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.
A refined value stock
Similar to the past couple of weeks I'm going to turn your attention to the oil and gas sector to kick things off. Piquing my interest this week in the value stock column is refiner CVR Refining (NYSE:CVRR).
Unlike the rest of the oil and gas sector which has been pummeled by a 50% drop in crude oil prices since the summer, CVR has an additional concern to contend with. In July a fire at its Coffeyville, Kan., refinery shut down production and required expensive repairs and maintenance, reducing revenue and profitability. This combination of weaker oil prices and unexpected downtime have certainly disappointed Wall Street and investors.
But, there's good news as well! For starters, while a refinery fire is unfortunate it's not a long-term determinant of the success or failure of CVR's business. To put it another way, beyond a few quarters this is a non-recurring cost that hasn't affected the long-term business strategy one iota. The assumption would be that Wall Street could be in for a pleasant surprise as expenses tied to these repairs dip in the latter half of 2015.
Secondly, falling oil prices can actually be great news for refiners. Falling crude oil prices have a tendency to widen crack spreads, which is the measure of margin for refiners. As crack spreads widen, refineries like CVR Refining can bring in less in revenue and actually earn a bigger profit. Furthermore, cheaper prices for gasoline and heating oil could actually spur demand for these products among consumers, taking the desire for drillers to cut production out of the equation since demand could remain high.
With CVR valued at just five times forward earnings I believe the bulk of investor worries are already priced in. It's possible CVR could see a dividend cut in the near future, but a yield in excess of 5%-6% appears sustainable in my opinion.
International returns you can bank on
With investors constantly looking for the next value stock in the financial sector, I'd suggest expanding your search far beyond the borders of the United States and taking a closer look at Chile's most profitable and well-known financial institution, Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH).
Banco de Chile is largely under the radar for a nearly $11 billion bank, averaging a mere 52,500 shares traded per day and attracting coverage from just a few Wall Street analysts. Why might Wall Street be uninterested in Banco de Chile? It very well may have to do with Chile's uninspiring GDP growth. Since 2008 the economy has slipped into negative growth on five separate occasions. Even when GDP is expanding it's often been to the tune of less than 2%. Banks are cyclical and they can struggle to grow when the country they operate in isn't performing up to snuff.
However, there's a lot to like about this oft-overlooked international bank. To begin with, the company's return on average assets and return on average equity roared higher in the third quarter from the year-ago period. ROAA rose 21 basis points to 2.42%, while ROAE jumped 136 basis points to 26.33%. Impressively, Banco de Chile managed this increase in spite of an 11 basis point dip in net interest margin. The company can thank higher revenue from loans, more income from its AFS portfolio, and improved credit quality in its loan portfolio for the bulk of this improvement.
Banco de Chile is also well-capitalized, with a tier 1 ratio of 10.3%, 34 basis points higher than where it was at this time last year. It would be even higher if the company didn't divert so much into loan loss reserves, but another way to look at this is Banco de Chile is well prepared to deal with any minor downturn in the Chilean economy.
Banco de Chile offers investors a chance to own a piece of Chile's most successful and well-recognized bank for just 11 times forward earnings. Tack on a dividend yield that's likely to approach 4% year in and year out and you have a bank value stock worth putting on your radar.
Good for your health and your wealth
Lastly, I'd encourage value investors to take a closer look at MedAssets (UNKNOWN:MDAS.DL), a software developer aimed at improving the operational performance of the healthcare industry.
MedAssets' biggest problem in recent quarters has been the uncertainty created throughout hospitals and outpatient clinics because of Obamacare's rollout. On the surface Obamacare should lead to a spending boom in the healthcare industry considering that millions of people who were previously uninsured are now insured. Hospitals and clinics were largely expecting to write off less revenue since they'd be treating more people who were covered by insurance and/or able to pay their portion of the bill. However, a recent restatement by the Department of Health and Human Services which lowered the number of 2014 Obamacare enrollees, coupled with very conservative full-year enrollment estimates by the HHS, could cause hospitals and clinics to pare back on their intermediate spending, which isn't great news for MedAssets.
The good news is that healthcare reform practically necessitates the need for the software that MesAssets is developing. MedAssets' solutions can help medical care providers analyze their costs, manage their supply chain and non-labor sourcing, and is targeted at improving the operational efficiency and financial performance of these care providers. It may seem counterintuitive to spend more money upfront, but MedAssets' solutions could be critical to saving medical care providers money over the long run.
MedAssets' business model is also built in such a way that it tends to lock in customers for a long period of time. Software-as-a-service models sell an initial product to healthcare providers and keep them attached through updates, training, and other services. It makes leaving MedAssets for a competitor both costly and inefficient.
At just 13 times forward earnings MedAssets is an intriguing value stock that could pay dividends for healthcare investors willing to look past a year or two of Obamacare-related uncertainty.
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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