Looking to take advantage of the pullback, I created a list of the 20 companies with the lowest P/E in the S&P 500.
|Ticker||Company||Price||Forward P/E||YTD Return|
|VLO ||VALERO ENERGY||19.26||4.51||-16.20%|
|GCI ||GANNETT CO||9.99||4.64||-33.44%|
|CLF ||CLIFFS NATURAL R||70.05||4.85||-9.59%|
|HIG ||HARTFORD FINL SV||18.25||4.98||-30.61%|
|LNC ||LINCOLN NATL CRP||20.31||5.02||-26.60%|
|MPC ||MARATHON PETROLE||36.61||5.11||N/A|
|F ||FORD MOTOR CO||10.38||5.42||-38.18%|
|TSO ||TESORO CORP||19.39||5.49||4.58%|
|AFL ||AFLAC INC||35.36||5.57||-36.16%|
|GNW ||GENWORTH FINANCI||6.32||5.60||-51.90%|
|WHR ||WHIRLPOOL CORP||57.20||5.61||-34.88%|
|SVU ||SUPERVALU INC||6.95||5.63||-26.47%|
|MET ||METLIFE INC||31.87||5.76||-28.29%|
|BAC ||BANK OF AMERICA||7.01||5.92||-47.37%|
|JBL ||JABIL CIRCUIT||14.27||6.01||-28.20%|
|C ||CITIGROUP INC||27.98||6.09||-40.82%|
|AIZ ||ASSURANT INC||32.46||6.19||-14.99%|
|CSC ||COMPUTER SCIENCE||28.28||6.37||-42.44%|
With an average forward P/e of just 5.5x, the list looks incredibly cheap. Even more amazing, the average stock on this list has lost almost 1/3 of its value YTD, with just one stock (Tesoro) having positive year to date returns.
Bears will likely say that the low P/E ratios prove that these companies are value traps to be avoided at all costs. But for value investors and contrarians, the list represents an interesting starting point for some deep research. Below is a bit more information on each company.
VLO - Valero Energy Corporation is an independent petroleum refining and marketing company that owns and operates refineries in the United States, Canada, and Aruba. The Company produces conventional gasolines, distillates, jet fuel, asphalt, petrochemicals, lubricants, and other refined products as well as diesel fuel, low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, and oxygenates.
GCI - Gannett Co., Inc. is an international news and information company that publishes various daily newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom, including "USA TODAY" and "USA WEEKEND," a newspaper magazine. The Company also operates television stations in major United States markets as well as websites offering news, information and advertising.
CLF - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is a diversified mining and natural resources company. The Company mines for iron ore and coal in locations across North America, South America, and Australia.
HPQ - Hewlett-Packard provides imaging and printing systems, computing systems, and information technology services for business and home. The Company's products include laser and inkjet printers, scanners, copiers and faxes, personal computers, workstations, storage solutions, and other computing and printing systems. Hewlett-Packard sells its products worldwide.
HIG - The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. provides a range of insurance products. The Company's products include property and casualty insurance, annuities, life insurance, investment services, and group insurance. Hartford Financial operates around the world.
LNC - Lincoln National Corporation owns and operates wealth accumulation and protection businesses. The Company sells a wide range of products including institutional and/or retail fixed and indexed annuities, variable annuities, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, term life insurance, mutual funds, and managed accounts.
MPC - Marathon Petroleum Corporation refines, transports, and markets petroleum products. The Company sells its products to resellers and consumers in the mid-west, gulf coast, and southeast United States.
F - Ford Motor Company designs, manufactures, and services cars and trucks. The Company also provides vehicle-related financing, leasing, and insurance through its subsidiary.
TSO - Tesoro Corporation refines and markets petroleum products, and provides transporting services. The Company operates refineries, as well as a network of retail and refueling stations in the western United States. Tesoro also markets gasoline and diesel fuel to independent marketers and commercial end users.
AFL - Aflac, Inc. is a general business holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides supplemental insurance to individuals in the United States and Japan. Aflac's products include accident/disability plans, cancer expense plans, short-term disability plans, sickness and hospital indemnity plans, hospital intensive care plans, and fixed-benefit dental plans.
GNW - Genworth Financial Inc. offers insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions The Company offers products that include life insurance products, long-term care insurance, and mortgage guarantee insurance coverage on residential mortgage loans. Genworth is active in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and multiple European countries.
WHR - Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets major home appliances. The Company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigeration and room air conditioning equipment, cooking appliances, dishwashers, and mixers and other small household appliances. Whirlpool's products are sold worldwide
SVU - SUPERVALU Inc. operates a chain of supermarkets and pharmacies primarily in the United States. The Company also provides supply chain services, which includes wholesale distribution and related logistics support services.
MET - MetLife, Inc. provides individual insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the regions of Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The Company's products include life insurance, annuities, automobile and homeowners insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals as well as group insurance.
BAC - Bank of America Corporation accepts deposits and offers banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk-management products and services. The Company has a mortgage lending subsidiary, and an investment banking and securities brokerage subsidiary.
JBL - Jabil Circuit, Inc. is an electronic manufacturing services provider for international electronics companies in the communications, personal computer, peripheral, consumer, and automotive markets. The Company offers circuit design, board design from schematic, prototype assembly, volume board assembly, system assembly, repair, and warranty services.
C - Citigroup Inc. is a diversified financial services holding company that provides a broad range of financial services to consumer and corporate customers around the world. The Company's services include investment banking, retail brokerage, corporate banking, and cash management products and services.
AIZ - Assurant, Inc. provides specialized insurance and insurance-related products. The Company offers individual and small employer group health insurance, group dental insurance, pre-funded funeral insurance, group disability and life insurance, creditor-placed homeowners insurance, manufactured housing homeowners insurance, debt protection administration, credit insurance, and warranties.
CSC - Computer Sciences Corporation provides consulting and information technology (IT) services to industry and government. The Company provides consulting, systems design and integration, IT and business process outsourcing, applications software, and Web and application hosting. Computer Sciences operates locations around the world.
OI - Owens-Illinois, Inc. manufactures glass packaging products. The Company produces glass containers for malt beverages, including beer and ready-to-drink low-alcohol refreshers, liquor, wine, food, tea, juice and pharmaceuticals. Owens-Illinois sells its products to customers around the world.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.