5 Stocks That Are Cheaper Than You Think

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Don't let growth stocks with their beefy trailing P/E ratios scare you away.

There are plenty of investments that may seem expensive based on last year's profitability, but trade at surprisingly low forward multiples relative to their growth rates.

Let's take a closer look at five stocks that may seem outrageously priced today, but are actually bargains if we look out to 2012 and beyond.

Company

Close

This Year P/E

Next Year P/E

My Watchlist

NetEase.com (NAS: NTES)

$49.17

14

12

Add

Silver Wheaton (NYS: SLW)

$40.64

21

17

Add

CVR Partners (NYS: UAN)

$24.31

14

13

Add

Armour Residential (NYS: ARR)

$7.38

7

6

Add

Jiayuan.com International (NAS: DATE)

$12.94

43

25

Add

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Valuation is only a number
Many of these multiples -- even those clocking in for next year -- are chunky. You don't often hear something along the lines of "this stock is so cheap that it's trading for a mere 25 times next year's projected profitability."

Then again, there is more to this basket of presumably pricey stocks than meets the cynical eye.

NetEase is a leader in China's booming online gaming space. Beyond its own proprietary titles, NetEase is scoring well in the world's most populous nation as the exclusive licensee of Activision Blizzard's (NAS: ATVI) World of Warcraft and Starcraft franchises in China.

NetEase has also consistently blown past Wall Street's quarterly profit targets over the past year. It's a welcome trend. If it continues, it means that analysts are underestimating NetEase's future earnings potential -- or that the forward P/Es will actually be even lower in retrospect.

Silver Wheaton is a Vancouver-based silver streaming company with interests all over the world. Save for a slip in 2008, earnings have grown every year over the past five years. Rising silver prices will make the future even better.

Silver Wheaton is a great example of how P/E multiples can contract quickly in a high-growth situation. Silver Wheaton earned $0.79 a share last year. Analysts see a profit of $1.93 a share this year and $2.43 a share come 2012. In other words, Silver Wheaton may be fetching a whopping 51 times last year's earnings, but it's only selling for 17 times next year's projected income.

CVR is one of the highest-yielding energy master limited partnerships out there, but it's not just the juicy 6.7% yield that's compelling here. CVR will also be growing its earnings over the next couple of years, giving the partnership even more leeway to boost its payouts even higher.

Armour Residential is a mortgage-based REIT. While mortgage reform may dent Armour's fundamentals, there should still be some opportunities to profit from the spread between its borrowing costs and what it can earn on mortgage-backed securities. The fat 19.5% yield may not be sustainable, but at least analysts see welcome growth in 2012 -- for now.

Finally we have Jiayuan. As China's leading dating website operator, Jiayuan's model stands out. Unlike with subscription-based sites, Jiayuan users create free profiles but then pay to send messages -- and virtual trinkets -- to potential date partners.

China's culture is certainly different than ours. The Wall Street Journal profiled Jiayuan earlier this week. A male IT technician using the site points out how the most common questions from prospective dates are about his salary and whether or not he owns a home.  Yikes! Still, it's what works in China, and it shows in Jiayuan's targeted growth since going public earlier this year.

Adding it up
None of these stocks are immune to a market meltdown. If you're looking for bulwarks, you'll have to find them somewhere else.

These investments are largely high-beta growth stocks, and will likely remain that way for several more years. The key here, though, is that they aren't as expensive as pundits make them out to be.

It's the opportunity that you didn't know you were waiting for.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Jiayuan.com International and Activision Blizzard. The Fool has option sale on Activision Blizzard.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Activision Blizzard, NetEase.com, and Jiayuan.com International, as well as creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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