As much as the market loves electric vehicle upstart Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ:MULN), investors – even those focused on speculative trades – should realize that other, arguably more compelling stocks to buy exist. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mullen, too. So much so that I might buy a portrait of CEO David Michery so that it may bless me with a consistent stream of content ideas.
Seriously, though, while short-squeeze attempts on MULN may have generated massive profitability earlier this month, the narrative appears to have died down. Further, Mullen faces a host of challenges that can distress its equity value. Therefore, it’s best to keep a list of other stocks to buy, ranging from reasonable to highly speculative. You don’t want your entire portfolio (or your reason for being in my case) to rest on one company. With that in mind, below are other stocks to buy in case Mullen no longer delivers the goods.
Stocks to Buy: General Motors (GM)
If you’re really into electric vehicles, you might want to give General Motors (NYSE:GM) a strong look. Sure, it’s much more boring than Mullen – I’ll give you that, no problem. Financially, though, you’re just going to receive a better read from GM. Objectively speaking, the automaker features an undervalued profile. Right now, the market prices shares at 6.1 times forward earnings, below the sector median of 10.1 times.
Fundamentally, General Motors approaches the EV market with somewhat of a hybrid approach. First, it’s taking its highly desirable models (particularly the Hummer) and electrifying them. I think that’s a better proposition than just coming up with something from scratch. However, GM refuses to alienate its core combustion-powered vehicle fans. For these folks, the company delivered the eighth-generation Corvette, resulting in strong sales.
Finally, GM represents one of the stocks to buy that aligns with expert opinion. At the present juncture, analysts rate the automaker as a consensus moderate buy. While their average price target’s implication of 18% upside isn’t blistering, just remember this: it’s a lot better than the 12% year-to-date loss that MULN incurred.
Stocks to Buy: ChargePoint (CHPT)
One of the problems with Mullen’s industry – and not just MULN – centers on viability concerns. In Mullen’s Form 10-K disclosure, management warned investors about the newness factor of EVs. Put another way, no guarantees exist that EVs will take off as Mullen and other players believe they will. To mitigate some of this risk, an alternative name among stocks to buy should be ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT).
As an infrastructure-related investment, ChargePoint seeks to sell tickets to the big game, not wager on which team will win. Frankly, it’s incredibly difficult to know which brand will stand the test of time. However, experts generally agree that EVs will experience rising integration. Since not everyone has access to home charging, ChargePoint should command incredible long-term relevance. To be fair, CHPT’s financials are a mess, thus making it a narrative-driven trade. Arguably, though, it’s an extraordinarily powerful narrative. Further, Wall Street analysts really believe in it, rating it a consensus strong buy. As well, they see a 62% upside target, making it one of the speculative stocks to buy.
Stocks to Buy: Polestar Automotive (PSNY)
Finally, if you really must focus your stocks to buy on direct EV players, then Polestar Automotive (NASDAQ:PSNY) may represent a superior Mullen alternative. A brand jointly owned by two automotive stalwarts, Polestar benefits from more robust backing. When people decide to fork over their hard-earned money for an (expensive) EV, such backing may be a pivotal factor.
Better yet, covering analysts appreciate the narrative, assigning PSNY a consensus moderate buy rating. Granted, it’s only two ratings – one buy, one hold. However, their average price target stands at $10.50, implying upside potential of over 90%. If that didn’t pique your interest, TipRanks also noted that sentiment among hedge funds for PSNY rates as very positive. To be clear, Polestar won’t win awards for fiscal stability. It has a less-than-desirable balance sheet and its operational metrics drown in red ink. However, comparing an aspirational play to another, Polestar carries greater credibility. Therefore, as a MULN alternative, PSNY ranks among the stocks to buy.
Schneider National (SNDR)
I want to move away from the EV angle and I thought I had that with Schneider National (NYSE:SNDR). As a provider of truckload, intermodal, and logistics services, Schneider aligns with broader economic trends. However, it just so happened that the company made headlines for receiving its first batch of battery EVs.
Interestingly, the accompanying press release mentioned that Schneider is positioning itself to have one of the largest electric fleets in North America. Further, the delivered BEVs will likely be fully operational by the end of this year. For now, the BEVs will join Schneider’s Southern California Intermodal operations.
Aside from this news item, Schneider may attract investors seeking stocks to buy because of its robust balance sheet. Featuring a cash-to-debt ratio of 1.85, this metric ranks above over 78% of the competition. Objectively, SNDR offers investors good value. Currently, the market prices shares at 9.3-times trailing earnings, below the sector median of 12.5 times.
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM)
An American fresh egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) benefits from a cold, hard truth: we all got to eat. And because of that, it commands fundamental relevancy. Moreover, while CALM might appear like a boring investment, it’s one of the more exciting stocks to buy. In the trailing year, it’s up nearly 32%.
Now, such strong performance leads to the inevitable question: will I end up holding the bag shortly after I enter a position? With a name like Mullen, bag-holding represents arguably a very high probability risk. With a fundamentally pertinent organization like Cal-Maine, the risks likely ping lower, much lower.
Also, prospective investors enjoy the confidence of an overall strong fiscal profile. For instance, the company has no debt, affording it excellent flexibility during these uncertain times. As well, Cal-Maine commands excellent profit margins. For instance, its net margin stands at 18.7%, well above the sector median of 3.1%.
Finally, the market prices CALM at 9.8 times trailing earnings, below the sector median of 17.4 times. It’s easily one of the stocks to buy if you run out of memes to profit from.
Thor Industries (THO)
Back during the worst of the Covid-19 crisis, companies like recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) enjoyed a sudden burst of relevance. While a pandemic was erupting, people still wanted to vacation – they just didn’t want to be around other people. Thus, Thor provided a readymade solution, allowing well-off clients to vacation while social distancing.
Today, the narrative admittedly took a backseat because of society’s reopening measures. As well, people just don’t seem too scared of Covid these days. Nevertheless, RVs might be relevant, particularly because of demographic trends. With baby boomers retiring en masse, they might spend their money on RVs. Plus, since they’re part of a more vulnerable age cohort, social distancing carries greater weight.
Objectively, Thor offers excellent value for investors. Presently, the market prices THO at 4.5 times trailing earnings. In contrast, the sector median is over 16 times. As well, the company features solid profit margins and outstanding return on equity. Plus, THO carries a moderate buy consensus view among analysts. Thus, it’s an underappreciated example of stocks to buy.
Malibu Boats (MBUU)
Just like Thor Industries above, on paper, Malibu Boats (NASDAQ:MBUU) doesn’t seem like an intuitive idea for stocks to buy. With consumer sentiment in the toilet, the economic conditions don’t natively support purchasing recreational boats, Malibu’s specialty. Plus, boats tend to be money pits.
However, Malibu may also benefit from the same demographic trends bolstering Thor. With baby boomers retiring in the millions, many of them want to live an easy life. Plus, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the boomers hold most of this country’s wealth.
In addition, the Covid-19 crisis sparked a widening of the wealth gap. So, just because a regular person can’t afford a boat doesn’t mean there aren’t several people lining up for watercraft.
Finally, Malibu also presents great value for contrarians. At the moment, the market prices MBUU at 6.75 times forward earnings, below the sector median of 10 times. Moreover, Malibu features a stable balance sheet and excellent profitability metrics. If you’re looking for speculative stocks to buy, MBUU makes more sense than other risky ideas.
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.