Volatility is a true friend of an investor. It gives investors the opportunity to buy quality stocks at discounted prices. In these volatile markets, here are some of the best quality stocks to choose from.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC)
Intel Corp. is the global leader among semiconductor makers. The company faces industry headwinds alongside with fellow PC giants Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ). The PC industry faces broad-based weakness in demand. Shares of INTC are down by 7.61% for the year. For the fiscal year 2012, analysts are expecting earnings per share of $2.49, slightly higher by 5% compared to the previous year but lower than the 5-year average earnings growth rate of 7.49%.
At that rate, the stock is trading at 7.79 times next year’s earnings, 2.15 times book value and 4.30% dividend yield. Even the 4.30% dividend yield makes it attractive over the 10-year Treasury bond of 2.22%. Competitor Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) has similar valuations with 7.84 times next year’s earnings and 2.67 times book value. However, INTC has better fundamentals and growth profile that its competitors. It boasts of net profit margins of 17.44% and return on equity of 16.28% for the last 5 years. Its cash hoard of $11.5 billion would most likely be used to acquire smaller companies to boost its portfolio. Recently, it has acquired McAfee, Inc. and Fulcrum Microsystems. After the global economy stabilizes, we can expect a better and stronger INTC.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F)
If another recession is underway, automakers demand would most likely fall into a cliff. The market is currently pricing in that concern. In fact, it is currently trading 4.70% above its 52-week lows. Looking at the real situation, analysts expect that auto sales will be flat this month, but still 8% higher than the prior year. At the current price of $10.28, the stock is trading at 5.16 times next year’s earnings, higher than General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) valuation of 4.67 times next year’s earnings.
The key argument of bears of F is that it still has a high debt to equity ratio. However, there are efforts from the company to pay off its debt. Adding to pressures is the possibility of a strike due to no-strike agreement in place. These issues are obstacle to the stock price despite improving company fundamentals. The silver lining is that American automakers like Ford are gaining market share over its Japanese counterparts. This coincides with the fact that the automakers have doubled their income in recent years. Moving forward, we don’t expect significant upside in the near term. Investors with longer time horizon will be rewarded from their patience. But definitely, F is too cheap to ignore.
UTi Worldwide (NASDAQ:UTIW)
UTi Worldwide is a holding company with interests in freight and logistics. Recent concerns on a global economic slowdown have weighed much on the stock price. This sent shares of UTIW have traded near its 52-week lows. For the second quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.28 a share, beating consensus estimates of $0.21. Analysts expect full year earnings per share at $0.84 this year, an increase of 23% compared to the prior year. Looking at these figures, it seems that analysts may have low expectations on UTIW. The company will be on its way to beating full year earnings estimates.
At the current price of $12.21, the stock is trading at 11.84 times next year’s earnings and 0.50% dividend yield. Peer companies Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD) and United Parcel Service Corp. (NYSE:UPS) command higher valuation than UTIW. EXP trades 20.15 times earnings and 1.10% dividend yield and UPS at 12.80 times earnings with 3.30% dividend yield. In the near-term, margins are expected to expand from declining oil prices. Since revenues are spread across different regions, the impact of a potential slowdown is minimal. Analyst ratings are mixed, but target price is at $22.55, or double from the current levels.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)
Cisco Systems, Inc. is a global leader in IP-based networking and other communications and information technology related services. Government IT spending have dramatically decreased in the light of fiscal austerity. There are hopes that spending will pick up in the second half, but it seems that IT spending will continue to soften until 2012. Shares of CSCO are flat for the year but shares have fallen by 19.10% for the last 6 months. At the current price of $15.08, the stock is trading at 7.93 times next year’s earnings and 1.60% dividend yield. In contrast, Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) trades at 12.49 times next year’s earnings and F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) at 16.26 times next year’s earnings. The market is pricing their competitors higher as they have cut down Cisco’s lead in different segments of networking.
Despite pressures from government spending and challenging macro environment, the recent 4th quarter report provides a good picture. The company has started to see orders stabilizing, although revenue growth is anemic. There is an improvement in the operations but it would take a while before the company can really reinvent itself. However, expectations have been low and positive surprises will lift shares higher.
Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD)
The company is one of America’s largest coal producers, operating out of three mines in Wyoming and Montana. This coal producer is a good bet in China’s economic growth, which is expected to grow 10% for the year. It has traded in the $20’s last year, but has fallen by 16% for the year. The reason is that there are fears that China may be overheating. However, the company operates under a fixed contract basis. Committed sales are at 92 million tons at approximately $12.91 per ton for this year and 81 million tons at approximately $13.22 per tons for next year. This assures revenue visibility for the next 2 years. Thus, any price decline presents a good opportunity for investors.
At the current price of $19.22, the stock is trading at 11.80 times this year’s earnings. This is definitely lower than peer company valuations. Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI) trades at 20.17 times earnings but CLD has better net profit margins at 8% compared to ACI’s 7%. Since revenues are basically fixed, it is important to buy a mining company with better margins. Since the company is a pure play in Power River Basin, it has one of the lowest coal costs in the world. The kicker is that CLD could be a takeover candidate given that Rio Tinto will be liquidating its 49% stake in the company.
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)
The company operates satellite radios through a subscription basis. These satellite radios are distributed through automakers, retail locations and its websites. It also has applications for Android, Apple and Blackberry phones which makes it a good long-term bet for higher mobile consumption. In its latest quarterly report, it announced record level earnings as well as subscribers. The company reported that the demand of satellite radios continues to grow with subscribers an all-time high of 21 million subscribers.
In fact, it has raised its guidance for the year. It expects revenue to be around $3 billion and free cash flow to be $400 million. Assuming net profit margins of 20% for the year, the company expects to earn net profit of $700 million. This translates to a price earnings of 10.23 times for the year. This seems to be cheap for a company that can easily grow double digit growth in the future. Shares have declined by 23% for the past 3 months as newcomer Pandora Media (NYSE:P) is expected to give SIRI some serious threat. Thus, P is valued higher at almost 40 times this year’s earnings. However, P is running on operating losses on an annualized basis, giving investors a sign that competition concerns was overblown.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.