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These 3 Value Stocks are Absurdly Cheap Right Now

By Will Healy – Oct 4, 2020 at 6:43AM

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The full potential of these stocks remains unrecognized by the market.

As most stock market observers know, the indexes have recently reached record highs. Nonetheless, individual stocks often experience their own bull and bear swings independent of the indexes -- so even during times like these, investors can still find value stocks.

Many of the stocks currently on sale probably should trade at higher valuations -- and their prices could start to rise as more investors begin to recognize their value. Stocks such as AbbVie (ABBV -0.60%), Prudential Financial (PRU 1.05%), and Qualcomm (QCOM -0.27%) offer such potential.

AbbVie

Once the pharma division of Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie has bolstered its fortunes primarily with revenues from the sale of the world's best-selling drug, Humira, since becoming an independent company in 2013. The stock has seen a prolonged slump as Humira's patents have expired in Europe and its U.S. expirations near (they're due in 2023). The market didn't respond well to its purchase of Allergan, either, which it completed in May.

However, one might wonder whether AbbVie is in better shape than its valuation would indicate. AbbVie sells for a forward P/E of about 7 despite profit growth projections of 17% this year and 16% in fiscal 2021. Moreover, this year's annual dividend of $4.72 per share yields approximately 5.4%. Also, due to its past ties to Abbott, it is a Dividend Aristocrat, which strongly indicates future annual payout hikes will probably continue.

Additionally, the company has developed and acquired other revenue sources that can replace its lost revenue from Humira. Cancer treatments Imbruvica and Venclexta are now delivering the company's fastest growth. Furthermore, the drugs acquired from the Allergan merger, including Botox and Restasis, should help boost the bottom line. Some also believe a new Allergan medication for bipolar disorder, called Vraylar, could turn into a blockbuster drug.

Given its array of treatments, AbbVie should easily replace the lost revenue from Humira. Additionally, with a low valuation, impressive profit growth, and a generous dividend, AbbVie should show profits for investors for years to come.

Man holding a value vs. price scale in the palms of his hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

Prudential

Prudential sells financial products geared toward insurance, wealth management, and retirement, and the company has lost about one-third of its value in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many stocks, it has not fully recovered from the bear market.

This may have created a significant investment opportunity. Due to the drop, Prudential stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of less than 6. Admittedly, this is less of a bargain than it first appears, as its average forward P/E ratio for the past five years stands at about 8. Part of this relates to Prudential's stagnant profit growth -- analysts forecast earnings will fall 20% this year before recovering by 24% in 2021. Currently, they remain below 2015 levels.

Nonetheless, this year's annual dividend of $4.40 per share yields about 7%, and the company has increased it every year since 2009. Additionally, with analysts predicting earnings of $9.38 per share for the year, the payout is easily affordable.

Investors should not expect fast growth from this company. However, a juicy dividend yield with a track record of payout hikes should serve income investors well. Moreover, even if its forward multiple only returns to its five-year average, investors could also see a significant return from stock appreciation alone.

Qualcomm

This maker of wireless chipsets has a forward P/E ratio of about 20, but while it may seem overpriced for a "value stock" at first glance, it's poised to deliver impressive returns. One thing to note is that much of the company's revenue comes from China and a business relationship with Huawei, which is a significant negative in the current political climate.

Still, by next year, analysts forecast Qualcomm's earnings will grow by 64%. This is in line with the findings of Grand View Research, which has predicted that the global wireless chipset market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 63% through 2027. With consumers beginning to buy 5G phones, the upgrade cycle has already started.

Moreover, most every 5G phone produced in the world will probably have a Qualcomm chipset. Legal attempts to curtail this Qualcomm "monopoly" have failed. Though Apple and others are probably working on a competing product, Qualcomm will likely dominate this business for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, investors could see further benefit from Qualcomm's dividend. The annual payout of $2.60 per share yields 2.2%, and it's risen almost every year since payouts began in 2010. Over time, this could mean an increasing cash stream along with a rising stock price as the world upgrades to 5G.

Will Healy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Prudential Financial Stock Quote
Prudential Financial
PRU
$106.66 (1.05%) $1.11
Qualcomm Stock Quote
Qualcomm
QCOM
$119.22 (-0.27%) $0.32
AbbVie Stock Quote
AbbVie
ABBV
$157.48 (-0.60%) $0.95
Apple Stock Quote
Apple
AAPL
$141.56 (-1.84%) $-2.66
Abbott Laboratories Stock Quote
Abbott Laboratories
ABT
$105.00 (-0.37%) $0.39

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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