is for being willing to pay a premium. The key is finding the right stock for a particular price -- a bargain is only a bargain if that stock's got a good shot at increasing in value in the foreseeable future.

With this in mind, here's a closer look at three undervalued names to consider stepping into today. They're bargain stocks not just because they're cheap and have been performers of late, but also because they're stocks of companies with a bright future that not enough people are aware of -- yet.

A clock face reading "time to buy."

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Anyone who knows the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) story well probably knows this year's banner growth isn't expected to continue into next year. Indeed, following this year's projected 43% top-line growth and subsequent 50% improvement in per-share earnings driven by the company's recently approved COVID-19 "antibody cocktail," the analyst community is calling for a revenue and profit pullback in 2022.

While the focus has largely been on this year's sales swell, what's largely being overlooked is how much progress the company is making on other fronts despite the lingering pandemic. Its eczema drug Dupixent is nearing widened approval for more children between the ages of six and 11, while several phase 3 trials of the same drug for completely different uses were initiated. In fact, Regeneron has about 30 product candidates in the works, including several in phase 3 trials.

Next year won't be as fruitful as this year; of that there can be no doubt. It's not too soon to start looking at 2023 and beyond though, particularly in light of the fact that shares are only trading at 13 times next year's suppressed earnings projection. You're not going to find too many other biopharma stocks with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' long-term growth prospects priced this inexpensively very often.

2. ViacomCBS

You may recall that in March, share prices of ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) (NASDAQ:VIAC.A) were completely up-ended, falling nearly 50% in just three days. The bulk of that pullback appears to be the result of an unmet margin call from then-owner Archegos Capital Management; Archegos' broker sold the most opportune holding to bring the fund back into compliance. The company's decision to cash in on its stock's big run-up through March by selling shares via a secondary $3 billion offering, however, fanned those bearish flames.

The funny thing is, the stock's not yet recovered from this mostly artificial plunge. That's created a big opportunity.

There's no denying the world of entertainment is changing, with streaming becoming an alternative not just to conventional cable television, but to theatrical films as well. ViacomCBS isn't missing this proverbial boat, however. If anything, it's steering the boat. Its free-to-watch, ad-supported streaming television platform Pluto now boasts 50 million regular viewers worldwide, and the company's subscription-based streaming services now serve 36 million people. Both subscriber bases grew at a double-digit percentage pace last quarter.

Revenue is revving up accordingly. Even though the company is still learning the business, CEO Bob Bakish recently indicated that subscribers to its lower-cost, ad-supported streaming platform are already generating more net revenue for the company than the average cable customer does. As for Pluto, eMarketer anticipates it will generate more than $1 billion worth of ad revenue in 2022, up from less than $800 million this year and only $440 million last year. Bakish believes the company is on track to produce $7 billion worth of streaming-based revenue by 2024.

Given how well prepared the company is for what lies ahead, the forward-looking price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 10 is more than a little compelling here.

3. eBay

Finally, add eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) to your list of bargain stocks you can buy today. Its trailing P/E ratio of 17.4 and forward-looking one of 16.7 underestimates the online auction company's growth potential.

There's no denying Amazon.com won the coronavirus-consumerism war, entering the lockdown phase of the pandemic already ready to meet the needs of shoppers no longer interested in setting foot in stores. Walmart did pretty well for itself too. eBay nabbed some new business as well, but last year's 28% revenue uptick was actually a bit of a letdown considering the environment. Lackluster guidance for the current quarter only spurred greater doubt about the company's foreseeable future.

The eBay of tomorrow, however, isn't the eBay of yesterday. The company is finally taking advantage of its smaller size and seller-powered platform to do things that Amazon and Walmart just can't.

For instance, earlier this month eBay announced it was expanding its Authenticity Guarantee service to cover luxury handbags sold via its platform. Last month the company said it would allow the sale of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) at its site. Last year eBay unveiled a certified refurbished program to support sales of office and at-home electronics. These are developments that better reflect where consumers and companies are, so to speak, and the way the world's current culture works.

eBay will never topple Amazon, but it's certainly evolving into an operation capable of solid long-term growth that its bigger rival can't really counter.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.