The Dow just tallied its worst week of the year. Global economic fears including a cooling china economy and sovereign debt woes in Europe have weighed on international markets. Trouble in housing and unemployment persist, and rising gasoline prices threaten to squash consumer spending.
In short, there’s a lot of short-term trouble weighing on the market.
But should you panic? If you’re a swing trader, maybe. There’s no doubt that after the disastrous summer of 2011, many investors are convinced that now is the time to get out while the getting is good.
But if you’re a buy-and-hold investor, you might want to consider taking the other side of the trade right now. There are a few stocks in particular that could wind up being big bargains if you pounce on a pullback.
I have been a big believer in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) across 2012, as have a lot of investors. The reasons are obvious — a huge stockpile of $30 billion in cash and short-term investments and another $67 billion in long-term investments, its dominant iPhone and iPad gadgets, and now a $2.65 dividend yield and a massive $10 billion buyback plan.
While you might not think of Apple as a bargain after it has soared 80% in the past 12 months, the fact remains that this is a great stock that has been punished as of late. That means it’s your opportunity to pounce.
Specifically, Apple is off about 7% from its 52-week high of $644, set just a few weeks ago. If the worst this stock does is get back to its previous high and pay you a nice quarterly dividend starting July 1 … well, let’s just say the market is going to have quite a year if that turns out to be a “bad” investment.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber
I recently touted Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NYSE:GT) as one of my “editor’s picks” for April. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I put my money where my mouth is on this trade and just bought 300 shares of GT last week. The trade seemed just too good to pass up.
Admittedly, Goodyear has been restructuring for ages. In fact, it just recorded another $23 million in restructuring charges for its fiscal fourth quarter. But after bleeding cash during the recession because of the slowdown in auto sales and supplier contracts, Goodyear returned to profitability last year. What’s more, it’s forecasting significant growth in 2012 — with earnings per share of $1.85, which would be a nearly 50% surge over fiscal 2011! The first report of the year comes out on April 27, so you might want to consider buying on a dip before that date. After all, revenue already is back above 2008 levels after a 20% expansion last year – even though Goodyear’s share price is almost a third of where it was four years ago.
Yes, Goodyear is down 15% year-to-date and has sat out the rally. But despite significant improvement in its fundamentals, GT stock has a price-to-earnings ratio of less than 7 based on fiscal 2012 forecasts. If all GT does is revisit its 52-week high, you’ll be sitting on a nearly 70% gain — so have faith in this turnaround story over the next year or two.
Dovetailing with the Goodyear pick, Ford (NYSE:F) is seeing a resurgence in its fundamentals thanks to strong auto sales — even if share prices are off over 20% in the last year. Strong growth in the automotive sector is starting to show up big-time in the data, so there are reasons for optimism going forward. Consider that in 2012, auto exports and auto imports soared at the beginning of the year – proving China’s booming vehicle market and recovering demand in North America are providing great opportunities for investors.
Also, consider this: In 2008, Ford’s market capitalization was $5.5 billion. Today, it is hovering over $45 billion. Shares actually are double where they were before Lehman went under.
Strangely enough, the past five years have been very good for Ford. Former Boeing (NYSE:BA) executive Alan Mulally started retooling the company just in time for the financial crisis, and Ford was the only one of the Big Three that avoided bankruptcy restructuring. Mulally worked with the unions to cut costs and improve productivity, and the company worked hard to renew appeal in its cars. Now Ford is fuel-efficient, consumer-friendly and making strides in emerging markets.
After losing $14.8 billion in 2008, the company came all the way back, capping the run with a $20 billion profit in 2011, and recently a reinstatement of a dividend — the first since 2006.
Despite this turnaround, however, Ford stock has a trailing P/E of 2.41 and a forward P/E of just 6.99. Honda (NYSE:HMC) and Toyota (NYSE:TM) are trading for ratios above 10 — so even if all Ford does is find itself a valuation of 10, you’ll have a 22% gain on your hands.