These 3 Financial Stocks Look Undervalued

Includes: C, GS, JPM
by: Quinn Bredl

Banks aren't exactly known for being the most ethical, socially responsible companies out there in the market. Indeed, the public too has become increasingly less tolerant and more skeptical of big banks since the 2008 financial crisis.

However, despite negative public sentiment and a general mistrust, banks still make tons and tons of money. Banks are crucial pieces to the puzzle that we call the economy, and while many people would rather not have anything to do with a financial institution, banks are crutches on which so many economies depend upon.

So put aside the tarnished reputation that banks have garnered and take a look at the hidden value that the markets have provided us. Here are three big names in the banking industry that have been deeply discounted by the market.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

Yahoo Finance Bussiness Summary: "JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. Its Investment Bank segment offers various investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity and debt markets, risk management, market-making in cash securities and derivative instruments, prime brokerage, and research services for corporations, financial institutions, governments, and institutional investors."

  • Market Cap: $131.90 billion
  • Current Share Price: $34.65
  • 52 Week Range: $27.85-$46.49
  • P/E: 7.7
  • PEG: 1.13
  • Price/Book Value: 0.72
  • Operating Margin: 35.98%
  • Profit Margin: 20.78%
  • Return On Equity: 10.15%
  • Total Cash: $869.94 billion
  • Total Debt: $729.91 billion
  • Dividend (%): $1.20 (3.60%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 22.00%
  • Shares Short % Of Float: 1.10%

(Find more stats here.)

Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C)

Yahoo Finance Business Summary: "Citigroup Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides a range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings."

  • Market Cap: $81.84 billion
  • Current Share Price: $27.91
  • 52 Week Range: $21.40-$43.06
  • P/E: 7.77
  • PEG: 0.69
  • Price/Book Value: 0.45
  • Operating Margin: 21.87%
  • Profit Margin: 16.58%
  • Return On Equity: 6.24%
  • Total Cash: $808.60 billion
  • Total Debt: $646.45 billion
  • Dividend (%): $0.04 (0.10%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 1.00%
  • Shares Short % Of Float: 2.00%

(Find more stats here.)

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)

Yahoo Finance Business Summary: "The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services, as well as a range of financial services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Its Investment Banking segment offers financial advisory services, including advisory assignments with respect to mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate defense, risk management, and restructurings and spin-offs; and underwriting activities comprising public offerings and private placements of a range of securities, loans and other financial instruments, and derivative transactions."

  • Market Cap: $47.83 billion
  • Current Share Price: $93.82
  • 52 Week Range: $84.27-$139.25
  • P/E: 13.87
  • PEG: 0.65
  • Price/Book Value: 0.69
  • Operating Margin: 20.85%
  • Profit Margin: 14.20%
  • Return On Equity: 5.21%
  • Total Cash: $845.88 billion
  • Total Debt: $487.02 billion
  • Dividend (%): $1.84 (2.00%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 20.00%
  • Shares Short % Of Float: 1.80%

(Find more stats here.)

Going strictly by the numbers, all of these companies seem like absolute steals. Goldman Sachs sports the lowest profit margin of the bunch, and at a very healthy 14.2% that says a lot. In addition, each company pays a dividend, although Citigroup's is almost negligible (but it has much room to grow). As for valuation, they all trade with relatively low 5 year PEG ratios and P/E multiples, while also trading well below book value.

Despite these fantastic statistics, something can go horribly wrong for a bank in a heartbeat. JPMorgan's $2 billion (so far) derivatives loss is a prime example. Just when it seemed as though banks were stabilizing JPMorgan comes out to tell the world "Hey look everybody! You still can't trust us!" But even if this loss was to triple, JPM would still be able to conduct business unscathed, although they may not be so lucky next time.

So if you're looking for some high-risk, high-reward investments to add to your portfolio, take a look at these names. It could be many more years down the road before people begin to have faith in banks again, but with such attractive numbers it's difficult to resist clicking the buy button.

Many believe that the worst is over, and if that proves to be true, this could be an excellent time to buy. Without a crystal ball, it's difficult to predict the future of these companies, but as they stand right now, it seems like the market is practically giving these stocks away.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.