With stocks down by double-digits year-to-date there are many bargains out there today among undervalued large-cap stocks. That’s not to say, however, that the market has reached a bottoming out point. With the Federal Reserve kicking its rate hike plans up a notch, equities may continue to slide lower, as the market absorbs higher rates.
Not to mention, the high inflation that resulted in rates moving up, plus growing chances of a recession. Yet even if stocks have more room to move lower in the short-term, if you’re looking for long-term opportunities, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the many large-cap names now trading at low valuations.
Although there are stocks that have moved lower for a reason, there are also plenty that have become oversold. With some names, investors are overreacting to negative developments. With others, the market is underestimating how long recent tailwinds will last.
The seven undervalued large-cap stocks listed below fall within these three categories. Consider grabbing them before investors give them a much-needed re-rating.
British American Tobacco plc
Formerly known as Apache, APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA) is an oil and gas company. Up 34% year-to-date, admittedly it’s not as if Wall Street has ignored it completely. Like other oil stocks, it has been bid up higher thanks to the massive spike in energy prices.
That said, APA stock still sells at a lower valuation than many of its exploration and production (E&P) peers. Currently, it trades for a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 4.2x. Other names, like Marathon (NYSE:MRO) and Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG) sport mid to high single-digit earnings multiples.
Better yet, per one oil stock commentator, today’s valuation may not fully take into account upside from its interest in a Suriname offshore oil exploration project. It’s also aggressively paying down debt with its earnings windfalls. This paves the way for an increased dividend, and a continuation of its share repurchase efforts.
As its name suggests, British American Tobacco plc (NYSE:BTI) is a large tobacco company on both sides of the pond. Its U.S. unit (Reynolds American) is the second-largest cigarette company, and makes brands such as Camel, Newport and Natural American Spirit.
I’ve long recommended Philip Morris USA parent Altria Group (NYSE:MO) as a great value play in the tobacco space, but “sin stock” investors may want to also consider BTI stock. In fact, it may even be a better play in this space. At least, according to Jeffries analyst Owen Bennett.
While Bennett is bullish on both major tobacco stocks, he believes BTI is the one best-positioned within the sector. At today’s prices, it trades for just 9.1x earnings. It also has a forward dividend yield of 6.74%. Consider it one of the top undervalued large-cap stocks to buy.
Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) is in the green for 2022. That’s no surprise, given it’s a consumer staples play. A “safe harbor stock” to own during a risk-off period. Yet while it has outperformed the market this year, it’s not exactly delivered stunning returns.
Since January, CPB stock is up only 8%. At around 16x earnings, you may not think the packaged foods maker is undervalued. After all, a similar name, Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG), trades at a lower valuation (13.5x earnings). So, why Campbell, and why now?
In the near-term, it’s likely to remain stable. Thanks to the recession-resistant nature of its business, plus its recent strong quarterly results. Over the longer-term, as it continues to implement its cost-reduction plan, and focus its attention on its core brands. Add in its 3.28% forward dividend yield, and the stock could deliver solid returns from here.
At first glance, you may think Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) is a value trap. A leading provider of diagnostic testing services, it’s expected to see its earnings drop next year. Why? Evaporation of Covid-19 testing demand. Without the pandemic boost, earnings are expected to drop from $9.21 to $8.40 per share, or by 8.8%.
Yet as Louis Navellier argued back in May, the market may be overreacting to the loss of this pandemic-era tailwind. This is more than accounted for in its current valuation. DGX stock today trades for around 15.2x estimated 2023 earnings.
A steady, recession-resistant business, the company not only has the ability to sustain this valuation, but it also has room to expand it as well. Analyst consensus calls for earnings to bounce back in 2024, and then some. This could help Quest shares rebound. Down big from its highs, it’s a buy.
When it comes to undervalued large-cap stocks in the media space, names like Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) may first come to mind. However, if you want to go contrarian on the out-of-favor media business, a name like Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOX) may be a better play.
Why? Back in May, I argued why FOX stock is oversold. Made up of former 21st Century Fox assets not included in that company’s sale to Disney (NYSE:DIS), it owns legacy media properties like the Fox broadcasting network and the Fox News Channel. The market is underestimating how well these properties could continue to perform. Even as the move from the TV era to the streaming era continues.
Not only that, Fox has a thriving streaming property under its belt: Tubi. Expanding its original programming offerings, Tubi could be on its way to becoming a major streaming platform.
Put simply, Lumen Technologies (NYSE:LUMN) is misperceived as a value trap. Yes, its very high forward yield (9.82%) is the product of it paying out much of its operating cash flow out in the form of dividends. It has also been aggressive with share repurchases.
Yet at the same time, management is making moves that could move the needle for the LUMN stock price. It has been divesting legacy assets, and shifting focus toward growing its quantum fiber business. The company also continues to de-lever its balance sheet. Between these improvements to its fundamentals, plus the return-of-capital efforts, there is more upside potential with this stock than its skeptics give it credit.
It may take some time for all this to play out. Think years, not quarters. Nevertheless, paying out a nearly double-digit dividend while you wait, this continues to be a potential opportunity for value investors.
Beers brewed by Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) may not be flat, but this Brewing giant’s revenues have been in recent years. Although its top line recovered from the pandemic, revenues over the past twelve months remain below levels seen in the late 2010s.
So far, adapting to changing tastes have failed to outweigh the decline of its legacy beer brands. However, that’s not to say this will be the case indefinitely. As Bob Ciura of Sure Dividend argued earlier this month, it’s keeping up with the times, which could start to be reflected in its financials. It expanded its craft beer offerings, and has discontinued declining legacy brands.
A modest amount of earnings growth may be enough to send it back up to higher prices. It’s cheap at 12.9x earnings, and has a forward dividend yield of 3.01%. With this in mind, say cheers to TAP stock.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel held long positions in LUMN and MO. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
The post 7 Undervalued Large-Cap Stocks to Buy Before Wall Street Catches On appeared first on InvestorPlace.
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