Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often do when the market reacts to the upside.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
Soon to be on Fire?
Oh, the unglamorous life of being a component of the mobile supply chain. Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML), a provider of integrated circuit products, primarily microprocessors used in touch screen devices, has been creamed over the past year due to increased competition and the simple fact that it didn't win any licensing deals in Apple's (AAPL 0.15%) newly introduced iPhone 5. I'd hardly call that a defeat, seeing as how Atmel wasn't in the device to begin with, but investors have chosen to see things differently.
There are still multiple positive points for investors to take away from Atmel's recent performance. For one, as reported by Foolish technology guru Evan Niu, Atmel has secured a touchscreen microprocessor spot in the new Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire HD, unseating Llitek, which had previously held that spot in the first version of the Fire. As we've seen from Apple's few supply chain switches, changing suppliers is costly and time-consuming, so this probably means a long-term win for Atmel. I feel it's also worth noting that Texas Instruments' move out of mobile-chip making gives Atmel one fewer competitor and a greater chance to gain traction in future versions of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S models. At just nine times forward earnings and with no debt, I'm on board with Atmel.
Tech yourself before you wreck yourself
I'm sorry Jabil Circuit (JBL 18.80%), but nobody seems to like you. I could send Jabil a "get well soon" card, but that's unlikely to fix what has been a rapid reduction in margins that many Wall Street analysts peg on its relationship with Apple. As the supplier of the new aluminum case for the iPhone 5, it's rumored that Jabil spent a fortune cranking out production to meet Apple's demand, only to crush its own margins.
Well, I've got news for you, Jabil: I've got your back! Despite the fact nearly half of its revenue is derived from just five customers, which leaves it fairly exposed to an industrywide downturn, I feel its commitment to increasing shareholder value through dividends, share buybacks, and prudent spending makes its prediction for $1 billion in free cash flow in 2013 all the more attractive. Jabil is most definitely a long-term rebound play, but as I have high hopes for both Cisco Systems and Apple, two of its key customers, it only seems logical to include Jabil, which is valued at just six times forward earnings.
Tech wholesaler on sale?
Here's a shock: a third tech company finding its way onto this week's buy list that's tipping the scales near a new low thanks to Apple. Is Apple the center of the tech universe? Perhaps...
The final company I want to highlight this week is technology wholesaler Tech Data (TECD) which distributes technologies produced by Apple and Hewlett-Packard. It's most recent quarter was marred by a brutal earnings miss perpetuated by foreign currency translation weakness and contract fulfillments related to a revision of its warranty services. The great news about both of these issues is that they're short-term in nature.
Tech Data is still very profitable and on pace to deliver mid-single-digit growth in Europe, where it gets the largest chunk of its business. Overall, Tech Data has $186 million in net cash and is on pace to deliver around $6 in EPS next year despite sluggish U.S. government spending and Europe's sovereign debt crisis. If Tech Data can remain this profitable and keep margins somewhat steady in this environment, imagine how well off it'll be when the wholesale electronics market does stabilize.
This week's theme is that even an Apple-centric world can offer up quite a few valuable tech companies. These turnaround plays aren't likely to turnaround overnight, but I feel they make smart long-term plays within the sector.
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