During times of volatility or uncertainty, investors may find incredible value in – ahem – value stocks to buy. To clarify, these enterprises feature pricing below a key valuation benchmark, typically trailing-12-month earnings, as is the case here. However, a fundamental bargain doesn’t always mean “cheap” in the intuitive sense, which is what makes this list intriguing.
Here, these cheap value stocks to buy are just that – cheap. While featuring a discount to earnings, the underlying enterprises also print price points that sit within a 20% range of their 52-week lows. In other words, investors receive both objective value and perceived value. As with any category that suffers red ink, you want to exercise caution with your own due diligence. Nevertheless, if you’re digging for some discounts, you can start your search with these bargain value stocks to buy.
|RHI||Robert Half International||$73.30|
|WFG||West Fraser Timber||$75.70|
Robert Half (RHI)
A staffing agency, Robert Half (NYSE:RHI) might not have been the most relevant value stocks to buy during the early years of the Covid-19-induced new normal. With anyone wanting a job able to get one, RHI suffered a loss of relevance. However, with the rise of layoffs impacting diverse industries, Robert Half suddenly looks interesting.
Let’s lay out the case for RHI as one of the cheap value stocks available. First, the security’s 52-week low sits at $65.40. At time of writing, RHI trades hands for $74.66, meaning that it’s up 14% above its one-year low. Financially, the market prices shares at a trailing multiple of 12.4. As a discount to earnings, Robert Half ranks better than 64.4% of companies listed in the business services sector. Fundamentally, desperation should catalyze momentum for Robert Half. Cynically, we’re going to see more job seekers in the market, boding well for RHI.
To be fair, analysts peg RHI as a consensus hold, which isn’t very encouraging. Again, though, brewing desperation should make shares one of the bargain value stocks to buy.
Acuity Brands (AYI)
A lighting and building management firm, Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) features operations throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Because of the disruption to commercial activity caused by the Covid-19 crisis, AYI incurred some volatility. Since the beginning of this year, AYI dipped more than 5%. At the same time, Acuity makes a case for one of the cheap value stocks to buy.
First, AYI’s 52-week low sits at $142.71. At time of writing, AYI trades hands at $159.50, implying nearly 12% up. Second, the market prices AYI at a trailing multiple of 13.98. As a discount to earnings, Acuity ranks better than 67.57% of companies listed in the industrial products sector. In addition, the market prices AYI at a forward multiple of 11.6. On the flipside, the sector median stat hits 21.84 times. This translates to Acuity being more undervalued than 67.57% of its peers, according to data from Gurufocus.
Finally, Wall Street analysts peg AYI as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target comes out to $185, implying 16% upside potential.
Among the top technology firms in the world, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) also finds itself as one of the bargain value stocks to buy. Much of that comes down to the Covid-19 disruption. At the start of the crisis, the supply chain crunch for semiconductors badly affected the tech ecosystem. Later, the sharply accelerating inflation rate devastated consumer sentiment, leading to volatility.
Still, that’s what makes QCOM an intriguing opportunity among cheap value stocks for contrarians. For starters, QCOM’s 52-week low sits at $101.93. As I write this, shares trade hands at $118.64 or more than 16% up. Financially, the market prices QCOM at a trailing multiple of 11.44. As a discount to earnings, Qualcomm ranks better than 74.47% of the competition. Also, it’s worth noting that QCOM trades at a forward multiple of 12.68. Here, the underlying sector median stat comes out to 21.68 times.
Lastly, analysts peg QCOM as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target hits $147.29, implying over 24% upside potential.
CF Holdings (CF)
An American manufacturer and distributor of agricultural fertilizers, CF Holdings (NYSE:CF) carries a cynically relevant profile. Due to geopolitical flashpoints reminding us about the vulnerabilities of critical resource supply chains, CF’s business – which includes ammonia, urea, and ammonium nitrate products – should enjoy a long upside trek. However, the market doesn’t quite see it that way, with shares stumbling 9% since the Jan. opener.
Still, from a contrarian’s standpoint, CF ranks among the cheap value stocks to buy. Per Google Finance, CF’s 52-week low sits at $67.95. At the moment, CF trades hands at $74.46 or almost 10% up from the year low. Financially, the market prices shares at a trailing multiple of 4.56. As a discount to earnings, CF ranks better than 89% of companies listed in the agricultural industry. Notably, CF also features an impressive three-year revenue growth rate of 38.3% and an equally sterling net margin of 29.91%.
Turning to Wall Street, analysts peg CF as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target stands at $97.53, implying 31% upside potential.
Sociedad Quimica (SQM)
A Chilean chemical company, Sociedad Quimica (NYSE:SQM) really gains attention for its commodities supplier business. Of course, it supplies lithium, ranking as the world’s biggest producer of the critical metal per its corporate profile. Curiously, though, SQM only gained 1.5% since the Jan. opener. In the trailing one-year period, the security dipped a little more than 1%.
Nevertheless, the market softness opens doors for contrarians of bargain value stocks to buy. For starters, SQM’s 52-week low sits at $69.75. Presently, shares trade hands at $77.91 or nearly 12% up. On a financial note, SQM trades at a forward multiple of 5.3. As a discount to projected earnings, Sociedad Quimica ranks better than 97.42%. Fundamentally, SQM incurred red ink as demand for lithium faded amid a brewing price war among electric vehicle manufacturers. However, once this situation normalizes, SQM could fly higher as one of the most attractive cheap value stocks.
Right now, analysts peg SQM as a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target lands at $103.63, implying 33% upside potential.
West Fraser Timber (WFG)
A Canadian forestry company, West Fraser Timber (NYSE:WFG) produces various products, including lumber, plywood, pulp, newsprint and wood chips. Interestingly, industry journals recognized West Fraser multiple times for the company’s corporate culture. Since the beginning of this year, WFG gained a modest 4%. However, in the past 365 days, it slipped 13%.
Given its relevance, the red ink might bring out the contrarians for bargain value stocks to buy. Per Google Finance, WFG’s 52-week low sits at $67.45. At time of writing, shares trade hands at $76.25 or 13% up from the year low. Financially, the market prices WFG at a trailing multiple of 3.8. As a discount to earnings, West Fraser ranks better than 82.49% of companies listed in the forest products industry. Also, it’s worth pointing out that West Fraser prints a three-year revenue growth rate of 25.3%. As well, it enjoys excellent profitability with a net margin of nearly 20%.
Looking to the Street, analysts peg WFG as a unanimous strong buy. Their average price target hits $101.53, implying over 33% upside potential.
Based in Israel, Silicom (NASDAQ:SILC) specializes in the design, manufacture and marketing of connectivity solutions for a range of servers and server-based systems. Since the beginning of the year, SILC dipped nearly 19%. In the past 365 days, it fell more than 8%, which seems unusual given its broad relevancies.
Nevertheless, contrarian investors may be looking to advantage this speculative idea among value stocks to buy. Per Google Finance, SILC’s 52-week low sits at $31.30. In contrast, shares right now trade hands at $34.57 or a little more than 10% up. Financially, the market prices SILC at a trailing multiple of 12.85. As a discount to earnings, Silicom ranks better than 67% of the competition.
Additionally, investors may want to know that the enterprise features a strong balance sheet. In particular, its cash-to-debt ratio hits 4.43, better than 70.53% of its peers. On a final note, Needham analyst Alex Henderson pegs SILC a buy. The expert’s price target is $58, implying nearly 68% 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.