2012 earnings season is wrapping up in the United States, and corporate America is set to log its third consecutive quarter of lackluster earnings growth, issuing guidance that is on average below consensus estimates.
As valuations approach the top end of UBS A.G. (NYSE: UBS) Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Jonathan Golub’s proposed range, earnings expectations could become more important drivers of stock prices in 2013. With the stock market closing in on the fourth year anniversary of the subprime mortgage debacle lows, stocks that lower estimates and reward the street by hitting or exceeding those estimates in future quarters may be winners.
In a report released today, the analysts at UBS identified six specific stocks that had lowered consensus earnings expectations for the first quarter of 2013 and beyond. They then looked at the core business of each stock, and the severity of the earnings estimate cut. Their research showed that despite the earnings estimate cuts, the stocks still showed promise for near-term gains. In short, this is a list for value investors. The six stocks are as follows:
Oil field services leader Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) has a Wall St. consensus estimate of $49.50. It closed yesterday at $46.13.
Independent oil exploration and production company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) has a consensus price target of $99.50. It closed yesterday at $84.13
Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV), manufactures and sells commercial and military trucks, buses, diesel engines and recreational vehicles, as well as provides service parts for trucks and trailers worldwide. The stock closed yesterday at $26.97, and the Thomson/First call estimate is $24.
Gaming leader Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) made the list. The stock closed yesterday at $53.60, and the consensus target is $60.
Mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) closed at $35.64, and the consensus target is $40.
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) rounds out the list. Shares closed yesterday at $9.94, and the consensus estimate is $12.
All but one of these stocks selected is trading lower than Wall St.’s current and revamped expectations. Given the tremendous winter rally, it may not be a bad idea for investors to sell some high-flying winners and look at these six very solid companies as good names to move capital to.