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The higher the markets have gone, the more nerve-wracking equity investing has become. With the venerable S&P 500 index sitting at all-time valuation highs, it seems as though everything is fully priced. The reality is that much of the gains in the index are attributable to the most expensive stocks — the FANG group is often cited as an example. The good news for investors is that there is still a plethora of stocks that are cheaper than the overall S&P 500.
An extensive new Jefferies research report offers up 32 stocks that the firm rates at Buy that are all cheaper than the S&P 500. The report noted this:
The spread between the most expensive quintile of S&P 1500 stocks and the least expensive is at the highest level since the tech bubble. Of course, cheapness alone isn’t a great reason to buy a stock, but the widening gap between the most and least expensive stocks does help demonstrate the market’s current obsession with growth, something that may lead to opportunity in stocks that don’t fall into traditional growth buckets, especially if those stocks are seeing inflecting fundamentals.
We screened the 32 stocks for those that also paid dividends and found five that look like great ideas now. Again, all are rated Buy at Jefferies.
This stock is one of the top pharmaceutical stock picks across Wall Street. AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories.The company develops and markets drugs in areas such as immunology, virology, renal disease, dyslipidemia, and neuroscience.
One of the biggest concerns with AbbVie is what might eventually happen with anti-inflammatory therapy Humira, which has some of the largest sales for a drug ever recorded. Last year the patent board instituted Coherus’s Inter Partes Review against the Humira ‘135 patent. The problem with Humira is that biosimilars and generics are itching to enter the market.
Jefferies is very positive on the shares and noted this:
We update our model for recent R&D updates and raise our mid-term revenue and earnings-per-share estimates by 2% and 6%, respectively. Our 2021E revenue is now ~15% ahead of consensus and our mid-term EPS estimate is 30% ahead and we continue to assume entry of US Humira biosimilars around 2019. We believe now that Coherus Biosciences (NASDAQ: CHRS) has failed to gain institution of an IPR, sentiment on shares will improve, and focus will turn to the robust pipeline of R&D data over the next 6-12 months
Shareholders receive a 2.88% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $107, and the Wall Street consensus target is $82.47. The shares closed Friday at $88.86.
This broadcasting-related stock could have continued solid upside potential. Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is the largest U.S. provider of cable services, with over 22 million basic subscribers. It owns NBCU, which includes the NBC TV Networks, Telemundo, MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, CNBC and several other cable networks, as well as Universal Films and Universal Theme Parks.
Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. The company reported very solid second-quarter results, and analysts noted at the time:
Comcast reported strong second quarter 2017 earnings, with healthy results across all business lines. The company reported strong consolidated revenue of $21.2bn (+9.8% year-over-year growth) and +10% operating cash flow growth to $7.1 billion.
Investors receive a 1.64% dividend. Jefferies has a $47 price objective, while the consensus target price is $46. Shares closed Friday at $38.48.
This company used to be owned by General Motors and is one the newest additions to the Jefferies Franchise Picks portfolio. Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE: DLPH) is a global supplier of vehicle electronics, transportation components, integrated systems and modules, and other electronic technology. The company is one of the most geographically diversified suppliers in the world, with a goal of generating an equal portion of sales from North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.
A report posted earlier this year cited the 30% growth of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for autonomous vehicles, which provides safety at a moderate cost. The analysts noted this at the time:
Delphi is the global Electrical/Electronic Architecture (E/EA) leader with 25% market share (55% annual revs). The growing need for vehicle complexity management (wiring/cabling +50% since 2012) suggests E/EA is nearing an inflection point (and is undervalued). Original equipment manufacturers will be more inclined to rely on the company’s expertise in a segment increasingly intertwined with both complex hardware (cabling, wiring, harnesses etc.) and software (Multi-domain, SoC) needs.
Shareholders receive a 1.18% dividend. The $118 Jefferies price target is well above consensus target of $104.43. The shares closed Friday at $98.40.
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) not only is a huge Internet of Things benefactor, but a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.
The company offers microcontrollers, such as 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers under the PIC brand name and 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers, as well as provides microcontrollers for automotive networking, computing, lighting, power supplies, wireless communication and wireless audio applications.
Microchip Technology is only owned by 6% of active portfolio managers, which is well below the 2011 peak of 12%.
Microchip investors receive a 1.63% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $94. The consensus price objective is $98, and shares closed Friday at $88.78.
Sun Trust Banks
This company has made big strides in traditional banking and with its broker-dealer side, and it is another top regional to consider. SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) is an Atlanta-based banking organization with total assets of around $205 billion, and it is the eighth largest bank in the United States by deposits and branches.
Established in 1985, when Trust Company of Georgia merged with Florida’s SunBank, SunTrust offers a wide variety of financial products ranging from deposit and credit services to capital markets and investment management to a broad range of institutional and retail clients.
The company has dramatically expanded the SunTrust Robinson Humphrey broker dealer business, and it is growing its institutional and capital markets segment at a breakneck pace.
Shareholders receive a 2.71% dividend. Jefferies has set its price objective at $63, near the consensus target of $62.64. The stock closed Friday at $59.77 a share.
The recent pullback in share prices for some of these top companies have provided much better entry points than what was available earlier this year. Still, investors may want to buy partial positions now and see how things unfold when the third-quarter earnings results are released.