Since the start of the year SPY has rallied about 9% and is hovering around a four-year high. I think it's safe to say the market has performed much better than most would have expected over the last few months. However, not all stocks have secured such a positive fate. Perhaps they have a very small market cap and very few analysts follow it. Maybe there is an underlying issue with the business or possibly the stock is wildly undervalued and investors haven't yet caught on to this fact quite yet.
With that said, here are seven stocks trading near 52-week lows that may warrant further research:
Walgreens Company (WAG). This drugstore, consumer goods, general merchandise and household products retailer, unfortunately, did not participate in the recent rally. Despite super investor Warren Buffett buying up shares of competitor CVS Caremark Corporation (CVS), WAG is trading fairly close to its 52-week low and may warrant further research. It currently offers up a 2.8% dividend yield with a super modest payout ratio of only 27% and has been consistently raising its dividend since 2003. Shares of WAG are down about 1% YTD.
I suppose it's probably not necessary to recap the devastation and hard luck Carnival Corporation (CCL) has recently gone through; however, even as we saw with the BP spill in 2010, a company's stock can bounce back strong in a relatively short amount of time. Though CCL certainly has its work cut out for it and is trading towards the lower end of its 52-week range, there are a few upsides. First and foremost, CCL offers investors a current dividend yield of 3.3%, a modest payout ratio of 52% and has been paying out a dividend -- albeit rather inconsistently -- since 1989. CCL is down about 6.5% YTD.
I wrote an article not too long ago about why I believed SuperValu Inc. (SVU) was, in fact, a good value. I still have yet to be proven right about my thoughts; however, with that said it never hurts to take a look at a stock that's been beaten down like SuperValu has. SVU is holding quite a bit of debt and many individuals here on Seeking Alpha believe the company may not even make it out of its current predicament. Worse yet, SuperValu competes in an ultra-slim margin environment, making it difficult to turn things around, especially in this type of economy and has begun laying off individuals in an attempt to improve their situation. SVU is currently sporting a mouth-watering 5.4% dividend yield and has been paying dividends since 1985, though it's not clear whether the company will be able to continue dishing this out to investors over the future. Time will tell and, being a shareholder myself, you can be sure I'll be watching this stock very closely. SVU is down about 21% YTD.
Utility giant Exelon Corporation (EXC) is also trading down over the last few months despite an uptick in the economy and a bullish run in SPY. I believe its lackluster stock price movement over the last few years and the pending uncertainty revolving around the Constellation Energy Group (CEG) merger have investors sitting on the sidelines waiting for the dust to settle. Though I have my reservations about EXC's short term prospects, I have been buying it up in chunks whenever I have spare cash and look forward to reinvesting the attractive dividend for the foreseeable future. EXC is currently offering a 5.4% dividend yield with a relatively modest payout ratio of 56% and has been paying dividends since 1980. Shares of EXC are down over 10% YTD.
Last but not least, Best Buy, Co. (BBY), the consumer electronics, entertainment, home office and appliances company hasn't been posting the best shareholder returns over the course of the last few months either. Many investors have lost confidence in Best Buy and fears that Amazon.com (AMZN) may be encroaching on the company's sales have been circling lately. BBY offers investors a 2.6% dividend yield with an attractive 22% payout ratio and has been raising its dividend since 2004. Despite shares being up about 4% YTD, BBY's share price is still hovering relatively close to its 52-week low.
Again, despite the fact these stocks are trading at a discount to their 52-week highs, it's always a safe idea to perform due diligence prior to jumping on board and purchasing shares. However, with that said, these stocks may be an appropriate place to begin your research based on risk tolerance and dividend investing requirements.