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3 Value Stocks Near 52-Week Lows Worth Buying

By Sean Williams - Dec 26, 2014 at 7:02AM

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These three value stocks have been beaten up recently, but there's a chance they may not stay near their 52-week lows for much longer.

While many companies are rising past their fair values, others are trading at potential bargain prices. Although many investors would rather have nothing to do with stocks wallowing at 52-week lows, it makes sense to see 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.

Double-down time
if you need further proof that timing the market is an inexact and impossible science take a closer look at biotech company ImmunoGen (IMGN 3.63%) which has tumbled more than 40% since I recently suggested it was a value stock worth looking into. It's evidence that just because you think a stock is a good value it doesn't mean it can't be pushed even lower.

Source: ImmunoGen.

Last Friday ImmunoGen shares were clobbered after it and its collaborative partner Roche (RHHBY 2.34%) released phase 3 data from their MARIANNE study, which examined Kadcyla as a first-line treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Currently Kadcyla is approved for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer after other therapies have failed. The expansion into first-line HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer treatment is considered an important way for both companies to target a bigger audience.

Unfortunately, the MARIANNE study demonstrated that Kadcyla by itself, Kadcyla in conjunction with Perjeta, and the control group of Herceptin plus a taxane chemotherapy all produced similar progression-free survival results. While demonstrating non-inferiority to the Herceptin plus taxane chemotherapy regimen, Kadcyla didn't stand out as providing a boost in slowing disease progression.

Despite this setback, I'm personally more bullish than ever on ImmunoGen and its lineup of antibody-drug conjugates.

What excites me most about ImmunoGen is the sheer diversity of its pipeline and the quality of its partnerships. At the moment ImmunoGen is developing 23 preclinical and clinical compounds and has seven big-name collaborative partners for 19 of those compounds. Even though Kadcyla is the company's only approved product, it can monetize its technology – which piggybacks chemotherapy toxins to an antibody for more precise toxin delivery to cancer cells – through partnerships in order to increase its cash on hand if necessary and support its ongoing research and development.

Source: ImmunoGen.

In the traditional sense of the word ImmunoGen isn't exactly a "value stock" because it's not currently profitable. However, because investors can in effect purchase a pipeline that's nearly two dozen therapies deep and is packed with big-name partnerships for $525 million in market value they're getting what I suspect is a fantastic value. It would only take one or two home runs within ImmunoGen's pipeline to more than validate its current price.

In spite of being wrong thus far, I'm doubling-down on my suggestion that it's time to take a closer look at ImmunoGen.

Can you hear me now?
When you think of great telecom value stocks there's a good chance that AT&T or Verizon will be the first companies to come to mind. But, if you're looking for deeply discounted value, then look no further than KT Corp. (KT -1.93%) in South Korea.

Source: KT Corp.

Taking a closer look at KT Corp. over the trailing 12 month period will yield some pretty ugly earnings results. The reason is the company has been restructuring its operations in order to cut costs and better align itself for long-term growth. The result of its restructuring, like most restructurings, is increased expenses in the short-term.

However, we're also seeing worlds of progress being made. KT announced plans in June that it intended to sell its KT Rental and KT Capital subsidiaries. KT Rental, the No. 1 rental car company in South Korea, and KT Capital, a lease financing company, are both profitable, but they also detract from KT's long-term focus which is building up its wireless operations.  

Speaking of its wireless operations, KT Corp announced in its latest quarter that it had added almost 410,000 wireless subscribers and saw its average revenue per user, an important measure of consumer margin, rise by 11%. The jump isn't too particularly surprising as the introduction of the new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been instrumental in driving wireless subscription growth. Additionally, as Barron's noted in November, KT's reliance on the new, bigger iPhone could help drive video data consumption, which is an area of high margin growth potential for KT.

As the No. 2 wireless carrier in South Korea, KT has established that it has excellent pricing power and there's a significant barrier to entry that should keep the smaller players from gaining much, if any, traction. At a forward P/E of just six I'd opine that value investors are doing themselves a disservice by not having this telecom company on their radar.

An interesting refinery play
Keeping with the recent theme of including at least one oil-related company each week in the value column, for this week's last value stock pick I'm going to turn your attention to Western Refining (WNR), a refiner that also operates distribution terminals and pipelines systems.

Source: Flickr user Rongy Benjamin.

As you probably surmised, Western Refining has taken it on the chin in recent months as crude oil prices have dipped by more than 40%. With Saudi Arabia unlikely to cut production anytime soon it doesn't appear as if we'll see a quick rebound in prices, either. The expected result of weaker oil prices is reduced production, and therefore less oil products to refine. Not surprisingly, revenue is expected to dip by double-digits next year for Western Refining based on Wall Street's current sales estimates.

But don't overlook the possibility that weaker oil prices could create a demand surge from the public. Consumers might find prices at the pump, which are currently at a five-and-a-half year low, too delectable to overlook and may choose to drive more. If this were the case refiners could actually see their production capacity dip to a much smaller extent than most analysts are predicting.

With its margins expected to grow, Western Refining paying a handsome 3.3% yield, and the company valued at less than 10 times forward earnings, I would suggest this is a name in the oil industry (where a lot of stocks have dipped significantly in price) worth monitoring.

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.

The Motley Fool owns shares of, and recommends Apple. It also recommends ImmunoGen and Verizon. 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

ImmunoGen, Inc. Stock Quote
ImmunoGen, Inc.
$5.43 (3.63%) $0.19
KT Corporation Stock Quote
KT Corporation
$14.21 (-1.93%) $0.28
Western Refining, Inc. Stock Quote
Western Refining, Inc.
Roche Holding AG Stock Quote
Roche Holding AG
$42.00 (2.34%) $0.96

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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