Whether you believe markets are always efficient, or whether you believe some stocks are mispriced, you undoubtedly want to buy low and sell high.
Some stocks are considered mispriced if they are undervalued, relative to their intrinsic value. Typically, value sectors include utilities, industrials, consumer staples, and healthcare. Tech isn’t typically in that list, but STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM), NetEase Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) appear to be trading below the present value of expected free cash flows, or what’s left after operating expenses and capital expenditures.
Other metrics that can indicate a stock is undervalued include price-to-earnings, price-to-sales and price-to-book ratios. It also helps to evaluate a stock’s ratios relative to its industry peers. For example, techs historically have higher P/Es than utilities or manufacturing.
Here’s a look at three stocks that may be bargain-priced, compared with their potential.
STMicrolectronics analyst ratings show a consensus of “moderate buy” with a price target of $53.50, an upside of 25.91%.
Free cash flow has been growing; over the past 12 months, it was $1.71 billion.
The company topped both earnings and revenue views in the past six quarters, as STMicroelectronics earnings data show. In its most recent quarterly report, the maker of microcontrollers, microprocessors, and other semiconductor products grew earnings by 39% and sales by 20%.
The STMicroelectronics chart shows that shares skidded recently, on worries about weak guidance. However, the company supplies a diverse range of customers, and even slower growth in the near term is likely to be temporary.
In 2022 its largest customer, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), accounted for 16.8% of total revenue. Other significant customers include HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Mobileye Global Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLY), and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA).
Chinese game developer NetEase may be undervalued for several reasons. The NetEase chart shows the stock trading below resistance at $94.99. Price appreciation has been uneven, with the stock returning 4.38% in the past six months and 24.12% year-to-date, but declining by 1.29% on a one-year basis.
Revenue growth has been declining, and earnings growth along with it, but NetEase analyst ratings show a consensus of “buy,” with a price target of $108.80, an upside of 21.37%.
Analysts are upbeat about the company’s slate of games. Not only does it own some of the most popular multiplayer titles in China, but it also collaborating with Western game companies including Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Free cash flow was $25.07 billion in the past 12 months. That number has grown over the past three years. Its price-to-earnings ratio is 4, well below the higher rates you expect to see in a growing industry like gaming. For example, Activision’s P/E ratio is 26.
This company offers hardware, software, and services for businesses. Its offerings include servers, storage solutions, networking equipment, cloud computing services, and cybersecurity solutions. It originated when the Hewlett-Packard Company split into two entities in 2015.
When compared to industry peers, such as International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY), and Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN), HPE's valuation metrics, such as P/E ratio or price-to-sales and price-to-book ratios, are lower.
This could indicate that the stock is undervalued compared to similar companies in the enterprise technology sector.
Both sales and earnings growth accelerated in the past two quarters, and Wall Street expects low single-digit earnings increases this year and next.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise analyst ratings show a consensus of “hold,” with a price target of $16.85, an upside of 19.99%. The company reports second-quarter results on May 30, after the market’s close. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.30 a share on revenue of $7.32 billion.