As I recently noted, there is ample reason for investors to use caution right now, so selling winners looks like a sound move. At the same time, we're also being presented with opportunities to redeploy cash into vastly oversold stocks. I track a wide number of stocks, and a number of them are now trading at levels that will -- in hindsight -- prove to be great windows of opportunity.
Here are five stocks that are now below $10 per share that could double by mid-decade.
This company is a leading provider of ultra-capacitors, which can store a lot of energy and then unleash it in a burst. These devices have a range of applications in the transportation, industrial and power generation sectors.
Maxwell's stock has fallen from $21 back in February to a recent $6.50 on concerns that demand in China -- a key market -- is slowing. Yet Maxwell's long-term prospects are quite bright, as a range of new products that are hitting the market in the next year or two will feature the company's ultra-capacitors.
Investors are likely fretting that management will again cut guidance when second-quarter results are released, but shares appear to have support in the $6 range -- with considerable upside down the road. Company insiders certainly think so -- they started buying shares at $10 in late April and have done more buying at ever-lower levels since then.
2. Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM)
This provider of audio and video-conferencing equipment was above $30 a year ago but is now below $10. Polycom has noted a slowdown in key markets, and analysts expect sales growth to be flat this year, with only single-digit gains in 2013 to around $1.6 billion.
Clearly, this company benefits from a strong global economy, but a weak global economy can also help: Many companies implement video-conferencing equipment to cut down on costly business travel when business slows, holding virtual meetings instead of face-to-face meetings. Good times or bad, Polycom has generated at least $74 million in free cash flow for each of the past seven years, which has pumped up net cash above the $600 million mark. That's roughly one-third of the company's entire market value.
3. Take Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO)
This video game maker continues to suffer from a lack of timeliness. Many investors are avoiding it simply because near-term results will likely be uninspiring due to a dearth of hot new gaming titles. Yet the company's fiscal fourth quarter, ending next March, should see the release of a pair of hotly anticipated titles: Grand Theft Auto 5 and Bioshock: Infinite.
Right now, there is some debate whether the release dates for those titles will be pushed out by 90 days, which is why this stock is now down below $10. Still, with potential earnings power in excess of $2 per share in either fiscal (March) 2013 or 2014 (depending when those games ship), and a widely-respected product development team, this stock should move back into favor, and perhaps above $20, when it becomes more timely.
4. Peerless Manufacturing (Nasdaq: PMFG)
This maker of industrial filtration equipment and other environmental products has seen its stock pummeled from $27 in early February to a recent $8 due to a recent slump in gross margins. Yet an expansion in international markets should help blunt pricing pressures. A number of countries in the Middle East and Asia are enacting stricter environmental standards, and management recently noted that the level of bidding activity for new contracts outside the United States now exceeds domestic activity.
Sales are expected to rise at a double-digit pace in coming years, which should help earnings rise at an even faster pace, perhaps hitting $0.50 a share by fiscal (June) 2014. The promise of projected strong growth is why this stock was nearly 250% higher early this year, and if you have a multi-year time frame, then a return to that level is possible if management can convert the current pipeline of discussions into orders.
5. Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX)
I profiled this company roughly two months ago, and we're just weeks away from the new management team's introduction to investors. When second-quarter results are announced, look for a discussion of how profit margins and sales momentum can be restored, which may attract bottom-fishers into this beaten-down stock.
It's important to remember that the migration to electronic medical records is a powerful long-term investing theme, and this company should remain a major player in the movement.
Risks to Consider: Until the market rebounds, these stocks could move sideways.
Action to Take --> A floor appears in place for these beaten-down stocks. When the market eventually rebounds, these stocks possess outsized upside potential and could perhaps double or more.