After getting off to a brutal start for the year, the S&P 500 has been in rebound mode over the last few weeks and finally looks to be heading into positive territory. However, not every stock has participated equally in the recovery, and there are still plenty of bargains to be had for patient investors with a long-term view.
We asked three of our Motley Fool contributors to scour the investing universe and share what they think are the best bargains this market has to offer. Read below to see which stocks they highlighted to see if you agree.
Brian Feroldi: Fears of a slowdown in smartphone sales combined with the recent market pullback has hit shares of Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) hard. The company's stock is down more than 33% from its summertime highs, which could make now a great time to open up a position in this long-term winner.
Skyworks is a leading provider of RF chips that play a vital role in powering many of the world's top-selling mobile phones. Over the last few years, the company has benefited greatly from the global growth of the smartphone market as Skyworks' revenue and profits have grown at an impressive rate.
But Skyworks isn't content to be just a play on smartphone growth; it's currently investing heavily in other markets to reduce its dependence on mobile sales. Skyworks regularly announces new design wins that will be featured in new products categories like smart TVs, security cameras, drones, automobiles, and more. With the number of devices that will be connected to the Internet expected to explode in the coming years -- management believes the number of connected devices will grow at 35% annually from 2014 and 2019 -- Skyworks is in a great position to prosper.
Analysts are projecting that Skyworks will grow at 22% annualized rate over the next five years, which is huge growth for a company that's trading for less than 15 times trailing earnings. That's a compelling combination growth investors should take advantage of.
Daniel B. Kline: Frontier Communications (OTC:FTR), a tiny cable and broadband company, has not been a very impressive stock over the last few years. It has steadily traded below $10, and it currently sits in the $5 range. However, while the company has struggled, it has also been executing a clear growth strategy.
First, in late 2014, it bought a number of subscribers in Connecticut that roughly doubled its size to just under 3.5 million overall customers. That acquisition was not smooth, but the company did ultimately find its footing in its new market. More importantly, the Connecticut deal served as a dry run for a much bigger purchase.
Now, perhaps as soon as April 1, Frontier will add 3.7 million new voice connections, 2.2 million new broadband connections, and 1.2 million FiOS video connections. Those customers, which are being acquired for $10.54 billion in cash, spread the company's footprint to California, Florida, and Texas. They also push Frontier from being a minor, niche player into significant player status.
To make this deal happen, Frontier has taken on significant debt, but it should prove to be money well spent as long as the company can retain the users it has purchased. There are strong reasons to believe it more or less will -- or at least it will follow the industry pattern of showing slight declines in pay-TV while adding broadband customers. Phone line subscribers are a bit of a wild card, but you can probably assume most people who still have a landline in 2016 are unlikely to give it up.
Frontier is a risk, but it's a smart risk given its low share price and the tremendous upside of having the near-guaranteed revenue of being in a subscriber-based industry. It's going to take time, but this is a company that could continue to grow, or simply pay off its debt and begin throwing off healthy profits.
Sean Williams: Bargains don't always come with a single-digit share price! Shares of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI), the leading designer and manufacturer of near field communication (NFC) chips, have dropped by more than 35% since hitting an all-time high on June 1, 2015.
The reason? A big component has been weakness in iPhone sales. NXP Semiconductors' NFC chips are found in the iPhone 6s, and a slowdown in growth could mean a slowdown in NFC chip demand. The other component is just an "uncertain macro demand environment," as the company described it during its Q4 press release. With China's growth slowing and numerous EU countries stuck in neutral, NXP shareholders have worried that demand could be choppy in the near future.
However, for investors looking beyond six-to-12 months out, there's a lot to like, here. Obviously there's the possibility of what NFC brings to the table for smartphones. It could completely change the way we pay for goods and services, and NFC chips have demonstrated they could be considerably safer for point-of-sale transactions than traditional credit cards. Research company Markets and Markets projects the NFC market could see compound annual growth approaching 18% through 2020.
There's more than just smartphones at stake, too. NXP's acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor, which closed in the fourth quarter, turned it into the leading manufacturer of automotive semiconductors. NXP's products can cover everything from in-vehicle sensors and infotainment systems to power management systems for car LED headlights. With substantially more scale following the Freescale merger, and assumed better pricing power, NXP looks to be in great shape.
Valued at less than 11 times forward earnings and sporting a PEG ratio of just over 0.5, this is a bargain stock that should be on your radar.