Many investors enjoy buying penny stocks because they offer a chance to own a lot of shares for relatively little money. If the stocks move up literally by just pennies, it could translate into huge profits.
Unfortunately, most penny stocks are cheap for a reason. Many don’t have a product or service that consumers can buy, let alone any of the resulting revenue that comes with sales. Mostly, the companies talk a good game about how big they might theoretically get. Because they are ripe for manipulation and fraud, penny stock investors often get slaughtered instead of making a killing.
The Securities & Exchange Commission warns investors of the perils of penny stocks. It considers any stock trading for less than $5 a share to be a penny stock. The regulator cautions, “Investors in penny stock should be prepared for the possibility that they may lose their whole investment.”
While that could be true for any investment, it is especially for penny stocks. In other words, penny stocks are rarely worth the hassle. More often than not, they will fail to live up to investors’ expectations.
Yet not every low-priced stock is a scam. Hidden gems with solid long-term potential abound. The following three companies are what I’d consider to be the smartest penny stocks you can buy right now.
Apparel maker Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) is having a rough go of it, with the stock down 75% from its 2021 high. Notably, it lost more than half of its value in just the last year. Activist investor Barington Capital says the board of directors needs new blood and the CEO should probably go for good measure.
“We believe that the addition of directors with more relevant skills and experience, as well as, potentially, a new chief executive officer, may be needed to realize value creation,” the private equity firm wrote to the board.
Barington believes Hanesbrand produced too many goods at a time of slowing demand. It also failed to take proactive measures to reduce expenses in a rising-cost environment.
The market seems to agree and pushed the underwear maker’s stock 5% higher on the news.
Hanesbrand is already taking action. It reduced inventory 1% and generated positive free cash flow () in the first quarter. Management forecasts FCF of $430 million for the full year and believes GAAP operating profits will be around $471 million at the midpoint of guidance. That translates to almost 8% operating margins, about double what it produced in the first quarter.
With management focused on turning the company around with an activist investor holding their feet to the fire, Hanesbrand is ready for a rebound. After the letter to the board was published the stock jumped to around $5.50 per share.
Currently, it trades at seven times next year’s earnings estimates and a fraction of its sales. That makes Hanesbrands a high-potential penny stock.
Tilray Brands (TLRY)
Marijuana stock Tilray Brands (NASDAQ:TLRY) was left in ashes as the fire went out of the cannabis industry. Yet the secret to Tilray’s future is in its name: “brands.”
Tilray is spending a lot of time building up its business as a consumer products company in marijuana. It merged with Aphria in 2021 before acquiring HEXO this past June.
Now Tilray announced it acquired eight craft beer brands from brewing behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) for an undetermined sum. The pot stock said it was taking over Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider, and HiBall Energy.
It’s not the first foray by Tilray into beer. Last November it agreed to buy craft brewer and hard seltzer maker Montauk Brewing. This latest acquisition makes Tilray the fifth largest craft brewer in the U.S. with a 5% share.
It also marks the continued diversification of Tilray away from solely being a marijuana producer. Although the majority of its revenue is still from marijuana, it is progressively building out a presence in cannabidiol () products and alcoholic beverages.
At just $3 a share, Tilray Brands is a promising penny stock that could pay off big down the road.
Kinross Gold (KGC)
Gold gains and loses its luster as an investment over time, a reality that Canadian gold minder Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC) knows well. During the pandemic, gold prices shot higher on the global uncertainty the health crisis unleashed. Prices subsequently fell again in the aftermath. Since then, they’ve slowly climbed higher again and currently sit at around $1,900.00 an ounce. That’s about 5% higher than last year.
Kinross Gold tends to move in line with the yellow metal, though certainly not lockstep. But it says the price of gold is the largest single factor in determining its profitability and cash flow from operations.
The company operates mines in the U.S., Brazil, Chile, and Mauritania. Its three largest mines are Paracatu in Brazil, Tasiast in Mauritania, and La Coipa in Chile. They are expected to account for 70% of its production this year while also being the lowest-cost mines in the portfolio. They have an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of around $1,000 per ounce. Kinross’ ASIC in general is around $1,250 per ounce.
Kinross beat earnings expectations in the second quarter, reporting an adjusted profit of $0.14 per share. This places them well ahead of Wall Street’s estimates and also compared to a loss of a penny per share last year.
At $5 per share, Kinross Gold stock trades at just 15 times next year’s earnings estimates. Some economists now think there could be global economic expansion that could help drive gold prices higher. The gold miner’s profits situation would benefit as a result.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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