Heading toward the midway point of the year, the unique dynamics associated with the post-pandemic new normal sets the stage for certain stocks to watch. That is, brewing fundamental and technical factors appear to favor fortuitously structured or positioned enterprises. While it’s a bit risky to be bullish at this juncture, some ideas might be worth your speculation-earmarked funds.
Notably, three publicly traded companies seem poised for a big move ahead. To be 100% clear, there’s no guarantee that this big move will swing northbound or south. And it’s also possible that these stocks to buy may end up moving sideways. Nevertheless, I’ll lay out the key points to watch so that you can make your own decision.
Murphy USA (MUSA)
Operating a chain of retail gasoline stations, Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) could get interesting based on two key fundamentals. First, a surprise oil production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-member oil-producing nations (OPEC+) cynically bodes well for energy sector profitability. Second, more workers are returning to the office, which should translate to increased traffic volume.
On that note, Murphy USA does seem to be a compelling idea among stocks to buy, not just watch. Offering relatively low prices, Murphy also provides an answer to stubbornly high inflation.
On the financial front, the company benefits from strong operational stats. In particular, its three-year revenue growth rate pings at 30.5%, beating out 89.29% of its peers. Also, the market prices MUSA at a forward multiple of 11.67, below the sector median value of 15.34 times. Thus, MUSA at least ranks as one of the stocks to watch. Finally, Wall Street analysts peg MUSA as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes out to $311.25, implying over 14% upside potential.
Beam Therapeutics (BEAM)
A biotechnology firm, Beam Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BEAM) conducts research in the field of gene therapies and genome editing. Fundamentally, BEAM stock benefits from rising positive speculation toward medical breakthrough implications. Recently, investors have bid up several gene-editing biotech firms so BEAM could be poised for growth. Thus, it easily ranks among the stocks to watch.
Now, whether it ranks among the stocks to buy represents a bit of a different narrative. Since the start of the year, BEAM slipped almost 15%. However, during the past five sessions, BEAM gained 5%. It’s possible that shares could be coiling up for a big swing higher similar to its peers.
Now, before traders dive in, they should be aware that the underlying enterprise could use some improving of its financials. Operationally, the aspirational biotech loses money, which isn’t that surprising for the subsegment. However, it does feature middling balance sheet strength, thus presenting challenges. However, covering analysts peg BEAM as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $62, implying nearly 95% upside potential.
Easily the riskiest name among stocks to watch on this list, Canaan (NASDAQ:CAN) represents a blockchain-mining specialist. Although the underlying cryptocurrency sector collapsed in 2022, so far this year, advocates support a push for recovery. Because of the underlying resiliency, CAN responded in kind, gaining almost 50% since the January opener. Of course, such a performance deserves respect.
Now, is CAN one of the stocks to buy? That will be one of the toughest questions to answer. Notably, on a down day for cryptos for the April 17 session, CAN gave up 7% of equity value. Therefore, its fortunes remain tied to crypto sentiment. That could be a good thing or bad thing, depending on your perspective.
Financially, Canaan benefits from a strong balance sheet, particularly a robust cash-to-debt ratio of 27.04 times. However, if the crypto segment goes sour later this year, Gurufocus may be proven right: Canaan risks being a cruel value trap.
For now, H.C. Wainwright’s Kevin Dede pegs CAN a buy. The expert forecasts shares hitting $4, implying 38% upside potential.
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.