The sell-off and market volatility have made it difficult for many nervous investors to either stand pat or even to stay interested in the market when they are more interested in vacations, getting ready for back to school, or even looking for career opportunities. Hard times bring great opportunities. It is exactly times like this that new millionaires are made by picking great undervalued investments. The reality is that there are some incredible opportunities for value investors out there waiting for investors right now.
Value for the sake of value may never seem like a true catalyst on the surface. In fact, it usually requires an outside economic event or an internal event that creates that next catalyst. All value investors know two things for long-term picks: first is that the value has to be cheap enough to be worth what may be a very long wait, and second is that when the catalyst arises much of that great opportunity may have already been missed. The town crier may be telling you that many of the great tech stocks are just too cheap today, even if there is a lack of catalysts and even if there is no assurance that the absolute bottom has been seen in the market. One upcoming catalyst could be the calendar: investors have historically preferred to buy technology shares shortly ahead of the fourth quarter.
The old rule of thumb is that stocks should trade at roughly 15-times earnings, with a premium or discount applied to growth and to certain industries. That number may be 12-times or 13-times earnings now. Most value investors also use 3.0-times book value as the basic line for “value.” 24/7 Wall St. has found 12 great technology giants at steep market discounts that are all rather well-known with long histories, they trade at less than 10-times current earnings, they also trade at less than 10-times forward earnings, they have large cash balances, most are at very low multiples of book value, and they are all down considerably from recent highs and highs of the past five years.
The late-summer technology value picks are as follows: Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT); Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC); Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW); Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL); Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC); KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC); Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ: LRCX); Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT); Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU); SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK); and Western Digital Corporation (NYSE: WDC).
Looking for value is usually tricky as there is generally a reason for such a low valuation. Earnings that make up that P/E might not live up to expectations, cash reserves can be chewed up, analysts often change their targets and many fail to trust that the value is reflecting uncertainty in the markets. This will show you the good and the bad in these uncanny technology values.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) is the king of chip cap-ex and it carries a $15 billion market value. The company usually trades with a lower-than-market earnings multiple, but as the leader this one has always managed to come back. The stock trades at only about 9.6-times current earnings and trades at about 8.7-times forward earnings. It also trades at only about 1.8-times book value, it carries little long-term debt, and its cash and investments are listed as being close to $4.6 billion combined. It also carries a 3% dividend yield. At $11.44, the 52-week trading range is $10.27 to $16.93 and this was above $22 back in 2007 and shares went under $9.00 at the selling zeniths of late-2008 and early-2009.