The stock market is trending higher again, which means sooner or later it will fall. But shrewd investors look forward to such drops because that opens doors to buy. It was just last month that the S&P 500 had dipped into correction territory, falling 10% from recent highs. Now the index is moving up once more.
If history teaches us anything, it is that a bull market follows every steep double-digit decline in the market. Over time the stampede wipes away the painful memory the bear market wrought. That’s because it gives investors the chance to buy low and sell high. You can profit handsomely in these situations. So it’s interesting that many fear declining stock prices.
But it explains in part the reason Wall Street analysts tend to have a bullish outlook on stocks. Very few of their ratings actually recommend you sell. According to the 12-month price targets of select analysts, the following three stocks to buy for the next bull market are poised to soar between 197% and 395%!
Chinese online marketplace JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) faces intense competitive challenges for e-commerce dominance. Beyond traditional rival Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), the online sales platform is threatened by upstarts like ByteDance and PDD Holdings (NYSE:PDD), which owns discount e-commerce players Pinduoduo and Temu.
JD’s third-quarter sales only rose 1.7% from last year, though that was enough to handily beat expectations. But it came at a cost as JD had to subsidize merchant fees on its site to increase the number of sellers. That ultimately ate into profits, though, they also exceeded expectations.
To remain competitive with its deep discount rivals, JD cut prices and moved away from its traditional focus on big-ticket items. It is still the leader in that space and gained share in the most recent quarter. But, it was forced to cut research and development spending as well as general and administrative expenses. Earlier this year it laid off hundreds of workers.
With the stock cut in half in 2023, shares trade at extremely discounted valuations. It goes for 9 times earnings expectations, a fraction of its forecast earnings growth rate and a minuscule percentage of sales. Wall Street has a $81 per share target price on JD.com, implying 197% growth potential over the next year. Even if it only hits the low end of the forecast range of $51 per share, that’s still a near-double.
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
High interest rates plague the U.S. residential solar industry, undermining the growth track of Enhpase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH).
Previously, industry analysts expected the market to expand at exponential rates. The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, however, now have them rapidly decelerating.
Wood MacKenzie says after growing 31% in 2021 and 40% in 2022, the solar market will only rise 9% this year and contract next year. Yet, it’s expected to pick up again in 2025. As one of just two top manufacturers of residential solar inverters, Enphase Energy stock took a hit. Shares are down 62% this year. Inverters convert the direct current ( ) produced by solar panels into the alternating current ( ) used in homes.
The Fed paused its rate hike program, but it doesn’t seem likely it will reverse course anytime soon. Because it’s expensive to finance a residential solar system install, Enphase Energy’s position looks like it could get uglier before it gets better. Yet the industry’s eventual return to growth forecast bodes well for the inverter maker.
Finally, analysts peg Enphase Energy’s one-year stock price at $315 per share or 212% upside potential. Actually, the stock is up 38% over the past few weeks after inflation reportedly rose less than expected. That may have had more to do with changes in how the government calculates healthcare costs. It led to an improbable 34% decline in such costs last month. Still, it shows the market simply needs some good news on the inflation front to send the solar sector soaring.
Lucid Group (LCID)
Hope springs eternal at luxury electric vehicle (LCID). The stock is up 20% from its low point earlier this month after signing a memorandum of understanding ( ) with Saudi airline Riyadh Air. Even so, the stock is down 75% from its 52-week high and has lost 90% of its value since going public.) maker Lucid Group (NASDAQ:
Recently, the EV maker disappointed investors by stating it plans to deliver only 8,000 vehicles this year, not the 10,000 previously promised. Yet, investors remain hopeful its planned Gravity vehicle slated for introduction in 2024 will attract buyers. It will be a lower-priced model under $80,000.
In fact, Lucid’s problem is falling demand for EVs.
New EV cars cost $50,683 on average, down from $65,295 a year ago. But, people still find them too expensive, even with government subsidies. Worse, Fortune says used EV prices plunged to under $35,000 in October, a 34% drop from last year. High-end automaker Mercedes-Benz (OTCMKTS:MBGAF) called the EV market “brutal”, while Mazda (OTCMKTS:MZDAF) warned inventory was “piling up”.
So, Wall Street’s consensus price target of $22 per share becomes hard to swallow. A 395% premium would require a major reversal. Yet Lucid is selling fewer cars and won’t have a more affordable model ready until next year. Overall EV demand is down too. Seeing any of that as a catalyst for growth is simply hope. I’d be leery of buying Lucid stock even under the $5 a share point it trades at now.
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.