After rallying 20% higher over the first seven months of 2023, the S&P 500 is poised to enter correction territory. The broad-based index is down over 8% from those recent highs and it faces tough headwinds going forward.
Investors often wonder what stocks to buy on the dip or whether they should be buyers at all. The reversal of the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies, war in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and stubbornly elevated inflation make many nervous about the direction of the stock market. Will it crash? Will it surprise with a late-year rally?
Even though corrections, even crashes, are never much fun, smart investors know that’s often the best time to buy stocks. Finding good companies at discounted values is how you build wealth. It’s why investors are asking the question right now.
The market beat the following three stocks to a pulp. They’re down 50% or more from their own recent highs. Are they good values now? You betcha! Here’s why you should be buying these discounted stocks today.
Dollar General (DG)
Leading deep discount retailer Dollar General (NYSE:DG) is not in freefall, but it is tumbling hard. The dollar store chain’s stock is down 54% from its 52-week high. Similarly, rival Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) is also taking it on the chin, but its shares are down just 23% year-to-date. The problem is that Dollar General keeps cutting the knees out from under investor expectations.
Where management previously guided for an 8% drop in year-over-year earnings, its most recent report anticipates per-share profits plunging between 22% and 34%. For a company that sells most of its goods for $10 or less, high inflation and high-interest rates are taking a toll on margins. By holding the line on prices for consumers, Dollar General’s earnings are hurting.
But the dollar store chain is confronting its issues. The first part of its turnaround strategy is bringing back its former CEO who announced his retirement last November. Todd Vasos oversaw the retailer’s massive growth phase, but that only goes so far. The business needs to change. Refocusing on consumable products to generate customer return trips is more important. Dollar General previously leaned into stocking more discretionary items when consumers had assistance from pandemic stimulus checks. Now people are pinched by higher costs and focused on essentials. Getting back to basics is key to success for Dollar General.
It’s going to take time to unwrap these solutions. Turnarounds are never quick or easy. Yet Dollar General’s deeply discounted stock makes it one to scoop up now. You’ll reap the rewards later as the chain becomes the go-to deep discount outlet once more.
Joby Aviation (JOBY)
Admittedly, a riskier stock than the dollar store retailer, Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY) is still worthy of investor attention. The company is making flying cars a reality — flying taxis, actually. It is on track to launch a commercial service in 2025 after gaining early-stage Federal Aviation Administration authorizations.
Although I’m still of the mind flying cars are a terrible idea, there are a number of companies racing to make it a reality. After the stock market’s hype machine ran Joby’s shares toward all-time highs this summer, the stock crashed and burned. It’s down nearly 50%, putting it well below where it was before things turned hot. That places it in an attractive position.
Last quarter Joby reported it further strengthened its balance sheet with $280 million in new investments from investment firm Baillie Gifford and South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM). And as part of a $131 million contract with the U.S. Air Force, Joby is delivering its premier electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to Edwards Air Force Base in early 2024.
Joby is in the late stages of a five-step process to commercialization. It is a leading contender in the industry and shows every indication of being successful. So long as investors understand they’re buying a “story stock” that has no revenue currently, Joby Aviation is a unique investment for a portfolio.
W.K. Kellogg (KLG)
If this company’s name sounds familiar to you, well, it ought to. It was probably on your breakfast table this morning. Yes, W.K. Kellogg (NYSE:KLG) is the breakfast cereal company you grew up with and loved. The 117-year-old company owns iconic brands like Corn Flakes, Froot Loops, Raisin Bran and Frosted Flakes. It was just spun off from parent Kellogg, which changed its name to the completely forgettable Kellanova (NYSE:K). However, the market sent the cereal maker’s new stock tumbling over 51% from its debut price.
When it was still a part of its parent, the cereal business was put on the back burner. It was deemed not critical to Kellogg’s core operation and was part of the reason for the spinoff. I believe the move lets the cereal maker focus its investments on restoring luster to the breakfast business. I feel confident that W.K. Kellogg will ultimately succeed.
Despite Tony the Tiger playing second fiddle to General Mills’ (NYSE:GIS) Cheerios brand in market share, there is plenty of opportunity to grow the brand and the company. By having the resources now to devote to research and development and streamlining operations, it can invest in the business. W.K. Kellogg is committed to investing $450 million to $500 million to update its supply chain and improve other areas. Mergers and acquisitions are also now possible.
W.K. Kellogg is a new stock only for ticker purposes. This is the true legacy business that will return to its roots. Since the market is giving us a discount, investors should eagerly take two scoops of this stock.
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.