No one should invest in a stock based on just a single metric like a low price-to-earnings ratio. That being said, finding companies that trade below the market's multiple, yet still produce substantial free cash flow, seems like a good way to begin winnowing down the field to a more manageable level.
In a market as overheated as this, you would think it would be hard to find such reasonably priced stocks, but read on to see why I think American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOBC), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Camping World Holdings (NYSE:CWH) represent good opportunities to consider for investors looking for low P/E stocks.
American Outdoor Brands
Smith & Wesson brand owner American Outdoor Brands has been beaten down because of fears that demand for guns is drying up following the election of Donald Trump. With a firearms-friendly administration in the White House and a Republican-controlled Congress, the likelihood of major anti-gun legislation getting passed is slim. That negates the need to go out and buy a gun now, today!
This is seemingly backed up by FBI data that shows criminal background checks on potential gun buyers tumbled 20% last month compared to a year ago. Yet 2016 was an all-time record-setting year. So when you compare this year's numbers to those from two years ago, background checks are actually running about 20% higher. That bodes well for continued profitable growth
American Outdoor Brands trades for an incredibly discounted 8.5 times earnings and less than 12 times the free cash flow it produces. That puts it in bargain basement territory and makes it a stock investors ought to consider closely.
Once upon a time, Best Buy was seen as just another electronics retailer that would succumb to the effects of "showrooming," or using brick-and-mortar stores as places to test out a product before buying them online. But Best Buy was able to turn that liability into a competitive advantage by investing heavily in its own digital efforts. Today, online sales are among its strongest attributes, with online comparable sales jumping 22.5% in the first quarter. E-commerce is helping drive Best Buy's "Build the New Blue" campaign.
Even though shares of the consumer electronics superstore have gained more than 80% over the last year, it still seems undervalued. The stock goes for only around 17 times earnings and its price is less than 14 times its free cash flow, making for another deeply discounted investment -- and the business looks like it's hitting on all cylinders once more.
Camping World Holdings
Living big in a tiny home has never been more popular. Sales of RV in the U.S. are hitting record levels, with dealers expecting to sell some 446,000 units this year -- nearly double the number sold in 2008 -- actually hitting the highest levels they've ever been in about 40 years. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, Millennials are likely to be the biggest buyers of RVs because they're looking for a weekend experience without a lot of cost, while baby boomers tend to buy them as "life-altering" investments.
In either case, Camping World Holdings is essentially the largest national retailer of RVs with 130 stores in 36 states. It also got into the retail business earlier this year when it bought the assets of the Gander Mountain sporting goods chain out of bankruptcy. Rebranding it as Gander Outdoor, Camping World sees opportunities to cross-sell products complementary to the RV-ing lifestyle.
It also goes for a below-market P/E of 16.6 that trades at almost 11 times its free cash flow. Offered also at just a fraction of its sales, Camping World Holdings is an intriguing play on this unique style of living.
And we're off!
Looking at low market valuations is just one step an investor needs to take before making the crucial buy decision, but these three stocks that sport low P/E ratios look like a great place to start that journey of one thousand steps.