Can You Beat The Market With Out-Of-Favour Stocks Lloyds Banking Group PLC, Marston’s PLC & De La Rue plc?

The market’s declines over the past three weeks have thrown up some fantastic bargains for investors to take advantage of.

So, here are just three former market darlings that have fallen from grace during the past few months and which now trade at, or near, 52-week lows.

Fallen angel 

Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) has seen a dramatic reversal in fortunes this year. After a mixed 2015, Lloyds shares have plunged by 12% so far this year, taking the bank’s shares back to a low not seen since 2013.

Most of Lloyds’ recent declines can be traced to concerns about the group’s growth. City analysts expect Lloyds to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £8.2bn for the year ending 31 December 2015, but pre-tax profits are expected to fall to £7.9bn for 2016. Further, analysts are predicting that earnings per share will contract by 8% next year. Exceptional costs relating to PPI provisions are also set to weigh on Lloyds’ figures, although it’s unclear how much these new provisions will cost the bank. 

Nonetheless, for long-term holders, Lloyds remains an attractive proposition.  At the end of the third quarter, the bank’s tier one equity ratio was 13.7%, up 0.4% from the figure of 13.3% as reported at the end of the first half. Management has stated that Lloyds will return any “excess capital” to investors via buybacks and dividends — some City analysts have speculated that the bank could return as much as £20bn to £25bn to shareholders over the next three years. 

So, Lloyds is planning to throw a tidal wave of cash at investors over the next few years and after recent declines, the bank’s shares look cheap. Indeed, Lloyds’ shares are now trading at a forward P/E of 8.6 and support a yield of 3.3%. 

Upbeat update

Last week, brewery and pub operator Marston’s (LSE: MARS) issued an extremely upbeat Christmas trading update within which it revealed that like-for-like sales were 3% ahead of last year. In the critical two-week Christmas trading period to 2, January trading was good with like-for-like growth of 4.9% despite tough comparatives. 

These results are all the more impressive when you consider Marston’s tough operating environment. City analysts expect the company to report earnings per share growth of 6% for the year ending 30 September 2016 and based on the group’s Christmas trading, it looks as if Marston’s will hit this target. 

Marston’s shares are currently trading at a forward P/E of 12.7 and support a yield of 4.2% covered twice by earnings per share. 

Cashless economy 

Shares in De La Rue (LSE: DLAR) have fallen by 14% over the past twelve months as the company has issued several profit warnings and analysts have consistently lower their targets for the group’s growth. However, De La Rue does have one attractive trait; its ability to literally print money.  

Indeed, De La Rue’s ROCE — a metric that compares how much money is coming out of a business, relative to how much is going in — eclipses that of its peers. 

During its last financial year, De La Rue’s ROCE totalled 49.6%. To put that into perspective, according to my figures less than 3% of the world’s 8,000 largest companies managed to achieve an ROCE of greater than 40% last year.

De La Rue’s shares currently trade at a forward P/E of 13.9 for 2016 and support a yield of 5.6%. 

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Rupert Hargreaves 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.