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.
Harnessing energy to your advantage
Following years of debate over whether or not the U.S. should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and allow for the importation of Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico as opposed to dealing with foreign oil, I'm finally ready to give my resounding endorsement to TransCanada (NYSE:TRP).
Before there was even talk of a pipeline that would create jobs and allow for the easier flow of energy assets from Canada into the U.S., I was a fan of TransCanada. I believe the big boom in the energy sector in the upcoming decade isn't going to come from drilling and exploration, or even refining. Instead, I see midstream companies that transport and store energy assets as the biggest winners. In its latest quarterly results, TransCanada announced some $26 billion in projects that are scheduled to commence over the upcoming years. These investments are the key to its success, with the U.S. attempting to reduce its reliance on foreign imports and encouraging onshore drillers to boost production. TransCanada is expected to become an even bigger player in transmission during and after the Obama administration in the United States.
At roughly 18 times forward earnings, TransCanada isn't exactly cheap; then again, not a single midstream company is at the moment. However, TransCanada shareholders are expected to receive a projected yield of nearly 4%, which seems like a bargain given the growing demand for pipeline infrastructure.
Home is where the profits are
Don't fall over, but I'm about to recommend a homebuilding stock. If you recall, I've been pretty steadfast against the sector, with artificially low lending rates caused by favorable monetary policy from the Federal Reserve buoying prices and mortgage applications. The thought process here is that once QE3 is pared back, interest rates will rise dramatically and mortgage applications, as well as interest in home ownership, will dry up.
However, for homebuilders with considerably better cash positions than their peers, and that made strategic land purchases during the depths of the recession, like MDC Holdings (NYSE:MDC), I would continue to expect big rewards.
Take Lennar (NYSE:LEN) as a perfect example of a homebuilder that's been greatly rewarded for its solid results lately. In spite of having the best homebuilding margins in the sector, Lennar also boasts approximately $4.3 billion in net debt, which can be a liability if interest rates begin to rise -- not necessarily because of the interest rate Lennar pays so much as its ability to make additional purchases in the future. MDC, on the other hand, also boasts a net debt position, but in this case, roughly $300 million. With its fiscally conservative management team, MDC has been able to pay a sizable dividend that's currently yielding 3.1%, but it also has the flexibility to build and make purchases without having to dig too deeply into its available credit.
If growth does come to a grinding halt throughout much of the sector when rates rise, MDC seems uniquely positioned to rise toward the head of the pack while more heavily indebted homebuilders struggle.
Look overseas for recession-beating growth
As a common area of interest in recent months with Europe swooning and Chinese growth slowing down, Latin America continues to offer investors an interesting way to invest in a region that's fairly self-sustaining and insulated from the troubles many other parts of the world are enduring. That's why today I'd suggest a deeper dive into the Latin American Discovery Fund (NYSE:LDF).
Unfortunately for the Latin American Discovery Fund, it's been lumped in with other commodity-heavy funds in recent months, and investors have thrown in the towel without really digging into its holdings. If you actually took the time to examine this fund, you'd see that a good chunk of its assets are in larger Latin American financial companies (27% of the fund, to be exact). It certainly does have commodities exposure; however, basic materials make up less than 11% of total invested funds.
This is a really well-diversified fund that can derive outperformance from a number of key companies. At the end of May, for instance, oil giant Petrobras was its third-largest holding. When Petrobras reported its latest quarterly results in April, we saw profits fall 17% and imports into the country rise, which is bad news for Petrobras' future production growth. If you think this would back the Latin American Discovery Fund into a corner, you'd be wrong. The fund also has such winners as cement giant Cemex, which is benefiting in a big way from an improvement in the North American housing market, and Wal-Mart de Mexico, which delivered a 2% increase in sales and a 4% rise in EBITDA in its most recent quarter. There are ample players ready to step up in this portfolio if one or two companies falter.
The yield of 0.4% isn't incredibly exciting, but this is a nice Latin American hedge possibility if you're looking for overseas opportunities.
This week's theme is all about following the investment dollars. It's pretty obvious that midstream pipelines, housing, and overseas emerging markets such as those in Latin America should be attracting big investment dollars for years to come, giving all three stocks the catalyst they need to rebound off their lows.
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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