By Jonathan Yates
In the value school of finance propounded by Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett, investors seek out companies that are selling for less than the value of their assets. Profits are realized when the share price rises as dictated by efficient market theory. Under the Graham/Buffett framework, this is the epitome of investing as a stock is bought due to the conditions of the company being propitious for a share price increase in the future.
For emerging market investors, Mexican construction and cement company Cemex SAB (CX) is a very appealing value buy. At present, the price-to-book ratio of Cemex is 0.51. That means the stock can be bought for about fifty cents on the dollar, based on the value of its assets.
The price-to-sales ratio of Cemex is equally enticing. With a price-to-sales ratio of 0.56, investors are buying the company for about half of the annual sales. In addition, sales growth on a quarterly basis is growing at a 3.96%.
Investors buy future earnings when they purchase shares of a publicly traded company. For Cemex, earnings-per-share growth for the next year is expected to rise by 76.30%, while over the next five years the earnings-per-share growth is projected to be 22.20%.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, recent guidance from Cemex "maintained its 2012 sales projections across geographic areas, estimating 2% growth in consolidated cement volumes, 5% growth in ready-mix products and 3% growth for aggregates. The company expects a capital expenditure of $600 million this year."
Cemex is expecting more recovery in the global real estate construction market, which will improve its bottom line. With the Mexican housing sector expected to improve, investors can expect greater growth in the future for Cemex from its home market.
Based in Garza Garca, Mexico, Cemex has operations around the world. Now trading around $7.20 a share, the company is up 39.58% for 2012. The financial performance of the company continues to improve after the battering it took during the Great Recession, like nearly all others in the construction industry around the globe.
The $16 billion acquisition in late 2006 of Rinker, an Australian company, was particularly poor timing. For the future, value investors should look at the high of almost $40 for Cemex back in June 2007.