Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at bargain prices. 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 when the market reacts to the upside.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
It's always darkest before the dawn
I hope you're sitting down, and if you aren't, then find something to hold onto. This week's first entry is ailing phone maker Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) . The reason I'll be reversing my underperform call to an outperform call has to do with the magnitude of the company's drop relative to its patent value, its cash on hand, and its partnerships.
There's no way to sugarcoat the fact that Nokia's failure to anticipate the smartphone revolution has left it clinging to its legacy patent portfolio and low-end, low-margin phones. Even though these phones don't leave Nokia with a bright future (losses are expected over the next couple of quarters), its roughly 10,000 patents do bring in about $650 million in revenue annually and could fetch a higher value in a bidding war than Nokia's current market cap.
Keep in mind that wireless technology patents are popular wish-list items of large tech companies. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) ponied up $12.5 billion when it purchased Motorola Mobility to gain access to its patents, while a consortium of Apple, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , and Research In Motion paid $750,000 per patent for Nortel's 6,000 patents. If Nokia's patents sold at such pricey levels, they would be worth about $7.5 billion.
Nokia has also partnered with Microsoft for its new operating system and, unlike RIM, is capable of putting out newer products immediately. Nokia is far from a sexy investment, but the sum of the parts is worth more than its current share price, considering it also has $6.5 billion in net cash.
Media stocks have been a hot commodity in the U.S., but they could be just as sweet of a deal in international markets as well, where growth opportunities are much broader. CTC Media (Nasdaq: CTCM ) in Russia, for example, is the largest non-state-owned broadcast company, and it appears to be a victim of investor apathy rather than fundamental weakness at the moment.
In CTC's latest quarter, the broadcasting company reported a 43% rise in profits amid a 15% rise in revenue. Advertising spending continued to rebound, and more people tuned into its Domashny and Peretz channels. CTC has been able to charge higher rates to advertisers as viewership and market share have improved, giving it solid operating cash flow that it can then turn around and use for reinvesting in its programming.
If there was one downside to its latest quarterly report, it was that its dividend payout would be cut by 38.5% to facilitate that programming investment. However, even with the cut, CTC Media will still be yielding north of 6%! High-growth, good pricing power, and a 6% yield -- sign me up!
Health and dividend benefits
Last week, I took a closer look at Walgreen (NYSE: WAG ) and determined that despite its recent speed bumps, it was run by an incredible CEO and continues to have a plan to deliver for shareholders. Today I'm taking that conviction one step further by starting the company as a CAPS outperform.
Walgreen hit a rough patch when a spat between it and Express Scripts cost the company millions of customers and sent them to rivals. However, Walgreen's partnership with Alliance Boots appears ready to pay immediate cost synergies and be accretive to earnings within the first year. That's great news for Walgreen shareholders.
What's also great news is Walgreen's immaculate streak of raising its dividend for 37 consecutive years. Its current yield of 3.7% puts it head-and-shoulders above its peers and makes it one of the cheapest premier dividend companies you can buy. I'm writing a prescription for success over the long term for Walgreen shareholders.
This week we've looked at three relatively large names that have been down on their luck recently. However, all three have solid operating cash flow and cash on hand to weather the storm, as well as a history of innovation that could make them great once again.
In the meantime, consider adding these potential winners to your free and personalized Watchlist -- and get your own personal copy of our special report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012," to see which company our chief investment officer has dubbed the "Costco of Latin America." Best of all, this report is completely free, so don't miss out!