Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at bargain prices. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often do when the market reacts to the upside.
Here’s a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.
Be an investing “utilitarian”
Although we’re far removed from the early 2000s, it’s often felt like you could throw a dart at the newspaper and pick a winner in the past four years since we’ve hit bottom. All three U.S. indexes have more than doubled from their March 2009 lows, giving the majority of sectors a big boost. One such sector, though, that’s really failed to participate in this rally is the utility sector and the Utilities SPDR (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XLU).
Considering how far we’ve come from our lows, and given the fact that we had lower unemployment levels and a better full-time work environment prior to the recession, it’s not too ill-conceived to assume that the market can’t rise forever. The Utilities SPDR (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XLU) could be the perfect hedge against any serious downside action in the markets, because utilities are often viewed as defensive plays. Remember, utilities deliver electricity to residents and, for the most part, electricity is an inelastic product in that its demand and price tend to be relatively stable regardless of the economy. This, in turn, establishes a fairly steady stream of cash flow for electric utilities, and usually a U.S. Treasury-bond topping dividend.
Within the Utilities SPDR (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XLU) you’ll find some of my favorite utilities, including Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) (it’s largest holding), which recently announced that it would be closing five coal-powered plants early in Indiana as it moves its energy portfolio further toward alternative energy; and NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), the third-largest holding, which generates the greatest amount of electricity in the U.S. from alternative energy sources, and is one of my primary selections for the Basic Needs portfolio.
With a yield of 4%, an extremely low turnover rate, and a minute net expense ratio of 0.18%, this utility basket ETF is a defensive and income investors’ dream.
It’s certainly not the most exciting stock in the world, but beverage behemoth The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is prancing around only 8% above a new 52-week low on the heels of weak domestic soda consumption.
In The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s most recent quarterly report, it delivered the first North American volume drop in the past 13 quarters, announced that a stronger dollar would reduce earnings by 4%, and pointed to abnormally cold and wet weather in Europe and South America as the reason its results were weaker than expected.
Yet, for all of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s missteps in the second quarter, it remains, without question, one of the most intriguing set-it-and-forget-it stocks in the world. Coke’s brand recognition is absolutely unparalleled, with more than 90% of people around the globe able to identify the company’s logo. In addition, Coke is operating in all but two countries in the world, giving it unbelievable geographic diversity, and allowing it the opportunity to take advantage of the steady growth of established economics and the sometimes erratic, but rapidly growing, emerging market economies. In other words, nothing short of a global depression would really hurt Coke’s bottom line.
Having grown its dividend for 51 straight years, and possessing about half of all global non-alcoholic beverage brands that bring in more than $1 billion annually, I don’t see how this stock can’t be on your radar and/or Watchlist.
A stock with value-minded precision
There aren’t too many companies in the health-care sector these days trading anywhere near a 52-week low, but you could definitely say that shareholders of RTI Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:RTIX) drew the short end of the stick.
RTI Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:RTIX), a company that makes surgical tissue and graft implants that help in the healing of human bone and tissues, sank like a stone earlier this year following its fourth-quarter earnings report. You see, RTI’s results were hampered by a warning letter the company received from the FDA in Oct. 2012 regarding one of its manufacturing facilities in Florida. Due to what RTI referred to as “aggressive marketing tactics from certain competitors,” sales of RTI’s implants struggled, and the company was forced to reduce its outlook to the chagrin of shareholders.