NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As China and other emerging market economies' growth slowed this year, material stocks were hit hard. Within the sector Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF - Get Report) was among the hardest hit, with shares falling nearly 50% in the past year. At these levels, I believe there are compelling reasons to own the stock.
At $31 per share, the stock trades at a very low valuation -- a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 8. All the while, consensus estimates from analysts following the company expect EPS growth rate of 19.24% over the next 5 years. Moreover, the company pays a $2.50 per share dividend -- that's a whopping 8%.
With shares trading below $20, the stock now boasts a 4.5% dividend, all the while having an expected EPS growth rate of 28.19% based on analyst consensus. With a forward P/E below 10 the valuation is very attractive at these levels.Across the pond, as my British friends like to say, the European debt crisis has unearthed some terrific long-term opportunities as well. Total SA (TOT - Get Report), the French oil and gas company, with operations in more than 130 countries, is an attractive investment for those who are willing to bet on a resolution to the European crisis. With shares trading below $50 the stock offers a dividend yield near 6%, with a forward P/E below 10 -- considerably lower than its U.S. rival Exxon Mobil (XOM). Some caution is warranted, as lower fuel consumption and technological advances have analysts calling for an EPS decline in 2013. None-the-less, I believe the outlook is constructive for this multi-national. At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @Opurshce This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.