by Hilary Kramer | November 18, 2011 6:15 am
These three stocks can grow regardless of the economic environment and political problems at home and in Europe. This month, investors should stick with the strategy of choosing companies that can weather any storm and have strong catalysts for future growth.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) successfully acquired Varian Semiconductor (NASDAQ:VSEA) after having received regulatory clearance in the U.S. and China. This will allow AMAT, the giant semiconductor equipment maker, to expand its already industry-leading broad product offerings and sell ion implant technology to its customers. Post-merger, the combined companies will sell at only six times enterprise value/earnings — an attractive valuation for a company that, while cyclical, has good growth prospects. Despite a slip in earnings results Wednesday, guidance from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shows industry-wide semiconductor equipment orders could be on the upswing.
GeoEye (NASDAQ:GEOY) is a commercial provider of earth imagery via satellites. The company is once again at the center of takeover rumors, with a trade journal indicating management has hired a financial adviser to explore a potential sale. The stock looks significantly undervalued at current prices, and a prospective buyer will not fail to notice that the amount of free cash flow generated will expand considerably in 2013 after GeoEye2 is launched. True, the company has not posted great earnings as of late and sold off sharply at the beginning of November due to an EPS miss, but that’s largely due to big capital expenditures incurred by new satellite launches. GEOY received a new deal with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in October that should bode well going forward.
Sinopec (NYSE:SNP) hit a rough patch after the Chinese government announced a cut in gasoline prices. However, data showing improved October PMI figures for China should help as the company continues to expand overseas oil operations through acquisitions — an endeavor that offers plenty of room to grow. The impressive relative stability the stock showed in the May-to-October sell-off demonstrates the great value it holds at current prices. SNP remains an outstanding low-risk way to play long-term future growth in China.
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