Every investor's portfolio suffers a setback every now and then. Some investors' setbacks, however, are bigger than others. A few of them can even be downright punishing thanks to strategies that just didn't pan out.
If you're a part of this unlucky crowd, it's OK. While there's lost ground you may never fully make up and you'll have to invest aggressively to close some of the gap your losses left behind, you're not knocked out yet. Here's a rundown of three higher-risk but higher-reward prospects that just might put your portfolio back on track.
Advanced Micro Devices
In a market that includes powerhouses like Intel and Nvidia, it's tough for a third, smaller name like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 9.06%) to find -- and keep -- a foothold. But AMD has carved out a nice niche for itself within the consumer market, while also doing a surprising amount of enterprise and data center business.
You may be more familiar with Advanced Micro Devices than you realize. This is the name behind Radeon graphics cards, Ryzen computer processors, and Epyc processors for servers. It also offers a robust suite of software that makes its hardware even more powerful, including artificial intelligence applications.
Investors keeping tabs on the computer-tech arena know it's been a tough road to travel of late, and things won't get any easier anytime soon. Not only has the worldwide chip shortage made it difficult to get all of the components needed to make hardware, but it also looks like an economic headwind is blowing. Mercury Research recently reported that second-quarter desktop computer-processor sales fell to a 30-year low, and Intel just lowered its full-year guidance due to waning PC demand. Advanced Micro Devices sort-of followed suit, as did Nvidia, with the red flags collectively working against all three of these stocks.
If it seems like AMD shares are holding up better than its key rivals' stocks though, you're not wrong. And there's a good reason. Even with all the industry's headaches, AMD found a way to grow its top line to the tune of 70% during its fiscal second quarter with each of its key operating segments showing progress of some sort.
The strong quarter underscores a couple of key ideas about the company's business, one of which is that Advanced Micro Devices can successfully navigate the complicated environment. The other idea is, value is always marketable. PC owners get more computing bang for their buck with AMD graphics processors and central processors, as do its enterprise-level and OEM customers. The stock's broad weakness since late last year doesn't make a lot of sense. Its recent strength suggests investors are starting to figure this out.
It was already being viewed as a relic by the early 2000s when the world was becoming digitized. After billions of dollars' worth of accounting concerns were uncovered beginning in 2017 though, investors began to completely throw in the towel on General Electric (GE 0.82%). Shares currently sit nearly 70% below 2016's close and more than 80% under its 2000 high, remaining within sight of multi-year lows reached in mid-2020. Yikes.
What's largely been obscured by the pandemic, politics, the mainstreaming of electric vehicles, the explosion of on-demand streaming video, the continued collapse of brick-and-mortar retailing, and dozens of other distractions: This is not the GE of yesteryear. General Electric has steadily been shedding units that don't quite fit in anymore. It's out of the locomotive business, for instance, selling GE Transportation to Wabtec in early 2019. It also sold its aircraft leasing business last year.
After these and other divestitures, what shareholders are left with is a GE with a narrower focus on fewer -- but more relevant -- operating units. Healthcare equipment, power generation, renewable energy, and aviation are the only businesses left in its wheelhouse, and even then the company intends to become more focused. Before the end of 2024, General Electric plans on splitting itself up into three separate and distinct publicly-traded entities. This should unlock the pent-up value that's still not being fully priced into shares now.
It remains to be seen how much the market will collectively appreciate (and value) these three organizations. It's a reasonably safe bet, however, that the breakup will add net value -- if only because there's greater transparency.
Finally, add Upstart Holdings (UPST 0.90%) to your list of Hail Mary prospects that could restore a big portion of your portfolio's value.
If you're not familiar, Upstart is a new kind of credit rating bureau. Rather than a formulaic approach based on an individual's bill-paying history, debt levels, and income, Upstart uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to determine a person's likelihood of paying on a loan. And the approach works! The company reports its lender clients see 75% fewer loan defaults than large U.S. banks do with no fewer loan approvals.
Investors watching this company may know this metric isn't necessarily convincing every lender that needs to regularly run credit checks. Its second-quarter results were less than thrilling, and guidance for the quarter now underway was even less impressive. The company's calling for third-quarter revenue of only $170 million, down from last quarter's $228 million, and below analysts' consensus of $179.4 million. Following the release of the report and outlook, this stock's now down more than 90% from its late-2021 high.
The brewing revenue lull isn't so much an indictment of Upstart's product, however, as it an indication of a weakening economy. Although that's a problem to be sure, it's also a temporary one. The same goes for the stock's pullback. While it looks ugly and has proven painful for patient shareholders, the underlying premise of the company's business model makes sense.
We're moving into an era where individuals are seen as more than a mere numerical formula (and rightfully so). Upstart's creditworthiness measures are a scalable, automated way for lenders to take a more thoughtful and lower-risk approach to approving loans. To this end, despite the current headwinds, analysts still expect top-line growth of more than 10% this year to accelerate by 16% next year, rekindling earnings growth in the process.