Reddit investors get dumped on because they cling to notions that monied interests are holding back their favorite meme stocks and endlessly cheer the next big short squeeze.
It was the WallStreetBets crowd that pushed GameStop to the stratosphere in January, but more recently has turned AMC Entertainment into the chatroom darling, earning accolades from the theater operator's chairman and CEO Adam Aron. The jury is still out on whether those stocks can overcome the very real hurdles they face, but the forum is more than just about meme stocks, or those whose volatility is driven more by mentions on social media than the fundamentals of the business.
There are actually some very smart investors on Reddit and quite a number of the stocks they discuss are very good, well-financed businesses that don't need their shares jawboned above penny stock valuations. They can still trade on the merits.
Here are two of the most popular Reddit stocks that an investor can actually buy and hold for years to come.
Investors wouldn't normally associate a stodgy, blue chip stock like Ford (NYSE:F) with the quick flip crowd of the internet because auto stocks aren't exactly barn burners when it comes to growth. A glacial pace coupled with historically low valuations often makes auto stocks like the Blue Oval a candidate for the widows-and-orphans portfolio.
The electric vehicle revolution has changed that, and while Tesla rightly attracts a large share of the industry headlines (it's also one of the most talked about Reddit stocks), Ford is shaping up to be a major player in the space.
This 100-plus-year-old company has said it will invest $30 billion in its electrified fleet by 2025, with its Ford+ initiative anticipating that 40% of the entire fleet it produces in 2030 will be all-electric.
Although that's not as great as General Motors, which forecasts its entire fleet will be all-electric by 2035, one seems much more achievable than the other, or at least can be realized with the fewest errors.
To get there, Ford unleashed its Mustang Mach-E on the world earlier this year, and to date has 21,703 units of the EV crossover, making it the second best-selling full-electric SUV behind Tesla's Model Y. The Mach-E sold 2,848 units in October, its third-best month ever, and Ford says it's on track to deliver 50,000 vehicles by the end of the year.
The F-150 Lightning pickup truck is also highly anticipated, and Ford says it has over 160,000 reservations for the EV with over 75% of them coming from other brands. It will also soon be joined by the E-Transit, the all-electric van, and notes it will soon begin production on the vehicle as it is already sold out. The success Ford is having so far could see it end up producing an electric version of the Explorer or Bronco.
Yet its gas-powered trucks are still just as possible as they ever were, with the F-series pickup being the top-selling truck in the U.S. for nearly four decades.
Wall Street is looking for Ford to grow earnings at an astounding 77% annually for the next five years, making the electric car maker's valuation of less than 10 times next year's earnings a bargain, even though it never really trades at much of a premium.
Data analytics company Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) is in a league of its own, uniquely using artificial intelligence to mine and identify patterns hidden deep within datasets. It started off by offering its Gotham platform to the U.S. government and counts among its customers the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other government agencies. The U.S. military is also a prime customer, using Palantir's technology to coordinate millions of troops around the world.
Yet Palantir realized that businesses also need to understand the vast bits of data they create every day, so it developed its commercial-oriented Foundry platform for enterprise-level customers. It is arguably where the greatest future growth for Palantir lies.
When it filed its prospectus to go public last year, Palantir had just 125 customers. By the end of December, that figure had grown to 139 and as of the third quarter, Palantir now has 203 customers with the top three accounting for 18% of revenue year to date.
While not saying exactly how many it had of each, Palantir noted its commercial customer count grew 46% quarter over quarter and its U.S. commercial revenue more than doubled from last year.
Sales are on fire. The Big Data company generated $1.1 billion in revenue in 2020, a 47% gain from 2019, but through three quarters of 2021 it has already produced that much in sales. It closed 54 deals of $1 million or more, of which 33 deals were worth $5 million or more and 18 were worth $10 million or more.
Because it has barely scratched the surface of its potential in reaching new customers in new markets, Palantir has an enormous pathway for further expansion in the years ahead. Wall Street expects it to grow earnings at a compound annual rate of almost 50% as revenue more than triples to $3.4 billion by 2025. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is expected to surge from $443 million this year to $1.3 billion by the middle of the decade.
With few to any peers who can do what it does, Palantir Technologies at just $20 a share seems like buying a bargain high-growth stock.