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.
Fuel prices may rise and fall, but one of the few constants for the oil and gas industry are its midstream companies, which own pipelines and storage tanks that hold and transport natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil. During the next decade drilling and exploration expenses will likely take a backseat to midstream storage and transmission pipelines which are expanding rapidly to keep pace with the huge boost in U.S. domestic shale discoveries.
One company that I anticipate will benefit from this growth is Marlin Midstream Partners (NASDAQOTH: AZUR ) , which is a master-limited partnership that just went public in late July and specializes in natural gas gathering, compressing, treating, processing, and marketing. Natural gas prices can somewhat act as a hinderance to Marlin Midstream in the minds of investors, but it would take an utter collapse or spike in prices to disrupt the steady cash flow Marlin is expected to receive from its midstream operations. The company's four facilities are located near the oil-rich Powder River basin and Uinta basin, as well as Cotton Valley Sands and Haynesville shale formations.
In its pre-IPO quarterly report Marlin noted that its gross margin increased 46% from the previous year while adjusted EBITDA soared to $2.3 million from essentially breakeven results. Furthermore, Marlin updated its ongoing dividend policy for shareholders with the assumption that it'll pay out at least $0.35 per quarter for a minimum annual payout of $1.40. Based on yesterday's close that would mean Marlin is yielding 7.9% and is priced at a very reasonable 14 times forward earnings. That sounds like a jumping off point for a potentially solid long-term investment.
It has been an ugly couple of months since Titan International's (NYSE: TWI ) CEO Maurice "The Grizz" Taylor stuck his foot in his mouth and essentially balked at the idea of purchasing Goodyear Tire & Rubber's (NASDAQ: GT ) Amiens Nord plant in France. To sum up Taylor's response, which you can read here, he felt the French were a lazy, overpaid group of workers that could easily be replaced by outsourcing Titan's operations to India or China.
Things have deteriorated even further from a fundamental perspective since this PR gaffe, including Titan's EPS missing Wall Street's estimates in three consecutive quarters and the company announcing on Thursday that it'd be removing its revenue and EBITDA guidance moving forward. As you might imagine, removing its guidance didn't sit well with investors. As for me, I think this peak in pessimism could represent the perfect buying opportunity.
The big drawback recently for Titan International has been weaker raw materials prices which have caused it to lower its prices to its customers (which are primarily farm machine operators). Normally lower raw material costs are good for everyone -- consumers and businesses -- but this is one of those cases where it hasn't worked out that way. Goodyear, for example, has seen its EPS estimates rise because rubber costs are its No. 1 expense. As for Titan, I don't see considerable downside to rubber raw material costs from here on out, which would bode well for its pricing power moving forward.
As long as Titan can remain profitable its pricing issues should remain short-term since demand and revenue have only increased over the past couple of quarters. My suggestion would be to not allow emotional traders to get the better of you here and consider diving more deeply into Titan whose product growth has remained strong.
Splice and dice
Let this be a perfect example not to fall in love, or hate, with a company and allow yourself to always be open-minded.
Genetic analysis company Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM ) has pretty much always been a sell in my mind. Genetic analysis seems like a great idea on paper given the potential for personalized medicine to revolutionize disease treatment options. But Sequenom's execution has always been lacking. During the past decade it lost money in each year and burned through $416 million in cash. By comparison, Sequenom is worth just $318.5 million today !
But the tide could be turning with Sequenom announcing yesterday that it's considering strategic alternatives for its genetic analysis business. The real allure here is Sequenom's MaterniT21 PLUS genetic test for Down syndrome in pregnant women.
In the second-quarter, the number of MaterniT21 tests ordered increased by 130% over the previous year. The peak sales potential of this test, in my best estimation, could top $300 million annually. For a company looking for a quick earnings-accretive pop to its line of diagnostic products, purchasing Sequenom's genetic analysis line, or as a whole, would certainly accomplish this. Given MaterniT21's rapid growth I could see Sequenom fetching perhaps as much as a 50% premium from its current levels assuming there's interest, and presuming its diagnostic test continues to grow by double-digits at least.
This week's theme is all about unlocking shareholder value and not allowing emotional trading to get the better of us. Marlin Midstream's premier dividend, Titan's product sales growth, and Sequenom's willingness to part out its attractive assets make all three companies potentially intriguing buy candidates.
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