It is counterintuitive to buy stocks when the market is in turmoil and prices are sliding to new lows every few days. But this is exactly the time for investors to be wading into the market and looking for deals. The goal is always to buy low and sell high. Right now, prices for many quality stocks are at their lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008-09. While it is likely impossible to predict when the market has hit a bottom, buying stocks at regular intervals as prices steadily decline is the best way for an investor to ensure that they get the best price possible for a stock. It also will help to ensure investors enjoy the maximum gain when markets rebound and begin climbing higher again.
However, recent studies show that investors are sitting on the sidelines and holding record amounts of cash in reserve. This is not smart. With so many stocks trading at a huge discount, now is the time for investors to be putting their capital to work.
Here are seven S&P 500 stocks trading at a discount now:
Ticker Company Price PARA Paramount Global $25.90 DKS Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. $97.49 CMG Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. $1,385 UPS United Parcel Service, Inc. $188.49 NKE Nike, Inc. $111.37 META Meta Platforms, Inc. $174.75 AXP American Express Company $157.77
S&P 500 Stocks: Paramount Global (PARA)
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Based in New York City, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) is an entertainment giant. Formerly known as “ViacomCBS,” the company changed its name earlier this year. But despite the change, the core assets of Paramount Global remain the same — the Paramount film studio, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central, to name only a few. It also owns streaming service Paramount+. The company boasts more than 700 million subscribers in nearly 200 countries. And its film studio has been killing it this year with several major hits, including Top Gun: Maverick, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and The Lost City.
Yet for all its success, PARA stock has slumped 25% year-to-date to trade at just under $25 a share. With a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 4.05, the stock looks woefully undervalued when compared to the average P/E of 16 among companies listed on the S&P 500 index. If the low share price and attractive valuation aren’t reason enough to buy, consider that Paramount Global pays a quarterly dividend that yields 3.95%, or 24 cents per share. That dividend is more than double the average yield of 1.69% among S&P 500 companies. By almost all measures, Paramount Global is a good deal right now.
The median price target on the stock is $34 per share, implying 33% upside from current levels. Additionally, legendary investor Warren Buffett, perhaps the most successful value investor of all time, has bought 10% of Paramount Global this year, spending $2.6 billion to buy PARA stock as the price has declined.
Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)
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Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) is the largest retailer of sporting goods in America. The company has 854 stores and employs more than 50,000 people nationwide. In business since 1948, Dick’s has established itself as a well-known and popular brand in every region of the country. And its stock looks like a bargain right now, recently down 27% on the year and 75% below its 52-week high of $147.39. The company’s P/E ratio currently stands at 6.52, suggesting the stock is undervalued relative to its peers. By comparison, retailer Target’s (NYSE:TGT) P/E ratio is nearly double that of DKS stock at 12.15.
Among 18 professional analysts who cover Dick’s Sporting Goods, the median price target on the stock is $105 per share, suggesting a 10% gain in the coming 12 months. And shareholders can comfort themselves with a dividend payment that yields 2.31%, which is good for a payment of 49 cents per share. In its most recent fiscal year, revenue at the company grew 28% to an all-time high of $12.3 billion as consumers returned to sports with a vengeance coming out of the pandemic. While there are concerns of high inventory levels and slowing consumer spending due to rising interest rates, Dick’s Sporting Goods should be equipped to weather the economic storm, making it one of the best undervalued S&P 500 stocks to buy.
S&P 500 Stocks: Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) recently dropped 24% on the year. While not cheap, the stock’s 52-week high was 50% higher at nearly $2,000 per share. With nearly 3,000 restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Europe and annual revenues of $7.55 billion, Chipotle’s brand of quick service Mexican cuisine, particularly its tacos and burritos, are extremely popular with consumers. And investors with some extra cash on hand have an opportunity to buy CMG stock while the price is discounted.
The 30 professional analysts who cover Chipotle have a median price target on CMG stock of $1,755, which is 29% higher than where the shares currently trade. While the company does not pay a dividend, its P/E ratio is still comparatively high at 53.71. The decline in the share price and the company’s dominance of the Mexican fast food category make the stock an attractive buy at current levels. And the company is investing in news technologies aimed at achieving efficiencies. The company has allocated $50 million for new tech such as self-driving delivery vehicles and a robotic tortilla chip maker that saves time and labor costs. That’s forward thinking.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
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The largest courier company in the world with annual revenues approaching $100 billion last year, United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) came out of the global pandemic stronger than ever, with demand for its shipping and logistics services at an all-time high. Yet, the Atlanta-based company’s stock has slumped this year as concerns about a global economic recession and slowing consumer and business spending have dimmed the company’s prospects. Year-to-date, UPS stock was recently down 14% at $184 per share. That’s nearly 20% below the $220 price that analysts feel the stock should be trading at.
