Value investors are always on the hunt for inexpensive stocks tied to fantastic businesses. Ideally, they want to see massive cash-generation prospects for the foreseeable future, to the point where many investors underestimate the upcoming cash profits. That combination of factors gives investors the opportunity to buy high-quality stocks at a discount, which in turn should result in impressive long-term returns on the investment.
Here are two stocks that fit that bill right now. These top-shelf companies are hanging out in Wall Street's bargain bin, and investors who buy in at today's low prices should see market-beating gains in the long run.
Tesla: Changing the game
Most people think of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as a pioneer in the field of electric vehicles (EVs). That is true enough; Tesla was the first car company to be built for EVs from the ground up, and its success has forced the rest of the auto industry to develop its own plug-in electric models.
And the company is still a leader in that sector. Many carmakers have announced that they will abandon the fossil-fuel market and refocus entirely on electric cars. They have a bit of catching up to do, though. Tesla delivered nearly 183,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars in the first quarter of 2021 and another 201,000 units in the second quarter. By comparison, Ford (NYSE:F) sold a total of 13,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs in the first half of the year. That's the most popular electric vehicle in America that is not made by Tesla, according to Car & Driver.
And that's the whole point of Tesla's market-leading EVs. CEO Elon Musk really wants Tesla to lead the world into sustainable power production and consumption, with Tesla eventually becoming a global provider of large-scale battery packs and alternative power production systems. Weaning the auto industry from oil-based fuels is an important first step toward that goal, and the car sales form the foundation of Tesla's financial platform from which it can launch more energy-focused business ideas.
Tesla explained all of this in great detail 15 years ago, but Musk's long-term plan isn't always obvious to every investor. As a result, the stock is prone to wild swings on news of a temporary nature, while the big picture continues to evolve. Today, Tesla shares are trading 28% below January's all-time highs. Meanwhile, both sales and free cash flows have doubled over the last three years:
Tesla might not look like a value investment by traditional metrics such as price to earnings or price to sales, but the stock is deeply undervalued in the context of skyrocketing sales and a laser-like focus on long-term success. That's a bargain in my book.
Intel: Down but not out
Semiconductor giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has been struggling with chipmaking technology issues in recent years, giving rival processor designers a rare opportunity to build more-advanced chips in factories operated by third-party manufacturers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) or Samsung Semiconductor.
That unfortunate situation could have been disastrous for Intel, and investors have certainly acted as if the company's salad days are over. Intel shares are trading 22% below their 52-week highs, including an 8% drop in the last month alone. You can pick up shares at the deeply discounted valuation of 12 times trailing earnings. Market makers are expecting the worst.
However, the bears should take another look at Intel's manufacturing situation. The chip sector is deep into a global supply shortage, which limits the manufacturing volumes for everybody. The pandemic boosted the global demand for electronic devices in support of work-from-home setups and home entertainment, and chip production was already constrained by the Chinese-American trade war. On top of all that, a terrible drought hit Taiwan this year, making it difficult for the many semiconductor factories on the island to find the super-clean water they need.
These industrywide challenges gave Intel some breathing room, because the company runs its own manufacturing plants in places like Arizona, Oregon, and Ireland. Taiwanese droughts are not an issue for this company. Now, Intel is throwing its hat into the ring as a third-party chipmaker itself, with firm technology-node plans stretching five generations ahead in the next four years.
Intel is investing $20 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations and another $20 billion in European chip-building expansions over the next several years. Rumor has it that the company wants to buy privately held chip foundry GlobalFoundries in a $30 billion blockbuster deal, too. Furthermore, Intel argues that its manufacturing technologies of any particular size are comparable to smaller trace widths from any other manufacturer. For instance, the so-called Intel 7 process may rely on 10-nanometer traces but should be compared to the 7-nm platforms from Taiwan Semi or Samsung due to its highly optimized transistor architecture.
Talk is cheap, of course, but Intel is putting its money where its mouth is and has already landed a huge chip-building client in mobile processor giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). This year is starting to look like a springboard from which Intel launches into another period of technical leadership and strong shareholder returns.