Prominent stock pickers are often asked to name a few of their favorites, with most rattling off some of their best performing selections. After all, who doesn’t want to look smart on television or in print?
While I own personally in my Buckingham Portfolio and have recommended in the pages of The Prudent Speculator big winners in 2022 like refinery operator HF Sinclair
I would think those interested in what I have to say would prefer to know about names that have yet to have their day in the sun. After all, as Warren Buffett states, “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
Not surprisingly, violent reactions to second-quarter earnings reports have sent some already inexpensive stocks skidding in price, often on an order of magnitude far greater than what I think is justified. The stampede out of some of these names and the general lack of liquidity to absorb the selling pressure often creates terrific opportunities for patient long-term-oriented investors.
Once such bargain is major credit card issuer Capital One
COF continues to go after what it deems “heavy spender” customers, which boast compelling long-term economics, according to CEO Richard Fairbank, despite higher up-front costs. Mr. Fairbank says that growth in this segment “has quietly and gradually changed several domestic card metrics and financial results,” that include customer behaviors like higher payment rates and lower loss rates.
The stock price can be volatile, but Capital One’s tech-enabled infrastructure and capability have allowed it to spend more on advertising than traditional overhead. Higher spending in the coming years ought to support continued loan growth on the other side of Federal Reserve tightening.
Trading for 6 times forward earnings estimates, well below the historic norm, while yielding 2.2%, I think COF is worth significantly more than its current price tag.
Even companies with more steady business models have come under pressure, with shares of telecommunications provider Verizon Communications
A large part of that decline came after Verizon posted second-quarter results that included softer consumer wireless subscription additions and reports that customers of competitor AT&T had begun to postpone paying their bills. VZ Chief Financial Officer Matthew Ellis retorted, “We haven’t seen any noticeable change in the payment patterns from customers.”
True, competition is heating up in the space, making Verizon’s historically, higher-quality network increasingly marginal as the field consolidates and the other major players invest more into their own services. Nevertheless, the company’s brand positioning remains favorable, as the gap between Verizon and others imposes significant execution risk on the competition despite the latest pressure.
And, most importantly, VZ trades for just 9 times next-12-month EPS estimates and boasts a rich 5.6% dividend yield.
Finally, data storage maker Seagate Technology Holdings PLC
Yes, storage has historically been a very volatile industry, but I think the runway remains long for positive trends underpinning the space, while the 30% plunge in the stock price this year creates another terrific entry point.
For investors with a multi-year time horizon, I like what Seagate CEO Dave Mosley recently had to say, “The strong secular tailwinds driving demand for mass capacity storage remain intact, which lends confidence that growth will resume once the supply constraints and COVID lockdown impacts ease.”