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2 of the Cheapest Stocks I Own

By Rick Munarriz – Updated Sep 27, 2021 at 10:29AM

Key Points

  • Camping World and China Life Insurance both trade at price-earnings ratios in the mid-single digits and offer dividend yields north of 5%.
  • Both companies have long track records of growth.

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The markets may be richly valued right now, but these two stocks still trade at low earnings multiples while offering chunky dividend yields and strong prospects for capital appreciation.

I own a lot of growth stocks, but sometimes you can find promising stocks with low earnings multiples and high yields. Two that check off both of those boxes for me are Camping World Holdings (CWH 0.80%) and China Life Insurance (LFC).

These companies are in entirely different industries and operate at opposite ends of the planet. They're also the two cheapest stocks I currently own, with low P/E ratios and yields north of 5% at current prices.

A couple putting coins into a piggy bank.

Image source: Getty Images.

Camping World 

The recreational vehicle (RV) industry has roared ahead in the pandemic. The allure of a home on wheels is pretty obvious in the new normal. Folks can travel safely with their own "quaranteam," and given how many of us are now able to work from anywhere, it just makes sense that some will want to take advantage and explore the country.

Camping World is the leading retailer of new and used RVs as well as related camping gear. Business is booming so much that it just doubled its quarterly dividend to $0.50 a share last month, giving it a yield of 5.1% at current share prices. Camping World has also been generous with special dividends beyond its regularly scheduled payouts, returning even more money to its shareholders.

This was a growing business even before the pandemic. Camping World has rattled off at least seven straight years of revenue growth, though acquisitions along the way did help it build that streak. It would be fair to say that 2021 is turning out to be its best year yet. Revenue soared by 52% and 28% year over year in the first two quarters, respectively, following double-digit percentage growth for all of 2020. And profitability is growing even faster. 

Camping World now trades for just 7 times trailing earnings. Business may cool down when we head out of the COVID-19 calamity, but those who bought RVs over the past year and a half will likely own them for a long time. RVs need maintenance, and Camping World's Good Sam Club is that niche's equivalent of the American Automobile Association. It's here to stay. 

China Life Insurance

It's risky to own Chinese growth stocks these days. That country's government has cracked down on businesses and industries across its economy, from for-profit educators to online gaming developers, sending shares into a tailspin.

If you're thinking of investing in a Chinese company now, your first step should be to assess how likely its business is to be disrupted. Insurance seems like a pretty crackdown-resistant niche, as it helps manage risk, and China Life Insurance is a juggernaut in its space. It offers annuity products as well as life, accident, and health insurance products, and has more than 322 million policies currently in force.

I've unloaded some of the riskier Chinese stocks that I owned, but I'm holding on to China Life Insurance. It's cheap -- as in really cheap. It's trading for less than 5 times trailing earnings. You would expect a company fetching a single-digit P/E ratio to either be cyclical or outright struggling, but China Life Insurance has been a steady grower. Over the past decade, it posted revenue growth in all but one year. 

Investors also get rewarded with outsized payouts, which take some of the risk out of owning the stock. China Life Insurance pays an annual dividend every summer, and its recent distribution of $0.426 per ADR translates into a yield of 5.3% at current share prices. ADR management fees and foreign taxes are automatically taken out of those distributions, but those are more than offset by the generosity of the payouts.  

U.S. insurance stocks trade at much higher multiples, offer much lower yields, and typically grow more slowly than China Life Insurance. You have to travel to the other side of the world to find what could be the cheapest stock in this steady and time-tested niche, but in this case, it's worth it.

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Camping World Holdings and China Life Insurance. The Motley Fool recommends Camping World Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

China Life Insurance Stock Quote
China Life Insurance
LFC
Camping World Stock Quote
Camping World
CWH
$23.83 (0.80%) $0.19

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