Down, But Not Out: 7 Stocks With Massive Comeback Potential

Stocks to buy

Some of the top stocks are down right now, but don’t write them off just yet. Instead, use the pullbacks as an opportunity to jump into stocks with comeback potential.

The reasons for the declines are many and include weak guidance for the year ahead, problems in overseas markets such as China, and declining spending on the part of consumers. While notable, these issues are by no means insurmountable and it is unlikely that many of the leading companies will see their share prices stay down for long.

As such, investors would be smart to pounce on the stocks while the share price is still in the red. After all, the goal remains to buy low and sell high.

Many companies whose stocks are down currently recognize the problems they’re experiencing and are taking proactive steps to fix the issues, with some companies announcing ambitious, multi-year growth strategies. Again, use the pullbacks as an opportunity to jump into stocks with comeback potential.

Apple (AAPL)

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is having a tough time right now. Year-to-date, the consumer electronics giant’s share price is down 8%. That compares to a 7% gain in the benchmark S&P 500 index so far in 2024.

The company’s share price is declining on growing concerns about sales of its signature devices. Mostly the iPhone. And mostly in China. AAPL stock just got rocked by a report from Counterpoint Research that showed Apple’s iPhone sales in China declined 24% during the first six weeks of the year.

While the Chinese market, and iPhone sales, are areas of concern, there are still plenty of reasons to be bullish on the company and its stock. The services side of Apple’s business (streaming, banking and apps) are more than making up for declines in sales of the company’s hardware. Apple’s earnings continue to beat Wall Street estimates. And the company has just launched a brand new electronic device with its Vision Pro mixed reality headset. And Apple is now turning its attention to artificial intelligence (AI).

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG/NASDAQ:GOOGL) is another leading technology company whose stock is down this year. Since the start of January, GOOGL fell about 4%.

Unfortunately, its value dropped 8% in the last month after Alphabet launched a defective AI image generator that drew much scorn on social media. The AI image launch was so bad that even Google co-founder Sergey Brin publicly criticized it, saying that the company “definitely messed up.”

The poorly received image generator has heightened concerns that Alphabet is falling behind in the AI race, sending its stock lower.

However, investors would be foolish to count out Alphabet. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) just put out a note urging clients to stick with GOOGL stock. JPMorgan says that Alphabet will get its AI program back on track and any backlash against the company will be short lived. JPMorgan adds that Alphabet has the resources and talent to close the AI gap with its rivals.

Tesla (TSLA)

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It’s an extremely tough time to be a shareholder of electric vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Since the start of the year, TSLA stock has plummeted 27%. The company’s stock has been the sixth worst performer in the S&P 500 index so far this year. The drop comes amid rising concerns about demand for electric vehicles. While the entire EV market is experiencing a downturn, the impact has been especially damaging at Tesla, the global leader in electric vehicle sales.

Like Apple, Tesla is having a particularly difficult time in China, where an economic slowdown has led consumers to put off motor vehicle purchases, particularly pricey electric vehicles. TSLA stock recently fell 7% in a single day on news that the company’s EV sales in China have fallen to their lowest level in more than a year. While Tesla certainly faces what look to be long-term challenges, its important to remember that the stock has been here before — several times.

Between November 2021 and January 2023, TSLA stock fell 72% only to come roaring back. Company CEO Elon Musk retains a devoted following among retail investors.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

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Shares of Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) were clobbered after the company’s recent earnings print. The cybersecurity firm’s share price fell nearly 30%, for its worst one-day performance ever, after management lowered their full-year guidance for both revenue and billings.

The downbeat guidance completely overshadowed the fact that Palo Alto Networks beat Wall Street forecasts with its latest financial results, reporting earnings of $1.46 a share on revenue of $1.98 billion.

Senior executives at the company did their best to explain that the lowered guidance was due to a shift in strategy and wanting to accelerate growth in artificial intelligence (AI) products. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to listen beyond the news that the company lowered its guidance for the year ahead.

In time, this will all be smoothed out and Palo Alto’s AI strategy will be made clear. There are already signs of a recovery, with PANW stock having moved 11% higher from its post-earnings bottom.

Starbucks (SBUX)

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Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has restarted talks with the union that is organizing workers at its U.S. stores and says it is willing to negotiate labor agreements. This approach can only help SBUX stock, which is down 13% over the past 12 months and near a 52-week low.

Up until now, Starbucks had fought unionization drives at its stores that began in 2021, and the issue has harmed the company’s reputation and share price. Starbucks has also been hurt by a boycott in the U.S. and increased discounting by rivals in overseas markets, notably China.

However, there is reason for optimism with SBUX. Not only is Starbucks taking a proactive approach to labor relations, but the company has also unveiled details of a strategic plan that will see the retail coffee chain open 17,000 new locations by 2030 even as it cuts $3 billion in costs. Management at Starbucks is being assertive on all fronts.

McDonald’s (MCD)

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McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) also has a strategy to help it grow in coming years. In December, the quick service restaurant chain announced a plan to open 9,000 new restaurant locations and add 100 million members to its loyalty rewards program by 2027. Those targets are part of the company’s plans to grow its worldwide sales and boost its stock price, which is down 2% year to date after trading sideways over the past 12 months.

McDonald’s has also announced plans to attract and retain customers with revamped versions of its burgers and chicken nuggets. For this year, McDonald’s is projecting net new restaurant growth of 4%. After next year, the company plans to grow its restaurant count by 5% annually. By 2027, the company wants to have 50,000 restaurant locations globally. To reach that goal, McDonald’s plans to open 900 new locations in America, 1,900 restaurants internationally, and 7,000 units in developing markets.

The company is also testing a new spin-off brand called “CosMc’s” that is aimed at teens and twentysomethings. The growth strategy is a big reason to believe in a comeback for MCD stock.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

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Shares of Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) hit the skids. The athletic apparel company, known for its yoga pants and workout clothes, saw its share price fall 12% so far in 2024. The selloff comes after the company issued weaker-than-expected guidance for the final quarter of last year, which included the year-end holiday shopping period. However, there is reason to believe that LULU stock can get up off the mat and rise again.

First, the company has since revised up its fourth quarter 2023 sales and profit forecasts on strong sales during the holidays. Lululemon next reports earnings on March 26. Second, Lululemon is expanding into a new market segment with the launch of men’s sneakers. The company says it wants to gain market share in the male sportswear segment after dominating in the women’s market. The men’s footwear includes two running shoes and a casual sneaker that hit stores on Feb. 13 of this year.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in AAPL and GOOGL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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