Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at a bargain price. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often do to the upside.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
After swinging for the fences and failing to connect with the bases loaded, I'm back at it again with Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) . The maker of the BlackBerry and Best Buy shelf ornament BlackBerry PlayBook hasn't been able to catch a break all year. It has been losing market share to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) while its tablet has failed to catch on with consumers. The coming merger of Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI ) with Google could put RIM at a further disadvantage. Yet despite all this, I still see value in RIM shares.
The thing to remember with RIM is that it still has a strong presence in the enterprise business segment. It could survive and be solidly profitable even if its consumer segment continues to dry up. The key to success will be to dump its dual-CEO structure and not to focus too much of its outstanding capital on research and development. Right now, at more than $3 below book value and valued at a mere four times forward earnings, I don't see how RIM could get much cheaper considering it's still producing free cash flow of more than $1.8 billion over the past 12 months. I've been wrong on RIM before, but I'm looking for a little redemption here.
Things are getting chippy
Business isn't as usual lately for the image sensor producer OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) . The company has been blasted by analysts and competitors alike as the trio of Samsung, Toshiba, and Aptina are eating away at the company's non-Apple market share. Moreover, Sony (NYSE: SNE ) may be pushing OmniVision out of some of its niche role with Apple. This became evident from the company lowering its second-quarter guidance earlier this month.
But, I ask, "How blind do you have to be to turn down a highly profitable company with $457 million in net cash?" Keep in mind that as of Friday's close, OmniVision was only valued at $621 million. Basically, for only $164 million you can have a company with close ties to Apple's highly profitable iPhone, trading at only 76% of book value, that just announced a $100 million share repurchase program, and is trading at only eight times forward estimates. Those figures are crazy inexpensive and make OmniVision a good bet based on its strong balance sheet alone.
Eye of the storm
Hurricane Irene may have only been a Category 1 hurricane when it struck the U.S. in August, but the rainfall produced by that storm caused a torrential downpour of losses from the property and casualty insurance sector. Tower Group (Nasdaq: TWGP ) , one of those insurers, reported its first quarterly loss since it debuted in 2004 because of the one-time event. With the stock nearing a new low, now may be the time to scoop up one of my favorite small caps.
Putting the negatives aside, Tower Group's third quarter highlighted a 16% increase in gross premiums written, an 80-basis-point drop in its net expense ratio, and a 7.2% increase in net investment income. It's going to take more than one bad quarter to turn me off from this rapidly growing dividend machine. Tower's dividend, which has grown by 650% in just the past four years, now yields 3.7% and stands far and away higher than industry giant Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG ) , which has seen its dividend contract over the same time span. At a mere 79% of book value, I just don't see much downside left in the stock at these levels and think more conservative investors should get this company on their radars.
Notice a theme with the picks this week: Cash-rich companies with minimal debt that are trading below book value and are largely underappreciated by analysts. Wall Street has been wrong before and these cash flow kahunas are a long way from being forgotten stories.
What do you think? Do these fallen angels deserve a second chance or should they be surrounded by yellow caution tape? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding Research In Motion, OmniVision Technologies, and Tower Group to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with each company.