With the AAII sentiment survey coming in much more bearish than many expected, the time to snap up value stocks that have been thrown out with the index bathwater may be close at hand. The bearish sentiment is reaching levels that are consistent with solid opportunities on the long side,
Valuations, macro economics, technical analysis, and most of all the fact that the markets are below the 50 day moving averages likely mean that pain for equities is close at hand. But with everyone so bearish a shorter term bounce may come first to clear the oversold condition in the markets. In essence, I am a longer term bear when it comes to the stock market but am always looking for cheap stocks for my long book. Here are 6 hated stocks that could bounce significantly regardless of the direction of the overall markets.
Hewlett Packard (HPQ) - With a trailing PE under 9X and a forward PE of 6.7X, HPQ is a solid longer term buy at these prices in my view. The stock is trading failry close to the lows of 2009 while the business has grown quite a bit over that period of time. Investors are confused over management changes and defections from the higher up ranks within the company, but the bottom line is that HPQ is the low cost leader in lap top computers and other verticals. I like the stock on a free cash flow basis, and the company has repurchased large amounts of stock in the recent past. Strong cash flow per share make HPQ a value buy for the longer term in my view. That said, the company offers little in the way of margin of safety from a balance sheet perspective so investors may want to sell call options against their stock positions for some insurance.
Research in Motion (RIMM) - The most hated, reviled, detested, feared, and scorned stock in the market is RIMM. Yes, that little cellphone maker that everyone loves to hate is trading for just 6X earnings with an 18% projected growth rate. Even though the company is "losing share" the market is growing at a quick enough pace that RIMM revenues are actually growing and not in decline. Just wait until the business comes out with their market crushing 4G phones, because RIMM has always been able to make a cooler phone than their competitors. Blackberry is a great global brand and the stock is around 1/3 as expensive as GOOG and far less expensive than Motorola (MMI).
Microsoft (MSFT) - Mister Softy is a hated "dinosaur" of technology that everyone is predicting to go the way of the eight track or Beta Max. Meanwhile, the company has acquired Skype which could eventually take a huge chunk of business away from the likes of Sprint, Verizon, etc. MSFT is a cheap name at under 9X forward earnings and under 8X forward earnings if you back out the company's cash per share. To me this is a perfect set up, given the oversold nature of the chart and the fact that so many investors are giving up on the stock after it dropped from $29 to $24.70 a share so far this year. When there is blood in the streets, the old timers dust off their rotary phones and call their brokers to buy stocks, and that's why they are so incredibly rich!
Intel (INTC) - Like MSFT, Intel is another hated name in technology, but with their I5 processors selling like hotcakes, Intel is well positioned for growth in the future. The company has delivered a solid 24% growth rate for two years in a row and I don't see much holding the name back going forward. Strong free cash flow and an industry leading presence make this 9.5X forward earnings name a steal at current prices compared with most of the stocks speculative investors view as good buys right now.
JA Solar (JASO) - Chinese solar shorts are constantly blabbing about Italian subsidies, Angela Merkel, or some strange number that they claim will destroy the industry by the end of next week. The financial statements, however, are telling a completely different story and JASO has exhibited incredibly strong earnings over the past year with a PE ratio, get this, of just 3! Why anyone would short a stock with a PE ratio of 3 is completely beyond me, especially when these companies are continuing to grow like weeds.
Total (TOT) - Total is hated right here as well, and investors feel that the crash in oil prices is going to happen any day now. The only trouble is, that Banana Ben keeps running the printing presses day and night and the value of the dollar is dropping quickly against hard assets like petroleum. Yes, there is some market rigging in the system and I am glad Obama is addressing this, but TOT does not face the same headwinds from Obama's plan to cut subsidies for U.S. oil companies and this stock is too cheap at 8X earnings to ignore.
Disclosure: I am long HPQ, RIMM, INTC, MSFT, JASO, TOT.
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