While the concept of acquiring low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks (that is, industry-leading stalwarts that feature low price-earnings ratios relative to their sectors) appeals on paper, investors need to be cautious. You can’t just buy companies based on any one single metric. In addition, sometimes a very cheap PE can actually signal significant fundamental problems.
Instead, investors will want to consider blue-chip stocks with value – and by that, I’m talking about substantive value. Rather than targeting cheap securities because they’re cheap, you should consider good enterprises that happened to fall under bad circumstances. Over time, the cream should rise to the top. On that note, below are seven low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks that genuinely represent great deals.
|LH||Laboratory Corp. of America||$231.29|
|AIG||American International Group||$53.17|
A Luxembourgish multinational steel manufacturing corporation, ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) might seem a risky idea low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks. After all, the steel industry tends to align with broader economic trends. However, if the economy struggles, MT might incur significant damage in the charts. Nevertheless, for those who want to live a bit dangerously, ArcelorMittal presents an intriguing framework.
Financially, MT earns its place among blue-chip stocks with value because of its attractive quantitative ratios. First, the market prices MT at a trailing multiple of 3.03. As a discount to earnings, ArcelorMittal ranks better than 90% of its peers. Additionally, MT trades at 0.48-times tangible book value. In contrast, the sector median comes out to a loftier 1.03 times.
However, these aren’t just “beauty” stats. Fundamentally, ArcelorMittal commands a return on equity (ROE) of 17.72%, ranking better than 74.19% and reflecting a high-quality enterprise. Also, the steel company benefits from solid strengths in the balance sheet, particularly a cash-to-debt ratio of 0.8 (above 66% of competitors).
Finally, analysts peg MT as a strong buy with a $35.84 average price target, implying over 19% upside potential.
A multinational chemical company, DuPont (NYSE:DD) delivers everyday industrial relevance to the table. Presently, the company commands a market capitalization of nearly $33 billion, partially qualifying it as one of the low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks. Since the beginning of this year, DD gained 4% of equity value. In the trailing one-year period, it’s up over 3%.
Moving to the heart of the matter, DD definitely qualifies as one of the blue-chip stocks with low valuations thanks to its enticing multiples. Mainly, the market prices DD at a trailing multiple of 6.01. As a discount to earnings, DuPont ranks better than 90.45% of its peers. In addition, DD trades at 1.24-times book value. For context, the underlying sector median is 1.75 times.
Even better, DuPont operates an extremely high-quality enterprise, evidenced by its ROE of 22.64%. This stat ranks higher than 84.38% of competitors listed in the chemicals industry. Lastly, analysts peg DD as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $86, implying 20% upside potential.
Another infrastructurally relevant name among low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks, Nutrien (NYSE:NTR) is the largest producer of potash and the third largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the world. At the moment, Nutrien carries a market cap of 49.58 billion CAD (about $37 billion). Since the Jan. opener, NTR gained a bit over 3% of its equity value. However, in the trailing year, it’s down almost 35%.
Despite the sharp loss, NTR attracts speculators as one of the blue-chip stocks with low valuations. Specifically, the market prices NTR at a trailing multiple of 5.25. As a discount to earnings, Nutrien ranks better than nearly 83% of companies listed in the agriculture industry. Also, NTR trades at 1.43-times book value. That’s noticeably below the sector median value of 1.85 times.
Moreover, Nutrien runs a very high-quality enterprise as evidenced by its stratospheric ROE of 30.17%. Also, the company’s return on asset (ROA) pings at a lofty 14.31%. Closing out, analysts peg NTR as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target stands at $90.88, implying 23% upside potential.
Laboratory Corp. of America (LH)
More commonly known as LabCorp, Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) is healthcare company headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. Per its public profile, LabCorp operates one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world. Currently, the company features a market cap of over $20 billion. Sitting among the low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks, that status stems in part from LH’s loss of 15% in the trailing year.
Still, despite the red ink, investors should look at the positive aspect. Right now, the market prices LH at a forward multiple of 13.32. As a discount to projected earnings, Labcorp ranks better than 63.3% of firms listed in the medical diagnostics and research sector. Notably, LH trades at 1.43-times sales, lower than about 70% of its peers. Thus, it’s easily one of the blue-chip stocks with value.
Let’s not forget that Labcorp runs a quality enterprise, resulting in an ROE of 12.4%. Also, its ROA pings at 6.3%. Both stats rank better than at least 68% of the competition. Turning to Wall Street, analysts peg LH as a consensus strong buy. Their average price target hits $286.30, implying over 24% upside potential.
American International Group (AIG)
A multinational finance and insurance corporation, American International Group (NYSE:AIG) operates in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. It runs three core businesses: general insurance, life and retirement and a standalone technology-enabled subsidiary, per its public profile. Currently, AIG features a market cap of $38.5 billion. However, circumstances haven’t been so auspicious recently, with AIG losing almost 18% in the trailing year.
Nevertheless, AIG makes noise as one of the low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks. At present, the market prices AIG stock at a forward multiple of 8.36. As a discount to projected earnings, the insurance specialist ranks better than 68.12% of the competition. Also, AIG trades at 1.08-times tangible book value. In contrast, the sector median stat is 1.37 times. Thus, it holistically ranks among the blue-chip stocks with low valuations.
As well, AIG features a strong ROA of 1.86% and a blistering ROE of nearly 21%, indicating a high-quality enterprise. Looking to the Street, analysts peg AIG as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes out to $66.92, implying almost 28% upside potential.
A biotechnology firm that rose to prominence for undergirding the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine, BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) subsequently became one of the low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks. Part of the status upgrade (or is that downgrade?) centers on the pandemic. With people no longer scared of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, BioNTech lost some of its edge. Conspicuously, shares stumbled nearly 23% in the trailing one-year period.
Nevertheless, contrarians might want to consider picking up BNTX. First, it sits among the blue-chip stocks with value based on key financial ratios. First, BNTX trades at a trailing multiple of 3.14. As a discount to earnings, BioNTech ranks better than 94% of its peers. Also, BNTX trades at 1.43-times tangible book. Here, the stat falls well below the sector median of 2.62 times.
Also, on a scientific level, the high-quality biotech (which sports an ROE of 56.83%) can leverage its Covid-19 acumen to develop other critical therapeutics and vaccines. So, it’s one of the blue-chip stocks with low valuations you shouldn’t ignore. Finally, analysts peg BNTX as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target stands at $172.30, implying nearly 40% upside potential.
General Motors (GM)
A leading automotive brand, General Motors (NYSE:GM) commands extraordinary relevance. Further, its aggressive pivot to electric vehicles makes it a compelling long-term idea. Despite the traction that the new-look GM generates, shares remain one of the low-PE ratio blue-chip stocks. In the trailing one-year period, GM stumbled 16%. Still, it might not be seeing red for long.
With electrification of mobility gaining ground, more people may find comfort in GM. For now, shares trade at a forward multiple of 5.62. As a discount to projected earnings, the automaker ranks better than 90.17% of the competition. Also, GM trades at 0.79-times tangible book value. In contrast, the sector median stat comes out to 1.61 times.
Featuring a high-quality enterprise with an ROE of 15.58%, GM also enjoys a profitable business. In particular, its net margin is 6.34%, outpacing 72.2% of sector players. Lastly, analysts peg GM as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $51.67, implying over 46% upside potential.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.