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.
Networking or not working?
I'm fairly convinced there isn't a company left in the networking and storage equipment sector that hasn't been hit with an earnings warnings in the past six months. The latest company to be bitten by the cautious outlook bug is QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC ) ; however, I feel now is not the time to be running away from what appears to be a promising long-term buy.
QLogic's second-quarter report and third-quarter outlook weren't pretty. Earnings plunged 51% year over year as revenue decreased across all three segments and operating expenses increased 6% because of research and development costs. These results are markedly worse than those of Mellanox Technologies (Nasdaq: MLNX ) , which reported a 145% improvement in gross profit but also forecast revenue in the upcoming quarter that was $10 million below Wall Street's forecast at the midpoint.
Putting QLogic's cyclical nature aside, its outlook over the long run is still intact. At some point, service providers are going to need to upgrade their infrastructure, and QLogic will be ready to supply those necessary components as needed. More important, QLogic has a cash pile on its back that would rival Santa Claus' sack. It recently ended the quarter with $484.4 million in cash ($5.17 per share) and no debt, yet closed at only $9.35 yesterday. Having been profitable in each of the past 10 years and trading at just nine times forward earnings, this seems like a no-brainer buy!
Whether you take your tea with one lump of sugar or two, you'll probably agree that specialty tea retailer Teavana (NYSE: TEA ) has been crushed over the past year. I should know, because I came out with a CAPScall of underperform on the company nearly one year ago and am up 61 points on that selection. But the time has come to reverse course, close that underperform CAPScall, and switch to being an optimist.
I may not share the same enthusiasm that my Foolish colleague Alyce Lomax has for Teavana, because unlike her I'm not willing to put real money behind the business just yet, but there's a clear difference between the 46 times forward earnings multiple it traded at last year, and the 15 times it's valued at now! Tazo teas featured by Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX ) do represent a marginal threat for Teavana, as they target the same premium tea consumer, yet growth rates at Teavana seem to be chugging higher regardless of Starbucks' attempts to stymie its progress.
In its most recently ended, and highly confusing, quarter, Teavana reported a 38% increase in sales and the addition of 105 stores over the previous year. Those aren't the figures of a company being pressured by Starbucks. I agree with Alyce that there could be a niche brand here and look for good things over the long run.
Half-pipe, full potential
I said I've been eagerly waiting for action sports apparel company Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ ) to come back from the stratosphere, and it appears to finally be at an attractive level.
Zumiez was crushed last week after reporting a 20% rise in October revenue over the previous year but only with the help of a 0.6% gain in same-store sales versus an expected gain of 4.6% by Wall Street analysts. Keep in mind that prior to the past few months, Zumiez had produced double-digit same-store sales growth, so the rapid drop-off has investors concerned that the company's designs are falling out of fashion. I see things a bit differently.
I see this as Zumiez's growth normalizing to where it should have been. Revenue, with the addition of new stores, is still growing by double digits, and it keeps putting the correct merchandise in front of some very fickle consumers. Like all retail companies, it'll face its own set of challenges and hiccups, but management has done too fantastic a job of leading this company over the past couple of years for me not to trust them over the long term. At just 12 times forward earnings and with a healthy $97 million in cash, I'm ready to proudly flaunt my optimism.
This week it's all about a mixture of cash and growth. QLogic has an insane amount of cash relative to its current value, Teavana's growth is unparalleled at just 15 times forward earnings, and Zumiez offers a nice balance of cash and double-digit growth rates.
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