As you're likely well aware, this has been one of the most lucrative bull markets in history, and it just turned a decade old in March -- oh, how time flies. Since March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 is up over a staggering 370%, and although it's not always easy to find promising stocks on the cheap in a market such as this, here are three stocks that are absurdly cheap and could offer investors long-term upside.
When rubber meets the road
Glancing at Goodyear Tire & Rubber's (GT -0.50%) 2019, there's no question the stock price hit a nasty speed bump with an 18% year-to-date decline -- which has been heavily aided by a 44% rebound since the start of September. That stock price decline has Goodyear trading at an absurdly cheap 6 times forward price-to-earnings ratio.
Enough pessimism, though -- let's take a look at the bright side. Goodyear is the largest tire company in North America. It has 47 manufacturing facilities in 21 countries, world-class innovation centers (including its innovation lab in Silicon Valley), and a list of roughly 5,700 patents and another 2,300 pending. It has a portfolio of recognizable brands including its namesake brand and Dunlop, a leading high- and ultra-high-performance tire brand, among others. Further, Goodyear sells to diverse end markets across the world, in multiple segments, offering some level of revenue stability. It also offers investors a juicy 3.9% dividend yield.
The reason investors have pumped the brakes on Goodyear is pretty simple: A plateauing and slowing North American light-vehicle market means lower vehicle production, which is bad for the tire maker's business. While the slowing market is a headwind, it's only part of Goodyear's overall story, and investors might be too pessimistic about the company's overall prospects. Here are a couple of reasons to believe Goodyear still has upside, especially when it's trading at such a cheap forward price-to-earnings multiple.
First, despite slowing light-vehicle production, Goodyear still gets significant revenue through its replacement tire business -- after all, the tires on which a new car drives off the production line certainly won't be the vehicle's last set. In fact, during the third quarter, Goodyear's replacement tire sales volume in the Americas increased 0.4 million units, or 3.2%, which more than offset a 0.3 million unit decline, or 6.8%, in original equipment tire volume. Second, Goodyear's price versus raw materials was positive during the third quarter for the first time in three years. The positive price versus raw materials simply illustrates that the company was able to support higher prices for its products, while costs for raw materials declined, a favorable mix for profitability. Third, more and more vehicles are using 17" or larger tires, which, per the company's approximate profit margin per tire, are nearly three times more profitable than tires under 17".
Goodyear is currently trading at an extremely cheap 6 times forward price to earnings, and slowing light-vehicle production doesn't spell doom and gloom. The company has diverse markets, a strong replacement tire business, improving prices versus raw materials, and an industry trending toward larger and more profitable tires. And with a nearly 4% dividend yield to boot, Goodyear is a cheap stock worth a second look from investors.
Get your hands on Hanes
When investors scan the markets for exciting growth opportunities, a producer of innerwear and activewear with well-known socks and underwear products probably won't jump to the top of the list. However, for savvy investors, Hanesbrands (HBI 4.84%) has shed roughly 34% of its value over the past three years and trades at a forward price to earnings multiple of 8 times, offering a potential entry point. Because of the company's strengths and upside, it could be poised to return more value to shareholders in the future.
Hanesbrands is positioned for growth partially through its Champion brand, an activewear brand that remains the highlight segment of a mostly gloomy apparel industry. For context, Hanesbrands presented to investors that activewear's two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2018 was 8% compared to total apparel's 0.8% growth. Further, during the recent third quarter, Champion sales surged 25% as reported, 26% at constant currency, and it was the ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit global sales growth in constant currency.
Not only has Hanesbrands focused on growing its Champion activewear brand while the segment is red-hot, it has also grown both its international business and its consumer-direct business. Consider that from 2013 to 2018, Hanesbrands' international sales went from 11% of total sales to 34%, and its consumer-direct business went from 9% to 22%. All of those factors have combined to reverse the negative organic sales trend witnessed over the past few years.
At the same time, Hanesbrands is growing organically, internationally, and through its Champion brand. It also lowered its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio from 3.9 times at the end of the first quarter of 2018 to roughly 2.9 times at the end of this year. As that ratio is now within its target range, it opens the door for acquisitions, share repurchases, or perhaps a dividend raise -- all increasing the value returned to shareholders.
While Hanesbrands has figured out its growth story and offers upside, management must improve its adjusted operating margins, which have declined from 15.4% in 2016 down to 13.9% in 2018, to really excite investors about more profitable growth. Hanesbrands might not top your list of exciting consumer goods stocks, but the company trades at a cheap forward valuation, and if it can reverse margins, it could send the stock price surging -- the icing on the cake is that it boasts a juicy 4% dividend yield for patient investors.
Choppy waters now, but a bright future
Similar to the up-and-down ocean waves that Carnival Corp (CCL 2.57%) encounters when operating its line of cruise ships, the near-term outlook for the cruise business is choppy. Generally, as Carnival sources roughly half of its consumers from outside of the U.S., it's better able to absorb the effects of economic slowdowns in one or two regions. However, Carnival's widespread footprint hasn't been able to offset weak demand both in Europe and Asia, a stronger dollar, and International Maritime Organization 2020 sulfur regulations. Those have been headwinds for Carnival in the near term, sending its stock to trade at a modest 10 times forward price-to-earnings ratio, but here are a few reasons long-term investors can remain optimistic.
Firstly, Carnival is the world's largest leisure travel company, with favorable scale compared to its competitors, boasting over 104 ships with 249,000 lower berths and 17 new ships scheduled to hit the water through 2025. That scale and widespread footprint across the globe's attractive destination spots have helped the company earn the strongest balance sheet in the industry as well as drive $5 billion in cash from operations annually -- almost equal to Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line in 2018, combined.
What might surprise investors, though, is that Carnival still offers upside. While cruise vacations are fairly popular, a vast majority of the U.S. population has never been on one, and market penetration is even lower internationally. In fact, Morningstar.com notes that less than 4% of U.S. consumers have taken a cruise, and that figure is less than 3% in Europe. That leaves plenty of growth for Carnival as it brings on more ship capacity, adds desirable destinations, and accelerates its marketing.
The aging population in the U.S. market also bodes well for cruise lines in the long term. The 65-and-older demographic is expected to outgrow cruise industry capacity over the next decade, potentially boosting demand for cruises.
Carnival is facing near-term headwinds, but many investors overlook the aging demographic that will support its business over the next decade. Adding to that long-term optimism is the fact that Carnival already boasts larger scale and a healthy balance sheet -- it even offers a juicy 4.2% dividend yield for investors willing to cruise through the choppy near-term waters.
Don't stop looking for great stocks
It can be difficult to find hidden gems in a stock market that's been on a tear over the past decade. But these three stocks, despite having their respective near-term headwinds, are all well-established companies with insanely cheap valuations. Carnival might be able to cruise the wave of an aging population to growth; Goodyear Tire can hopefully ride the trend of bigger and more profitable tires; and Hanesbrands may find success with a renewed focus on the more rapidly growing activewear market. If those things happen, all three companies could easily surpass expectations over the long term.