After a bull market as long as this one, you're bound to run into a few people willing to give some hot take about how value investing is dead. Oh, how short everyone's memories seem to be on Wall Street. Sure, value investing is harder to do now with valuations trading at such a premium, but to say that buying stocks of solid businesses that trade at low valuations isn't a good idea sounds absolutely ludicrous.
So we asked three Motley Fool investors to highlight stocks they consider attractive stocks that might be a value investment today. Here's why they picked General Motors (NYSE:GM), Loma Negra Compania Industrial Argentina (NYSE:LOMA), and LGI Homes (NASDAQ:LGIH).
Don't overlook this development
Daniel Miller (General Motors): There's a diamond in the rough hiding in the automotive industry, and it should make your watch list for value stocks to buy in June, without question. General Motors trades at a paltry forward price-to-earnings ratio of 6.7, despite its stock price moving 25% higher over the past 12 months, and on the last day of May, it made a big announcement.
General Motors announced that SoftBank Group (NASDAQOTH: SFTBF) will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings, bolstering Detroit's largest automaker's plans to take its autonomous vehicle technology to the next level -- the news immediately sent GM's stock price soaring more than 10%.
The investment values GM Cruise at $11.5 billion, which should excite investors. It gives investors hope that as GM continues to inject capital into its AV research and development, the massive company could be viewed as more of a technology and mobility services company, rather than a legacy automaker in a capital-intensive and cyclical industry.
This announcement gives GM more credibility in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and also boosts the automaker's ability to recruit and compete with tech companies for the best talent -- the competition for top autonomous vehicle talent is fierce. Thanks to this announcement, June might prove to be the month investors look back at General Motors' stock as a diamond in the rough and a steal at today's forward price-to-earnings multiple of 6.7.
A rock-solid value stock -- and that "rock" is concrete
Rich Smith (Loma Negra Compania Industrial Argentina): Can a growth stock be a value stock? Can a cement stock be either one? In the case of Loma Negra Compania Industrial Argentina, I think the answer to both questions is yes.
Loma Negra stock got hit by a double whammy of bad news last month, with home country Argentina devaluing its currency, and analysts at UBS tarring the stock with a "sell" rating. Ultimately, these factors drove Loma stock down 38%. But here's the thing: Loma Negra operates mainly locally, selling products for pesos (which are devaluing). But you have to figure that as a cement maker, it's also buying its materials locally, in those same devalued pesos, so its costs are going down at the same time as its revenues devalue. The net result shouldn't be too bad for Loma Negra.
What's more, UBS thought that at worst, Loma Negra stock might fall as low as $14.50 per share. Yet Loma stock today actually trades below that price. I think that gives the stock room to rise as sentiment normalizes in June.
Priced at a debt-adjusted market cap (enterprise value) of just 21.5 times its $79 million in trailing free cash flow and only 19.3 times its $88 million in trailing earnings, Loma Negra stock isn't the most obvious candidate for a "value stock." Still, analysts who follow it see Loma Negra growing earnings at 38% annually over the next five years as the economy in Argentina stabilizes and the construction boom continues. That growth rate has come down a bit since last I wrote about the stock -- as I believe it needed to -- but it's still more than fast enough to justify a valuation multiple of about 20 times.
Getting value out of a fast-growing homebuilder
Tyler Crowe (LGI Homes): LGI Homes is a bit of an anomaly in the homebuilding industry. Typically, companies generate higher margins when they can upsell homebuyers with details and custom upgrades on newly built homes. That isn't the case with LGI, though. It sells entry-level homes with little to no customization and low price points designed to attract renters and first-time buyers. By all accounts, these kinds of sales should be low margin, yet somehow LGI has been able to achieve gross margins of close to 25% this past quarter, which puts it near the top of the industry.
What makes LGI appealing right now is that its target market -- renters and first-time buyers -- is one of the largest markets for the housing industry right now. The millennial generation is the largest population demographic since the Baby Boomers and many are looking to make their first home purchase after many delayed that decision for some time following the Great Recession. Serving this customer has been an incredibly high-growth market as LGI has been able to grow revenue by more than 10 times over the past five years.
Of course, homebuilding isn't a business that grows at annual clips like this for long, but LGI has proven to have a solid business model that is hitting at just the right time with the demographics of home buyers. With shares trading at 13 times earnings and guidance for another year of robust growth, LGI Home's stock looks rather compelling.