With the markets continuing in volatile mode, it's a good idea to start looking at some stocks to take a nibble at with a view to holding long term. In that vein of thought, I have a few for consideration. There's a value situation at General Electric (GE 0.43%), an ESG play in Johnson Controls (JCI 0.88%), and a "pick-and-shovel" play on electrification in the economy with nVent (NVT 3.70%)

General Electric is a value opportunity

The industrial conglomerate General Electric has some near-term issues. For example, its healthcare, renewable energy, and aviation businesses suffered from supply chain pressures in 2022. As a result, management has already walked back its full-year free cash flow guidance and told investors its earnings would be toward the low end of its guidance range.

However, there are three reasons to favor buying the stock. First, the main issue for GE right now, at least in aviation and healthcare (power is on track this year), is executing on its orders -- it's not an issue of end demand. So, when the supply chain issues eventually ease (transportation and raw material costs have already corrected) then GE has an opportunity to play catch-up on earnings and cash flow in 2023.

Second, GE is about to start breaking up with GE HealthCare, set to spin off in January, which could release significant value for investors. Third, GE stock is an excellent value in any case. While it's true management's aim of hitting $7 billion in free cash flow in 2023 is under threat, anything close to that figure (GE's market cap is only $72 billion now) will make the stock look like an excellent value. 

Johnson Controls can prove its doubters wrong

The building controls, products, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company has had an unusual year. The company is having a relatively strong year within a growing industry. For example, its total field orders were up 11% organically in its fiscal third-quarter 2022 earnings. Its backlog was up 13% organically and now stands at a record high of $11.1 billion.

Meanwhile, its peers are reporting similar strength. For example, Honeywell's management now expects its building technologies segment to grow organic sales at a double-digit rate this year compared to an initial estimate for high-single-digit growth.

However, it's not been a good year for Johnson Controls stock (down 35% as of this writing), mainly because management was overly optimistic about overcoming supply chain difficulties this year. As such, management has lowered its earnings guidance to $2.98-$3.02, having started the fiscal year forecasting $3.22-$3.32.

That said, hitting full-year EPS of $3 in its fiscal 2022 would put the stock at 17 times earnings. That's a good valuation for a company that Wall Street thinks will grow earnings by 18% in 2023. Meanwhile, the investment case for investing in Johnson Controls as a long-term ESG play is robust, led by its products' ability to reduce carbon emissions by making commercial buildings more energy efficient. 

nVent is an electrifying stock

nVent is the least high-profile company discussed here, but investors in the company won't care. The stock is up 4.2% over the last year compared to a 14% decline in the S&P 500. The outperformance is backed by the fact that management has already raised full-year revenue and earnings guidance twice this year -- not many companies have done that. Having started the year expecting 6%-9% organic sales growth and an adjusted EPS of $2.10-$2.20 , management now expects 15%-17% organic sales growth and adjusted EPS of $2.17-$2.23. Its earnings outlook would be even stronger if it didn't have to battle raw material inflation and rising supply chain costs.

Just as with Johnson Controls, nVent's orders were up double-digits in its most recent quarter. The developments highlight nVent's role in providing connection and protection products for customers' electrical installations. It's a great market to be in as the trend toward electrification (industrial automation, electric vehicles, smart buildings, smart infrastructure, power, transportation, data centers, etc.) is highly likely to continue growing out of a recession, and investors can look forward to many years of growth ahead.