Familiarity can serve as a great starting point when searching for stocks. Products we use on a daily basis -- like now during the dog days of summer -- can provide inspiration for identifying possible investment opportunities. In fact, investing greats Peter Lynch and Warren Buffett have made tons of money in the market by buying what they know.
Let's look at three summertime stocks that are worth a closer look.
We all want to spruce up our lawns, get that new barbecue grill, and have the pool looking good. For any home and garden need you might have this summer, Lowe's is there to help. Without a doubt, Lowe's is enjoying a housing recovery tailwind. But Lowe's pending acquisition of Orchard Supply Hardware may unlock even more value for shareholders. Lowe's anticipates operating the West Coast chain as a standalone business and might offer Sears brands, such as Craftsman and Kenmore, at Orchard Supply stores (as OSH stores currently do).
Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR)
Yes, you probably think of the bunny and batteries. But that's not all Energizer does. In fact, it's also the company behind Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat sunscreens and Schick razors, products we tend to use more frequently in the summer. Energizer has recently been on a stock buyback spree, an action often taken if a company thinks its stock is undervalued. It currently trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13.
I'd like a show of hands. Does anyone with small children have plans to visit a Disney park, see a Disney movie, or occupy their bundles of joy with a Disney show on a summertime road trip? If you're childless or have grown kids, will you spend any time cooling off on the couch this summer watching an ESPN-televised sporting event? That's what I'm talking about. The ubiquitous Disney empire is everywhere, especially in the summer.
Regarding Disney as an investment, the company's acquisitions -- Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm -- are proving successful and yielding powerful franchises and assets that'll create value for decades to come. And don't forget about its cable networks, which include ESPN and account for about 45% of Disney's revenues and two-thirds of the company's annual operating profit.
Foolish bottom line
Of course, buying a stock solely because you use its company's products often is silly. But familiarity can provide inspiration for identifying a potential investment opportunity and making an investing thesis. Evaluate important company attributes before investing. For example, does the company operate in a growing industry? Are revenues increasing and are margins expanding? Is management making decisions based on what's in the best interest of all company stakeholders? Answer questions like these before parting with your money.
Fool contributor Nicole Seghetti has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow her on Twitter: @NicoleSeghetti. The Motley Fool recommends Energizer Holdings, Lowe's, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.