Cummins Is A Bargain Right Now

| About: Cummins Inc. (CMI)

Everybody loves to find a good deal these days. Who wouldn't want to save 20% on their dream car, or that flat screen they've been dreaming about? Investments are no different; everyone loves a good deal on their dream stock. But sometimes investors just don't realize great deals in the market, and this gives you more time to capitalize on their mistake. As the Franklin Templeton commercial goes, "See now what others see eventually."

There are plenty of great values out on the market, but I believe that Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) is especially positioned to take advantage of a potential market rally, because it's taken such an undeserved hit in recent months. Cummins has been beaten up for some concerns regarding slowing growth in China, Brazil, India, etc., and U.S. economic uncertainty only adds to the fear surrounding the stock.

Yes, these bearish indicators are all reasons to be a little worried, but they do not present a good excuse to sell. Jim Cramer would be ashamed of those who panicked and sold their positions because of some news headlines; I can picture him right now yelling in what seems like a different language. While Cramer would be shaking his head right now, value investors should be thanking those who dumped their holdings, because now we have this excellent buying opportunity.

Cummins has tumbled 22.74% over the past three months. On July 10, the company announced that it had lowered full year revenue guidance, sending the stock to levels just 5% above its 52 week low. However, the company did announce a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend, bringing it up to par with industrial heavyweights like Deere (NYSE:DE) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT).

Despite a bleak outlook for the current year, management must be confident that Cummins will be able to sustain a sound financial position. Why else would they raise the dividend by 25%? Investors seem to look at the glass as half empty: "Dismal revenue guidance for one year is much more important than an increasing dividend, which will be paid for decades." This, at least to me, is completely illogical.

Looking at the glass as half full we can say that Cummins has been able to, even in a sluggish economy, increase year-over-year earnings consistently as of late.

EPS Prior Year EPS Difference ($) Difference (%)

Q3'11: $2.20

$1.44 $0.76 52.78%
Q4'11: $2.56 $1.84 $0.72 39.13%
Q1'12: $2.38 $1.75 $0.63 36.00%

Cummins has a very strong bottom line, like other industrials such as Joy Global (NYSE:JOY), but they have still been beaten down by macroeconomic fears, Joy Global declining 30% in the past three months. In addition to solid earnings, Cummins also has a great balance sheet and respectable margins. Here are some important statistics.

  • Market Cap: $16.90 billion
  • Current Share Price: $88.70
  • 52 Week Range: $79.53-$129.51
  • Trailing P/E: 8.70
  • PEG: 0.74
  • Operating Margin: 11.92%
  • Profit Margin: 10.58%
  • ROE: 35.58%
  • Total Cash: $1.57 billion
  • Total Debt: $683 million
  • Dividend (%): $2.00 (2.30%)

(Find more stats here.)

Looking at these metrics, Cummins seems like an attractive buy right now, especially since it's 23% cheaper than it was three months ago. Comparable engine maker Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:WPRT) is actually up 14.24% over the last three months; but the company remains unprofitable.

Cummins has been in business for almost 100 years, and isn't going away any time soon. Some people act like the world is about to end whenever a short term problem arises, presenting a great buying opportunity for those in it for the long haul. So if your stomach is strong enough to get you through some short term volatility, then Cummins is the way to go.

Disclosure: I am long JOY.

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