Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at a bargain. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I feel it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often see to the upside.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
I can hear you now
The Russian mobile phone and fixed-line sector has been ravaged over the past year, so consider this a two-for-one special. Russia's two largest players, Mobile TeleSystems
Specifically, VimpelCom showed the strongest net subscriber growth of the bunch in May, with the most stable ARPU. Although both companies appear undervalued, VimpelCom provides the more attractive investment potential. With VimpelCom trading at 6.8 times forward earnings and paying a nice dividend last quarter of $0.15 per share, you could do much worse in the growing Russian telecom sector.
Recent data have suggested that the housing sector is still being propped up by toothpicks, not two-by-fours -- but that doesn't mean that every company in the sector is an automatic sell.
Don't become enamored of MDC's 4.2% current dividend, because that could go to the wayside if a return to profitability remains more than two years out. But its $210 million net cash position is more than enough to keep this company in an advantageous position relative to its peers.
Returns you can bank on
Following a massive $8.8 billion loss relating to poor loans derived from its Countrywide purchase, shareholders in Bank of America
Bank of America has challenges ahead, without question, but the company's benefits far outweigh the risks at this point. In its latest quarterly filing, Bank of America noted that it has relatively little exposure to Greece, Spain, and Italy, and that its tier 1 capital ratio exceeds its internal expectations. In sum, the company appears to be well-capitalized, free from any risk of diluting shareholders with a secondary offering. Now that the company has dealt with a big chunk of its toxic assets, it should be able to move on to return to profitability. Trading well below book value and at less than six times 2012 earnings expectations, it's quickly moving up my own personal watchlist.
New 52-week lows are like that Hawaiian shirt that wound up on the clearance rack at your favorite department store: There's a clear reason how it got there, but for the right buyer, it's going to provide a lot of value. The same goes with the above names. It could be years before investors realize their potential, but there's plenty of value waiting in these three businesses.
What's your take on these companies? Would you take a stab at any of them here? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding VimpelCom, MDC Holdings, and Bank of America to your watchlist.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong The Motley Fool owns shares of and has created a short position in Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of MDC Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that's cutting-edge yet child-proof.