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3 No-Brainer Discount Stocks That Smart Investors Are Scooping Up

Do you like bargains? You should. Why pay more when you can buy something for less?

Well, the same idea applies to stocks. They sometimes go “on sale” by virtue of a price pullback. If it’s a name you want to put in your portfolio, such dips are a great entry opportunity.

With that as the backdrop, here’s a closer look at three discounted stocks you may want to consider scooping up for yourself while you can still step in at a low price.

1. PayPal

There was a time when PayPal (PYPL 2.77%) was the king of online payment platforms. It was doing pretty well in the digital/mobile wallet space, too — when that technology was relatively young.

Not anymore. Competition has crept in from all directions, ranging from cryptocurrency payment solutions to credit card companies to apps from technology giants like Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon.

PayPal’s shares trade down more than 80% from their 2021 peak, with the market increasingly worrying this once-leading name in digital payments will continue to be crowded out. Indeed, the stock hit a new multiyear low just last month. This may be about as low as this stock’s going to go though.

Yes, all of that new competition is still out there. As it turns out, however, PayPal is better equipped to face it than it’s been getting credit for. Last quarter’s total volume of processed payments grew 13% year over year on a constant-currency basis, pushing its net revenue up to the tune of 9%. Per-share earnings of $1.30 were a marked improvement from the $1.08 booked in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expect comparable top- and bottom-line growth for the current quarter, as well as for all next year, too.

Perhaps the top reason to take a shot on PayPal stock while it’s still near a multiyear low, though, is its new chief executive officer. In September PayPal’s board of directors tapped Intuit executive Alex Chriss to take the helm. He brings a good deal of consumer-facing fintech experience to the table, but as an outsider, he also brings a much-needed fresh perspective to PayPal’s business.

Adding to this overdue shakeup is the recent appointment of Jamie Miller as chief financial officer. She’s another outsider who may be better suited than current company veterans to see what PayPal can do to improve.

2. Qualcomm

It’s been a tough three years for chipmakers, and by extension, for their stocks. First, the COVID-19 pandemic rattled supply chains (coming and going), and then economic headwinds began blowing. Information technology market research outfit Gartner reports last year’s worldwide semiconductor revenue grew a scant 1.1%, while this year’s is on pace to fall 10.9%.

Although it’s fared better than most during this trying time, wireless chip company Qualcomm (QCOM 1.23%) hasn’t exactly been immune to this weakness. Neither has its stock. Qualcomm’s shares are down by a third of their early 2022 high despite a recent rebound effort.

Smart investors may want to take advantage of this discount while it’s still available, however. Not only is the semiconductor market poised to rebound in the coming year, Qualcomm is positioned to fully recover with it. Gartner forecasts 2024 revenue growth of 16.8% for the worldwide chip market, while analysts expect Qualcomm’s top-line growth to accelerate from 5.9% to 8% with that tailwind.

And that growth consensus may still underestimate what Qualcomm’s actually apt to dish out. Not only did last quarter’s revenue roll in above expectations, the company raised its revenue guidance for the quarter currently underway, hinting at a rebound of the slumping smartphone market.

In the meantime, Qualcomm continues to work on new proprietary tech that should concern other semiconductor mainstays. Namely, the company is developing mobile/wireless chips that can better handle the heavy duties of generative artificial intelligence while it’s also working on computer processors, taking aim at Intel‘s and Advanced Micro Devices‘ strong hold on the PC processor market. Qualcomm even touted a developmental partnership with Microsoft that could push it back into the thick of the laptop market.

3. KeyCorp

Last but not least, add KeyCorp (KEY 2.27%) to your list of on-sale stocks smart investors are scooping up.

Like most other bank stocks, KeyCorp shares were upended in March by the insolvency and subsequent implosion of SVB Financial‘s Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank, and others. Investors were understandably concerned those banks’ liquidity problems were industry-wide.

As it turns out, however, although most banks were feeling a bit of this pressure, most were more than able to handle it.

The funny thing is, KeyCorp shares never bounced back from March’s steep sell-off, despite the company’s clear demonstration of resiliency. Its average daily deposits during the third quarter were up $2 billion from Q2’s levels, suggesting its customers believe their money is safe with this particular bank. Its balance sheet is healthier as well, with its common equity tier 1 ratio improving from 9.1% a year ago to 9.3% as of the second quarter to 9.8% as of the end of September; that’s not progress every other bank can claim for the same time frame.

Meanwhile, its allowance for losses on loans is stabilizing at a modest 0.24% of its entire loan portfolio. That’s also better than most of the banking industry’s current average.

So why is the stock still struggling? Good question. It may largely be because investors are still rattled by what happened earlier this year. Since then, they’ve also become nervous about the bank’s prospects in a seemingly wobbly economy.

The thing is, these worries are decreasingly merited. Other investors are starting to catch on though. We’re seeing the stock starting to test the waters of higher highs on a pretty regular basis now. The market may be eyeing that big dividend yield of 7.5%, based on a dividend that was never in any real jeopardy.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. SVB Financial provides credit and banking services to The Motley Fool. James Brumley has positions in Alphabet. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Intuit, Microsoft, PayPal, and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner and Intel and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $57.50 calls on Intel, long January 2025 $45 calls on Intel, and short December 2023 $67.50 puts on PayPal. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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