Should You Buy After Recent Falls In HSBC Holdings plc, Computacenter plc & Sports Direct International Plc?

When the market takes a tumble, the shares of good companies often get unfairly marked down. This can provide excellent buying opportunities for Foolish investors.

Shares in HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA), Computacenter (LSE: CCC) and Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) have all fallen this year. In this article I’ll ask whether these falls present a good buying opportunity.


Shares in data centre and IT services firm Computacenter rose by 24% last year, but the stock has slipped back over the last couple of weeks. In my view this may provide a possible entry point for investors wanting to increase their exposure to this high quality stock.

Computacenter issued a trading update this morning, confirming that full-year results are likely to be in line with expectations. Based on the latest City forecasts, this suggests that adjusted earnings of 51p per share and a total dividend of 20.7p may be expected.

Computacenter’s operating profit has increased by an average of 8% per year since 2009, while the dividend has risen by an average of 10% each year. The group also has a very strong balance sheet, with net cash of £120m.

At the current price of 818p per share, Computacenter has a 2015 forecast P/E of 16 and a prospective yield of 2.5%. While this isn’t obviously cheap, I think it’s a fair price for a high quality business with a track record of growth.

HSBC Holdings

Asia-focused banks are not the flavour of the month, but I believe the sell-off in HSBC shares may be a good buying opportunity for investors wanting a reliable long-term income stock.

With the shares now changing hands at less than 500p, HSBC trades on a forecast P/E of 8.5 and offers a potential dividend yield of 7.4%. Such a high yield might normally be a warning that a dividend cut is likely, but in this case I think the payout may be held unchanged. HSBC’s forecast earnings per share should cover this year’s dividend nearly 1.6 times, and the bank isn’t under any regulatory pressure to cut dividends.

An additional attraction is a price/book ratio of around 0.7. This suggests to me that a fair amount of bad news has already been priced into the shares.

I rate HSBC as a strong long-term buy, and recently added more to my own income portfolio.

Sports Direct

The sell-off in Sports Direct shares has been fast and brutal. The shares are down by 28% so far this year, thanks to a mixture of poor trading and bad press.

In my view the trading outlook is the more serious concern for investors. January’s trading update caused Sports Direct shares to fall 21% in a day, even though the profit warning wasn’t a particularly big one.

The group cut its forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from a target of £420m to “between £380m and £420m”. That doesn’t seem a disaster.

City analysts trimmed their forecasts following the news and now expect earnings per share of 38.4p for the current year, which ends in April. That puts Sports Direct shares on a forecast P/E of 10.8.

I reckon this probably offers reasonable value, as long as you’re happy with the lack of a dividend.

Investing in troubled markets takes strong nerves. After all, if the FTSE lurches lower again next week, these stocks may get even cheaper.

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Roland Head owns shares of HSBC Holdings. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings and Sports Direct International. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.