For 17 months and counting, the stock market has been unstoppable. Following the quickest 30% decline in the benchmark S&P 500's history, the index has now more than doubled from its pandemic low and gone 10 months without a correction of even 5%.
Yet in spite of this record-breaking bounce-back rally, not all stocks are near record highs. The following four stocks are down at least 50% from their intraday high hit within the past year. But more importantly, they're the perfect stocks for long-term investors to consider buying right now at a discount.
Teladoc Health: Down 54%
Teladoc's 54% retracement looks to be tied to two factors. First, the acquisition of Livongo Health has increased the company's 2021 costs (mostly one-time expenses) and widened its net loss projections well beyond what Wall Street was expecting. Second, there's the belief that Teladoc's sales could slow now that the worst of the pandemic is presumed to be over.
The good news for optimists is that Teladoc is completely changing the personalized care process. While virtual visits won't be able to replace all in-office visits, they're going to provide an easy medium for physicians and patients to connect with greater frequency. This is far more convenient for patients, and it can allow doctors to keep better tabs on chronically ill patients. Ultimately, I see virtual visits improving patient outcomes and lowering what health insurers pay out of pocket. Though a slowdown in visit growth from the height of the pandemic-related uncertainty was a given, I see no evidence of a slowdown in the long-term virtual visit growth trajectory.
Teladoc's buyout of applied health signals company Livongo should also pay incredible dividends. Livongo leans on artificial intelligence to send tips to its chronically ill members to help them lead healthier lives. It was profitable prior to its buyout, and its services should be applicable to a large swath of U.S. adults. With Livongo under Teladoc Health's umbrella and the duo able cross-sell, this company looks unstoppable.
Trulieve Cannabis: Down 50%
Although cannabis is projected to be one of the fastest-growing industries of the decade, Wall Street seems perturbed by the persistent stalling of reform legislation on Capitol Hill. While it would be great for marijuana to be legalized at the federal level, or even for banking reform measures to become law, the fact is that state-level legalizations are proving more than enough for MSOs like Trulieve to thrive.
The interesting thing about Trulieve Cannabis is how it's chosen to expand. Whereas other MSOs its size have been opening dispensaries and cultivation farms in a dozen or more legalized states, Trulieve has 91 of its 102 operating dispensaries located in a single state: Florida. By focusing its efforts on the medical marijuana-legal Sunshine State, it's been able to keep its marketing costs down while gobbling up about half of the state's dried flower and oils market share. As a result, it's been profitable on a recurring basis for more than three years.
Equally exciting is its pending acquisition of MSO Harvest Health & Recreation (HRVSF). Harvest Health has a five-state focus (Florida is one of those five), but its 15 dispensaries in Arizona are the crown jewel of this deal. The Grand Canyon State legalized adult-use weed in November, which should help Trulieve Cannabis garner significant share in this potential billion-dollar market.
Skillz: Down 73%
Another perfect stock that's been blasted over the past seven months and looks ripe for the picking is mobile gaming platform Skillz (SKLZ -2.80%). Even taking into account its modest rebound since September began, Skillz is down 73% from its February high.
If you're wondering how a high-flying growth stock loses three-quarters of its value in seven months, look no further than its operating losses. While Wall Street is often forgiving with growth stocks, Skillz has consistently produced wider-than-expected quarterly losses as it expands its marketing and increases its headcount. These losses will likely continue through 2022.
On the other hand, Skillz has a unique platform in the gaming space that should allow it to generate extremely high margins and sustain rapid sales growth. It allows gamers to compete against each other for cash prizes on its platform, with the company and game developers keeping a cut of the cash prize. Since it's relatively inexpensive to be a mobile-gaming middleman, as opposed to developer, Skillz has enjoyed a consistent gross margin of 95%.
It's worth noting that Skillz has also coerced a pay-to-play conversion rate that's well above the industry average. In the first quarter, 17% of its monthly active users paid to play, compared to a 2% pay-to-play conversion rate for the industry as a whole.
With Skillz snagging a multiyear agreement with the National Football League in February, it's set to become even more relevant in the years ahead.
Baidu: Down 53%
A fourth perfect stock valued at a significant discount to where it was trading earlier this year is China-based internet search giant Baidu (BIDU 4.72%). Shares of the company have retraced 53% in just under seven months.
The reason Baidu has been such a train wreck of late has to do with concerns regarding Chinese regulators cracking down on certain tech stocks and industries. After leading e-commerce company Alibaba was hit with a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine in April, the presumption is that any company could be on the radar of regulators.
However, my suspicion is that Baidu isn't facing the prospect of any fines or increased regulation. This means its internet search engine and ancillary growth opportunities have the potential to push its valuation a lot higher, once the dust settles.
According to data from GlobalStats, Baidu has controlled between 67% and 80% of search market share in China over the trailing-12-month period. With the exception of Sogou at 14%, no other internet search platform is even above a 4% share in the No. 2 economy in the world. This makes Baidu the clear go-to for advertisers within China. As long as the Chinese economy keeps expanding, marketing revenue can grow by a sustainable double-digit percentage.
Baidu is investing heavily in cloud services and artificial intelligence, as well. Though these segments account for a smaller percentage of total sales, they're growing at a much faster rate than marketing revenue. Valued at 15 times Wall Street's consensus earnings for 2022, Baidu is simply too cheap for investors to pass up.