Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies trading at what may be bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies wallowing at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to a company's bad news, just as we often do when the market reacts to good news.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
Being an energy middleman is highly profitable
We have been hearing for years that the U.S. is on the cusp of the next great energy boom thanks to a bounty of new shale discoveries, which are expected to yield an incredible amount of oil, natural gas, and natural-gas liquids over the coming decades. The obvious upside to this scenario is that energy demand is only increasing, and the Obama administration has made it clear that it would like to focus on domestic production in order to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. The downside for oil and exploration companies, as well as refiners, is that they're still largely reliant on the price of these commodities to drive their bottom lines. That's where the allure of being an energy middleman like Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) comes in.
Over the next decade the greatest amount of spending in the energy sector will likely take place in the transportation, pipeline, and storage area of natural gas and oil. Kinder Morgan offers investors practically guaranteed income in this areas, as there are literally more assets underground waiting to be recovered than exploration and production companies can count. Whether the demand is domestic or overseas, the need to increase production is always there, meaning Kinder Morgan is bound to stay busy and drive extremely consistent cash flow.
Kinder Morgan delivered a 43% increase in net income in the third quarter thanks to 70% net income growth at subsidiary Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (UNKNOWN:KMP.DL), which controls a vast chunk of parent Kinder Morgan's assets. Although El Paso Pipeline Partners (UNKNOWN:EPB.DL), which Kinder Morgan purchased two years ago, saw its profit dip a bit, the expectation of a dramatic boost in transport and storage demand makes Kinder Morgan a strong candidate to rebound off of its lows next year.
The "Primero" name in gold mining
I may often talk about the superiority of Yamana Gold and its incredibly low all-in sustaining costs, but when it comes to efficient and growing production, there are few names more exciting in the mining industry than Primero Mining (NYSE:PPP).
There are obvious reasons to be leery of the gold mining sector here, with gold prices falling precipitously in 2013 as market fears have been practically nonexistent and the Federal Reserve has at last announced that it will begin tapering its monthly economic stimulus. However, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Primero as well.
For one, keep in mind that the markets simply can't go up forever, so metals like gold still act as a prime hedge against inflation and fear. In addition, gold is still ruled by a simple need for supply and demand, so with China's growth rate once again ticking higher on a quarter-over-quarter basis, we can assume that China's demand for gold will improve.
What really intrigues me about Primero is the announcement of its acquisition of Brigus Gold, as well as its reasonably low all-in sustaining costs, which should fuel production without the need for excessive cost cuts. In Primero's most recent quarter, the company delivered a 64% increase in gold-equivalent per-ounce production, with cash costs dropping 26% over the previous year to just $516 per ounce. Brigus Gold's two primary assets could also become a boon for Primero, which has considerably better financing prospects to complete the development of these assets and yield as much as 400,000 ounces of gold by 2017. Even with gold well off its highs, Primero is a company you can still considering buying here with confidence.
I have seen the light
Few sectors have been more frustrating in 2013 than the fiber-optic components suppliers, which go from hot to cold quicker than you can say "New York Stock Exchange."
In its third-quarter report, JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:VIAV) delivered market-topping revenue and EPS but also forecast a light (no pun intended) fourth quarter thanks to uncertain government orders relating to the shutdown and the sequester, as well as a skittish overall North American market for orders. This seesaw has been going for multiple quarters with JDS Uniphase, but I feel 2014 could finally be the breakout year.
The primary reason I continue to be optimistic regarding fiber-optic component suppliers is the aggressive spending from telecom service providers, which are rapidly upgrading their infrastructure to support the next generation of wireless technology and cloud data management. In other words, billions of dollars are slowly trickling their way down from telecom providers to component suppliers, though this process takes time. With spending well underway now for the past year, it's safe to say that optics suppliers like JDS Uniphase have a genuine shot at outperforming the market in 2014.
With a strong net cash position of roughly $510 million, JDS also has the ability to make strategic acquisitions as it sees fit -- which it did earlier this month with the $200 million acquisition of Network Instruments. If telecom service spending finally reaches JDS' top and bottom lines as I suspect in 2014, it should handily bounce off its 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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