3 Stocks Near 52-Week Lows Worth Buying
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.
A bubblin' crude valuation
Decade-low natural gas prices are continuing to hold down the results of many oil and natural gas companies, providing what I feel is a great buying opportunity. The gap between oil prices and natural gas, though smaller than it was just a few weeks ago, is still far too high historically. That makes natural gas drillers particularly attractive, especially Forest Oil (NYS: FST) .
Forest, which actually spun off Lone Pine Resources (NYS: LPR) (a recent selection of this weekly series) less than a year ago, has a vast amount of land holdings in the lucrative Eagle Ford shale region in south Texas. According to speculative reports from The Wall Street Journal, it's likely that Forest Oil will be seeking a partner to help it develop its operations in this region. The move would make a lot of sense given that Forest does bear a considerable amount of debt on its books, and in order to expand quickly, it could use a fresh injection of cash.
Also helping the optimists' case is Forest's push toward oil production. In its latest quarter, Forest reported a 47% increase in oil sales volume, with oil and natural gas liquids now accounting for 32% of total sales. As this figure rises, Forest's reliance on natural gas prices will diminish. I consider the stock a veritable steal here.
Don't count out these Benjamins
Admittedly, real estate investment trusts get little love from investors (and myself), but today I'm going to suggest we buck that trend by taking a closer look at Franklin Street Properties (NYS: FSP) . The investment firm, which specializes in real estate assets (predominantly suburban office assets), recently suffered a large year-on-year earnings decline which has investors skeptical -- but they shouldn't be.
In last year's comparable quarter, Franklin Street sold a property that netted the company a $0.24-per-share gain. In the first quarter this year, it did not sell any properties. It's as simple as that. If you compare funds from operations year-over-year, which is a much better indicator of a REIT's overall health, FFO actually increased $3.3 million thanks to five new property acquisitions and stronger occupancy rates. The company admits it has a moderate amount of lease renewals scheduled to hit over the next three years, but with occupancy rates approaching 90%, I'm far from concerned.
Finally, the company's current yield of 7.7% seems relatively safe despite Wall Street's worries. All told, this particular REIT is a very attractive buy candidate.
The sweet sound of success
A steady stream of overpriced IPOs over the past year or so is enough to make an investor banish the thought of looking at new offerings altogether. If you did, you'd miss a great value in audio company Skullcandy (NAS: SKUL) .
Even though the name sounds like a spin-off of Hot Topic, I assure you there's nothing to be scared about when examining this growth story. In Skullcandy's latest quarterly report, net sales and gross profit rose a "meager" 48% and 42%, respectively. This growth goes to show just how much momentum the company has garnered because of two trends. For one, it's focused on easily recognizable brand ambassadors that are giving the product a personal appeal to the younger generation. Additionally, smartphone buyers are increasingly upgrading their audio hardware and are willing to pay extra; Skullcandy perfectly fills that void.
Having seen Skullcandy headphones in Apple (NAS: AAPL) stores when searching for headphones of my own, I can't help but feel the king of all technology (that'd be Apple) would be foolish not to consider purchasing Skullcandy outright. It would add yet another internally controlled cost, add another well-respected brand name to Apple's portfolio, and give its consumers more audio options than the ear buds provided with iDevice sales. If we've learned anything, Apple has a few extra dollars lying around, and to me the purchase would make sense.
This week we took a look at three stocks that are generally unloved by the CAPS community. Great deals can sometimes be found in moments of supreme pessimism, and all three of these companies offer compelling reasons to buy. I'm so confident that these three names will bounce off their lows that I'm going to make a CAPScall of outperform on each one.
In the meantime, consider adding these potential winners to your free and personalized watchlist and get your own personal copy of our special report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012," to see which company our chief investment officer has dubbed the "Costco of Latin America." Best of all, this report is completely free, so don't miss out!
At the time this article was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He wouldn't trade his Bose headphones for any amount of money. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.The Motley Fool owns shares of Skullcandy and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of, and creating a bull call spread position in, Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that's always on the lookout for a good deal.
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