During a time like this, when it seems like everyone is talking about how the economy is headed for a recession and the stock market keeps falling, it can be very difficult to put your savings to work. But now might be one of the best times to invest, because the future return potential could be the highest when stocks are crashing.
Even if you have just $500 to invest right now, look no further than these two ridiculously cheap stocks to buy and hold for the long term.
First on the list is Coinbase (COIN 0.33%). With the entire crypto market tanking, worth roughly $900 billion as of this writing — down from a peak of nearly $3 trillion last November — you’re probably wondering why I’m recommending this company. Based on 2021 earnings per share of $14.50, Coinbase shares trade for an insanely cheap price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of just 3.5 today.
Of course, just because a stock is cheap doesn’t mean you should buy it. Owning Coinbase requires an investor to adopt a truly long-term mindset. That’s because, as we’ve seen, cryptocurrencies follow a boom-and-bust cycle that investors must have the stomach for. If you believe in the future of crypto, then Coinbase is a no-brainer investment to make.
While the company generated 87% of its sales in Q1 from transaction fees, which are based on trading volume, management is looking toward a future where crypto has real-world utility, as opposed to being used primarily as a speculative tool. The development of decentralized applications, including things like decentralized finance protocols and non-fungible tokens, can bring some interesting and potentially game-changing use cases to the world.
Besides the trading business, Coinbase has an interesting offering called Coinbase Cloud. This is essentially a suite of infrastructure tools that blockchain developers can use to build various crypto projects. Think of Amazon‘s AWS, but for blockchain technology.
For Coinbase, it’s all about surviving the possibility of another crypto winter, or an extended period of time when the asset class falls out of favor. The cryptocurrency market has always bounced back. The company has $6.1 billion of cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet, and I think the business can weather any storm. Investors should seriously consider the stock, whose upside could be many multiples of the current price over the next decade.
The next company to look at is Crocs (CROX -0.02%), a much safer and less volatile enterprise than Coinbase. What stands out is that the maker of those incredibly popular foam clogs trades at a P/E of just 4.2. This is despite year-over-year revenue growth of 43.5% in the most recent quarter.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic started, Crocs’ business has been on an absolute tear. Consumers increasingly sought out comfort and affordability, boosting this top shoe company to new heights. Sales in 2021 were up 66.9% from the prior year. Even with that rapid growth, Crocs is extremely profitable. The gross margin of 53.7% in the most recent quarter is better than Apple or Nike. And free cash flow (FCF) in 2021 was more than $500 million.
I think part of the reason Crocs trades at a cheap multiple is simply because investors don’t believe in the durability of the brand. Fashion is a difficult industry, with companies falling in and out of favor like clockwork. Luckily for Crocs, management has done a wonderful job on the marketing front. Partnering with celebrities like Bad Bunny and Justin Bieber, as well as a luxury fashion house like Balenciaga for special product releases, helps to drive excitement from consumers.
And the growth story isn’t over yet. By 2026, the leadership team forecasts Crocs will generate $6 billion in annual sales, up substantially from 2021’s $2.3 billion. What’s more, FCF at that time should exceed $1 billion. That’s roughly one-third of today’s market cap! Boosting sales of sandals and leaning on growth in China will be two focus areas.
Some of the best returns investors can hope to achieve can happen when it seems like everyone is overly pessimistic about a stock, but the long-term outlook still remains intact. I think both Coinbase and Crocs fit the mold here. These businesses have proven their strengths, but have fallen out of favor with investors judging from their absurdly cheap valuations. Now might be one of the best times to buy shares.