I feel that in order to see substantial gains in the market one must do substantial research to find stocks that are being sold at a true "value." A momentarily bad quarter and shifting market sentiment has pushed the market low, on some stocks more than on others.
When looking for stocks that are "undervalued" there are several facts one can dissect, and even speculation can be used. Many methods are used to find stocks that are considered undervalued. One popular method is PEG (Price/Earnings to Growth). I like to use this ratio because unlike the P/E, it takes into account growth. Below I have screened four stocks that I believe to be undervalued given their < 1 PEG. Recently utilities have not performed as well as other sectors in the market, but I feel the time is now for a huge jump. Here is my analysis of four utility stocks that I feel are undervalued and are poised for a turnaround:
Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE:NKA) is an independent owner and operator of natural gas storage assets in North America. The company owns or contracts for approximately 185.5 billion cubic feet (BCF), of total gas storage capacity. Its assets are located in North American natural gas producing and consuming regions and are connected at points on the gas transmission network, providing access to multiple end-use markets. It stores natural gas for a range of customers, including financial institutions, marketers, pipelines, power generators, utilities and producers of natural gas. The current market price is $9.36 with a book value of $10.07. This represents a 7.59% upside potential. This upside however, does not include its $0.35 quarterly dividend payment yielding 15%. NKA also boasts a PEG <1 putting it at a great buy opportunity.
Based on Trailing P/E, NKA currently trades at a 69% discount to its Oil & Gas Transportation Industry peers. Also compared with its industry peers NKA has a Gross margin of 68.70% compared with the industry's average of 26.04%. Operating margin is also higher at 102.62% compared with the industry average of 15.07%, and current EPS is -1.78. For fiscal-year 2013, analysts estimate that NKA will earn $0.32, and for 2014 analysts estimate that NKA's earnings per share will grow by 37% to $0.44.
From the graph one can see the excruciating 52-week drop of -53.87%, but it appears the stock has bottomed and is ready for a steady rise. Not only has the drop in price created a great buy opportunity for substantial growth, but the dividend yield of 15% cannot be ignored.
Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) is a utility holding company. The Company's subsidiaries include Union Electric Company, Ameren Illinois Company and Ameren Energy Generating Company. The current market price is $32.20 with a book value of $32.64. This represents a 1.37% upside potential. This upside however, does not include its $0.40 quarterly dividend payment yielding 5% with a 72% payout ratio. NKA also boasts a PEG <1 putting it at a great buy opportunity.
AEE's 14.2 trailing P/E is at the low end of its 5-year range (lowest 7.0 to highest 89.2) and EPS is currently 2.15. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate that AEE will see a 9.3% jump in earnings to $2.35. For fiscal year 2013, analysts estimate that AEE's earnings per share will decline by 20% to $1.89. I feel despite the lower estimate this stock will outperform thus pushing the stock even higher. I believe the recent rise in the shares has reflected the investor shift to the utilities sector due to the extraordinary volatility and often sharp declines in the broader market. AEE is no stranger to this shift hence the rise in its share price. On 01/23/12, AEE closed at $31.83, 6.7% below its 52-week high and 24.6% above its 52-week low.
From the graph one can see the rise in confidence and share price giving it a 20.19% 52-week rise. It appears the stock has declined slightly and I believe might dip further (about $30 range). Once it does I believe this stock will be a great buy opportunity for growth and dividend yield. If the price would drop to $30 the dividend yield would jump to nearly 5.5% and the one-year price target would also yield a higher return.
Atlas Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE:APL) is a provider of natural gas gathering, processing and treating services in the Anadarko and Permian Basins located in the southwestern and midcontinent regions of the United States and a provider of natural gas gathering services in the Appalachian Basin in the northeastern region of the United States. The current market price is $37.12 with a one-year analyst price target of $42.33. This represents a 14.04% upside potential. This upside however, does not include its $0.55 quarterly dividend payment yielding 5.93%. APL also boasts a PEG <1 putting it at a great buy opportunity.
APL's 7.1 Trailing P/E is at the low end of its 5-year range (lowest 3.0 to highest 100.0). APL has quarterly revenue growth of 32.10% compared with its direct competition; Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) at -2.30%, EQT Corp (NYSE:EQT) at 17.90%, and ONEOK Inc (NYSE:OKE) with quarterly revenue growth of 0%. Also current EPS is exceptional compared with its peers. APL's EPS is 5.22, DUK has an EPS of 1.28, EQT is at 3.19, and OKE's EPS is 3.36. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate that APL will earn $1.52 and for 2013 analysts estimate that APL's earnings per share will grow by 55% to $2.36.
From the graph one can see violent swings, but overall a 29.50% 52-week price change. It appears the stock is experiencing price ceiling pressure, but should break out of the $38 range by the end of Q2. This stock has a five-year dividend yield average of 18.00% therefore I have confidence in its current payment of 5.93% sticking around. This stock is a great pick and should see easy growth into at least 2013.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.