The week of June 24 was given a serious blow by the unexpected Brexit vote. Yes, Britain voted to leave the European Union. But, some companies here in the United States could literally care less. In periods of uncertainty investors look toward value stocks and defensive stocks. It is value stocks that may be of interest in a pre-Brexit report from Jefferies and the firm has identified several stocks which offer great value for investors.
It’s one thing to buy a value stock, or a company with a very low multiple that is trading below historical multiple levels. It’s quite another thing to buy a compelling value stock, because that is one where value can be unlocked by earnings gains, a change in the macro environment, or a headline event like a takeover or merger proposal. Those are companies that savvy experienced investors look for in frothy and potentially volatile markets.
In a new research report from Jefferies, they circle in on stocks they feel are compelling values for investors now. These are three of the companies which are considered value, and all come with Buy ratings at Jefferies. Just always remember, that cheap stocks can always get cheaper — and sometimes value stocks become value traps.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) may be in the best position of all the broadcast networks with an outstanding prime time lineup, solid sports franchises like the NFL, March Madness College Basketball, The Masters and other top programming, the venerable network could once again be an outstanding stock for shareholders. The company is leading in the spring ratings, and is poised to continue the network’s programming dominance in 2016. The broadcasting giant is now in the midst of a significant stock repurchase process, and many on Wall Street expect CBS to shrink its share base by ~25% over the next two years.
Network advertising, especially from the Super Bowl, and strong content licensing revenue drove the upside in the first quarter earnings which beat consensus estimates. Similar to the broadcasting giants rivals, many analysts expect CBS to look to book content licensing more evenly over this year and into 2017.
The Jefferies team sees the company as a big winner as viewership changes and cord cutting start to affect viewership. In fact they see a 10 million subscriber decline by 2015, and believe that CBS remains a winner as retransmission rates will continue to climb and offset the subscriber declines, especially at strong broadcast networks like CBS.
The Jefferies team also note that there has been significant chatter lately over a potential merger with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) and while they think the odds are low now on a deal, the note that while a deal could be accretive to CBS earnings, it could negatively impact earnings and the company’s multiple.
CBS shareholders are paid a 1.11% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is posted at $62. The Thomson/First Call consensus figure is set at $63. Shares closed yesterday at $53.69.
Encana Corporation (NYSE: ECA) with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, exploration, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids in Canada and the United States. The company owns interests in plays, such as the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta; Duvernay in west central Alberta; Clearwater in central and southern Alberta; Deep Panuke in offshore Nova Scotia; Cadomin/Doig in northeast British Columbia; Horn River in northeast British Columbia; and Granite Wash/Doig in northwest Alberta. This top company has been absolutely mauled, down a gigantic 84% since the summer of 2014.
The Jefferies analysts are bullish on the company, and earlier this year elevated the stock to the Franchise Picks portfolio, which represents the highest conviction stocks at the firm. The company reported weaker first quarter numbers year-over-year, but the Jefferies analysts feel that the big reduction and debt, and the potential for the company to sell assets remain a positive.
Encana recently announced the sale of its Gordondale (Montney) area. While coming in less than some reports, the Jefferies team views the deal positively as it enables debt reduction, which should allow them to fund asset growth in the core Permian and remaining Montney territory.
The Jefferies price target was recently raised to a whopping $12, and the consensus is much lower at $9.06. The shares closed Thursday at $8.32.
This is a top consumer goods company that looks like an outstanding Buy. Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPB) manufactures and sells consumer products worldwide. It operates through five segments: Global Batteries & Appliances, Global Pet Supplies, Home and Garden, Hardware & Home Improvement, and Global Auto Care.
The company’s list of brands is almost endless: Rayovac, VARTA, Black & Decker, George Foreman, Russell Hobbs, Juiceman, Breadman, Toastmaster, Remington 8-in-1, Dingo, Nature’s Miracle, Wild Harvest, Littermaid, Tetra, Marineland, Whisper, Jungle, Instant Ocean, FURminator, IAMS, Eukanuba, Healthy-Hide, Digest-eeze, Cutter, Repel, Spectracide, Garden Safe, Liquid Fence, Hot Shot, Black Flag, Kwikset, Weiser, Baldwin, National Hardware, Stanley, Tell, Pfister, Armor All, STP, and A/C PRO brands.
Jefferies noted that the company trades at a 25% discount to consumer staples peers, so there’s both room for Wall Street estimates and the valuation to rise. Weather also sets up for an active mosquito season, good for the Cutter business. Plus, with consumer spending still very solid, it provides some tailwinds for the rest of the year.
Spectrum investors are paid a 1.24% dividend. The Jefferies price target is posted at $143, and the consensus is set at $128.63. Shares closed Thursday at $122.46.
3 compelling value stocks, with two being among the leaders in their respective sectors. These stocks likely make good sense for patient growth investors with a solid long term time horizon. Just don’t forget the notion that value traps and market sell-offs can get in the way of all sorts of deduction.
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