Protracted drawdowns in the stock market are unnerving, to say the least. Without exception, however, history has shown that steep declines in U.S. equity prices have always turned out to be a golden opportunity for investors.
What are the best bargains right now? Two of my personal favorites in this buyer's market are AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC 2.00%) and Beam Therapeutics (BEAM -10.60%). Here is why I think even $1,000 invested in either of these underappreciated growth stocks ought to generate a small fortune over the next decade.
AMC: A misunderstood value play
AMC Entertainment Holdings' underlying fundamentals and near-term growth prospects aren't going to win over many classic value investors. The company is mired in debt due to the pandemic and the moviegoing industry as a whole is only now showing signs of recovering from this crisis.
A deeper dive, however, indicates that AMC stock could be a downright bargain at these levels. Here's a brief overview on why this stock stands out as a misunderstood value play.
First off, the competitive threat from streaming appears to be wildly overblown at this point. As AMC's strong first-quarter 2022 results clearly indicate, the moviegoing industry remains a viable business model in the current global environment.
Second, AMC's debt overhang isn't the end of the world. Bears have argued that AMC's high debt load may prove hard to resolve in light of its rather modest prepandemic free cash flow and debt-related interest expenses.
Fortunately, AMC's management has a solid plan to deal with this issue. Namely, the company intends on diversifying its business model to build multiple sources of revenue in the coming years. Now, bears have criticized management's plan to transform AMC into a Warren Buffett-style holding company as unrealistic. But with $1.16 billion of cash and cash equivalents at last count, AMC should be able to tack on a handful of additional sources of revenue soon.
All told, I'm a firm believer that the resiliency of AMC's core business, coupled with management's stated development plans, will ultimately deliver market-beating returns for shareholders over the remainder of the decade.
Beam: A potential gold mine in precision medicine
Beam Therapeutics is a precision gene-editing company focused on developing game-changing treatments for a variety of serious diseases. While the company is still in the preclinical phase of its life cycle, I think Beam has the potential to transform into one of the field's strongest players.
My optimism stems from the biotech's innovative base-editing technology, which has the potential to be a best-in-class platform from a precision standpoint. What's more, Beam's tissue-specific delivery systems could give it a major leg up in the efficacy department.
What are the company's upcoming milestones and potential inflection points? Beam is gearing up to launch human clinical trials for its sickle cell disease program in the near future. The company also has an ongoing collaboration with Pfizer to develop treatments for rare genetic diseases of the liver, muscle, and central nervous system. Both of these programs ought to generate multiple catalysts for shareholders over the next 12 to 24 months.
What's the big picture? Gene editing as a field is expected to grow into a $20 billion market by the end of the decade, according to a recent report by Emergen Research. Beam, for its part, could earn an outsize portion of this rapidly expanding market due to its unique platform and emphasis on using the most efficient delivery systems for specific diseases. That's a huge opportunity for a company with a market cap of only $2.8 billion at the time of this writing.