5 Stocks to Buy Now for Profits in 2012

by: Vatalyst

What's in store for 2012? The future's uncertain, but we believe the following stocks will provide outsized returns for investors next year. Please use the research below as a starting point for your own investigation.

Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) – The share price of Sirius XM have gained 19.38% for the year. The company has posted record growth in revenues, subscribers and cash flow for the year. In Q2 the company reported a net profit of $173.32 million, compared to the $15.27 million during the same period last year. Net profit margins are at 1.53%, lower than the margins of competitors Saga Communications (NYSEMKT:SGA) at 11.84% and Cumulus Media, Inc. (NASDAQ:CMLS) at 11.17%. However, investors are discounting the possibility of potential subscriber growth and efforts to contain operating expenses. As a matter of fact, subscribers increased 8% year on year while expenses appear to remain flat in the second quarter.

Analysts are looking at earnings per share of $0.05 this year, a four-fold increase over the previous year’s results. This is certainly better than the industry’s forecasted growth of 21.70% this year. Although this translates to a forward price earnings ratio of 38. The PEG ratio is at only 1.38 which is lower than the industry’s average of 2.55.

The company still believes that the demand for satellite radios will continue to grow as the company benefits from strong auto sales growth. Investors should welcome the 1-month price decline of 11.42% as a good entry point for this growth stock. It is also important to note that this could be a potential acquisition target by a bigger media outfit. Liberty Media (LCAPA) owns preferred stock that could be converted into 2.6 billion common shares, or equivalent to 40% of the company.

ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (ATPG) – The stock has returned -23.6% year to date and -31.79% for the last 3 months. It has reported net loss of $349 million, or earnings per share of -$6.88. Revenues for 2010 grew by 46.70% at $473 million, operating expenses also increased by 44.67%. Analysts are expecting the company to narrow its loss to $1.38 a share for this year. The company has incurred a lost 5 out of 8 years.

Investors are concerned about the level of the company’s leverage, which is at 7.45 times to its equity value, compared to Stone Energy Corp. (NYSE:SGY) 0.32 times equity value and W&T Offshore, Inc. (NYSE:WTI) 1.06 times equity value. This could limit the company’s flexibility to finance its capital expenditure moving forward. Run-rate operating cash flow is at $1.69 per share, which would translate to 2011 operating cash flow of 6.44 times.

Using similar valuations of oil and gas names at 15x operating cash flow, the value of the company would be at least $25 a share. However, the market will look at the current production levels, as well as its two pending wells and permits before they will re-rate the company. Investors should only buy this stock if they are comfortable to wait for the re-rating and the current financial position of the company.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) – The stock is currently trading near its 52-week low. Year to date, the company has performed -26.73%. This is lower than the performance of Juniper Network, Inc (NYSE:JNPR) at -40.40%. For the past 5 years, the company has steadily grown its revenues at 8.11% a year, with net profit growth at almost the same rate at 7.89% a year.

It has also effectively enhanced the shareholder’s wealth with average return on invested capital at 22.2% and shareholder’s equity growth at 13.8%. Conversely, Juniper Network, Inc. (JNPR) has grown its revenues and net profit by 14% a year, but has a lower return on invested capital at 10% and shareholder’s equity growth at -9%.

The market is concerned about the lack of long-term growth strategy and direction from the company. It is also concerned about competition and ongoing product transition. The sell-side analysts agree with the market. It is forecasting a slightly lower Fiscal Year 2011 earnings per share of $1.60, lower than the $1.61 earnings per share in 2010.

However, value investor Bruce Berkowitz thinks otherwise. He identified Cisco as a company essential to the running of the country, especially in processing financial documents and important infrastructure-related operations. The stock trades at 9.26 times 2011 earnings, compared to JNPR’s 21.12 times earnings.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) – Despite the recent good sales performance, investors are still not convinced of the prospects of auto makers. The reason is that the concerns over the US economy from debt concerns to the possibility of another double dip recession. Investors are clouded over the future prospects of these auto makers.

In terms of sales performance, the first half figures appear to be good for both Ford Motor Company and General Motors (NYSE:GM). Each company reported 1st half sales of $68.8 billion and $75.5 billion respectively. This implies a robust growth of 15.5% for Ford and 16.9% for GM. Meanwhile, both companies have also managed to post respectable EBIT figures. Ford reported that EBIT reached $5.7 billion, while GM reported EBIT of $3.99 billion.

Ford’s shares are trading at cheap levels, having lost 35.05% for the year. The stock is currently trading at 5.5 times 2011 earnings, lower than GM’s 6.56 times 2011 earnings. Long term investors who believe that the American economy will be better in the coming years should be buyers of this stock. The main risk is that when the US economy goes back to recession, we may see a further compression of its valuations. However, we believe that the current depressed valuation offers enough margin of safety for investors.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) – The shares of the leading semiconductor chip maker company is slightly down 1.09% year-to-date but down 10.58% for the last 3 months. Recent price drops will be a good entry for investors looking for exposure in the technology space. The stock appears to have low risk of a permanent loss of capital.

It has a cash position of $11.5 billion, with minimal debt. Run-rate operating cash flow is at $16 billion and dividend yield of 3.85%. The market is expecting 2011 revenues of $54.18 billion, an increase of 24.20% and operating income of $18.96 billion. These figures are higher than Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD), which is expected to report revenues of $6.75 billion, 4% higher than the previous year’s results and operating income of $810 million.

Although Intel dominates AMD in terms of financial performance, it is currently trading at a cheaper valuation. Intel shares are trading at 8.73 times 2011 earnings, compared to AMD’s 11.11 times 2011 earnings. Both stocks are relatively cheap compared to the broader market. Investors are betting that the rise of the tablet will put an end to the PC’s dominance.

The market has valued the company based on its semiconductor business. We note that the company has entered alliance with companies building data center processors, as well as integrated solutions for mobile devices. These new segments have reported double digits growth for the company in recent quarters.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.