Today I am considering the investment potential of three recent Footsie fallers.
Oil services provider James Fisher & Sons (LSE: FSJ) has enjoyed a rich vein of form in recent weeks.
The firm’s share price leapt almost 60% in little over ten weeks to May’s two-year peaks above £15, James Fisher rising in tandem with Brent crude’s explosion above the $50 per barrel marker.
But investor nerves were shaken last week after OPEC once again missed the opportunity to curb output levels. The move didn’t come as much as a surprise to industry commentators given the economic and political friction across the oil cartel, but this could not prevent James Fisher from sinking through the floor.
I have long argued that stock pickers should avoid oil-related stocks until major producers begin to cork supply, and demand indicators improve markedly to soothe bloated inventories.
So with James Fisher boasting an expensive forward P/E rating of 18.1 times, and the prospect of further capex cuts from the oil industry looming, I reckon there is plenty of room for the engineer to keep falling.
Defence play Cobham (LSE: COB) once again shocked the market last week, its stock consequently sinking to its lowest in more than a decade.
On Wednesday Cobham advised that it will raise £506.7m via an equity placing that will see one new share issued for every two. But investors were taken aback by the 45% discount to the prior night’s price — new shares are priced at just 89p.
And question marks abound as to why Cobham has elected to keep paying dividends to its shareholders under the current circumstances.
Chief executive Bob Murphy commented that “the rights issue will put Cobham on a sound financial footing by reducing gearing towards its target of below 2 times net debt to EBITDA.”
But given the ongoing travails Cobham still has to overcome in key markets — not to mention question marks over the company’s strategy to mend its broken finances — I reckon investors should give the firm short shrift, despite a conventionally-low forward P/E rating of 10.2 times.
Drive home a bargain
Car and cycle giant Halfords (LSE: HFD) also collapsed last week following its latest set of trading numbers. But I reckon stock pickers could be missing a trick here.
Halfords saw total sales increase 1.7% during the 12 months to April 2016, to £1.02bn, or 1.5% on a like-for-like basis. However, this could not prevent pre-tax profit slipping 1.2% to £79.8m as restructuring costs weighed.
Still, I believe the fruits of its store expansion scheme — not to mention steady roll-out of new product ranges — should underpin solid sales growth in the years ahead.
Indeed, sales across Halfords’ Cycle division have gained momentum following last summer’s weather-related blowout. And sales of the firm’s car-related parts — not to mention activity at its Autocentres — are also performing healthily.
With the company dealing on a prospective P/E rating of just 12.6 times, I reckon now is a great time for value investors to pile in.
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Royston Wild 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.