The recent market panic has sent stock prices plunging across nearly every sector. Unless you own gold or gold mining stocks, you’ve almost certainly experienced a hit to your portfolio. The extreme volatility of the markets alone has been enough to induce some investors to flee the stock market.
While a market selloff is never pleasant, it can be a golden opportunity for opportunistic investors. Famed investors like Warren Buffet made a lot of money by buying stocks during the last market selloff while everyone else was selling. Of course, few can match the investing prowess of Buffet. However, it is possible to find stock’s in today’s market with limited downside and attractive valuations.
Here is a look at 6 stocks that are profitable, have pristine balance sheets and yet trade near their cash levels. These companies are all making money and yet Wall Street is valuing them based solely on their cash balances. Those strong cash balances mean that investors that buy at current prices have limited downside.
Our favorite stock on this list is FXCM. The forex trading provider is expected to generate double-digit revenue growth both this year and next. And the company is very profitable with Wall Street anticipating earnings of $.88 per share this year. Yet this attractive small cap stock has a market cap of only $191 million while sitting on $179 million in cash with no debt. If you factor out the company’s cash holdings, the market is valuing this stock at less than 1x earnings.
With a market cap of only $26 million, LOOK is probably not on very many investors radars. However, the company has only $1 million in debt and $22 million in cash sitting on their balance sheet. The company is experiencing a significant decline in revenues this year, but the company continues to generate profits. Wall Street expects LOOK to begin growing their revenues again next year. At that point investors will undoubtedly begin to value this small cap on both their earnings and their cash balance.
Natuzzi generates 63% of their sales from Europe and the weak economic environment in Europe has crushed this stock in recent months. The leather furniture maker has seen their stock price fall nearly 40% since April. That puts their current market cap at just $142 million despite have $108 million in net cash on their balance sheet. Only one analyst even follows NTZ, but they rate the stock a strong buy and expect the firm to remain profitable.
At $1.4 billion, Tellabs has the largest market cap of any of the companies featured in this article. However, any investor that reviews their balance sheet will notice the company has $1.1 billion in net cash available to them. The semiconductor stock is expected to post a small loss in 2011, but return to profitability in 2012.
InfoSpace has remained immune to the recent market downturn, due in no small part to their strong cash position. The metasearch firm is sitting on $263 million in cash with zero debt. When you subtract that amount from the current market cap of $350 million, the Street is valuing INSP at only 5x 2011 earnings.
The Street (TST)
Finally we come to TheStreet.com. The financial media stock is marginally profitable, but offers an attractive 4.4% dividend yield. Besides the dividend yield, the real value in TST is their $56 million in net cash. That currently accounts for 77% of their market cap. That could prove to be a nice safety net if the market continues its bearish run.
Disclosure: I am long TST.