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.
It's OK to fall in love, just this once
One of the prevailing rules of investing is not to fall in love with a stock -- but exceptions can be made for IAC (NASDAQ:IAC), a diversified Internet company that operates the Ask.com search engine and multiple personal websites like Match.com and OkCupid.com.
IAC's third quarter was highlighted by a huge surge in both search revenue (up 43%) and dating service revenue (35%), and marked the fourth consecutive quarter the Internet-based company has crushed Wall Street's estimates. What we're learning about IAC's business model is that it's generally resistant to economic downturns. Customers of Match.com or OkCupid who are searching for love are unlikely to reduce spending even if their income levels recede slightly, as is expected with the expiration of the payroll tax holiday.
Another intriguing aspect of IAC will be how it incorporates its recent $300 million all-cash purchase of the About Group from The New York Times. The synergies of combining About.com's content with Ask.com's search engine should yield better results for consumers and higher profits for IAC overall. At just 11 times forward earnings, and sporting a yield of 2.3% (which, may I add, doubled last year), IAC looks very attractively priced right here.
I like it... I like it Allot
If I don't get brownie points for incorporating a line from Dumb & Dumber, then I'm not sure what you do get brownie points for!
Humor aside, two weeks ago I took a long look at the deep packet inspection, or DPI, sector, which is primarily made up of Procera Networks (UNKNOWN:PKT.DL), Allot Communications (NASDAQ:ALLT), and Cisco Systems. DPI products focus on regulating service and mobile providers' data usage and managing network traffic congestion. The focus of my article was on Procera, which tends to target enterprise customers with high-speed DPI needs, and ultimately, I placed a CAPScall of outperform on the company. After much thought, I plan to throw a second outperform call behind Allot as well.
To echo what I said two weeks ago with regard to ease of use, Cisco's software is often integrated within its servers, making upgrades very difficult -- unless you want another server. Allot, on the other hand, focuses on offering more network customization than Procera in order to gain contracts. It's important to note, though, that Procera and Allot have only a very small overlap when it comes to the type of customer they're seeking, so they can both grow rapidly without cannibalizing each other's sales.
In just the past two months we've seen big telecom spending reenter the marketplace, with AT&T announcing a $14 billion three-year wireless and wireline upgrade, and Sprint Nextel getting a hefty $8 billion investment from SoftBank to expand its 4G network. This money is expected to go right into Allot's and Procera's pockets! Considering that Allot grew revenue by 40% and profits by 50% in its latest quarter, and that it holds $4.47 million in cash, I consider it very undervalued here.
A dark-horse candidate
The biotech sector is all about taking risks -- and be forewarned, this is a big one and far more aggressive than my usual selections -- which is why I'm selecting Immunomedics (NASDAQ:IMMU) as my final outperform CAPScall this week.
Immunomedics is primarily involved in developing monoclonal antibodies to treat various types of autoimmune disorders, as well as cancer. The company's lead product is Epratuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the CD22 receptors on B lymphocytes, and is currently in phase 3 trials for lupus and phase 2 trials for lymphoma. In mid-stage lupus trials, Epratuzumab demonstrated statistical improvement over the placebo with a similar adverse event profile to the placebo.
While Epratuzumab's results offer the most immediate share price impact, and really Immunomedics' entire pipeline has the potential to be used as a combination therapy, it's the company's early-stage antibody-drug conjugate study for Milatuzumab that has me the most excited. If you recall, I've praised both Seattle Genetics and ImmunoGen, whose antibody-delivering technologies could be the basis of future chemotherapy delivery to cancer cells. Knowing that Immunomedics is entering that field has me excited about its prospects.
The reality for shareholders is that immediate losses will continue and clinical data will drive results. However, Immunomedics has ample cash to make it through 2013 and the results thus far portend a potential drug approval in the offing for Epratuzumab.
This week it's all about underestimation. Investors have underestimated how resistant IAC is to an economic slowdown, how rapidly DPI needs will surge as telecom spending picks up for Allot, and how important antibody technology will become in the biotech space with Immunomedics.
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, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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