For investors looking for true value stocks, few options have been available until this year. Indeed, the number of undervalued bargain stocks in the market now is astounding, with the valuations of many stocks crumbling from their peak levels.
Some may consider last year’s valuations to have been unsustainable, and they probably were. But with interest rates hovering near zero for so long, such valuations were natural.
Now investors are asking, “What is the right price to pay for a stock?” Indeed, depending on how investors weigh various factors, two different investors can generate completely different valuations for the same company.
That said, there are some stocks that most investors consider to be undervalued bargains. In this article, I’m going to highlight three such companies which I’d put in that category right now.
Many companies have low valuations for good reasons. However, investors who are patient enough to accept some near-term pain may see the long-term ,wealth-generating impact that holding undervalued, high-quality stocks over the long-term can have.
International Business Machines (IBM)
IBM (NYSE:IBM) is a company that had, until recently, been down and out for many years. Indeed, since peaking in 2012-2013 and subsequently retreating, IBM stock had held relatively steady at $120-$150 per share.
That made sense, given the shift in the company’s business away from hardware. But for the last several years, IBM has been reshaping its business once again. And by recently spinning off its managed IT services business, IBM has sought to become more of a pure play on AI and cloud computing.
Given the growth these sectors have undergone, one would think that IBM’s valuation should have been boosted. However, with the shares trading at only 22 times IBM’s earnings, the owners of its stock are receiving some of the cheapest exposure to AI and the cloud in the stock market.
Perhaps investors believe this old dog can’t learn new tricks. Maybe IBM is going to give up most of its market share to more aggressive and focused companies.
Or maybe long-term investors looking for steady growth and a 5% dividend yield would do well to hold onto this stock and be patient. After all, even if IBM doesn’t do much over the next decade, with some small dividend increases, investors will receive more than half of the value of their initial investment back. That translates to a pretty good risk-reward ratio in my book.
American Express (AXP)
American Express (NYSE:AXP) is one of the leading credit card payment processors globally. A credit card player focused on higher-end consumers, American Express has traditionally offered better perks than its peers.
With the surge in the demand for travel-related services globally (travel services are another key aspect of American Express’ business model), the company has generated impressive growth. However, after looking at the long-term chart of AXP stock, I think it’s clear that investors have begun to pay less and less for its growth.
Unlike its peers in the credit-card space, the valuation of American Express is very juicy. Trading at just 17-times trailing earnings, investors get a high-growth stock, with a target market which is superior to that of its peers. Additionally, investors get a small but meaningful dividend yield of 1.3%.
Those bullish on the continued transition to credit and away from cash ought to consider taking a bullish position in AXP.
Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) technological advancements have contributed more to wireless products than those of any other organization. The company’s most recent contributions have focused on facilitating the shift toward 5G mobile networks.
Qualcomm has indeed established itself as a premier 5G product and service provider. As a result, the shares of Qualcomm have rallied significantly above their pandemic lows.
It is safe to say that the 5G revolution is still in its infancy, and Qualcomm looks poised to lead the transition by the wireless sector. The company’s underlying fundamentals indicate that QCOM stock has adequate room to run. Indeed, despite the company’s strong, cyclical growth drivers underneath this business, QCOM stock is a relative bargain, as it’s trading at only 13 times its earnings.
For a company of this quality, I think that’s an incredibly attractive valuation, and the shares also give investors a meaningful dividend yield of 2%. For long-term investors looking for a place to hide, QCOM stock is a pretty good spot.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald 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.