The Motley Fool

Are Premier Oil plc, Polypipe Group plc and Vesuvius plc Ord 10p the biggest bargains of all time?

One of the risks of investing in oil producers such as Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) is that the oil price will fall. Clearly, this is an ever-present risk in the resources sector, but with oil trading just below $50 per barrel, it seems to have been thrust into the spotlight. As such, investors are now less keen to buy resources companies and are demanding wider margins of safety to compensate them for the additional risk that comes with buying them.

On this front, Premier Oil has real appeal. That’s because it trades on a price-to-book (P/B) ratio of just 0.7 and this indicates that it offers excellent value for money. Furthermore, Premier Oil looks set to emerge from the current oil crisis in a stronger position relative to its peers than it was previously, since it’s in the midst of a strategy to cut costs and become increasingly efficient. And with Premier Oil having purchased assets for what could prove to be a bargain price, it seems to be a bargain buy for less risk-averse, long-term investors.

Upbeat prospects

Similarly, Polypipe (LSE: PLP) also appears to offer excellent value for money. The manufacturer of plastic piping systems has recorded a share price fall of 16% since the turn of the year even though its last two financial years have seen profit rise by a total of 96%.

Looking ahead, Polypipe is forecast to record a rise in its bottom line of 22% in the current year and a further 12% next year. When combined with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 12.2, this rate of growth equates to a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of only 0.7. This indicates that Polypipe offers excellent value for money and could be on the cusp of experiencing much improved share price performance. Furthermore, with Polypipe yielding 3.3% from a dividend covered 2.5 times, it also offers an excellent income outlook, too.

Improvement ahead

Meanwhile, metal flow engineering specialist Vesuvius (LSE: VSVS) has endured a disappointing year, with its share price declining by 28% in the last 12 months. Clearly, its net profit fall of 15% last year has caused investor sentiment to deteriorate and with Vesuvius’ earnings due to fall by a further 12% this year it would be of little surprise for its shares to come under pressure in the short run.

Of course, with Vesuvius trading on a P/E ratio of 13.6, the market seems to have begun to price-in its disappointing financial performance. And with its profitability forecast to improve by 8% next year, Vesuvius could become a more popular stock among investors – especially since it trades on a relatively appealing PEG ratio of 1.5.

Certainly, there could be some disappointment in the short term and Vesuvius isn’t a bargain buy at the moment. But for long-term investors it could still offer capital gains as well as a tempting yield of 4.9%, which is covered a healthy 1.5 times by profit.

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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.