With the bull market in its ninth year, you might think it's hard to find high-quality stocks that aren't expensive. But that's not the case at all. And you can find such stocks in several sectors.
AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), and Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) are great examples of stocks with relatively low valuations. Here's why these are great stocks that you can buy on sale right now.
AbbVie ranks as one of the best healthcare stocks around. Over the past three and five years, AbbVie has delivered the highest total shareholder return among big pharma companies. And the stock is priced quite attractively, with shares trading at less than 14 times expected earnings.
Autoimmune-disease drug Humira has been the primary driver of AbbVie's past success. Humira generated $18.4 billion in sales last year, making it the top-selling drug in the world for yet another year. AbbVie expects much of its future growth, though, to come from other approved products, especially cancer drug Imbruvica and hepatitis C drug Mavyret, and from its pipeline, which is loaded with promising new drugs.
The company has clearly demonstrated its ability to put the tremendous cash flow Humira has generated to good use. AbbVie picked up Imbruvica with its 2015 acquisition of Pharmacyclics. Several of its pipeline assets also came from acquisitions, notably including cancer drug Rova-T.
AbbVie's cash flow has also been deployed to reward shareholders. The company has one of the fastest-growing dividends on the market, with its dividend increasing by 140% since being spun off from parent Abbott Labs in 2013 and by 88% over the past three years.
The Walt Disney Company
Disney consistently ranks as one of the top global brands. The company stands as a premier provider of entertainment, with theme parks, movie studios, television networks, and other businesses. But Disney stock looks relatively inexpensive right now, with shares trading below 14 times expected earnings.
One reason Disney claims a bargain price is that investors have been concerned about the negative impact of cord-cutting on the company's networks -- especially ESPN. However, Disney is making big moves to address the issue by launching two of its own streaming services, an ESPN sports-focused app and a Disney-branded streaming service.
The real magic of Disney is its ability to take an idea and capitalize on it in a variety of ways. And those ideas don't have to be home-grown. For example, Disney bought Marvel in 2009. Since then, the company has produced multiple blockbuster movies featuring Marvel superheroes. Disney then incorporated some of the characters from its hit movies into its theme parks, the company's studios rolled out sequel after sequel, its TV networks created spin-off shows based on some of the characters, and, of course, there's the long list of toys, shirts, and other licensed products.
There's no reason to think Disney will lose its touch anytime soon. The company's latest superhero movie, The Black Panther, became a massive success. Another Star Wars movie will make its debut in May. Disney's ESPN+ streaming service launches this year, with the even larger streaming service coming in 2019.
Micron Technology is one of the world's top makers of memory chips. Its memory chips are used in a wide range of applications, including cloud-based data centers and smartphones. Although Micron stock is up 140% over the past 12 months, shares are still cheap, with Micron sporting a forward earnings multiple of less than 7.
Why is Micron priced at such a discount? The main factor is that the company's business is highly cyclical. Demand for memory chips can fall as quickly as it rises. However, there are several trends that could drive memory-chip demand for a long time to come.
Data centers are requiring increasingly more memory. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications, in particular, require massive amounts of memory for processing. It's not surprising that top AI chipmaker NVIDIA uses Micron's memory chips for its graphics processing units (GPUs) that power many leading AI applications.
One especially great AI opportunity for Micron is in self-driving cars. The company launched memory chips designed for the autonomous-car market late last year. In addition, Micron plans to provide hardware-level security to engine control units in cars.
Think long term
The best way to profit in investing is to have a long-term perspective. Are the long-term prospects for these three stocks strong? I think so.
Although AbbVie faces challengers to Humira, the company continues to invest in new products that should drive future growth. Disney appears to be in good shape to address headwinds from cord-cutting with its streaming services. Despite the historically cyclical nature of the memory-chip industry, Micron stands to benefit from the increased use of AI. These stocks don't just have low prices. They also offer investors great value over the long run.
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