Business development companies (BDCs) have been hit hard in the past two years due to worries about rising rates and a slowing economy. Gregg Abella, portfolio manager at Investment Partners Asset Management, said the turn is at hand for the small business lending vehicles.
"I like them for their forward yield, their discount to net asset value (NAV) and I'm a fan of them because they trade at a low multiple of their earnings," said Abella. "It's an out-of-favor sector with a lot of unloved companies and as a value guy that appeals to me."
Abella is bullish on Prospect Capital (PSEC) which is now trading at about $7, a nearly 30% discount to its NAV of $9.65. The shares, which yield over 14%, are down over 20% in the past year, but have bounced back 30% since reporting better than expected net investment income per share earlier this month.
"There has been a lot of insider buying and that lends some credence to the story," said Abella, adding that it has been a strong performer over the long run despite its recent troubles.
For those investors who would rather spread their BDC bets, Abella recommended the Market Vectors BDC Income ETF (BIZD) . This market-cap weighted fund is down over 21% in the past 12 months and yields just under 10%.
"The sector has been unloved, but that's generally the time when you want to average into a sector," said Abella. "And it's a total return story with income plus potential for capital appreciation over a long period of time."
Outside of BDCs Abella is positive on covered call strategies such as the Nuveen Nasdaq 100 Dynamic Overwrite Fund (QQQX) , down over 9% in the past year, and the Nuveen S&P 500 Buy-Write Income Fund (BXMX) , down over 6% in the past 12 months. Both yield over 8%.
"If you want access to the equity market and you are not convinced they are going to perform the way they have over the last five years, these are a good way to modulate some of the risk," said Abella. "You participate, but also get some income from the call premiums."