Every time I write about meme stocks to buy I preface the article with a variation of the same caveat: Meme stocks may have started as high-risk jokes, but over time, meme stock strategies have become more complex. Are proponents of meme stocks still trading in high-risk companies on hope alone? Sure. But overall, sophistication is increasing while hype is fading.
I also take issue with the notion that coordination among meme stock communities is somehow unethical. There is no difference between a Wall Street firm (or multiple in concert) directing its resources in an effort to sway a particular stock’s price and meme stock enthusiasts doing the same.
Rant over. Meme stocks are a part of the retail investing landscape. Let’s look at the best among them currently. And here’s a hint — they’re just normal stocks with retail followings.
Best Meme Stocks: Tesla (TSLA)
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a lot nimbler than many investors might have realized. Even though it has grown into a massive company over the last decade, it maintains an edge on similarly sized car companies. It is much more able to change course as it sees fit.
I’m referring to pricing in particular. Tesla has slashed the prices of its vehicles several times in 2023. In some cases by more than $10,000 per vehicle. This is possible at Tesla due to its direct-to-consumer sales model. Tesla doesn’t have to deal with dealerships that will fight tooth and nail to prevent such drastic price reductions.
That truth has helped Tesla as it fights to gain global market share. Margins will fall, but Tesla’s brand will grow. Management sees the value in this sort of long-term thinking.
Although Tesla’s margins are shrinking it is finding other ways to improve its business. The company has inked deals with Ford (NYSE:F) and more recently General Motors (NYSE:GM) to utilize its supercharger network. That equates to more revenue in the long term and fewer concerns overall following its lower-margin pivot.
The password-sharing crackdown at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is having its intended effect. Investors are beginning to realize that overall revenues will increase. The ban will not drive away more revenue than it creates. That truth, or expectation, is causing shares to run higher.
JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth raised his price target to $470 based on his projection that the password crackdown will generate $6 billion in extra revenues in 2024 and 2025. He might be right as the crackdown has resulted in a wave of new user subscriptions in recent weeks.
The good news, based on that analyst’s price expectation, is that NFLX shares are trading well below his target price of $470 at the time of writing. Netflix will no longer allow families to share passwords between members who live in separate locations. One account will apply to one household. Previously, 100 million households had been watching Netflix without paying for it.
Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) is a leader in analytics and software that is sold primarily to the government. Palantir has forged strong relationships across the government, but it’s fair to say that its biggest opportunity likely lies in defense.
Defense is a large part of the U.S. economy relative to other nations. That suggests that the integration of AI and defense-oriented software is a potentially large opportunity. That’s exactly the message Palantir sent a month ago with its first-quarter earnings release. CEO Alexander Karp characterized demand for its Artificial Intelligence Platform ( ) as being without precedent.
A pessimist could counter that it is of course without precedent, it’s new. But that distinction really doesn’t matter. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has shown that what’s important is how quickly AI can increase revenue expectations. Palantir is already foreshadowing a similar transformation due to the AI implementation. Share prices, although already high, could run higher on that simple notion.
Quotient (NYSE:QUOT) is a company that essentially produces digital coupons. Brands and retailers offer those promotions to consumers through social channels which are printable or usable digitally.
The company is rebounding nicely after a 2022 that saw demand for digital advertising crater with annual revenues falling to $288 million from $521 million in 2021. Current estimates are that Quotient will report as much as $305 million in revenues in 2023.
There are a few possibilities related to that rebound that investors should understand. The company had been exploring a potential sale earlier this year. That remains a distinct possible outcome. A sale could lead to higher share prices in a buyout. Alternatively, Quotient could simply continue as the firm it is and bounce back in 2023. Consumers are seeking deals as the economy gets weaker. That could logically benefit Quotient if it can capture that demand.
Sensata Technologies (ST)
Sensata Technologies (NYSE:ST) is not a well-known company or stock. I know I hadn’t heard of it prior to writing about it here. However, it is reasonably compelling because the company is doing well and it serves a growing industry.
Sensata Technologies provides sensors and other connected solutions. In other words, Sensata Technologies is part of the internet of things push that seeks to connect everything to the internet. But Sensata is more than just a company in a growth industry.
It’s also a company that is performing well with recent results showing revenues and adjusted earnings above the mid-point of guidance. Secular growth arguments are there and fundamentals, too.
The other positive is that Sensata Technologies stock trades for $44 but has an average target price of $57. It includes a dividend yielding 1.1% in addition, making potential returns that much higher.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) stock continues to outperform Nvidia in recent days. The argument here is that AMD hasn’t received as much love as Nvidia, although it perhaps should. Nvidia has nearly tripled in price in 2023. AMD, on the other hand, has not yet quite doubled.
Sure, Nvidia’s chips powered the early AI boom and will continue to dominate and have strong demand. But AMD is a part of that narrative as well. In fact, AMD may have (or may not have) entered a collaborative agreement with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to develop AI-powered chips that could rival Nvidia’s. Microsoft denied any such collaboration days after the rumors surfaced, however.
What it tells investors is that AMD very much remains in competition with rival Nvidia for chip dominance. Nvidia has won in the early stages, but valuation concerns remain an issue. AMD could logically move upward in response to both of those factors.
RB Global (RBA)
RB Global (NYSE:RBA) stock represents an auctioneer business selling used vehicles and heavy equipment. The company sells that inventory both to onsite and online bidders.
What’s particularly compelling about RB Global starts with the relevance of its business model. The economy is wavering, and that means that it is reasonable to expect that RBA stock should benefit. The shaky economy is affecting businesses causing bankruptcies and other turmoil that leads to asset sales.
That’s a boon to RB Global, leading to greater overall volume. And that is what is reflected in RB Global’s latest earnings report. Transactional volumes are up 32% year-over-year and revenues increased by 30% to $512.4 million.
That suggests that RBA stock is one to keep an eye on as things get worse. Volumes and revenues logically have a chance to increase. Therefore, it acts as a hedge against a further economic downturn.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.