While many companies' shares are rising past their fair values now, others are trading at potential bargain prices. The difficulty with bargain shopping, though, is that you may be understandably hesitant to buy stocks wallowing at 52-week lows. In an effort to separate the rebound candidates from the laggards, it makes sense to start by determining whether the market has overreacted to a company's bad news.
Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
Look no further than your mall-based retailers if you're looking for a value stock at or near a 52-week low. One that currently has my attention is Buckle (BKE -0.23%), an apparel, footwear, and accessories retailer that caters to teens and young adults.
There are a lot of reasons Buckle's stock has dipped by more than 40% since the year began, but in a nutshell it works out to slight declines in year-over-year sales, weaker foot traffic in its stores, and a degradation in the company's margins, which can be traced back to rising inventory levels. During its third-quarter conference call, Buckle announced that its overall inventory levels rose 19.5% year over year, or around 14% on a comparable-store basis. The consensus here is that warmer-than-normal weather, changing consumer tastes, and more cost-conscious consumers are the likely culprits.
The good news for investors here is that these are all correctable problems over the short-term. Buckle has always had a varied product mix that has worked well, so margin erosion shouldn't be expected to last beyond a couple of quarters (i.e., just long enough to reduce its inventory). Weather patterns are also unpredictable, and we're seeing a hit on retailers from small chains to big department stores. At some point we're likely to see weather patterns normalize again.
What this means is that you may be able to nab Buckle, which is at its lowest levels since November 2010, at a great price. Buckle is currently valued at a mere nine times forward earnings, pays out a market-topping 3% yield (which is far better than you'll find with any CD at the bank), and boasts $149.6 million in cash with no debt, thus providing some downside buffer. It's a value stock that should be on your watchlist.
Plant a seed now, sit in the shade later
Warren Buffett once said, "Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." It's possible that the seed you can plant now that could become your shade tree in retirement is oil and gas producer Southwestern Energy (SWN 5.24%).
Like all energy stocks, Southwestern Energy finds its shares beaten to a pulp. However, Southwestern Energy has been beaten up particularly bad -- it's at levels not seen since June 2005 -- because of its reliance on natural gas. With natural gas prices down around 60% since early last year due to record natural gas production and growing storage levels of the asset, Southwestern Energy and its shareholders have watched their cash flow and profit projections shrink. In the recently reported third quarter, the company also took a $2.8 billion non-cash writedown tied to its oil and natural gas assets.
Despite the recent weakness in natural gas prices, investors who believe in the long-term energy growth picture might want to take a closer look at Southwestern Energy. For starters, natural-gas-fired power is projected to increase by a whopping 40% between 2013 and 2040, based on a report by the Energy Information Administration. Additional constraints on the coal industry vis-à-vis federal government emission standards could pump up the use of this clean-burning fuel even more.
Investors also need to understand that the market dynamics of the oil and gas industry take time to evolve. Oversupply isn't something that the industry shakes out overnight. Rig reduction, time, and an increase in demand are the natural solution to an oversupply issue. At some point in the future we'll see natural gas prices on the mend. And based on Southwestern Energy's recently announced three-year term loan agreement, it shouldn't have any trouble making it to that future date.
On the surface Southwestern Energy may not look like a value stock, given its forward P/E of 51. However, its price-to-book of just 0.9 and Wall Street expectations calling for up to $2 in EPS by 2018 could make this a compelling energy-sector value stock.
Admittedly, the biotech sector isn't where I usually look for traditional value stocks. The reason is that nearly 90% of publicly traded biotech companies are currently losing money. However, one profitable biotech value stock you may want to keep in your sights is San Francisco-based Medivation (MDVN).
Since summer, the air has really come out of biotech valuations. This is partially a result of Congress expressing concern about a handful of drug developers and the way they price their products, but it could also be a healthy pullback following biotechs' mammoth outperformance over the past five years. For Medivation, it's probably a bit of both, as its stock is up nearly 1,400% in five years, and its lead product, Xtandi -- a treatment for pre-chemo and post-chemo metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients, developed in collaboration with Astellas Pharma (ALPMY 0.09%) -- costs around $90,000 per year. That's more than enough to pique the interest of irritated consumers who feel like they're being gouged by drugmakers.
But there are plenty of reasons to be positive about Medivation's future -- and they all have to do with Xtandi. In clinical trials Xtandi simply outperformed a number of its peers. In the pre-chemo setting it lengthened the time treatment-naïve patients were able to hold off on starting chemo by a whopping 17 months, and on an overall basis it boosted median overall survival by four months to 35.3 months compared to 31.3 months for patients in the placebo group. In total, Xtandi reduced the risk of patient death by 23% in the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer. Long story short, Xtandi is likely to be a growth driver for Medivation and Astellas for many years to come.
Like Southwestern Energy's, Medivation's forward P/E of 22 may not scream "value stock," but a glance at what the future may hold could have you thinking otherwise. Between 2014 and 2018, Medivation's revenue is expected to double, and its EPS could more than double to $3.70. Furthermore, its PEG ratio of 0.43 implies that Medivation is still inexpensive. Consider this a must-watch value stock in the biotech sector.