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 in which 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, the analysts circle in on stocks they feel are compelling values for investors now. We like the following three companies, and all are rated Buy at Jefferies.
Affiliated Managers Group
This company reported outstanding first-quarter earnings and the rest of the year looks solid as well. Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (NYSE: AMG) is a global asset management company that invests in boutique investment management firms called “affiliates.” The performance of these affiliates drives the company’s own performance, and AMG acts as a fund of funds for these entities.
The company also assists its affiliates in strategic matters, marketing, distribution, product development and operations. AMG holds equity stake in its affiliates along with the independent management, which is responsible for deployment of the funds and generating returns. The affiliates are identified based on their growth potential, with products focusing on global equities, emerging market equities and alternatives. AMG manages three distribution channels through its affiliates.
With just over 10% fixed income exposure, the company is one of the least exposed in terms of assets under management and the most levered to equity. That is fine in a potential rising interest rate environment, but it has proven a touch more volatile in the recent market sell-offs.
The Jefferies price target for the stock is $195. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $201.75. The stock closed on Monday at $139.97.
This stock is very solid story for investors looking to stay long the energy sector, and it is a preferred U.S. company to own now. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is an integrated oil and gas company with worldwide operations in exploration and production, refining and marketing, transportation and petrochemicals. It sports a sizable dividend and has a solid place in the sector when it comes to natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Some on Wall Street estimate the company will have a compound annual growth rate of over 5% for the next five years.
The company’s Permian Basin assets are a goldmine, and that the Australian LNG business will transition from a yearly $8 billion capital consumption drag to a $2 billion to $3 billion contributor. Combined with the much lower overall capital spending for the 2016 to 2018 period, the company is poised to not only hang around, but end the sector slump in a much better position. The analysts note the Permian acreage is profitable at $40 a barrel.
Jefferies hosted a meeting with the company’s CEO, John Watson, in the spring. He made it clear that preserving the dividend for investors is the top priority. Jefferies also points out that although the company trades in line with its peers, the growth potential and solid balance sheet deserve a 10% premium.
Chevron investors receive a massive 4.06% dividend. Jefferies has a $110 price target, and the consensus target is $106.57. Shares closed on Monday at $105.39.
T. Rowe Price
The Jefferies analysts feel that this top financial services company has very good upside potential. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) provides its services to individuals, institutional investors, retirement plans, financial intermediaries and institutions. Through its subsidiaries, it launches and manages equity and fixed income mutual funds. The company also launches balanced mutual funds and private equity funds. It invests in the public equity and fixed income markets across the globe. It also invests in alternative markets, including currency markets, and it employs fundamental and quantitative analysis with a bottom-up approach.
The Jefferies team cite continued share repurchases and flows into what they define as “other portfolios” as positives for the company. They also see operating margins improving by 2% quarter over quarter as asset levels have rebounded.
Shareholders receive a 2.95% dividend. The Jefferies price objective is $83, and the consensus target is $79.33. Shares closed on Monday at $73.34.
These three solid choices from the analysts at Jefferies make sense for long-term growth investors. With the market pushing through to record highs, it makes sense to be very careful now as volatility may spike with the political conventions and earnings right around the corner.
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