Even though we live in a time when technology has sped up the feed of information significantly, lag time still occurs. It may be due to the overabundance of information that it is simply impossible to keep up. Another possibility is that it still requires time to digest the information. Stock prices can experience this lag time as well, and there are times when the price is not an accurate reflection of the true value. With this in mind, we considered stocks at the mid cap level that appear to be trading at a discount in light of their strong earnings. Using a price multiple perspective, if these companies continue to generate high profits, then it is likely the price will rise. Use the data and graphs below to begin your own evaluation of these mid cap stocks to see if any meet your standards.
The Price/Earnings ratio is one of the most commonly used price-multiple metrics. Often, EPS from the last four quarters is used to derive this number. A firm that has a high P/E ratio generally indicates that investors have high expectations of the firm relative to future earnings growth. By the opposite token, investors generally have lower expectations of a firm with a low P/E ratio. A firm that holds a P/E below 10 could be viewed as having "value investment" potential. One thing to remember is that EPS is an accounting measure that could be potentially manipulated. Thus the P/E is only as good as the quality of the earnings.
The Price/Sales ratio is a price-multiple valuation metric used to help identify if a firm is cheap by its twelve month trailing sales numbers. In the most basic terms, it lets an investor know how much the investment community is willing to pay for every dollar's worth of sales. A firm with a P/S ratio of one or lower would be viewed as cheap because investors are paying $1 or less for every dollars worth of a firms sales. On the other hand, a firm is generally considered to be expensive when the P/S ratio is above three. These are general guidelines used by the investment community not hard rules to be clear. Price/Sales Ratio = Current Stock Price/Revenue (sales) per Share.
Return on Assets [ROA] illustrates how much a company is generating in earnings from its assets alone. This metric gives investors a picture of how profitable the company is relative to the assets in current possession. As well, it lets investors see how efficient and effective management is at generating earnings from the company's assets. While most management teams can probably make money by throwing money at an issue very few can make very large profits with little investment.
EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. EPS growth rates help investors identify stocks that are increasing or decreasing in profitability. This profitability metric is generally a key driver in the price of the stock as it directly correlates to the profitability of the company as a whole.
We first looked for mid cap stocks. We then screened for businesses that appear undervalued from a price-multiple perspective (P/E<10)(P/S<1). From here, we then looked for companies that have strong profitability relative to their asset base (ROA [TTM]>10%)(1-year fiscal EPS growth rate>10%). We did not screen out any sectors.
Do you think these mid-cap stocks have higher to rise? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.
1) Grupo Simec S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSEMKT:SIM)
|Industry||Steel & Iron|
|Return on Assets||10.78%|
|Earnings Per Share Growth Rate||438.63%|
Grupo Simec, S.A.B. de C.V., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, processing, and distribution of special bar quality (SBQ) steel and structural products primarily in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Its steel products include I-beams; channels; structural and commercial angles; hot rolled bars, such as round, square, and hexagonal rods; flat bars; rebars; cold finished bars; wire rods; semi-finished tube rounds; and other semi-finished trade products.
The company's SBQ products are used in various engineered end-user applications, including axles, hubs, and crankshafts for automobiles and light trucks, machine tools, and off-highway equipment; and structural steel products are used in the non-residential construction market and other construction applications. It also has operations in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Guadalajara, Mexico. Grupo Simec, S.A.B. de C.V. is a subsidiary of Industrias CH, S.A.B. de C.V.
2) WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG)
|Industry||Health Care Plans|
|Return on Assets||10.94%|
|Earnings Per Share Growth Rate||583.84%|
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs in the United States. The company offers Medicaid plans, including plans for beneficiaries of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs; Supplemental Security Income programs; and ABD programs and state-based programs, such as Children's Health Insurance Programs and Family Health Plus (FHP) programs for qualifying families who are not eligible for Medicaid. The TANF program provides assistance to low-income families with children; and ABD and SSI programs provide assistance to low-income aged, blind, or disabled individuals.
It also provides Medicare, a federal health insurance program; Medicare Advantage, a Medicare's managed care alternative to original Medicare that provides individuals standard Medicare benefits directly through Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; and coordinated care plans, which are administered through health maintenance organizations and require members to seek health care services and select a primary care physician from a network of health care providers. In addition, the company provides prescription drug plans comprising the Medicare Part D program that offers national in-network prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries. As of December 31, 2011, it served approximately 2,562,000 members. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.
3) HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE:HFC)
|Industry||Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing|
|Return on Assets||22.38%|
|Earnings Per Share Growth Rate||562.57%|
HollyFrontier Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refiner and marketer in the United States. It produces light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel oil, and specialty and modified asphalt. The company operates refineries in El Dorado, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Artesia, New Mexico; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Woods Cross, Utah. HollyFrontier operates 5 refineries with a combined crude oil processing capacity of 443,000 barrels per day. Its refineries serve markets in the Mid-Continent, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The company was formerly known as Holly Corporation and changed its name to HollyFrontier Corporation as a result of its merger with Frontier Oil Corporation in July 2011. HollyFrontier Corporation was founded in 1947 and is based in Dallas, Texas.
4) Dillard's Inc. (NYSE:DDS)
|Return on Assets||11.71%|
|Earnings Per Share Growth Rate||218.64%|
Dillard's, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as fashion apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishing retailer in the United States. The company offers fashion apparel for women, men, and children, as well as accessories and other consumer goods. Its merchandise selections comprise lines of brand merchandise, such as Antonio Melani, Gianni Bini, Roundtree & Yorke, and Daniel Cremieux. It also sells its merchandise on-line through its Web site, dillards.com. In addition, the company operates as a general contracting construction company. As of January 28, 2012, it operated 304 retail department stores located primarily in the southwest, southeast, and midwest regions of the United States. The company was founded in 1938 and is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
5) Kronos Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:KRO)
|Return on Assets||19.12%|
|Earnings Per Share Growth Rate||113.77%|
Kronos Worldwide, Inc. engages in the production and marketing of titanium dioxide pigments under the Kronos brand name primarily in North America and Europe. It produces titanium dioxide pigments in two crystalline forms, rutile and anatase to impart whiteness, brightness, opacity, and durability for products, such as coatings, plastics, papers fibers, and ceramics, as well as for various specialty products, including inks, food, and cosmetics.
The company also offers ilmenite, a raw material used directly as a feedstock by sulfate-process titanium dioxide pigment plants; iron-based chemicals, which are co-products and processed co-products of the titanium dioxide pigment production process and used as treatment and conditioning agents for industrial effluents and municipal wastewater, as well as in the manufacture of iron pigments, cement, and agricultural products; and titanium oxychloride and titanyl sulfate, which are side-stream products from the production of titanium dioxide pigments.
Its titanium oxychloride is used in the formulation of pearlescent pigments and production of electroceramic capacitors for cell phones and other electronic devices; and titanyl sulfate is used in pearlescent pigments, natural gas pipe, and other specialty applications. In addition, the company provides technical services. Kronos Worldwide, Inc. sells its products through distributors and agents to paint, plastics, decorative laminate, and paper manufacturers. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Kronos Worldwide, Inc. is a subsidiary of Valhi, Inc.
*Company profiles were sourced from Google Finance and Yahoo Finance. Financial data was sourced from Finviz on September 15, 2012.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Business relationship disclosure: This article was prepared for ZetaKap Media by one of our full-time analysts. We did not receive compensation for this article (other than from Seeking Alpha), and we have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.