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Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies trading at what may be bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies wallowing at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to a companies' bad news, just as we often do when the market reacts to good news.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
A classic overreaction
In a market with an overwhelming number of frothy biopharmaceutical valuations, it's a bit of a head-scratcher to see Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LXRX ) traipsing along near a 52-week low.
The impetus for the recent cliff dive follows a mid-stage clinical data release for its diarrhea-prominent irritable bowel syndrome experimental drug LX1033 two weeks ago. The drug was intended to show a baseline improvement in stool consistency over the placebo from the start of treatment through day 28, but only provided a similar results profile to the placebo. Not all hope is lost, though, as positive effects were demonstrated with regard to abdominal pain that may warrant further research.
Despite the setback, Lexicon looks as if it could have one of the most revolutionary drugs over the next decade in its pipeline, LX4211. This particular experimental drug is an SGLT1 and SGLT2 inhibitor, which works to remove excess glucose from a patient's body and improve glycemic balance for type 2 diabetes patients. Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson's SGLT2 inhibitor Invokana was approved by the FDA with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) and AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN ) dapagliflozin, another SGLT2 inhibitor, getting the thumbs-up from the FDA's advisory panel last week. In other words, acceptance is growing of SGLT2 inhibitors, which also have the welcome side effect of inducing weight loss in patients, and it remains to be seen if a dual SGLT1 and SGLT2 inhibitor such that Lexicon is developing may prove superior to just SGLT2 inhibitors.
Clearly, the clinical trials need to do the talking here, but the pipeline potential, as well as $128.5 million in net cash, gives me hope that Lexicon's shares could be quite the bargain here.
Innovation that excites investors
At what point does an auto manufacturer's extremely attractive valuation outweigh the same company's struggles in the world's fastest-growing auto market, China? In my opinion, that point is right now for Nissan (NASDAQOTH: NSANY ) .
Nissan's biggest problem that it's attempted to overcome in China is the anti-Japanese sentiment of the citizens within the country. For much of the early part of 2013, Japanese automakers struggled while Ford and General Motors turned the tables on them and gobbled up Chinese market share. In November, though, the tables turned once again, with Nissan ringing up a 95% increase in unit sales to 131,800 as it's benefited from the introduction of a new line of vehicles that are increasingly fuel-efficient, a major sale driver in China.
Nissan is also holding its own quite well in the U.S. thanks to the newly redesigned Altima. In November, Nissan's total U.S. deliveries increased by 10.7% to 106,528 with its total U.S. division crossing the 1 million unit sale mark for the year. Furthermore, Altima sales hit a new record of nearly 25,000 units sold, a 21% increase over the year-ago period.
With Nissan back to doing what it does best -- in essence, focusing on the customer -- and pushing socially conscious electric vehicles that forward P/E of eight looks absolutely delectable at these levels and I would certainly encourage you to take another peek under Nissan's hood.
This year has been about as boom and bust as you can get for Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE: CTB ) shareholders, who in June were under the impression that Apollo Tyres was purchasing the company for $35 per share only to discover that the merger would not be going through as planned. Cooper has tried on two occasions to force the merger to go through via the court system, but just yesterday had its appeal thrown out by the Delaware Superior Court.
While many investors would consider Cooper Tire an off-limits investment after its failed merger with Apollo, I see its drastically reduced share price as the long-awaited green light to buy.
The primary reason Cooper Tire looks so attractive has to do with low input and rubber costs, which are allowing for better tire visibility than both Cooper and rival Goodyear Tire & Rubber have witnessed in years. In addition to lower expenses, the auto market has been incredibly strong as we just looked at via Nissan's results above. As long as new-car sales domestically continue to pace above a seasonally adjusted 16 million units and Europe's auto market remains stable, there's little reason to believe that Cooper's results won't improve.
Finally, Cooper simply looks like a deep-discount bargain on a forward-earnings basis. Cooper is currently valued at a mere seven times forward earnings and is also paying out an annual yield of roughly 2%. It's time to be greedy when others are fearful and give this tire maker another look.
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