Value Investing 2015: 3 Stocks to Put on Your Radar

By Motley Fool

Everyone loves getting a deal on things, even if its something that they don't necessarily need. The idea of getting things cheap just gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are doing something responsible with your money, and what better place to display your inner miser than buying beaten-down stocks that sell at a major discount.

So we asked some of our biggest cheapskate analysts to dig through the bargain bins to find a few companies that may be gems under all that other junk. Here's what our Scrooge-like investors found:

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Matt DiLallo: When a stock falls more than 70% it's either a screaming value or heading toward the abyss of bankruptcy. I thinkSeadrill is the former in this case as the offshore driller is taking action to ensure its survival during the current downturn in the oil market. This is why I think the stock has the potential to draw the attention of the value investing crowd this year, especially if oil prices do begin to recover in the second half of 2015 as many are now predicting.

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I see five reasons why Seadrill's stock could catch the eye of value investors in the year ahead.

  1. It has some of the best offshore drilling assets in the industry. Not only is its fleet among the youngest in the industry, but its exposed to the premium segments of the drilling market.
  2. Thanks to its asset-backed business the company is now trading at avery compelling valuewith its stock trading well below book value.
  3. The company also has a rock-solid contract backlog that will help it pull through the current storm in the market. As of the end of last quarter 91% of its floater fleet was under contract for 2015 along with 74% of its jack-up fleet. These contracts provide it with the cash flow it needs to stay afloat as the market turmoil rages on.
  4. Seadrill is now focused on improving its balance sheet since the company slashed its dividend in an effort to reduce debt and keep its funding costs low.
  5. Finally, the company sees the value in its stock and is planning to buy back 10% of its outstanding shares.

Jason Hall: Frankly,ArcelorMittal looks beaten down much more than it deserves.

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The global steel market is weak;slowing growth in Asia, and a Europe that's been unable to pull itself out of economic malaise will continue to weigh on the company's earnings power. Furthermore, iron ore prices -- ArcelorMittal is a major iron ore miner -- are expected to be weak in 2015, and that'sa net loss for the company.

But looking long term, ArcelorMittal remains one of the most important steel and ironmakers on the planet, has a solid management team, arelatively strong balance sheet with more than $4 billion in cash, and hasreduced debtalmost $6 billion since 2012.

For deeper perspective, net losses the past two years hide an important fact: The company has been cash-flow positive, as the net losses are largely the product of writedowns to assets as management rationalizes production, not cash losses.

The stock could go lower in the short term, but lower oil prices could be a catalyst to ignite growth in Europe and Asia. Combined with efforts to right-size the company, the picture isn't as dim as Mister Market would have you think. Given time, today's price looks like a solid value.

Tyler Crowe: I get it, buying energy stocks today feels like taking a stack of cash, dowsing it in lighter fluid, and watching it burn. The chance of seeing a prolonged lull in oil prices is possible, but then again anything is possible when it comes to oil prices. That's why when looking for value I want a company that has shown a remarkable ability to weather the bad times and come out the other end of an oil price drop smelling like a rose. That's why I'm buying as many shares of National Oilwell Varco as I can get my hands on right now.

NOV data by YCharts

The reason that National Oilwell Varco seems appealing is that it is one of the few oil services companies working to create a built-in customer base. By manufacturing standardized equipment for drill rigs and other big ticket items, it is pretty much ensuring that when that equipment needs to be replaced on a rig that it will be NOV supplying the customer with those parts. This has been one of the leading reasons that the company has been able to secure more than 60% of the offshore drilling package -- the term for anything drilling related on a drillship -- market as well as generate the best EBITDA growth among its peers.

Source: National Oilwell Varco investor presentation.

The company's numbers might not be as impressive short term since capital spending will decrease and orders for new drill rigs will probably be fewer and farther between, but its $16 billion backlog of projects should keep it working for quite a while even if some of those contracts are cancelled. Also, that built-in customer base that will need the high profit aftermarket products such as new drill bits will keep National Oilwell Varco's business moving along just fine. With shares trading barely over nine times earnings today, I can't think of a better time to buy.

The article Value Investing 2015: 3 Stocks to Put on Your Radar originally appeared on

Jason Hall owns shares of ArcelorMittal and Seadrill.Jason also has an uncanny ability to read the "price per ounce" information on grocery store tags. He estimates this saves him at least $3.85 every month. Maybe more in July. Matt DiLalloowns shares of Seadrill, which he bought when it was a high flying income stock. Now that it's a value stock, the cheapskate in him is itching to buy more. Tyler Crowe owns shares of National Oilwell Varco and Seadrill and has never seen a "buy one, get one free" deal he doesn't like. Now if they would only make that offer with stocks. The Motley Fool recommends National Oilwell Varco and Seadrill. The Motley Fool owns shares of National Oilwell Varco and Seadrill. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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