It's no secret that the economy is slowing in 2023, which might impact the near-term growth outlook for many stocks in the market. However, in such an environment, it makes sense to start looking at picking up some stocks at bargain prices whose long-term growth prospects remain excellent.

That's why I think data center equipment provider Vertiv (VRT 3.33%), industrial software company PTC (PTC -0.09%), and positioning technology company Trimble (TRMB -2.25%) are worth picking up. Here's why. 

1. Vertiv Holdings' data centers continue to build capacity 

There are three reasons to buy Vertiv. First, its primary end market, data centers, continues to run hot, with data center demand expected to grow by 10% a year until the end of the decade.

Second, the company is a recovery play, as it gradually overcomes the supply chain difficulties and cost pressures that have dogged the company for the last couple of years. Third, it has some high-profile backers in activist investor Starboard Value and a vastly experienced executive chairman, David Cote, a former longtime Honeywell CEO. 

Starboard believes Vertiv can double its profit margins in line with its peers , and the active involvement of Cote gives tremendous confidence that Vertiv can fully profit from its robust end markets. 

Wall Street analysts have Vertiv ramping operating profit margin from around 8% in 2022 to closer to 13% in 2024, with free cash flow (FCF) improving to $373 million and $456 million in 2023 and 2024. If so, based on the current market price, Vertiv would trade at 16.2 times FCF and 13.3 times FCF in 2023 and 2024. That's too cheap for a growth business.

2. PTC is digitizing the industrial sector

One of the most exciting companies in the industrial software sector, PTC is a play on the fourth industrial revolution -- in other words, the increasing use of digital connectivity in the industrial sector. PTC is one of the leading players in computer-aided design (CAD) and the top player in product lifecycle management (PLM) software. Meanwhile, its Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) software are set to take over the growth baton as the industrial sector adopts these technologies.

All PTC solutions are part of the so-called "digital thread" that connects the digital and physical world in a product's lifecycle. For example, a product is digitally designed using CAD and managed using PLM, IoT connects the physical product to the digital world, and AR helps facilitate its functioning. 

The benefits of a digital thread are considerable because information can be gathered in the physical world and then digitally modeled to improve outcomes in the physical world. 

Despite the slowing economy, the company's recent first-quarter 2023 earnings saw the company beat expectations for its annual run rate, or ARR (annualized value of its portfolio of active subscription software, cloud, SaaS, and support contracts), and management expects up to 14% underlying growth in ARR.

Wall Street has PTC hitting about $575 million, $700 million, and $873 million in FCF in 2023, 2024, and 2025. With a market cap of $15.4 billion, PTC trades on a price-to-FCF multiple of 27 times FCF. That's too cheap for a company set to expand earnings and FCF rapidly. 

3. Trimble's margin expansion opportunity

The hardware and software company's roots lie in helping customers with positioning data -- for example, highly accurate points on construction/infrastructure projects or in geospatial mapping. However, it intends to become an increasing part of its customers' daily workflow.

For example, its solutions can monitor trucking fleets in real time and improve their performance through analytics. Similarly, it can help construction companies precisely manage their projects and, in doing so, increase efficiency and reduce waste. 

In line with the increasing use of higher-margin software in its solutions (not least for modeling and analyzing data), Trimble has a long-term margin and revenue growth opportunity as it grows software sales and the use cases of its technology. 

Wall Street has Trimble generating $700 million and $790 million in FCF in 2023 and 2024, putting Trimble on a forward price-to-FCF multiple of 19.2 times FCF and 17 times FCF in 2023 and 2024.