It’s no easy thing to identify a solid stock that is trading for a discount versus one that has rightfully declined based on deteriorating metrics.
However, a few picks seem too good to pass over based on their bargain price-to-earnings ratio and big upside targets from Wall Street firms. And when you throw in the growth potential for revenue and earnings, they add up to enticing opportunities.
If you’re looking for investments to replace some of the less attractive names in your portfolio, these seven stocks are worth a look. All have attractive valuations and at least 15% upside from current pricing, based on Wall Street analysts’ targets as tracked by FactSet.
And even if the full upside isn’t realized, the fact that these stocks are already trading at a bargain hints that they have reached a floor and could be much safer than highfliers that have yet to come crashing back to earth.
To find them, I screened for companies worth more than $1 billion and with positive earnings, then applied additional filters for a forward price-to-earnings ratio that is lower than the S&P 500’s
current average of about 18. Just for good measure, I then excluded stocks that had dropped significantly in the last 30 days or were facing some headline risk that wouldn’t be included in the fundamentals.
What I came up with was a pretty small list, and here are the seven I liked best as bargain investments with potential upside right now. The first three are S&P components; the final four are not.
From a headline standpoint, pharmaceutical firm Allergan PLC
admittedly has had its problems, with a steady pullback last year. Reasons for that included a ruling that its dry-eyes drug Restasis would lose patent protection, However, the stock has stabilized in recent months as activist investor Appaloosa has been advocating for a management shake-up, among other changes. And after its prior declines, it is now too cheap to ignore given a forward P/E of about 10 and strong results from its Botox cosmetic treatment line.
Based on the average price target on Wall Street, shares have about 25% upside from their current level.
Average price target: $212.50
The death of Comcast Corp.
has been greatly exaggerated. Sure, the company faces a secular headwind as cable television subscriptions continue to decline. But let’s not act like this is a weenie regional telecom — this $150 billion behemoth has staying power. And with the company pulling out all the stops in an attempt to buy 21st Century Fox’s
cable and studio assets (though Disney
appears on track to win that fight), it is likely to continue looking for other targets — and without as many regulatory hangups given Disney’s prospective new scale, and without a bidding war driving up the premium.
Earnings and sales are organically moving incrementally higher in 2018, and a bargain forward P/E of about 12 coupled with a decent 2.2% dividend yield make this a value play worth exploring. The stock sits roughly 30% under its consensus target.
Average price target: $43.90
It has been a dramatic few years for CVS Health Corp.
a company that once was only known for its drugstores but now is a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. health-care marketplace. From its 2015 acquisition of long-term care company Omnicare to last year’s announced megamerger with insurance giant Aetna
it’s clear CVS is positioning itself as a holistic and integrated health-care company with the scale and expertise to succeed.
Shares have fallen about 10% in 2018, but those declines came early on and this stock has held tough despite more recent volatility. A single-digit forward P/E coupled with a 3.1% dividend make this stock worth a look for long-term, value-oriented investors — as does its potential 35% upside from current pricing based on Wall Street estimates.
Average price target: $86.60
With a forward P/E of less than 13, Diamondback Energy Inc.
is trading for a deep discount compared with other stocks on Wall Street. But don’t think that means there’s no growth at this midcap oil explorer focused on the Permian Basin; the company is tracking over 60% revenue expansion this year and 30% more in fiscal 2019.
As a result, Diamondback is one of the few stocks that has done quite well over the past month, climbing about 16%.
Average price target: $160.30
Business software company Ebix Inc.
mainly serves the insurance industry, and the stock has had a great run lately. The company is expected to grow revenue about 25% this year, with almost 20% EPS expansion. But shares are still fairly valued with a forward P/E of about 18. You don’t often find growth metrics like that at such a discount.
Shares are up 40% or so in the last 12 months, but based on current price targets, this tech stock may have another 40% more to run.
Average price target: $111.00
Midcap chemicals company Tronox Ltd.
isn’t a household name, but it has a stable business built around titanium dioxide — and a stock with a forward P/E of less than 10. The chemical is used to make vibrant white pigments for appliances, electronics, clothing and a host of other items.
This unglamorous business is not just safe, but expanding, with a projected 16% revenue increase this fiscal year according to Wall Street’s forecasts.
Average price target: $24.60
U.K.’s Nomad Foods Ltd.
isn’t a well-known or particularly dynamic business, but it’s one of those bedrock stocks at a time of volatility. A packaged-foods company that operates mainly in Europe with popular brands like Iglo, Birds Eye and Findus, it’s as stable an investment as they come.
But the company’s forward P/E of less than 13 hints that it’s undervalued right now, and expectations of 14% EPS growth and 6% revenue growth show it’s not as stagnant as some other legacy staples names in the consumer space.
Average price target: $21.80