Value can be measured in a number of ways like price-to-earnings and price-to-book value, for example. But sometimes it's clear that a stock is cheap just based on what's going on in the business and the market's reaction.
The stock market has thrown out MGM Resorts (MGM -0.74%), Verizon (VZ 0.45%), and Coinbase (COIN 1.09%) recently, but I think that's a mistake. These stocks are extremely cheap for very different reasons.
Casinos are alive and well
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, few businesses were hit as swiftly as resorts and casinos. They were shut down for weeks at a time, and revenue literally went to zero. The U.S. shutdowns didn't last long, but restrictions in Macao have lasted for nearly three years.
As personal and business travel in the U.S. reopened, Las Vegas made a quick recovery. Gambling revenue in 2019, pre-pandemic, was $6.6 billion. In the 12 months that ended Nov. 30, 2022, gambling revenue was $8.1 billion. Not only did gambling recover, but it also exceeded previous records by a mile.
The reason to be even more bullish now is Macao. The world's biggest gambling market saw revenue drop by over 90% at times during the pandemic and has yet to recover because of China's zero-COVID policy. That policy ended recently and in time, it's likely travel will pick up and people will begin gambling again. When they do, MGM Resorts has two resorts to gamble at in Macao on top of being a major operator in Las Vegas.
MGM Resorts is already generating pre-pandemic levels of revenue without much impact from Macao, and the stock is about flat over that time. This screams sale to me.
The U.S. wireless business is essentially just three players, and Verizon is one of the biggest. It has an incredibly profitable business with $19.3 billion in earnings over the past year, and its fixed wireless (a 5G replacement for wired internet) is growing like crazy. But the company has gotten stagnant with traditional wireless customers, and that's why investors have been selling the stock. That leaves bargain hunters with a great deal.
There are certainly questions about Verizon's business. Can the company grow its customer base in smartphones? Will it be able to bundle streaming services successfully? And is fixed wireless a growth business long term?
We need answers to these questions, but given the oligopoly in wireless and the value investors are getting, I think the stock is too good to pass up.
Crypto isn't going anywhere
The future of cryptocurrency is uncertain, but after the drop in value and trading volume over the past year, I think there's a solid foundation building. Every major bank is looking into cryptocurrency in some form, and there are major corporate non-fungible token (NFT) projects being launched as well. Long term, that will drive the growth of blockchain technology, and the natural winner in the space is Coinbase.
Not only is Coinbase well positioned, it has a great balance sheet. There's $5.6 billion in cash on the balance sheet compared to the company's $12.3 billion market cap. This gives Coinbase flexibility to acquire competitors or adjacent businesses, which Coinbase has done in the past, or simply survive longer than companies like FTX.
If indeed crypto is here to stay in some form, Coinbase will be a steal of a buy right now. It may be a rocky ride for a few years, but the future is still bright for this industry leader.
Too cheap to pass up
Each of these stocks has been thrown out by the market for one reason or another, but I think they still have a bright future. Gambling and entertainment, wireless service, and crypto are going to be big parts of the economy in the future, and I think buying at value prices today will pay off in the long run.