18 Prospects For A Risky Market

by: Davy Bui

While investors may feel good when stocks rise, savvy players realize that rising prices increase the market's valuation and thus the risk present in them. So as the Dow continues its flirtation with the 13,000 level against a backdrop of dour but not dire economic news, I continue to see stocks as generally fairly to a little overpriced. Stock screens of late haven't turned up too many desirable prospects so I decided to review my watchlist of hundreds of names for potential investment candidates. I narrowed the list down to those stocks that are within 5% or better of my possible buy price -- 18 names came up:

TICKER COMPANY Current Price PE PEG Estimated Intrinsic Value P/FCF annual avg
AZN AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) $45.21 6.2 4.1 $59 8.7
BBY Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) $24.72 8.5 0.9 $35 7.4
CACI CACI International Inc (NYSE:CACI) $60.70 11.1 0.8 $85 7.4
DLX Deluxe Corp (NYSE:DLX) $24.02 8.6 1.6 $36 7.4
DV DeVry Inc (NYSE:DV) $34.88 10.4 1.9 $50 10.4
GME Gamestop Corp (NYSE:GME) $23.86 8.6 1.0 $37 8.3
HMA Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA) $6.66 9.6 0.7 $9.50 12.6
LPS Lender Processing Services Inc (NYSE:LPS) $23.95 21.0 4.5 $37 4.4
rig Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG) $52.33 N/A N/A $80 7.4
RIMM Research In Motion Ltd (RIMM) $13.17 3.2 2.4 $18 7.2
RRD R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co (NASDAQ:RRD) $12.83 N/A 14.2 $23 5.0
SAI SAIC Inc (SAI) $12.60 12.8 7.1 $18.50 6.8
SKM SK Telecom Co Ltd (NYSE:SKM) $13.79 6.2 0.9 $20 8.5
SPLS Staples Inc (NASDAQ:SPLS) $15.37 11.0 1.0 $22 9.0
TDS Telephone And Data Systems Inc (NYSE:TDS) $24.57 13.4 1.1 $40 9.2
TOT Total SA (NYSE:TOT) $55.44 7.7 2.7 $76 19.5
WDC Western Digital Corp (NYSE:WDC) $39.83 13.9 0.6 $52 6.2
XRX Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX) $8.25 9.2 1.0 $12 6.0

Readers can view in-depth financial metrics in spreadsheet format here.

By definition, all of these stocks are undervalued based on a cursory examination of free cash flows or asset value but these estimates are very rough and should be taken with a grain of salt until further research is undertaken. Two of these stocks are already in my portfolio -- TOT (going long article here), XRX (bullish article here) -- and a few others like DV, RIG and SPLS have merited serious consideration in the past. Of the names here, GME presents the most intriguing case presently.

On a free cash flow basis, the stock appears ridiculously cheap and Gamestop carries over $2 net cash on their balance sheet. But GME registers an eye-catching 45% short interest, including prominent short-seller Jim Chanos. Chanos is short the stock, postulating that digital distribution will decimate GME's business model and earnings power much like Blockbuster. While it's hard to imagine GME going to zero from here, it is tough to take the other side of a bet with Chanos without more research.

Here are summaries on all the stocks in this list:

AstraZeneca PLC is a global biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes prescription medicines for six areas of healthcare: Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Infection, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Respiratory and Inflammation. AZN delivered healthy returns of 43% ROE and 26% ROI vs. peers' 6% ROE and 4% ROI.

Best Buy Co., Inc. is a multinational retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products, appliances and related services. The company generated 19% ROE vs industry's 13% and 14% ROI vs 9%.

CACI International Inc is an international information systems, high technology services, and professional services corporation that delivers professional services and information technology solutions to its clients, primarily the United States government. Its returns lag the industry at 14% ROE (vs 25%) and 9% ROI (vs 23%).

Deluxe Corporation through its various businesses and brands provides a range of life-cycle driven solutions to its customers. DLX has stellar returns of 54% ROE and 13% ROI vs peers' 2% and -0.2%, respectively.

DeVry Inc. is a provider of educational services and the parent organization of Advanced Academics, Becker Professional Education, Carrington College and Carrington College California, Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry Brasil, DeVry University, and Ross University. DV is one of the top players in the industry with ROE of 18% and ROI of 16%, besting peers' 8% ROE and 6% ROI.

GameStop Corp. is a multichannel retailer of video game products and personal computer entertainment software, selling new and used video game hardware, video game software and accessories, as well as PC entertainment software and other merchandise. GME delivered returns of 14% ROE and 13% ROI vs. the industry's 13% and 9%.

Health Management Associates, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities. As of December 31, 2010, the Company operated 59 hospitals with a total of 8,864 beds. It generated healthy returns of 28% ROE vs. peers' 7% and 4.3% ROI vs. 3.6%.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. is a provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage lending industry, with mortgage processing and default management services in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: technology, data and analytics and loan transaction services. LPS booked ROE of 28% vs. peers' 16% and 8% ROI vs peers' 14%.

Transocean Ltd. is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. RIG showed big losses in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico accident: -32% ROE and -19% ROI. It may have turned the corner as shares have risen 20% since I last considered buying the stock.

Research In Motion Limited is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Returns still look good at 24% ROE and 24% ROI but the company's struggles to compete in the smartphone market put those figures in jeopardy.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company is a global provider of integrated communications, that operates primarily in the commercial print portion of the printing industry. Last return figures were negative at -8% ROE and -2% ROI.

SAIC, Inc. is a provider of scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and solutions to all branches of the United States military, agencies of the United States Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the United States Department of Homeland Security and other the United States agencies.Its returns suggest a lower-tier player in the industry, with 11% ROE and 8% ROI lagging peers' 25% ROE and 23% ROI.

SK Telecom Co., Ltd. is the leading Korea-based wireless telecommunications services provider. SKM generated 24% ROE and 15% ROI, beating peers' 9% and 7%, respectively.

Staples, Inc. is an office products company operating in 26 countries throughout North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia. The Company operates three business segments: North American Delivery, North American Retail, and International Operations. The company generated returns of 14% ROE and 10% ROI, lagging the industry's 24% ROE and 15% ROI.

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. is a telecommunications service company with wireless operations provided by TDS' 83%-owned subsidiary, United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular), and wireline operations provided by TDS' wholly owned subsidiary, TDS Telecommunications Corporation (TDS Telecom). It lagged the industry with 5% ROE vs 9% and 4% ROI vs peers' 7%.

TOTAL SA is a France-based integrated international oil and gas company with operations in more than 130 countries. TOTAL engages in all aspects of the petroleum industry. The company delivered 19% ROE and 12% ROI, beating peers' 11% and 8%, respectively.

Western Digital Corporation is a provider of solutions for the collection, storage, management, protection and use of digital content, including audio and video. Its principal products are hard drives, which are devices that use one or more rotating magnetic disks (magnetic media) to store and allow access to data. WDC registered returns of 12% ROE and 12% ROI, more or less in line with the industry's 13% ROE and 12% ROI averages.

Xerox Corporation provides a portfolio of business process and information technology outsourcing support, document technology and solutions. XRX delivered mix results compared to its peers, with 11% ROE vs 6% for peers but 5% ROI lower than the 6% industry average.

Disclosure: I am long TOT.

Additional disclosure: Short XRX naked puts