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3 Stocks Near 52-Week Lows Worth Buying

By Sean Williams - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:18AM

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Do these fallen angels deserve a second chance? You be the judge.

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.

A myriad of opportunity
It's been a rocky road of ups and downs for life sciences company Myriad Genetics ( MYGN 2.53% ) in 2013. In June a mixed court ruling on gene patenting tugged shares in both directions before finally sending them lower.

Behind the ruling was Myriad's attempt to patent human genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes it used to exclusively sell its BRACAnalysis genetic test. If you recall, the BRCA gene is associated with a considerably higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women and was the reason Angelina Jolie underwent a precautionary mastectomy earlier this year. The judge determined that genes naturally present in the human body could not be patented while synthetically engineered genes could. In other words, some of Myriad's genetic line of products was safe, but not its BRACAnalysis test. The result was an almost immediate increase in competition, including Quest Diagnostics' ( DGX 2.04% ) entry into the BRCA-testing market less than two weeks later with its own device. With more competitive pricing, Myriad can either choose to lower its BRACAnalysis price or run the risk of losing sales to Quest.

However, there's another side to this story. Myriad is also on the leading edge of genetic analysis tools that can be used to develop personalized care for cancer patients. It's long been my thought that genetic tools are the next stepping stone in cancer therapy. I feel they'll help determine a best course of treatment based on a particular patient's genetic makeup and on the specific mutation of cancer that person has. With baby boomers aging and Obamacare ready to be fully implemented on an individual scale in three months, Myriad's products could be called on now more than ever.

From a valuation perspective Myriad is about as cheap as I can ever recall: just 11 times forward earnings estimates and boasting $372 million in cash with no debt. Investors who also believe that personalized care via genetic testing could be the wave of the future would be wise to give Myriad Genetics a closer look.

Old name, new growth opportunities
Sometimes the best bargains can be had when gambling on a turnaround. Keeping that in mind I give you one of the oldest telecom service providers in the U.S., Cincinnati Bell ( CBB ).

There's no sugar-coating it: Cincinnati Bell has been a gigantic disappointment in every sense of the word for shareholders. The company's investment in Broadwing turned out to be a complete dud and left it with more than $2 billion in total debt. This debt burden, which it has attempted to pay down, has put Cincinnati Bell at a disadvantage to its peers when it comes to rolling out the latest infrastructure, always allowing its foes to stay one step ahead.

Things could be changing, though, under new management and with the divestment of non-core assets. With a new CEO and CFO who have a strict focus on getting Cincinnati Bell's balance sheet back on track and in expanding high margin infrastructure assets, I feel you have to once again pay attention to this company.

Earlier this year Cincinnati Bell spun off a 31% interest in its data center business CyrusOne ( CONE 0.24% ) that is currently worth about $420 million. Not a bad return on investment given that Cincinnati Bell purchased CyrusOne for just $526 million three years ago and it still retains 69% ownership in the company. With data center growth anticipated to be in the double-digits throughout the remainder of the decade, Cincinnati Bell's CyrusOne investment could serve as a viable way to remove a majority of its existing debt.

Furthermore, let's not forget that wireless and broadband services are often steady cash flow businesses. Cincinnati Bell was once a solid dividend-paying company and its cash flow could make it one once again. At approximately 10 times next year's earnings and with an improving balance sheet, I feel it's time to give Cincinnati Bell another chance.

A sneaky play on Obamacare
Whereas Myriad Genetics may wind up being a beneficiary of Obamacare, Computer Task Group ( CTG -0.86% ) look like a much more direct beneficiary. This information technology company, perhaps better known as CTG, provides staffing services to technology companies but has been angling its way into the health-care industry with electronic medical record (EMR) software and IT software capable of improving hospital and clinic efficiency.

Like Cincinnati Bell, CTG's recent history hasn't been pretty. CTG reported a delay in rolling out its EMR software in the second quarter, which caused it to modestly lower its full-year revenue and earnings-per-share estimates and shaved about a third off the share price of CTG's stock. However, this looks like an opportunity to buy, not one to run away, as delays like this are only temporary.

Heading into the implementation of Obamacare hospitals are very uncertain about spending over the near term. If few young adults sign up for health insurance hospitals may not see much of a drawdown on their doubtful revenue collections and be forced to scale back on medical device purchases. In addition, they'll be looking to cut costs by becoming more efficient; that is where CTG's software could come in handy. Not to mention that all new health-care services moving forward are to be registered electronically!

The result, once CTG corrects its EMR delays, should be growth in the 5%-10% range through the remainder of the decade. I find this growth rate to be both reasonable and attractive given that CTG is valued at just 14 times forward earnings and boasts no debt with $34 million in cash ($1.81/share).

Foolish roundup
This week's theme is all about finding companies with secret weapons up their sleeve. For CTG it's the upcoming effect of Obamacare; for Cincinnati Bell, the rapid growth of its CyrusOne's data center solutions; and for Myriad Genetics the potential growth in personalized health care.

I'm so confident that these three names will bounce off their lows that I'm going to make a CAPScall of outperform on each one.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Myriad Genetics, Inc. Stock Quote
Myriad Genetics, Inc.
$25.53 (2.53%) $0.63
Cincinnati Bell Inc. Stock Quote
Cincinnati Bell Inc.
Computer Task Group, Incorporated Stock Quote
Computer Task Group, Incorporated
$8.10 (-0.86%) $0.07
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Stock Quote
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
$154.32 (2.04%) $3.08
CyrusOne Inc. Stock Quote
CyrusOne Inc.
$89.16 (0.24%) $0.21

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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