|TheStreet.com, Fall, 2012. This article was written with Oliver Pursche, the Co-Portfolio Manager of the GMG Defensive Beta Fund. It was part of a series of articles developed under an agreement with thestreet.com to work with a variety of contributors and assist them in delivering actionable investment ideas each week.|
NEW YORK (TheStreet) — As China and other emerging market economies’ growth slowed this year, material stocks were hit hard. Within the sector Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) was among the hardest hit, with shares falling nearly 50% in the past year. At these levels, I believe there are compelling reasons to own the stock.
At $31 per share, the stock trades at a very low valuation — a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 8. All the while, consensus estimates from analysts following the company expect EPS growth rate of 19.24% over the next 5 years. Moreover, the company pays a $2.50 per share dividend — that’s a whopping 8%.
Another victim of the global slowdown has been corporate IT spending. As a result, Intel (INTC) lost its favor with investors falling by some 30% from its year-to-date highs.
With shares trading below $20, the stock now boasts a 4.5% dividend, all the while having an expected EPS growth rate of 28.19% based on analyst consensus. With a forward P/E below 10 the valuation is very attractive at these levels.
Across the pond, as my British friends like to say, the European debt crisis has unearthed some terrific long-term opportunities as well. Total SA (TOT), the French oil and gas company, with operations in more than 130 countries, is an attractive investment for those who are willing to bet on a resolution to the European crisis.
With shares trading below $50 the stock offers a dividend yield near 6%, with a forward P/E below 10 — considerably lower than its U.S. rival Exxon Mobil (XOM). Some caution is warranted, as lower fuel consumption and technological advances have analysts calling for an EPS decline in 2013. None-the-less, I believe the outlook is constructive for this multi-national.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.