Despite the enhanced market volatility that investors have been seeing lately, there's still no shortage of excellent stocks to buy. In this Backstage Pass segment, recorded on Oct. 6, Fool contributors Brian Withers, Demitri Kalogeropoulos, and Rachel Warren share three very different stocks trading at attractive valuations right now.
10 stocks we like better than Pfizer
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Brian Withers: As the market goes topsy turvy and goes red or whatever, what's one stock that's off of its high that you think is a good value today? We will start with Demitri.
Demitri Kalogeropoulos: Sure, I will offer Stitch Fix (SFIX -6.07%) as a potential, you might want to add to your watch list if you haven't been watching this. This is an e-commerce specialist, they sell apparel and they brought a new-ish model a few years ago to the business where it's a subscription service, and they use algorithms and the combination of that and personal buyers to help people find clothes that they might not have otherwise picked out themselves. You can sign up for monthly or quarterly or every other week curated apparel that will be sent to your house.
This stock is down about 40% in the last three months even though the business is looking really good, the last two quarterly reports were excellent. The one last month in mid-September showed sales were up 29% and all those good consumer engagement metrics that you'd follow were all headed the right direction. Active users are up. Spending-per-client just hit a record across $500. This is, I believe in the past 12 months.
Their average spending is $500 per user, which I think is an excellent indicator there, people are staying engaged. Cash flow and income are decent, although the company, they're not great because the company's spending most of its extra cash on its growth metrics.
One of the exciting things about this stock is that it's got a lot of interesting growth opportunities, including getting into new markets, geographic markets, and they recently just added a direct buy functionality. Until then, they were almost completely on the subscription model I mentioned. But now they're adding the ability for users to just go on and pick a single outfit or something that they like.
They're also pushing into new demographics, they've got a real good, strong core of female users. The menswear is an attractive area they're trying to get into, and kidswear, too. The thing to keep an eye on though, one caveat for the stock if you're interested in that, is that that 40% drop is not unusual for this stock.
It's a super volatile stock over the last 52 weeks, the shares have been up over 200% at one point, and they've dropped over 70% from that position. Like I said, it's not like Stitch Fix's operating trends have shifted that much.
It's just a very volatile stock. If you're the kind of person that's sensitive to these price swings, I might pass on this and maybe look somewhere else. But if you don't mind getting some potential growth in a company that's still got a lot of question marks. They've just switched to a new CEO as well. You're pretty early on in this growth story and a lot can change, but there's some exciting stuff about this one.
Rachel Warren: I like Stitch Fix. I think it's an interesting company. I like the service they provide. I think that the fact that it serves this really unique area within the e-commerce industry, which in and of itself is already experiencing this really high growth, that's a compelling point. But considering other big names, it's up against in the e-commerce industry, I'm not really surprised at the volatility that investors have been seeing.
If I had to pick one stock that's down from its high that I think is a good value today, I'm definitely would have to go with a healthcare stock, [laughs] being a healthcare writer.
I'm going to choose Pfizer (PFE -0.63%), the ticker symbol, PFE. No one I'm sure has heard of that stock.
I was just looking, it looks like the stock closed down a little less than 1% today. It's not a huge decline. The stock hasn't really been known for huge share price increases over the years. For example, over the past year, it's up about 22% based on current share prices. Clearly, the company's received a huge boost from the vast commercial success of the coronavirus vaccine it developed with its German partner BioNTech.
Pfizer is expecting to bring in about $34 billion in revenue from that vaccine in 2021 alone. It's had a huge impact on Pfizer's balance sheet. Pfizer reported that its revenue increased 68% and its net income grew 53% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
And again, a lot of that growth has been driven by its COVID vaccine, but Pfizer is also a really established company, well over a century in business behind it. Another major decision that it made recently that has had a huge impact on its top and bottom line, was its decision to combine its generics business Upjohn, which had historically just been very unprofitable, with Mylan, which formed what is now trading as Viatris. That merger concluded late last year and it's really turned out to be quite a genius move for the company.
The new company, Viatris, is not only a global leader in generic drugs, but this has allowed Pfizer to really focus on growth from its more profitable products, of which it has a very extensive portfolio of vaccines, oncology medicines, immunology drugs, and a host of other top-selling products. I think the thing I love about Pfizer: it's been in business for so long, that's a really attractive buying point for me.
I can see how much has been through the years, how many crises throughout history and the fact that it's still growing, it's still one of the most powerful, highest-grossing pharmaceutical companies in the business with these really profitable products which, of course, now have been boosted by its COVID vaccine. The other thing about Pfizer, like I was mentioning earlier, it hasn't really seen these huge share price jumps, but the part where there has been much more notable returns for investors has been in the form of its dividend.
Its dividend currently yields about 3.8%, which is above the average stock trading on the S&P 500, which I believe last I checked that average yields about 1.3%. It's way above that and it regularly increases its dividend as well. I think Pfizer is a great stock that you can basically buy now and hold onto forever.
Withers: Yeah, I like those moves. You mentioned getting rid of the generics business. That forces them to focus on their innovations engine and really allows them to deliver, hopefully top-quality drugs and medicines that help more and more people. Their 3.8% dividend is nothing to sneeze at. That's really awesome. [laughs]
When I look across my portfolio, a very tight portfolio and focused on software as a service, e-commerce, everything that benefited from being coronavirus, now is taking a hit. Pretty much there are more stocks down over 10% off their highs in my portfolio than I have ones that are less. Pick any one, you guys, Demitri, you picked Stitch Fix which, I think you said it was off like 70%. That is the one that's off the most in my portfolio.
But if I just look across and I look at a no-brainer stock, I'd say The Trade Desk (TTD -6.86%). It's down 30%. This one is going to be volatile because it depends a lot on, the way it gets paid is based on advertisements paid through the platform. It's a transactional business rather than more of a subscription business.
As the economy ramps up, and businesses are advertising more and certainly coming into the fourth quarter with the holiday season, I think The Trade Desk is going to be considerably higher five years from now. You'll look back and go, well, that was a pretty decent price that I got out of that.
But I was reminded on Monday, Jon Quast and I did a deep dive on Roku and they are in the programmatic advertising space for streaming television specifically. It's just amazing the size of that market that's there. The Trade Desk is a key player in that market, too.