Investing in stocks that are falling can be tough to do; nobody wants to look at their portfolio and see red. But if you’re investing for the long haul, you know that short-term trends could subside, and this year’s sell-off stock could be next year’s top performer.
That’s exactly what I think of with AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND). Both of these stocks have been falling recently, but heading into next year, things could look a lot better. If you can afford to invest $5,000 into these stocks, here’s why you should consider doing so.
Shares of COVID-19 vaccine-maker AstraZeneca are down 5% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has soared by more than 5%. The company released its third-quarter results on Nov. 12, which disappointed investors as it fell short of earnings expectations. The stock sank more than 6% on the day.
But next year, things could look much different. Up until now, AstraZeneca hasn’t been trying to make a profit from its COVID-19 vaccine. But now that the pandemic is turning into more of an endemic, the company is going to focus on turning a profit on the vaccine on any new orders.
That means an increase in price. The company has been selling its vaccine for just a few dollars per dose, well below what other COVID-19 vaccine makers are charging countries.
For the period ending Sept. 30, the company’s COVID-19 vaccine generated over $1 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, rival vaccine-maker Moderna reported $4.8 billion in product sales for the same period, and Pfizer‘s COVID-19 vaccine generated $13 billion in revenue, also during the same interval.
While it’s unclear just how much higher AstraZeneca’s COVID-19-related revenue may climb on an increase in the vaccine’s price, its top line is likely to get a boost next year nonetheless. Plus, it completed the acquisition of healthcare-company Alexion Pharmaceuticals in July, which has already started contributing to AstraZeneca’s financials this past quarter to the tune of $1.3 billion in new revenue. Alexion’s focus on rare diseases expands AstraZeneca’s product mix and can set it up for some great gains over the long term.
Although AstraZeneca incurred a net loss of $1.7 billion this past quarter, that’s largely due to the acquisition of Alexion, as its operations are typically profitable. (In each of the previous four quarters, AstraZeneca has reported a profit margin of at least 6%.)
As it integrates Alexion into its business and eliminates inefficiencies and redundancies, the company’s financials will improve. That, combined with the additional revenue from the new business plus an increase in COVID-19 sales, could set the stock up for a terrific performance in 2022.
2. Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat’s stock has been falling fast as it’s down 36% in just three months. What was looking like it might be a promising year for the company amid reopenings has stalled due to the delta variant causing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The company had a bad earnings report and the stock has become a better buy in November. Although sales of $106.4 million for the period ending Oct. 2 rose 13% year over year, the company disappointed investors with a net loss of $54.8 million that was more than double the $19.3 million loss it reported in the same period in 2020. Beyond Meat doesn’t project a picture of getting much better in the final quarter of the year, as it expects net revenue to fall within a range of just $85 million to $110 million.
There’s no shortage of bearishness surrounding Beyond Meat right now. But heading into next year, a lot can change. What’s important is that the company has some great growth opportunities in place.
Beyond’s sales were up 13% this past quarter, but that was driven primarily by growth in the international markets, where revenue more than doubled to $38.9 million. In the U.S. market, sales of $67.5 million declined by 14%.
However, if supply-chain issues resolve next year and COVID-19 case numbers come down as people receive booster shots, there’s reason to believe that the U.S. numbers could strengthen with a return to normalcy in the economy. And fast-food restaurant McDonald’s recently launched its McPlant burger (which features a Beyond Meat patty) in multiple U.S. cities. If successful, that could also lead to some improved financials for Beyond in 2022.
Although the growth stock is beaten up today, a year from now, today’s price could look like a bargain.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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