For short-to-medium-term investors, the markets are at an interesting point. Historically, September has been the worst-performing month for the S&P 500 in terms of average returns. However, November, December and January are among the best months. Therefore, now might be a good time for investors to begin looking for undervalued growth stocks to buy.
A turbulent September could present an opportunity to buy such names at a discount and then reap the benefits in the fourth quarter. Of course, given the headwinds investors face, most notably high inflation, interest rate increases and a potential recession, it’s possible it may take longer to see bullish returns. Yet, these market conditions also give longer-term investors a chance to buy quality growth stocks for the next five years.
Therefore, my list of growth stocks to buy in September focuses on those that could be traded in the near term for Q4 gains and should also be considered for a long-term portfolio.
First on my list of top growth stocks to buy is South Korean e-commerce company Coupang (NYSE:CPNG). Down 38% in the past 12 months, CPNG stock is attractive from a valuation perspective.
In addition to the broader sell-off in high-multiple stocks, shares shave been hit by growth and profitability concerns. However, the company surprised by achieving positive adjusted EBITDA of $66 million in the second quarter. This prompted management to raise its full-year guidance after previously calling for adjusted EBITDA losses 0f $400 million for 2022.
Bank of America recently reiterated its “buy” rating on CPNG stock, forecasting the company will deliver adjusted EBITDA of $284 million and $659 million in 2023 and 2024, respectively. With economies of scale, the company is likely to deliver healthy cash flows in the next few years.
A big addressable market in Korea coupled with international expansion means there is headroom for top-line growth. If the market stabilizes, I would not be surprised if CPNG stock surges by 30% to 50% over the next few months.
Riot Blockchain (RIOT)
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) miner Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) hit a low just above $4 in early July. Since then, the stock is up 84% even as Bitcoin struggles to trend higher.
Assuming a scenario where Bitcoin rallies in the final quarter of the year, the stock can potentially deliver multi-fold returns. Even if Bitcoin trends marginally higher, RIOT is likely to outperform due to a big expansion planned for the next few months. In August, Riot reported a hash rate capacity of 4.8 exahash per second (“EH/s”). The company expects to expand capacity to 12.6EH/s by January 2023, which will translate into significantly more Bitcoin mined.
At the end of the second quarter, Riot reported cash in hand of $270.5 million. Cash and digital assets provide ample headroom for aggressive expansion through 2023. Riot is also attractive for the long term with Bitcoin halving due in 2024.
Li Auto (LI)
Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) rallied sharply in May and June, surging back above the $40 level before reversing lower. With positive business catalysts, I believe LI stock is likely to trade at new highs in Q4.
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers shows sales of new energy vehicles, which include EVs, more than doubled in August on a year-over-year basis to hit a record 666,000 units. EV sales accounted for the vast majority of these sales at 522,000 units. If the positive momentum in Chinese EV sales continues, Q4 is likely to be a good one for investors in LI stock.
Li Auto has commenced commercial deliveries of its second model, the Li L9 SUV. As sale gains traction, vehicle deliveries will accelerate further.
Li Auto has healthy margins and the company has already been reporting positive free cash flows. The company also reported cash and equivalents of $8 billion. A strong cash buffer will support aggressive retail network expansion.
DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) is another hot growth stock that has plunged, down 30% year to date and 68% on a 12-month basis. But shares are up nearly 80% since mid-June. In all probability, the stock has bottomed out and further gains seem likely.
Management expects revenue to increase 65% this year to $2.1 billion and to post an adjusted EBITDA loss of $800 million. In the likely event the company guides for significant improvement in adjusted EBITDA for 2023, the stock could go ballistic.
It’s worth noting that DraftKings’ average revenue per monthly unique payers rose from $80 in Q2 2021 to $103 in Q2 2022. Once sales and marketing cost stabilizes, there is ample room for EBITDA margin improvement.
As more states legalize online sports betting and gambling, the addressable market will continue to swell. The long-term outlook for DKNG stock is therefore positive.
Solid Power (SLDP)
The market for solid-state batteries is likely to expand significantly in the coming decade, making QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) an attractive name in the industry. However, in the near term, I like Solid Power (NYSE:SLDP) due to a big impending upside catalyst.
Solid Power announced in June that the company has completed the installation of its pilot production line. This will be used for the production of EV scale solid-state cells. By the end of the year, Solid Power expects to begin delivering battery cells for validation testing by its automotive partners Ford (NYSE:F) and BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY).
If pre-production deliveries are within the timeline, the stock is likely to trend higher. Furthermore, if the validation testing yields positive results, it should provide another upside trigger in 2023. Therefore, SLDP stock is attractive not just for Q4 but also for the next 12 months.
Cybersecurity company Tenable (NASDAQ:TENB) is another undervalued pick on my list of growth stocks to buy due to positive industry tailwinds. Despite the firm’s strong financial performance, TENB stock has disappointed, down 29% year to date. But a sharp reversal may be in the cards.
In the second quarter, the company reported revenue growth of 26% on a year-over-year basis to $164.3 million. With 95% recurring revenue in the quarter, there is clear free cash flow visibility.
It’s worth noting that 64% of Tenable’s Q2 revenue came from the Americas, while the Asia-Pacific region accounted for only 11%. Tenable believes that the total addressable market for cyber exposure is worth $25 billion. Given the cyber security challenges globally, there is ample room for growth outside the United States.
TENB stock hit an all-time high of $63.61 in April. With sustained growth, I would not be surprised if that high is tested in Q4. That would imply potential upside of 62% from current levels.
With crude oil prices holding well above $80 per barrel even with economic headwinds, oil and gas stocks are likely to remain investor favorites. Offshore driller Transocean (NYSE:RIG) is up 17% year to date.
This positive performance was helped by a 16% single-day jump following the release of better-than-expected second-quarter results. I expect good numbers for Q3 and Q4, which is likely to translate into a big rally for shares.
Transocean has bagged some big orders over the past few months. At an attractive day-rate, these orders would imply further EBITDA margin expansion. The company already has an order backlog of $7.4 billion, which provides clear cash flow visibility.
With a liquidity buffer of $1.9 billion and expectations of swelling free cash flows, Transocean is also positioned to deleverage. As credit metrics improve, the stock is due for re-rating. I would not be surprised if RIG stock surges by 50% from current levels within the next two quarters.
On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun 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.