September's been a rough month for the stock market, and on Monday, the S&P 500 had its worst day in months, falling 1.7%. Stocks across the board have been declining of late, and for investors, that has created some attractive buying opportunities along the way.
While you might be concerned about this volatility, this has simply become the new normal since the start of the pandemic. It doesn't mean that the markets are going overboard and an all-out crash is imminent. Instead, it may be time to load up on three growth stocks near their 52-week lows, including Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 1.25%), Activision Blizzard (ATVI 0.54%), and Alibaba Group Holding (BABA -3.00%).
1. Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Healthcare company Jazz Pharmaceuticals is trading at around $130 and has been falling more than 20% year to date, while the S&P 500 has risen by 16%. I thought the stock was a good deal when it fell to $140; now it's an even better buy. And I'm not alone, many brokerages have set price targets of more than $210 for the stock -- representing a possible upside of more than 60%.
What makes Jazz an attractive business is that it has been consistently profitable over the past five years, generating at least a 20% net margin in four of those years. The company's bottom line has been struggling of late, but that's also because it recently acquired GW Pharmaceuticals, which is in the cannabis pharmaceuticals business, and Jazz has incurred integration-related expenses as a result of that.
But the opportunity could more than make up for that as GW owns the only cannabis-based drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved thus far, Epidiolex. And for the period ending June 30, its revenue grew by 32% year over year to $156 million. That would have made it the second-largest drug in Jazz's portfolio (the deal only closed in May, so a full quarter of drug sales weren't included in the company's results this past quarter). It was behind only narcolepsy drug Xyrem, which brought in $334 million for Jazz. And with expansion opportunities in Europe, Epidiolex could bridge the gap in the not-too-distant future.
There's a lot of potential for Jazz's stock, and investors shouldn't overlook the great opportunity to buy the stock on the dip.
2. Activision Blizzard
Gaming company Activision Blizzard is another stock that is right around its 52-week lows and has considerable potential. Hammered by news of poor workplace practices, the stock has fallen 20% thus far in 2021. And while those aren't issues to be dismissive of, they shouldn't cripple the company, either. As long as the underlying business is sound, buying amid negative press can be an effective way to find a good deal in the markets.
Trading at around $75, this is another stock that brokerages are bullish on, with several projecting that it will rise by more than 40% to at least $105 a share. The video game company has many titles in its portfolio that are popular with consumers, including several from the Call of Duty franchise. Its latest game in the series, Vanguard, is coming out in November, and if it proves to be popular, that could improve the outlook for the stock.
Either way, I wouldn't count out the business as revenue grew by 25% in 2020 to $8.1 billion -- all while it maintained an impressive profit margin of 27%. Even if things slow down as things get back to normal in the economy and people aren't stuck at home anymore, Activision has likely gained many new gamers from last year, which should lead to some strong growth for the foreseeable future.
3. Alibaba Group Holding
Chinese-based Alibaba is the riskiest stock on this list. If it weren't for concerns about crackdowns in the country, there is no reason for investors not to buy the stock at its current price of around $150. Some analysts see the stock potentially doubling to $300.
The company was hit with a $2.8 billion antitrust fine earlier this year, so Chinese regulators have already weighed down the tech company's financials. If that's the worst that happens to the business, it should be in good shape, as for the period ending June 30, it reported $6.6 billion in profit alone. But the danger is that there's no certainty the government may not put measures into place that limit its growth opportunities.
The risk is there, but so are opportunities. Alibaba generated year-over-year revenue growth of 34% last quarter, and the business is investing in multiple autonomous driving companies in China, the latest being start-up DeepRoute.ai.
Alibaba is a diverse business with opportunities in tech everywhere in China, from e-commerce to media to cloud computing to autonomous vehicles. The potential the company has to grow over the years makes me skeptical the Chinese government would want to impede its position on the world stage. Its recent fine sends a message to the company without crippling its operations, which might strike enough of a balance for regulators.
Although Alibaba's stock has fallen a significant 35% this year, I wouldn't count on it staying down over the long term. It could make for an excellent growth stock to buy right now.