A P/E ratio of 15 makes UPS stock look fairly valued when compared to other companies in the S&P 500 index. Plus, UPS pays a strong dividend that yields 3.3%, or $1.52 per share per quarter. That’s better than the dividend yield of 2.05% offered by archrival Federal Express (NYSE:FDX), and that’s after FedEx hiked its dividend by more than 50%. UPS also handily beat analyst expectations with its first quarter (Q1) earnings, with e-commerce shipments driving the company to earnings per share (EPS) of $3.05 compared to $2.88 expected on Wall Street. UPS also reaffirmed its full-year revenue forecast of $102 billion during its Q1 earnings call.
S&P 500 Stocks: Nike (NKE)
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For an indication of how beaten down shares of Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike (NYSE:NKE) have gotten, consider that John W. Rogers, Jr., a member of the sneaker giant’s board of directors, bought 10,000 shares of NKE stock on Jun. 30, spending more than $1 million of his own money to acquire the stock at an average price of $102.96 per share. The purchase is either a vote of confidence in the athletic apparel company, a sign of just how undervalued the stock has become, or both. Either way, investors should take a good hard look at Nike’s shares after their price has dropped 36% this year to change hands at $105 a share. The stock is 41% below its 52-week high of $179.10.
While Nike’s P/E ratio of 27.96 remains on the high side, it has come down a lot this year along with the share price. The company’s dividend yield of 1.16% is a little stingy, however, the company did just announce that it is buying back $18 billion worth of its own stock, which should help to bolster the share price. The downturn in NKE stock has been due to production issues in Southeast Asia, slowing sales in China, and supply chain issues in the rest of the world. However, analysts seem to agree that the selloff has been overdone. The median price target on Nike’s stock is $130 per share, which is 17% higher than where it currently trades.
Meta Platforms (META)
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Among large cap tech stocks, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) has been harmed more than most in this year’s vicious bear market. The company formerly known as Facebook has seen its share price decline 52% since January. At $162.88, META stock is nearly 60% below its 52-week high of $384.33. While the fall from grace has been brutal, it presents a buying opportunity for investors who have patience and a long-term horizon. With a P/E ratio of just 12.33, analysts universally agree that META stock is woefully undervalued at current levels and is a screaming buy right now.
Like a lot of technology stocks, Meta Platforms doesn’t pay a dividend. However, investors who take a position in META stock at the current price are sure to be rewarded when the market eventually bottoms and investors return to technology securities for their growth potential. The 45 analysts who cover Meta Platforms have a median price target of $255 per share, implying 47% upside over the next year. And while the Menlo Park, California-based company is aggressively pivoting to develop the virtual realm known as the metaverse, investors can comfort themselves in the knowledge that advertising on Facebook continues to comprise the bulk of the company’s revenues.
S&P 500 Stocks: American Express (AXP)
The credit card behemoth that made the slogan “don’t leave home without it” an advertising gold mine has seen its stock fall from one 52-week low to another this year. Since the first trading day in January, American Express (NYSE:AXP) stock plunged 16% to trade at $140.58. AXP stock had been trading 30% higher at around $200 per share in February of this year. But persistently high inflation and a flight from financial stocks has left American Express and its shareholders in the lurch. Yet, many analysts question the decline in the stock, especially with consumers around the world traveling again and charging airline tickets and hotels to their AMEX card.
Apparently, AXP stock is being dragged lower by growing fears of a recession. Consumer spending could dry up in a hurry if the economy falters in the wake of inflation that is running at a 40-year high in the U.S. American Express’ P/E ratio sits in a sweet spot of 14.08 and the company pays a modest dividend that yields 1.48%. However, the real attraction to the stock is the chance to buy it at a true discount. Analysts have a median price target on American Express’ stock of $172.50 per share, which is 10% higher than where it is trading at present. American Express is among the very best credit card and financial stocks to buy.
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