The correction has brought several good stocks within undervalued range. It's important for investors who use a fundamental, long-term approach to do our homework on these companies. It's also important to be ready to buy when opportunities present themselves.
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If financials are slowly coming back into favor, big oil is not. Just say "BP" (NYSE:BP) and you are likely to get a strong reaction. Pictures of devastated wildlife and the awful delays in cleaning up the hideous Gulf oil spill have not made any friends for the industry. Still, we have an insatiable thirst for oil in the United States, so we will continue to go get it. Other major oil companies, such as ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), are not BP. Investing in an out-of-favor industry is what value investors do. With a 4.2% current yield, a stock price 14% off its 52-week high, a P/E of 12.65 and a forward multiple of 6.75, this is a bargain. Even if collateral financial damage spreads out to all the major oil companies from the BP debacle, this is a good company and a worthwhile stock.
Philip Morris International
If oil is out of favor, tobacco is downright despised. Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), carries a current dividend yield of 5.2%, trades at a P/E of just under 13, is trading closer to its 52-week low than its high, and throws off lots of free cash flow. Many investors understandably eschew tobacco companies, but for those so disposed, this can be a steady dividend producer which can be had right now for a bargain price.
Berkshire Hathaway Class B Shares
Many small, retail investors are obsessive about following what the big name investors like Warren Buffett, George Soros, John Paulson and others do. Instead of trying to track Warren Buffett's moves, why not invest in what Warren Buffett's doing? His Berkshire Hathaway Class B Shares (NYSE:BRK.B) have come down in price and were recently trading at $70.55, 15.5% off the 52-week high. The current P/E is 12.53 and, while the forward multiple is projected at a richer 17, a better way to value the shares for Berkshire is price-to-book. With its heavy asset-laden portfolio, appreciation rather than income is a good way to evaluate Berkshire. Its price-to-book ratio has fallen to around 1.20. Some of Berkshire's famous holdings include American Express (NYSE:AXP), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), ConocoPhillips and other big names.
The Value Way
There are additional stocks that are coming into view in potentially undervalued territory. It's important for investors to understand what it is we're buying, do our homework and always try to monitor our stocks after we buy them. Some of the greatest investors make their money with the fundamental, long-term value method. This can work for ordinary investors like us, too. The great investors look for stocks of good companies at beaten down prices. They buy when others have fled and are able to exercise the self-discipline and patience which pays them many times over. (For related reading, take a look at What Buffett's Been Doing and The Value Investor's Handbook.)
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