Analysts Forecast S&P 500 Upside; Here Are 2 Underperforming Stocks Worth Buying in April

Analysts Forecast S&P 500 Upside; Here Are 2 Underperforming Stocks Worth Buying in April

U.S. markets surprised to the upside last year, as the S&P 500 Index SPX defied all pessimism to rise almost 24%. Just like last year, analysts were also bearish on U.S. stocks as we headed into 2024. However, the S&P 500 is already up by double digits this year, and is trading at record highs.

Amid the continued rally, several analysts have raised their year-end targets for the S&P 500. That includes Oppenheimer raising its forecast to 5,500, which is the highest among major brokerages. HSBC also raised its 2024 target for the S&P 500 to 5,400, in line with estimates from UBS and BofA Global Research.

With bullishness persisting on the Street amid all the noise, I believe that SoFi Technologies SOFI and Walt Disney Company DIS are two stocks that look like good buys. Both of these stocks trade well below their all-time highs, and look due for a rebound.

SoFi Stock Looks Due for a Rebound

With a YTD loss of 26.6%, fintech company SoFi Technologies SOFI is among the worst-performing stocks of the year so far, and is underperforming its fintech peers as well as the broader market.

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The sell-off in SoFi intensified earlier in March after the company announced a complex convertible notes issue, the proceeds of which it intends to use for retiring its preferred shares, among others. While the stock fell after the announcement, the transaction is a net positive for SoFi, and will help the company lower its interest costs.

SoFi Offers ‘Growth at Reasonable Price’

SoFi is diversifying its business model by reducing its reliance on the lending business, while focusing on the Tech Platform and Financial Services segments – whose revenues it expects to rise 50% in 2024. Looking at the long-term picture, SoFi expects its revenues to grow at a CAGR of 20%-25% between 2023 and 2026. Analysts expect the company’s revenues to rise 16% in 2024 and 17.1% in 2025.

SoFi has turned sustainably profitable on a GAAP basis, and expects GAAP EPS to rise between 20%-25% post-2026, as well. The stock looks attractively priced – and while the next 12-month (NTM) price-to-earnings (PE) multiple might seem lofty at 68x, its 2026 PE multiple arrives between 9.2x-13.4x. The 2026 multiples should be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, though, as they are based on the company’s guidance, which may or may not come to fruition.

That said, SoFi has delivered on its business forecasts more often than not. Also, with the expected Fed rate cuts later this year, SoFi is one name that I am doubling down in my portfolio.

Disney Could Continue Its Recent Uptrend

Despite its recent rebound, which has lifted its YTD gain to almost 36%, Walt Disney Company DIS is a long-term underperformer, and the stock has risen just over 5% in as many years. That’s not the kind of returns one would typically associate with a business like Disney, which has a mass global appeal.

Disney is battling multiple concerns. For instance, the experience at its parks has been a sore point for many fans, its streaming business continues to lose money, and Disney’s movies have performed poorly at the box office. Then we have the proxy war distraction, with even a Disney split being offered as an alternative to create shareholder value.

That said, I believe that Disney should continue its rebound amid the transformation strategy of CEO Bob Iger. Disney has reiterated its commitment to streaming profitability by the end of this fiscal year, which will end in September. It is also doubling down on its hugely profitable parks, and has committed to invest $60 billion in the business over the next decade. These investments should help address some of the concerns about service and wait times that many visitors have flagged over the last couple of years. As for the movie business, Disney is now focusing on quality rather than quantity, and among other initiatives, is cutting down on sequels.

DIS Stock Forecast

Last Wednesday, UBS raised Disney’s target price from $120 to $140, and predicted that the company’s earnings would grow at a CAGR of 25% over the next three years. The brokerage expects Disney to generate free cash flows of $9 billion in 2024, which it predicts will balloon to $14 billion by 2026.

The overall analyst sentiment toward Disney has also improved. Out of the 24 analysts covering the stock, 15 have a “Strong Buy” rating, while 4 have rated it as a “Moderate Buy.” Four analysts rate DIS stock as a “Hold,” while 1 says it’s a “Strong Sell.”

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From a valuation perspective, while Disney has seen some expansion of multiples and the NTM PE multiple has risen to almost 25x, I believe the company can sustain such multiples given the expected rebound in earnings. Notably, Disney’s transformation plans call for $7.5 billion in cost savings, which Iger said the company is on “track to meet or exceed.” Overall, I would side with UBS – and I’d add that Disney might embark on a multi-year earnings-compounding story as the company tries to “restore the magic.”

On the date of publication, Mohit Oberoi had a position in: DIS , SOFI . All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.

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