The coronavirus panic on Wednesday tripped up many high-growth stocks as investors sought higher ground in safer options such as gold, bonds, or value-oriented stocks. Even so, some value investments took a haircut thanks to the COVID-19 scare.
Internet-of-Things (IoT) software and services specialist CalAmp (CAMP 1.92%) closed Wednesday's trading 9.9% lower. NCR (NCR -2.35%), a maker of barcode scanners, ATMs, and self-service kiosks, took a 10.1% hit. Engineered materials and optoelectronic components maker II-VI (IIVI -3.57%) fell 13.8% lower. None of these companies had any significant news of their own on Wednesday, pinning their entire drops on the coronavirus scare.
The COVID-19 disease did have a major impact on markets Wednesday as the worldwide number of confirmed cases crossed 110,000. Nearly 3,900 patients have lost their lives so far. The World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic for the first time, while taking great pains to explain that governments and individuals still have the power to slow down or stop its spread.
Each one of the tickers above is affected by the virus and its containment efforts in different ways.
NCR's core business depends on a strong global consumer market, inspiring its customers to invest in revenue-driving kiosks and ATMs. The company's barcode scanners also play an important role in the manufacturing industry as they help factories track their production from raw materials to final shipments. As such, this company serves as a reasonable barometer for the global economy as a whole.
II-VI and CalAmp are more tightly bound to the rollout of 5G wireless networks at the moment, which in turn will enable an explosion of 5G-connected IoT devices. Their financial pain can be measured by the amount of 5G implementation slowdowns the virus might trigger.
The negative market reaction to the COVID-19 spread is not unreasonable, even though these stocks looked affordable before this market panic started. Today, you can pick up shares of CalAmp at the bargain-bin multiple of 12 times forward earnings. II-VI and NCR look even more affordable at 8 and 6.4 times forward earnings, respectively.
The next few months and quarters will be difficult, but the coronavirus crisis won't last forever. All three of these value-priced stocks are worth a second look at these tremendous discounts.