Stocks to buy

3 Nasdaq Stocks to Buy Before the Market Blasts Higher in 2023

With October in the rearview mirror, it might be the perfect time to look for Nasdaq stocks to buy. 

How’s that, you wonder, given the Nasdaq Composite is down more than 33% year-t0-date?

Well, InvestorPlace’s Luke Lango recently discussed the history of bear markets. Lango’s argument that stocks would soar over the next six months revolved around the idea that 35% of bear markets since 1950 have ended in October.  

Further, Lango points out that since 1950, the best time to invest in stocks during a four-year presidential cycle is right after the midterm elections. Stocks have delivered an average 15% return in the six months following the halfway point.

Now, it only makes sense that you’d be skeptical about investing in the markets, given what’s transpired in 2022. 

However, Lango’s most compelling argument could be that the markets since 1950 have never declined in the six months following the midterms. Not even in 1990, in the middle of a recession.

So, if you’re a believer in history repeating itself, you might want to consider these three Nasdaq stocks to buy before the market blasts higher in 2023.

NTES NetEase $59.15
NXST Nexstar Media Group $164.41
CRTO Criteo $24.32

NetEase (NTES)

netease (NTES) logo on a mobile phone screen representing earnings reports

Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

I’ll admit that I was hesitant to put NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) on my list of Nasdaq stocks to buy. Not because it’s a Chinese company, but because Chinese stocks have gotten hit pretty hard over the past year. 

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell nearly 9% in the week ended Oct. 28 on worries over President Xi Jinping’s power grab and doubling-down on the country’s Covid Zero strategy. The index finished the week at its lowest level since 2008.

However, it’s always darkest before dawn, so I’m going to go with the Chinese internet company that generates more than 70% of its sales from PC and mobile games.  

In mid-October, InvestorPlace’s Muslim Farooque selected NetEase as one of three Chinese stocks to buy to outwit the bear market. He reasoned that it is growing the top and bottom line by double-digits and proving more than capable of delivering in a challenging economic climate. Farooque believes it’s one of the best Chinese tech stocks to buy.

I would agree. 

I like it because of its balance sheet. At the end of June, the company had net cash of $13.1 billion, up 2.5% from December 31, 2021. As long as it keeps generating healthy operating profits — $1.56 billion through the first six months of 2022 — its net cash position will only get larger. 

Down 41% year-to-date, if you’re going to bet on a Chinese stock, this one looks primed to ride higher in 2023.  

Nexstar Media Group (NXST)

Nexstar Media Group logo on a phone screen

Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ:NXST) made my list of seven undervalued mid-cap stocks. The rollout of its NEXTGEN TV would be the tailwind to counter cord-cutting. 

Another possible value enhancer could be the turnaround of the CW Network. In August, it acquired 75% of the money-losing network for zero cash, with Warner Bros. and Paramount retaining 12.5% each. 

Nexstar officially took possession of the CW Network on Oct. 1. It immediately let go of the network’s three top executives. It is taking a different approach than the previous management. 

“Over time, we will be taking a different approach to our CW programming strategy and will leverage our experience in spending approximately $2 billion a year on programming, attracting and monetizing viewers,” The Hollywood Reporter reported Nexstar CEO Perry Sook’s comments in August at the time of acquiring control of CW.

Entertainment industry insiders are skeptical that it will be able to revive the sagging network. However, at zero upfront cost, it doesn’t have much to lose. 

The upside is all it’s got at this point.

Criteo (CRTO)

the Criteo (CRTO) logo on a building during daylight

Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO) is a Paris-based provider of marketing and monetization services and infrastructure to brands, retailers, and media companies. The company’s services have helped its customers generate more than $40 billion of revenue in more than 96 countries.

In its latest third-quarter results, Criteo’s revenue fell by 3%, excluding currency, to $447 million. Its gross profit margin increased by 500 basis points to 40%, while its contribution ex-TAC (traffic acquisition costs) margin was 48%, 700 basis points higher than a year earlier. 

By no means were the latest results perfection – far from it.

However, the company laid out its growth plans in its Halloween Investor Day Presentation. Criteo believes its solutions can secure a big piece of the $290 billion spent annually on commerce media worldwide.

The company’s commerce data is collected from more than 725 million daily active users generating more than $1 trillion in annual e-commerce sales. It’s used artificial intelligence for more than 16 years to obtain this data. 

With approximately 400 enterprise retailers, more than 1,600 established brands, and 19,700 performance marketers, its 21,700 clients spend more than $2.8 billion annually on media. 

While Criteo continues to grow its business, its balance sheet is solid, with no long-term debt, more than $317 million in cash, and plenty of credit facilities available should it need to draw on them.  

Down 34% over the past five years, this company has failed to deliver on its potential since its launch in 2005. That’s what makes Criteo an excellent contrarian bet. If the company executes on its plans over the next 12-24 months, its share price will be back to $50 in no time.

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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