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2 Absurdly Cheap Growth Stocks to Buy in December

By David Jagielski – Dec 3, 2021 at 6:10AM

Key Points

  • Bristol Myers is a cash-generating machine and has been growing via acquisitions.
  • Dell could be the ideal stock to buy to take advantage of remote work trends.
  • Both of these stocks are incredibly cheap with respect to future earnings.

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You can count on these two to deliver strong numbers next year and beyond.

Loading up on growth stocks while they're at bargain prices can lead to some great long-term returns for investors. And with many of these stocks falling in recent weeks, there are plenty of good deals available right now.

Among the cheapest stocks to consider include Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY 1.04%) and Dell Technologies (DELL -1.16%). Both are trading at low earnings multiples and still possess many growth opportunities, so now could be an optimal time to add these safe investments to your portfolio.

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1. Bristol Myers Squibb

Although Bristol Myers pays an incredibly attractive 3.6% dividend yield, which is well above the S&P 500 average of 1.3%, you shouldn't overlook the growth potential here. Acquisitions have helped the company expand its top line (sales of $42.5 billion in 2020 were more than double the $20.8 billion Bristol Myers reported just three years earlier) and its portfolio of drugs.

In 2019, Bristol Myers completed a mammoth $74 billion acquisition of biopharma company Celgene, which it says had "complementary areas of focus," enabling Bristol Myers to scale and strengthen its pipeline along the way.

More recently, in 2020, it acquired MyoKardia for a much more modest sum of $13.1 billion. The company, which focuses on serious cardiovascular diseases, gave Bristol Myers a promising heart drug in mavacamten to add to its portfolio. If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug by April 2022 (its PDUFA date), it could be a big win for Bristol Myers; analysts project that mavacamten could generate $2 billion in annual sales by 2026. 

Over the trailing 12 months, Bristol Myers has reported $45.5 billion in sales, accumulating $14.6 billion in free cash flow during that time. The company's numbers look solid, and the future looks bright; today, Bristol Myers says it is studying more than 40 disease areas and developing over 50 compounds.

Bristol Myers is a top growth stock to buy, and yet it's only trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of just over 7. That looks like a downright steal compared to drugmaker Eli Lilly, where investors are paying more than 31 times its future profits.

2. Dell Technologies

Another company that looks cheap today is computer manufacturer Dell. At a forward P/E of 6, it's an even cheaper buy than Bristol Myers. Rival HP trades at a forward earnings multiple of almost 9, while Cisco Systems, which also sells computer hardware, trades at 16. But that low valuation may not stay that way for long, as Dell has been strengthening its financials and posting some impressive numbers of late.

In November, the company spun off its 81% equity stake in VMware so that it can pay down debt while still focusing on growth opportunities. It will receive $9.3 billion from the deal. VMware allows companies to run virtual computers while Dell remains in the business of selling physical machines. 

And Dell has been doing just fine on that front; in its third-quarter results for fiscal 2022, the company reported a record quarter, with net revenue of $28.4 billion rising 21% year over year. Its shipments for the period ending Oct. 29 were also at record levels, rising by 26.6% from the same period last year. The company boasts that over the trailing 12 months, cash from operations have totaled more than $13 billion. It has paid down $15.9 billion worth of debt this year, and its long-term debt as of the end of October (before the VMware spinoff was complete), was $31.7 billion.

The company's focus on bringing down those numbers comes at a great time, with interest rates potentially rising next year. And with less debt on its books, the business will have more flexibility (i.e., cash) to grow its operations. As more workers look for remote jobs amid the Great Resignation, there could continue to be an uptick in demand for Dell's work-from-home solutions.

In August, Glassdoor reported that from June 2019 to June 2021, there was a 360% increase in the share of jobs searches on its website that involved remote positions. Now, given the concern about a new COVID-19 variant out there, it could be even harder to persuade workers go back into a physical office.

Overall, Dell's a solid buy, and with a focus on improving its balance sheet, it's making smart moves that should set it up for some excellent growth ahead.

David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bristol Myers Squibb. The Motley Fool recommends VMware. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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