I love a good summer sale.When it's sticky and blazing hot outside, how good does it feel to spend a little leisure time wandering through the cool comfort of an air-conditioned mall? I'm not that much of a shopper, really. But when I do partake, it's part of my nature to spend a fair amount of time looking through the bargain racks. I'm always looking for good value for readers of my new book,
|Want more? Check out TheStreet.com TV video. Jennifer Openshaw lays out some hot summer bargains.|
So let's grab a basket and sift through today's Wall Street bargain rack:
- Wachovia Bank (WB): Based in North Carolina, this diversified financial services firm operates banks in only 16 states, but reaches the country and the rest of the world through a wide array of well positioned and growing financial services. Through acquisitions and organic growth, revenues have almost doubled in two years. There's a lot to like in the 4.3%
dividend, P/Eunder 11 and price at the low end of the 52-week range.
- Starbucks (SBUX): Recent woes at this company include higher milk prices, and same-store growth has stopped exceeding analysts' targets. But is this reason to take 40% off the price from the year high? Maybe I jumped in a bit soon back in
March, but I still believe the story is intact. With an unassailable brand and accelerating international sales, whatever margin loss comes from milk will be more than made up for by operating efficiency as stores mature and new domestic store growth slows. One concern is slowing growth despite a price increase late last year, but I still think SBUX is positioned well enough to raise prices to overcome cost increases.
- McClatchy Company (MNI): Granted, it's tough to read the newspaper industry these days. And this company took on a mountain of debt in last year's Knight-Ridder acquisition, the interest on which gobbles up two-thirds of operating earnings. And as widely reported, ad revenue
dropped some 11%in May from year-earlier periods. But McClatchy has a solid management team and editorial integrity in a profitable and cash-generating industry that's always managed to find its way in tough times. The stock is off more than 50% from last year's levels. If McClatchy sells a few assets or leverages its competence in collecting and delivering local content, I believe we'll see front-page headlines once again. Takeovers or further industry consolidation could also help.
- Volt Information Sciences (VOL): Volt provides an assortment of skilled temporary staffing, project management and telecommunications consulting services mainly for corporate America. Rapid corporate IT changes and a trend toward downsizing internal IT departments play right into this company's hands. The most recent quarter was weak, but the stock price drop to near year-low levels is more than ample punishment. The $2.20 in cash per share, a price-to-sales ratio of 0.20 and a forward P/E under 16 suggest better for this $20 stock. The market cap under $500 million and the recent takeover of telecom services provider Avaya (AV) make one think the same could happen to Volt -- although a sizeable chunk is held by the founding family. As we've seen with Dow Jones (DJ), that isn't necessarily a showstopper.