Just as we often examine companies that may be rising past their fair values, we can also find companies trading at what may be bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with stocks 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.
Add more fiber to your diet
Since the dot-com bubble burst, few sectors have been more hit-or-miss than fiber-optic component makers, which have gone from hot to cold in the flick of a switch on multiple occasions. While business lumpiness is certainly something investors may have to contend with in this sector, now may be the time for value seekers to give Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR) a closer look.
Finisar's first-quarter earnings results weren't awful, with revenue growing 23% year over year to $327.6 million as adjusted EPS improved to $0.32. Both figures essentially met Wall Street's expectations.
Things got messy when the company looked ahead to the second quarter. Finisar offered up quarterly revenue guidance of $305 million to $320 million and EPS in a range of $0.23-$0.27 compared to the Street's expectation of $335 million in sales and $0.35 in EPS.
As Finisar CEO Eitan Gertel pointed out, a decrease in wireless transceiver sales, soft carrier spending, and "lumpy order patterns" from several customers led the company to taper its guidance in the near term. However, Gertel noted that the company expects its transceiver sales to return to normal by the third quarter.
In the fiber-optic sector, you have to take the good with the bad and remember that the tech replacement cycle is always ongoing. Over the past couple of years, telecom service providers have boosted their spending to roll out coverage on next-generation 4G LTE networks, which should be a boon for the fiber-optic sector as a whole. However, there's one catch: It takes a few quarters for spending to trickle down from telecom servicers down to the optics providers. In other words, I'd speculate that this dip is not an endemic problem with Finisar, but rather a natural hiccup caused by uncertainty among telecom service providers from a few quarters ago.
At the moment the economy looks robust, and consumers are spending, which bodes well for the fiber-optic sectors' near-term performance. At a forward P/E of just 11, Finisar already sports a lower valuation than the benchmark S&P 500, and with sales growth expected to hit 10% to 13% in the next few years, its PEG ratio of about one also makes it attractive. Consider it a value stock you should have on your radar.
Although quality value stocks can be as elusive as Ferris Bueller on his day off, investors would be wise to add Mueller Industries (NYSE:MLI), provider of copper, brass, aluminum, and plastic products, to their watchlists.
Why isn't Mueller skyrocketing if it's such a great investment? A lot of that has to do with the underlying performance of the products it's selling. Copper and aluminum prices haven't performed particularly well over the past three years, with aluminum prices dipping from a high of $1.25/pound to $0.94/pound and copper seeing its per-pound price decline from a high $4.50 to $3.16. While this does mean lower costs for Mueller, it also hurts the company's product pricing power.
Then again, there are two key reasons to like Mueller Industries right here.
First, keep in mind that Mueller supplies products for highly cyclical industries such as the automotive and aerospace sector, as well as plumbing and refrigeration. What this means for investors is that they can generally profit from expansionary economic environments. The last time I checked, the U.S. economy and Mueller's other key markets were growing nicely, which bodes well for the company's sales and profit growth.
The other factor to consider here is that Mueller's primary markets are diversified between industrialized and high-growth nations. Mueller can count on the U.S. and the U.K. to provide consistent cash flow and steady orders, while China and Mexico provide the independent growth kick needed when growth in the U.S. and U.K. slows a bit. This geographic diversity should help Mueller land softly when the global economy falters and propel it higher during expansionary times.
At just 12 times forward earnings, Mueller appears to be priced in value territory, especially considering that its projected five-year growth rate of 12% puts its PEG ratio at roughly one. Not to mention that it will also kick in a 1.1% annual yield. So long as the global economy remains on track, this is a value stock worthy of your consideration.
Ready to FLY?
Lastly, I'd suggest you don your aviator goggles and take FLY Leasing (NYSE:FLY) for a spin, because you might like what you find.
FLY Leasing, if my terrible joke didn't give it away, is a commercial aircraft leasing company that leases medium-aged planes under multiyear contracts to airline companies around the world. What makes this industry attractive, you ask? In short, buying a new airplane isn't cheap. Boeing's 777-200ER, for example, will set an airline company back $320 million per plane! Because airplanes cost so much, and that much liquidity isn't always available for smaller airline companies, it can be more feasible to lease aircraft from a company like FLY than to spend a fortune buying new. And for airlines that have planes that are 20 years old or older, leasing a newer plane can make sense in terms of fuel-cost savings.
In the second quarter FLY reported what was essentially a great quarter, but it received little to no credit from Wall Street. For the quarter, it achieved -- get this -- a 100% fleet utilization rate, with rental revenue increasing 21% to $109.5 million and profits more than tripling to $21.7 million from the prior-year period. To boot, the company even reduced the age of its current leased aircraft down to 8.7 years, which will only make its lineup of planes more attractive for prospective airlines around the world.
Now for the best part (as if 100% fleet utilization weren't good enough): FLY also paid its 27th consecutive quarterly dividend, which, in this case, was $0.25 per share. Based on its consistent payout, FLY is yielding close to 7% annually, which is enough to make any value and income seeker drool.
If you're looking for a value stock with the potential to fly high, make sure you check out FLY Leasing.
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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