Shares in Santander (LSE: BNC) continue to disappoint, with the global banking giant trading 14% lower than at the start of the year. Although the bank is highly diversified, its income is still skewed towards key markets such as Brazil and the UK. While the latter continues to perform well and offers excellent long term growth potential, Brazil is struggling to post positive economic growth.

Wide margin of safety

Looking ahead, this could hurt Santander’s profitability. Although the bank’s financial standing is strong following its fundraising a couple of years ago, its recent update showed that Brazil continues to be a drag on its overall performance. And while Santander is forecast to record a rise in earnings of 5% in 2016, there is a realistic chance of a downgrade to that figure.

While that would be disappointing, Santander has a very wide margin of safety and this means that its share price performance may prove to be strong even if its financial performance is somewhat lacking. For example, Santander trades on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of just 7.3 and although the outlook for the bank is highly uncertain, it is difficult to justify such a low P/E ratio at the present time. As such, it appears to be an excellent buy for the long run.

Also posting dismal share price performance of late has been software products and services provider Tribal Group (LSE: TRB). Its shares are down by 81% in the last year following a highly disappointing period of financial performance which has culminated in a rights issue and the company’s shares moving onto AIM.

Considerable upside

However, in recent weeks investor sentiment has picked up strongly and Tribal’s shares have risen by 38% since the turn of the year. Part of the reason for this could be the waiving of the testing of financial covenants for the 2015 financial year, or the recent appointment of a new CEO. But with Tribal forecast to increase its bottom line by 37% this year and its shares trading on a forward P/E ratio of just 5.1, they appear to offer considerable upside, but also a relatively high degree of risk. As such, they could be of interest to less risk averse investors for the long haul.

Meanwhile, the recent update from Amur Minerals (LSE: AMC) was positive and shows that the company is moving in the right direction. For example, it is taking delivery of various pieces of equipment so as to be able to double its drilling capacity at the potentially highly lucrative Kun Manie prospect. This should allow for the rapid expansion of the resource and generate the required information for the definitive feasibility study.

Better options elsewhere

While 2016 is set to be an exciting year for Amur after relatively slow progress in the last decade, there still appear to be better options available elsewhere in the resources space. That’s not because Amur lacks a quality asset or the potential to generate a significant amount of profitability, but rather it is because other sector peers offer high levels of profitability right now, as well as low valuations.

So, while less risk averse investors may wish to take a closer look at Amur, for most investors it may be prudent to look elsewhere.

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Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.