Stocks to buy

Although the equities sector got off to a great start earlier in the year, significant tremors force a discussion on truly viable stocks to buy in March. Predominantly, comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell opened the door for more interest rate hikes at a quicker clip. Naturally, the prospects of rising borrowing costs hurt investor sentiment.

At the same time, it could spark upside for profitable but overlooked stocks to buy. In particular, we know that going forward, a high probability exists that the market will reward earnings overgrowth. Again, raised borrowing costs to stymie expansionary ambitions. Therefore, investors at large will likely target established businesses over wildly risky enterprises. Further, it’s always good to receive some support from Wall Street’s top experts. In this spirit, each of the stocks to buy below feature objectively undervalued enterprises with positive views from analysts.

PBF PBF Energy $44.28
HCC Warrior Met Coal $37.87
DQ Daqo New Energy $49.90
ERF Enerplus $15.50
UNFI United Natural Foods $27.71
MTDR Matador Resources $51.00
HHS Harte Hanks $9.63

PBF Energy (PBF)

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A hydrocarbon specialist, PBF Energy (NYSE:PBF) is a petroleum refiner and supplier of unbranded transportation fuels, heating oils, lubricants, petrochemical feedstocks, and other petroleum products. Gaining relevance because of geopolitical crises, PBF gained over 18% of its equity value. In the trailing year, shares moved up almost 80%. Nevertheless, the enterprise may have more room to run. Financially, PBF carries an undervalued profile relative to estimated profitability. Right now, the market prices PBF at a forward multiple of 5.43. As a discount to earnings, PBF ranks better than 66.25% of the oil and natural gas industry.

Also, the company benefits from decent strengths in the balance sheet. For instance, its Altman Z-Score pings at 5.13, indicating low bankruptcy risk. As well, the company is a growth machine with a three-year revenue growth rate of 22.4%. Finally, Wall Street analysts peg PBF as a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target stands at $50.78, implying over 14% upside potential. Thus, it’s one of the intriguing stocks to buy this month.

Warrior Met Coal (HCC)

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As its corporate name implies, Warrior Met Coal (NYSE:HCC) focuses on the responsible mining of metallurgical (met) coal, also known as hard coking coal (HCC) — a critical component of steel production by metal manufacturers in Europe, South America, and Asia. In the trailing year, HCC dipped a bit over 9%. However, since the Jan. opener, HCC gained 21% of its equity value. Much of the enthusiasm over Warrior Met Coal centers on its value proposition. Presently, the market prices HCC at a forward multiple of 4.72. In contrast, the sector median pings at 9.04. This means that Warrior Met ranks better than almost 85% of the industry as a discount to earnings.

As well, the company enjoys a strong balance sheet, in particular featuring a cash-to-debt ratio of 2.5 times. This stat ranks higher than nearly 79% of the field. Lastly, covering analysts peg HCC as a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target stands at $44.80, implying over 15% upside potential. Thus, it’s an enticing example of stocks to buy.

Daqo New Energy (DQ)

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Based in China, Daqo New Energy (NYSE:DQ) is engaged in the manufacture of monocrystalline silicon and polysilicon, primarily for use in solar photovoltaic systems. With the political winds strongly moving in favor of renewable energy solutions, Daqo enjoys a strong fundamental catalyst. Since the start of the new year, DQ gained a very impressive 27%. For the past 365 days, it’s up over 6%.

To be fair, Gurufocus.com warns that Daqo may be a possible value trap. However, contrarians may want to consider DQ as one of the stocks to buy. Providing confidence is the enterprise’s balance sheet. With zero debt, Daqo enjoys a magnitude of flexibility that many other businesses simply do not. Also, it may be a fundamental bargain. Presently, the market prices DQ at a forward multiple of 2.59. In contrast, the sector median value pings at 20.58. Also, Daqo’s price-to-sales ratio sits at 0.9 times, ranked lower than 82.35% of the competition. Turning to Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase’s Alan Hon rates DQ as a buy. The expert also forecasts shares hitting $61, representing a 20% implied return.

