Owning value stocks has long been a great way to invest and even beat the market over time. But as companies have moved from manufacturing and industrial businesses, which are highly capital intensive but provide measurable book value, to capital-light tech businesses, the concept of value has changed.
One metric that still works to measure value is the price to earnings ration, or P/E ratio. On that measure, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT) are both great values and wonderful businesses to own long term.
Verizon's long-term value
There are few companies with a business as stable as Verizon Communications, the U.S.'s leading wireless provider. The company has a near duopoly with AT&T atop the U.S. wireless market, which has driven a consistent growth machine over the past decade.
What I like about Verizon going forward is the growth potential is has from 5G technology. Not only will smartphones upgrade to faster 5G connections, the ultra-fast speeds will allow Verizon to bring 5G into the home, enable self-driving cars, and even allow for streaming virtual reality.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Verizon's P/E ratio is just 6.7 and its dividend yield is currently 4.7%. Both are great values for investors, especially if the company turns 5G wireless into a growth business over the next few years.
The auto business is tough to make money in long-term and a lot of companies have made disastrous mistakes, including General Motors. But the company has learned a lot of lessons since the last recession and is generating solid operating profits long-term. As long as we avoid a recession, this is a manufacturer who could be profitable for years to come.
As much as I like a profitable manufacturing position as a base, it's General Motor's autonomous future that has me most excited. The company is one of the industry's leaders in self-driving technology and is planning to launch a fully autonomous ride-sharing fleet in 2019. That puts it years ahead of competitors like Tesla, who are percieved to be leading in self-driving technology.
One RBC Capital Markets analyst thinks the Cruise Automation unit, where self-driving tech is housed, is worth $43 billion by itself. That's amazing given the fact that GM is worth just $55 billion today.
GM's P/E ratio based on adjusted earnings per share is just 6.2 and if the Cruise business takes off that could be a steal for investors. For now, I am happy with the low P/E ratio and a dividend yield of 3.8% from the stock.
The auto business is being disrupted by new technologies like electric vehicles and self-driving, but there isn't much disruption coming to the tire market, which makes Goodyear Tire a great long-term investment. There are ups and downs in tire demand as new auto sales rise and fall or large equipment orders swing, but long-term the business is very stable.
This isn't a growth stock, as you can see above, but what's great is that investors don't have to pay a lot for Goodyear's stock. Shares trade at just 6.2 times 2018 adjusted earnings estimates, which is a steal for a company with little chance of being disrupted in a big way.
If you're looking at auto stocks and don't know quite how to play the changing market, maybe tires are where you should be. And Goodyear Tire is a great place to start looking for value.
There's still value in this market
It shouldn't be surprising that the three stocks I outlined are in older markets that don't provide a lot of growth today. That's where investors are going to find low P/E, value stocks. I think each company provides great value and a long-term path to profitability and even growth for investors willing to wait for their potential to be realized.