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Value Investing 2016: 3 Stocks to Put on Your Radar

By Travis Hoium, Rich Smith, and Daniel Miller - Jan 24, 2016 at 1:00PM

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The market crash so far in 2016 presents some big opportunities for investors.

The stock market is off to a rough start in 2016 as investors fret about China's growth and the price of oil. But as stock prices fall some values start to emerge for investors who want to be greedy while others are fearful. Here are three value stocks you shouldn't overlook. 

Travis Hoium (NRG Yield): Yieldcos were the investment phenomenon of 2015 in energy. In general, they are businesses that buy renewable energy projects with long-term contracts, paying dividends with the generated cash flows over 20 years or more.

NRG Yield (CWEN 1.50%) was a trailblazer in the yieldco space when it was launched in 2013 and for a couple of years it performed well for investors. The company owns solar plants, wind farms, and even a few fossil fuel plants that will allow it to use tax benefits on future purchases. But the energy production from some of those wind farms fell short of expectations in 2015 and the yieldco market in general sold off NRG Yield went with it.

Today, the stock yields 5.8% for investors and cash available for distribution is expected to grow from $165 million in 2015 to $265 million in 2016. This is cash generated from projects have contracts with highly rated utilities that will last for decades, so it's a fairly low risk business.  

The other advantage NRG Yield has in 2016 is that it's an established yieldco at a time when financing for projects has become very tight. That could lead to opportunities to buy projects for cheap and without a limit on what can be purchased, like many yieldcos have, it could be a year for savvy acquisition.

Add it all up and NRG Yield is a stock to have on your radar in 2016. As yieldcos recover, and I think they will, this could be one of the biggest winners for investors.

Rich Smith: I'm a big fan of value stocks, and spend a lot of my time watching the big defense companies. For me, it's only natural therefore to put a bullseye on Huntington Ingalls (HII 1.37%).

Forming one half of a duopoly with General Dynamics, that dominates the business of military shipbuilding in the United States, Huntington Ingalls is ideally positioned to supply the only branch of the military specifically enshrined in the U.S. Constitution  -- the Navy. From amphibious assault ships to guided missile destroyers, 100,000-ton supercarriers and nuclear-powered missile submarines, there aren't a lot of ships that the U.S. Navy uses, that Huntington Ingalls can't build.

And there aren't a lot of defense stocks selling for cheaper prices than Huntington, either.

Priced under 15 times trailing earnings, Huntington Ingalls is one of the cheapest big defense companies out there today, and with a 9% projected growth rate over the next five years , it's also one of the fastest-growing. That growth rate underlines the stock's low price-to-free cash flow ratio as well -- at less than 10x FCF, Huntington is arguably the cheapest U.S. defense stock on the market today. Not a single other defense stock I follow costs less.

Finally, Huntington Ingalls bears a low price-to-sales ratio of just 0.8 -- 20% cheaper than the 1x sales valuation that has historically been the norm for big defense contractors in the U.S. That number alone was enough to catch my attention initially, but as you can see from the other numbers I've cited, the deeper you dig into Huntington Ingalls' financials, the better a bargain it looks.

Daniel Miller: General Motors (GM 2.65%) has seen its fair share of troubles, to be sure. But it's hard to argue Detroit's largest automaker hasn't improved its business strategy by leaps and bounds in recent years. Despite the automotive industry largely being sold off over the past couple of months, General Motors' is gearing up to deliver an impressive fourth-quarter when it announces full-year results in early February.

Recently, GM announced it would even increase its 2016 adjusted earnings-per-share from between $5.00 and $5.50 up to between $5.25 and $5.75. It also announced it would be returning even more value to shareholders, despite its sliding stock price, through a $4 billion increase in its total repurchase program – for a total of $9 billion through the end of 2017 – and a 6% increase in its quarterly dividend per share to $0.38.

This next graph is what worries investors: a slowdown in global sales growth.

Image source: General Motors 2016 Deutsche Bank 2016 Global Auto Industry Conference. Data source: IHS Automotive. 

Sure, growth is likely to slow in GM's profit engine North America as well, and that will likely lead to increased competition and pressure on margins, but GM is continuing to consolidate its vehicle platforms to reduce cost and help offset the slower growth.

GM is also proving to investors that it is well aware that many young companies, such as Uber, are disrupting parts of the automotive industry. As such, the automaker is researching and developing many mobility projects such as its Let's Drive NYC program for car-sharing and its new online website for used vehicles that years from now could lure consumers headed toward CarMax dealerships to visit one of GM's franchises/dealerships.

No, investors shouldn't consider GM to be a growth stock, especially at this point in the automotive sales cycle. But investors will have a hard time convincing me that it isn't undervalued trading at 4.8 times its forward price-to-earnings, with its dividend at roughly a 5% yield. GM will continue to generate profits and free cash flow, and will increasingly look like an undervalued income stock. 

Greedy while others are fearful
The market sell-off has given long-term investors some great values and these three stocks are worth keeping an eye on. If the market turns around they could be big winners. 

Daniel Miller owns shares of General Motors. Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
$39.48 (2.65%) $1.02
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. Stock Quote
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.
$230.46 (1.37%) $3.12
Clearway Energy, Inc. Stock Quote
Clearway Energy, Inc.
$39.30 (1.50%) $0.58

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