If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," then it makes infinite sense to start your search with bargain-priced stocks. Regularly reviewing a list of stocks trading near their 52-week lows can be a great first step.
Here, I'll try to do the initial legwork for you. To prevent us from being inundated with scores of disparate companies, I'll conduct my search by industry. This will allow us to make some initial comparisons among semi-related companies.
Today, let's look at aerospace and defense stocks. Following are the eight companies in this space that are within 20% of their 52-week lows and have market caps above $2 billion.
P/E Ratio (Trailing)
|Boeing (NYSE: BA )||$68.85||$59.48||$80.65||14.6|
|Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT )||$74.64||$67.68||$82.43||9.4|
|Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC )||$58.49||$53.51||$72.50||9.0|
|Raytheon (NYSE: RTN )||$44.10||$42.65||$53.12||8.1|
|Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL )||$53.73||$51.87||$67.29||13.9|
|L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL )||$75.42||$66.11||$88.55||8.8|
|Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR )||$19.93||$17.93||$26.49||14.2|
|Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK )||$65.23||$64.30||$79.96||6.8|
Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance.
As the debt-ceiling negotiations required spending cuts, the market is worried about defense cuts. As I write this, these concerns are pushing down a sector that was already being discounted for future uncertainty.
If these fears come to fruition, many of the earnings these P/E ratios are based on will be lowered. It's been my contention that future cuts are already well priced into the larger players in the defense sector. That's why I bought a basket of them for my public real-money portfolio back in January. I'm a bit worried about underfunded pensions in this space, but I continue to think there are values here.
If you're interested in continuing your research on a stock mentioned here, add it to My Watchlist to stay abreast of all of our Foolish analysis.