The stock market has opened 2016 with big losses, but that has given investors some big bargains to hunt. In order to give you some ideas on where to start your research, we asked some of our contributors to come up with their top ideas for stocks to buy after the recent downturn. Below are five of their favorites.
Steve Symington: Despite the market's initial negative reaction to Pandora Media's (P) solid fourth-quarter report last week, I think now is a great time for patient investors with a stomach for volatility to embrace the streaming music specialist.
First, note Pandora enjoyed a 3.8% sequential increase in active listeners in Q4 to 81.1 million, helping rebuke concerns over near-term pressure on its listener base from last year's highly publicized launch of Apple Music. Meanwhile, Pandora continued to improve monetization of its listener base; total revenue per 1,000 listening hours and ad RPMs each rose to new company records, up 18% year over year to $60.75, and 19% to $57.20, respectively. Combined with subscription revenue and contributions from its recent acquisition of live events company Ticketfly, Pandora's overall revenue rose 25.4% year over year to $336.2 million, while adjusted EBITDA climbed 43.4% to $24.8 million -- both easily outpacing Pandora's guidance.
But what really gave investors reason for pause was Pandora's ambitious plans to expand its scope going forward, including $345 million to be invested in 2016 alone to scale infrastructure and build new lines of business. Most notably, that includes $120 million in marketing investments, $100 million related to product development driven by its recent acquisition of assets from bankrupt on-demand music company Rdio, and $120 million for developing and launching new music services to drive revenue growth starting in 2017. Regarding the latter, Pandora believes it will be able to build a $1.3 billion subscription business over the next five years -- keeping in mind revenue for all of 2015 came in at just $1.164 billion -- namely by converting around 10% of its current U.S. audience to new product tiers as they're launched.
That's not to say there won't be bumps along the way. And this also means Pandora will be temporarily EBITDA-negative as it implements this ambitious plan. But if it succeeds, investors willing to buy now should be handsomely rewarded in the process.
Tyler Crowe: For the patient investor, there are immense opportunities in the energy sector right now. Sure, oil and gas prices are low and share prices have declined a lot. However, there are a handful of companies that have seen their shares decline even though their businesses have not suffered from the decline. One of those companies is Enterprise Products Partners (EPD -5.22%), and today's share price and 7% distribution yield suggest it's a great buy in February.
Unlike most oil and gas companies, Enterprise's role as a pipeline, processing, and transportation company means that its business is much less affected by oil and gas prices than those that directly sell commodities. On top of that, Enterprise's management has also been mindful to protect the business from declines in drilling activity by putting minimum volume commitments into its contracts. Little things like this have been part of the reason that the company saw its gross margins decline less than 1% in 2015 compared to the year prior.
Also, with a much more modest debt level and a conservative management that doesn't overpromise on generous payouts to investors, Enterprise's finances look much better than its peers who have resorted to drastic financing measures and dividend cuts to manage its finances.
Despite showing much stronger results than its peers and no signs of weakness in this low commodity market. Shares of Enterprise Products Partners are trading at their lowest levels in over four years.
If Mr. Market wants to continually punish shares of Enterprise without any indication that the business itself is suffering, then investors should consider the stock.
Dan Caplinger: My pick this month is Wynn Resorts (WYNN -0.90%), even after its earnings-related jump earlier in February. Predictably, the Macau market has continued to weigh on Wynn, and the casino giant's fourth-quarter earnings still saw revenue fall 27% and pull down pretax operating income by a third. But Wynn hasn't lost any market share as a result of Macau's woes, and CEO Steve Wynn said that 2016 began on a very strong note for the company.
Wynn has also benefited from its exposure to Las Vegas, which has regained some of its lost reputation for generating profits recently. Operating earnings jumped nearly 15% at the casino company's Las Vegas facilities. Moreover, Wynn has high hopes for its planned Boston resort property, which the CEO believes is on track to open within the next three years or so.
Nevertheless, all the attention remains on Macau, where Wynn expects to open its Wynn Palace at mid-year. If things go well with the reopen and the Asian economy doesn't fall off a cliff, then Wynn Resorts is well positioned to continue rebounding from its huge share-price losses over the past year.
Todd Campbell: Investors who are willing to take on a bit of risk ought to consider picking up shares of Opko Health (OPK -0.53%) this month. Why? Because the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to decide whether to approve the company's Rayaldee next month. No one knows what the FDA will do when it issues its decision on March 29, but with Opko Health's shares trading 21% lower than they were in December and 52% lower than they were last July, this could be a good time to gamble on a thumbs-up. If the FDA gives a go-ahead, Rayaldee, a vitamin D prohormone that may be more effective and safer to use in chronic kidney disease patients than current approaches, will compete in a market worth as much as $12 billion annually. Personally, I think Rayaldee and other growth opportunities stemming from Opko Health's deal-making track record may make for a profit-friendly recipe, especially given that Opko Health's billionaire CEO Philip Frost is about as aligned with investors as you can get. Since December, Frost has acquired more than 47 million shares in Opko Health, giving him a truly massive 182 million share stake in the company.
Matt DiLallo: Kinder Morgan's (KMI -4.56%) stock, which is down about 60%, has been hammered over the past year. That beating has caught the eye of a number of well-known investors, with the likes of David Tepper, George Soros, and Warren Buffett all buying big stakes over the past few months. There's a reason these successful investors are being drawn to the company: Not only do they see it as being on sale, but they see it for what it is -- a very good company that's only getting better.
Kinder Morgan's foundation is built upon a boatload of primarily fee-based assets that generate consistent cash flow in good times and in bad. In fact, despite a significant drop in oil and gas prices, cash flow increased from $4.6 billion in 2014 to $4.7 billion last year and is expected to remain flat in 2016. That cash flow stability makes for one rock-solid foundation.
However, if there's one concern about the company, it's the fact that Kinder Morgan has a heavy reliance on debt to fund growth, which led to an elevated leverage ratio, with debt as high as 5.8 times EBITDA last year. That elevated ratio prompted concerns that the company's credit rating was at risk of being downgraded below investment grade, which would then make it harder for it to borrow at attractive rates. To address those leverage concerns before they got out of hand, the company chose to reduce its dividend and redirect that cash flow to fund growth and de-lever its balance sheet a bit. Because of this Kinder Morgan expects its debt-to-EBITDA ratio to fall to 5.5 times in 2016, with the potential to further improve in the future.
The bottom line is Kinder Morgan generates stable cash flow, has an improving credit profile, and yet is selling for a significant discount. That's what caught the attention of a number of successful investors and what makes it a top stock to buy this month.