Barron's is required weekend reading for investors looking to gain an edge. It is widely followed in the industry and positively profiled companies tend to get a lift in trading the following week. Barron's has several interesting takes in this week's magazine. Here are two cheap stocks that were highlighted in the magazine that could get a Barron's bounce on Monday.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was profiled as a potentially lucrative contrarian play. The shares trade no higher than they were in 2003 when gold was priced at $400/oz., less than one third of the yellow metal's current level. The world's largest gold miner is more levered to the price of gold than competitors like Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and should rally faster if gold rises. Finally, one possibility to unlock shareholder value would be a master limited partnership (NYSE:MLP) structure for its Nevada mines.
The shares are cheap at less than 7x this year's expected earnings and less than 4x the earnings level the company achieved in 2011. ABX also sells for just over 3x trailing annual operating cash flow. Finally, the mean price target of the 23 analysts that cover the stock is north of $22 a share some ~25% above its current level. The shares were north of $40 a share late last year.
T. Rowe Price's John D. Linehan was positive on energy producer Apache (NYSE:APA) even though he expects a market correction in the near term. Apache's recent sale of 33% of its troubled Egyptian assets to Sinopec (NYSE:SNP) for $3.1B fetched significantly more than most investors thought the business was currently worth given the ongoing upheaval in the country. Mizuho upgraded the shares to "Buy" from "Neutral" after the sale and Canaccord lifted its price target to $113 a share from $106 as well.
The company also sold some non-core Gulf of Mexico assets recently for some $3.7B which bolstered its balance sheet and will allow the company to continue to grow production at less risky domestic properties in the United States, where production is booming. The shares are cheap at 9x trailing earnings and less than 4x operating cash flow. The stock also fetches just under 10% above book value at current prices. Finally, the stock has S&P's highest rating "Strong Buy" and a $110 price target.
Disclosure: I am long ABX, APA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.