Are you looking for some discounted growth stocks that can deliver great returns in the next few years? Three stocks that you should consider that are down 40% or more in 2022 are Cresco Labs (CRLBF 3.38%), PayPal Holdings (PYPL 0.40%), and Meta Platforms (META -2.20%). Although investors have been bearish on these stocks of late, I expect that these businesses will not only recover but generate strong returns at their current price points.
1. Cresco Labs
The cannabis company I'm most bullish about right now is multi-state marijuana operator Cresco Labs. Its management doesn't overhype the business, nor does it make outlandish forecasts that could set it up for failure down the road. It just looks for opportunities to expand its business in key parts of the country.
A big reason investors are down on Cresco and other pot stocks is that their results have been underwhelming of late. For the period ended June 30, Cresco's sales of $218 million were up just 4% year over year. However, the industry is facing challenges, with oversupply of cannabis limiting near-term growth for many businesses.
The positive is that the company's operating cash burn of $7 million this past quarter was relatively modest with respect to its cash balance of nearly $90 million. This means Cresco can afford to wait while the situation improves.
And before the year ends, the cannabis producer expects that its acquisition of Columbia Care -- another cannabis producer -- will also come to completion. The acquisition will expand the company's presence and put it in a great position to succeed in multiple key states for the industry, including New York and New Jersey, which both legalized recreational marijuana just last year.
Although Cresco's stock has fallen 40% year to date, things could look a lot better for its prospects in the future as the industry continues to get bigger, with more states potentially legalizing marijuana in upcoming years. And the supply issues of today should also sort themselves out, leading to better growth numbers for Cresco.
PayPal is a top fintech company that millions of people use every day. From sending payments through its core PayPal service to using Venmo for transferring money to friends and family, or just using browser extension Honey to find deals when shopping online, there are multiple ways consumers can utilize the company's services.
In its most recent quarter, PayPal beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Sales totaled $6.8 billion for the period ended June 30 and rose by a modest 9% year over year.
There has been a slowdown for many e-commerce stocks of late, and PayPal's performance, while underwhelming, isn't necessarily a cause for concern. The company still has 429 million active accounts, and it is working on being more efficient, planning to cut costs by $900 million in 2022. Activist investor Elliott Management has shown confidence in the fintech stock, investing $2 billion.
PayPal's shares have been cut in half this year, but in the long haul, the business is likely to bounce back. Rising inflation is hurting the economy, and as a result, consumers have been cutting back on spending. Those aren't permanent problems, and as they subside, PayPal could stand to benefit from an economic recovery. Buying the stock before that happens can be a profitable move for investors.
3. Meta Platforms
Another stock that's lost half its value this year is Meta Platforms, the company formerly known as Facebook. In addition to Facebook, Meta also owns social media websites Instagram and WhatsApp.
The company didn't have great numbers (by its standards) in the second quarter, as it missed both sales and profit estimates. Net income of $6.7 billion for the period ended June 30 was down by $3.7 billion from the prior-year period, largely because the company spent more on research and development. Sales of $28.8 billion were also less than the $29.1 billion that Meta reported a year ago.
Although the earnings miss hurt the stock, Meta Platforms is also facing headwinds from a slowing economy as companies are spending less on ads on the social media platform. But there's still tremendous value here. Meta reported monthly active users of 2.93 billion for the period -- and that's only across Facebook and its Messenger service. Once you count its other social media sites, you get to 3.65 billion people (this is captured within its "monthly active people" metric).
Investors focused on the near term are missing the big picture; Facebook is a hugely profitable business that more than three-quarters of people with internet access in the world use on a regular basis. Once ad spending recovers, which will likely happen as the economy strengthens, the business will be back to generating stronger sales numbers.
At a price-to-earnings multiple of less than 14 (the S&P 500 average is 23), investors are getting a lot of bang for their buck with Meta's stock right now.