The time to buy is when there is blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.
This famous investing quote is attributed to Baron Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who made a fortune buying during the chaos following the Battle of Waterloo.
Times of market turmoil often present the best buying opportunities for savvy investors. Contrarians find their best investment opportunities during times of panic. Cramer says, "No one ever made a dime panicking." The bear market of 1974 gave Warren Buffett the opportunity to purchase a stake in The Washington Post Company (WPO). This one investment subsequently provided Buffett with more than a hundred-fold return. One of Buffett's famous quotes is: "Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it."
Our innate instincts encourage us to depart a sinking ship. This survival tactic impacts the way we invest. When market panic creates opportunities to buy stock in solid companies with sound prospects, hopefully you have powder dry and take advantage. The market is clearly at an inflection point. To open a position you must have courage in your convictions; just remember, fortune favors the bold. A market correction provides opportunity to buy great names at a discount price.
Bernanke said the Fed will meet for two days in September, instead of the one day planned, to discuss its options to provide additional monetary stimulus, among other topics. Bernanke went on to say he expects growth to pick up in the second half of the year. However, if signs of a recovery fail to materialize in the near term, the FOMC may consider additional policy tools at its September meeting.
We posit this presents essentially a win/win situation for stocks. Either the global economy recovers or Bernanke initiates some type of QE program. Either scenario bodes well for equities. Some are predicting a major downturn in the global economy. My instincts tell me it won't be as bad as some have predicted. Once everyone realizes the emerging markets are still growing, European debt issues are being solved, the Street's profit-taking is over, the global economic recovery continues, I see blue chip stocks regaining past glory and reaching new highs. By the way, do these events give you a sense of deja vu? They should, practically the exact scenario occurred a little over twelve months ago -- followed by a huge rally. There may be more volatility in front of us, even with the more than 10% drop in the market recently. Nevertheless, this may be a good point to start a position in these buying opportunities.
Moreover, most of these stocks are trading well below consensus analysts' estimates, have recent upgrades and positive analyst comments and PEG ratios of less than one. The PEG ratio is a broadly used indicator of a stock's prospective worth. It is preferred by numerous analysts over the price/earnings ratio because it also accounts for growth. Similar to the P/E ratio, a lower PEG means that the stock is undervalued. Many financiers use 1 as the cutoff point for PEG ratios. A PEG of 1 or less is believed to be favorable. As Warren Buffett would say, "Price is what you pay; value is what you get." Is the sentiment change regarding these stocks justified, or is this a case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater? Considering the broad-based sell-off, I submit it is the latter.
The seven blue chip stocks are: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Alcoa, Inc. (NYSE:AA).
Below are two tables with detailed statistics regarding each company's current summary and fundamental information, followed by a brief review of each company, detailed current analysts' estimates and up/downgrade activity, then a chart of the company's key statistics. Nonetheless, this is only the first step in finding winners for your portfolio. Please use this as a starting point for your own due diligence.
Summary Statistics (Click images to enlarge):
Fundamental Statistics (Click images to enlarge):
Microsoft develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Microsoft was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Microsoft has a median price target of $33 by 26 brokers and a high target of $37. The last up/downgrade activity was on Feb. 17, when Collins Stewart initiated coverage on the company with a Buy rating.
General Electric Co. operates as a technology, media, and financial services company worldwide. General Electric has a forward P/E ratio of 9.37. The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. General Electric has a median price target of $24 by 14 brokers and a high target of $30. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jan 28, 2011, when Argus upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
Intel Corp. engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. Intel was founded in 1968 and is based in Santa Clara, California. Intel has a forward P/E ratio of 7.80. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Intel has a median price target of $26 by 39 brokers and a high target of $32. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug 8, 2011, when Standpoint Research upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. Walt Disney has a median price target of $43 by 23 brokers and a high target of $56. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug 10, 2011, when Wunderlich downgraded the company from Buy to Hold.
Caterpillar manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company is trading below analysts’ estimates. Caterpillar has a median price target of $135 by 15 brokers and a high target of $158. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jun 16, 2010, when Jefferies initiated coverage on the company with a Buy rating.
Hewlett-Packard Company offers various products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. The company is trading significantly below analyst estimates. Bank of America has a median price target of $14 by 25 brokers and a high target of $21. The last up/downgrade activity was on May 4, 2011, when UBS initiated coverage on the company with a Neutral rating.
Alcoa, Inc. engages in the production and management of aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Alcoa has a median price target of $20 by 11 brokers and a high target of $28.10. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug 12, 2011, when BMO Capital Markets upgraded the company from Underperform to Market Perform.
Disclosure: I am long AA.