Enerplus (ERF)

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One of Canada’s largest independent oil and gas producers, Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) holds hydrocarbon property interest in the U.S. and in western Canada, in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Again, due to rising relevancies from geopolitics, ERF could be an attractive wager among stocks to buy in March.

To be fair, Enerplus could have enjoyed a better start to the year. Right now, it’s down almost 2%. However, in the trailing year, shares gained 17% of equity value. Still, they could rise even higher because of the underlying company’s undervalued profile. Specifically, the market prices ERF at a forward multiple of 5.42. As a discount to earnings, Enerplus ranks better than 67.19% of the competition.

Also, the hydrocarbon specialist benefits from fiscal stability. In particular, its Altman Z-Score hits 4.54, reflecting low bankruptcy risk. Looking to the Street, covering analysts peg ERF as a consensus moderate buy. Further, their average price target stands at $20.39, implying over 28% upside potential.

United Natural Foods (UNFI)

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Based in Rhode Island, United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI) is a natural and organic food company. According to its public profile, United Natural represents the largest publicly traded wholesale distributor of health and specialty foods in the U.S. and Canada. It’s also Whole Foods Market’s main supplier. As a warning, though, UNFI dropped nearly 24% in equity value since the start of the year.

With a recent history of mixed earnings reports, shares have been volatile over the past 365 days. That said, for risk-takers, UNFI could rank among the underappreciated stocks to buy. Notably, the market prices UNFI at a forward multiple of 5.85. This comes in much lower than the sector median value of 16.3. Also, it enjoys a few operational strengths. For instance, its three-year EBITDA growth rate comes in at 92.2%, outpacing 98.4% of the field. In terms of outright support, UNFI carries a pensive consensus rating of hold. However, the experts’ average price target pings at $33.83, implying nearly 16% upside potential.

Matador Resources (MTDR)

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Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR) is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development, production, and acquisition of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S. Further, it emphasizes oil and natural gas shale and other unconventional plays. Since the start of the year, MTDR slipped about 1%. In the past 365 days, it’s down almost 3%.

Still, contrarian investors may want to use this slowdown to target one of the stocks to buy on discount. Currently, the market prices MTDR at a forward multiple of 5.66. As a discount to earnings, Matador ranks better than 60.31% of the industry. As well, the company enjoys decent stability in the balance sheet. Its Altman Z-Score pings at 3.68, which still puts Matador in the safe spectrum (in terms of bankruptcy risk). Also, Matador enjoys significant operational attributes. Its three-year revenue growth rate distinguishes itself at 44.7%. Moreover, the company’s net margin outpaces most of the field at 39.71%. Turning to Wall Street, analysts unsurprisingly peg MTDR as a consensus strong buy. Their average price target stands at $73.89, implying over 40% upside potential.

Harte Hanks (HHS)

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For those that want to take the maximum risk for maximum reward in their stocks to buy, Harte Hanks (NASDAQ:HHS) might be an intriguing prospect. A global marketing services firm, the solutions under Harte Hanks include analytics, strategy, marketing technology, creative services, digital marketing, customer care, direct mail, logistics, and fulfillment.

Since the start of the year, HHS slipped over 11%. However, in the trailing year, the security gained over 36% of its equity value. And if the financials imply anything, HHS could rise even higher. In particular, the market prices the stock at a forward multiple of 5.68. As a discount to earnings, Harte Hanks ranks better than 85.45% of the industry.

Also, the company enjoys stability in the balance sheet. Per Gurufocus.com, Harte Hanks’ Altman Z-Score comes out to 13.6, indicating a very low risk of bankruptcy. In addition, the enterprise features a net margin of 8.22%, better than 72% of the field. Finally, Noble Financial’s Michael Kupinski pegs HHS a buy with a $24 price target. If it reaches that, investors would be looking at upside of over 135%. Therefore, it might be one of the most tempting stocks to buy for gamblers.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (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.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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