Value Ideas: The Top 10 Most Undervalued Tech Stocks

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(Wrtten by Rebecca Lipman. List compiled by Eben Esterhuizen, CFA. LFCF data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.)

Interested in technology companies? For this list we searched the tech sector for companies deemed undervalued by not one, but two analyst strategies: Price to earnings growth ratio and the levered free cash flow to enterprise value ratio.

We began with a universe of technology stocks with market caps over $300M. We narrowed the list down to those undervalued by the levered free cash flow to enterprise value (LFCF/EV) ratio and kept only the names that appear undervalued by over 5%.

Levered Free Cash Flow/Enterprise Value

Levered free cash flow, or the free cash flow available after paying interest on debt, is a helpful way to measure firm value because it is the cash flow available to shareholders.  Enterprise value is the sum of the firm’s value from all ownership sources: market cap, outstanding debt, and preferred shares. From this value we subtract cash holdings because, in the event of a takeover, that cash would be used towards the takeover price.

When the ratio of levered free cash flow to enterprise value is high, it may indicate that the price is too low. At the very least, it indicates that the company is producing a lot of cash.

Next, we searched for the tech companies that appear undervalued by the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio. This is a financial ratio that incorporates the market’s expectations of a company’s future earnings. A stock with a high PEG ratio is considered expensive or overvalued, while a stock with a low PEG ratio is considered cheap or undervalued. We only kept the names with PEG below 1.

Price to Earnings Growth

The P/E ratio is a widely-used tool for valuing a stock. P/E is short for the share price to earnings per share (EPS). The ratio indicates how much investors are paying for a dollar of earnings. P/E = (Share Price)/(EPS)

It is important to remember that share prices take into account expected future earnings growth. So investors might be willing to pay a high price today if they expect a company’s earnings to grow significantly in the future. This makes comparing P/E ratios complicated — some industries have high earnings growth trends, which inflates a company’s P/E relative to companies in other industries.

This is where PEG ratios become handy. PEG is short for the Price/Earnings to Growth ratio. The PEG ratio takes the P/E ratio one step further by including a calculation for annual earnings (EPS) growth.  PEG = (P/E)/(Annual EPS Growth). Therefore, the higher the earnings growth the lower the PEG ratio. So a company that looks overvalued because of its relatively high P/E might look like a better investment if you take into account its high earnings growth.

Interested?

Without further adieu, here is our final list of technology companies that appear most undervalued when using the two investment techniques described above.

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1. Agilent Technologies Inc. (A): Provides bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions to the communications, electronics, life sciences, and chemical analysis industries in the United States and internationally. PEG ratio at 0.71. Levered free cash flow at $2.06B vs. enterprise value at $11.96B (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 17.22%).

2. Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT): Provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. PEG ratio at 0.92. Levered free cash flow at $1.86B vs. enterprise value at $12.47B (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 14.92%).

3. AOL, Inc. (AOL): Operates as a Web services company that offers a suite of brands and offerings for the worldwide audience. PEG ratio at 0.63. Levered free cash flow at $148.27M vs. enterprise value at $1.31B (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 11.32%).

4. Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS): Provides automation, vacuum, and instrumentation solutions primarily to the semiconductor manufacturing industry worldwide. PEG ratio at 0.28. Levered free cash flow at $63.62M vs. enterprise value at $475.87M (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 13.37%).

5. Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL): Designs and produces a wide range of telecom systems and services. PEG ratio at 0.43. Levered free cash flow at $81.65M vs. enterprise value at $408.44M (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 19.99%).

6. Spansion Inc. (CODE): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of flash memory semiconductors worldwide. PEG ratio at 0.2. Levered free cash flow at $210.30M vs. enterprise value at $1.61B (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 13.06%).

7. Cubic Corporation (CUB): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, integration, installation, operation, maintenance, and support of defense electronics and transportation fare collection systems worldwide. PEG ratio at 0.92. Levered free cash flow at $116.17M vs. enterprise value at $902.78M (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 12.87%).

8. Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (KLIC): Designs, manufactures, and sells capital equipment and expendable tools used to assemble semiconductor devices, including integrated circuits, high and low powered discrete devices, light-emitting diodes, and power modules. PEG ratio at 0.29. Levered free cash flow at $96.21M vs. enterprise value at $462.95M (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 20.78%).

9. Orbotech Ltd. (ORBK): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and service of yield-enhancing and production solutions for specialized applications in the supply chain of the electronics industry. PEG ratio at 0.37. Levered free cash flow at $51.38M vs. enterprise value at $272.80M (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 18.83%).

10. Teradyne Inc. (TER): Provides automatic test equipment products and services worldwide. PEG ratio at 0.83. Levered free cash flow at $207.79M vs. enterprise value at $1.56B (implies a LFCF/EV ratio at 13.32%). 



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , Technology


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