3 Stocks Gearing Up for an E-Commerce Liftoff

Stocks to buy

In line with my previous predictions calling for an e-commerce rebound in the second half of this year, it appears that the e-commerce sector is recovering. In a note to investors in July, investment advisor Bernstein wrote, “with (foreign exchange) headwinds abating and a more durable online consumer, count us in that camp of anticipating further eCommerce recovery.” The firm reported that U.S. e-commerce growth had accelerated in May and June. Also upbeat on the sector is the U.S. government’s International Trade Administration (ITA), which expects the e-commerce sector to expand 12% this year after contracting slightly in 2022. Moreover, the agency expects U.S. e-commerce sales to grow 13% in 2024. Finally, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZNreported that its net sales had climbed an encouraging 11% year-over-year last quarter. Here are three stocks to buy that will enable investors to take advantage of this e-commerce recovery.

FedEx (FDX)

A FedEx employee loads a FedEx Express truck in Manhattan.

Source: Antonio Gravante / Shutterstock.com

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) appears to be benefiting significantly from accelerating e-commerce growth as the operating income of its Ground unit jumped 59% last quarter versus the same period a year earlier to $1.1 billion. What’s more, the division’s OI, excluding some items, reached a quarterly record of $1.12 billion.

Further, the company reported “that domestic package volume grew on the order of 400,000 pieces per day by the end of the quarter, “Seeking Alpha reported. Going forward, Ground’s profits should continue to increase, boosting the company’s overall bottom line.

Last quarter, FedEx’s overall net income jumped to $1.08 billion from $875 million during the same period a year earlier.

U.K. bank Barclays kept an “overweight” rating on FDX stock following its results, lauding the packaging company’s “cost reductions, competitive wins and pricing gains.”

Encouraged by FedEx’s improved margins, Goldman Sachs expects the company’s profits to climb nearly 20% this year. It increased its share price target to $291 from $278.

International Paper (IP)

A photo of several large rolls of paper in a warehouse.. RFP stock makes paper products.

Source: Mark ONCE / Shutterstock.com

“One of the world’s leading producers of fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper products,” International Paper (NYSE:IPis well-loved by multiple banks.

Last April, RBC Capital raised its rating on IP stock to “outperform.” RBC believes that the company’s performance is poised to rebound due to growth in the demand for industrial packaging.

And recently, Truist raised its rating on IP to “buy” from “hold.” Truist reports that packaging “demand trends have recently begun to improve.” Moreover, the firm thinks that the sector’s outlook could improve further once inventories become more depleted. The bank increased its price target on IP to $43 from $30.

IP has a low trailing price-earnings ratio of 8.5 and a high dividend yield of 5.4%.

Coupang (CPNG)

The Coupang (CPNG stock) campus in Silicon Valley, California.

Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

South Korean e-commerce company Coupang (NYSE:CPNGcontinues to grow rapidly and report strong overall results. In the second quarter, its revenue climbed 15% versus a year earlier, while its customer base jumped 10% year-over-year.

The company’s net income rose $221 million year-over-year to $145 million. And finally, in the 12 months that ended in June, its operating cash flow came in at a very impressive $2 billion.

CPNG stock is changing hands at a meager price-operating cash flow ratio of 15 times.

Also, encouragingly, CPNG seems to be making significant progress in penetrating its relatively new market of Taiwan. Last quarter, “Coupang was the most downloaded app in Taiwan,” and the adoption of Rocket Delivery in Taiwan in the first ten months after its launch was faster than in the first ten months of its deployment in South Korea, Coupang reported.

On the date of publication, Larry Ramer 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.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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