9 'Left for Dead' Stocks with Analysts’ Approval

Here are 9 stocks investors have left for dead. Yet, analysts give them positive reviews, in part because they're so cheap. Some are predicted to double or triple in the next year. They're ordered by forward earnings multiple, from cheap to cheapest.

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9. Ashford Hospitality Trust owns hotel and lodging properties in the U.S. Ashford swung to a second-quarter profit of $6.8 million, or 22 cents a share, from a loss of $161 million, or $2.20 a share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 3.6% to $240 million.

The operating margin turned positive. Ashford's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 7.1, a book value multiple of 0.5, a sales multiple of 0.5 and a cash flow multiple of 6.2 — 93%, 78%, 92% and 64% discounts to REIT peer averages. FBR Capital Markets expects it to rise 24% to $11.

8. Genco Shipping & Trading transports dry bulk worldwide. Second-quarter profit declined 2.3% to $37 million, or $1.16 a share, as revenue increased 13%. The operating margin narrowed from 57% to 52%.

Genco's stock sells for a trailing earnings multiple of 3.6, a forward earnings multiple of 5.7, a book value multiple of 0.5, a sales multiple of 1.3 and a cash flow multiple of 2.2 — 95%, 60%, 55%, 48% and 72% discounts to marine industry averages. Roughly 48% of analysts rate the stock "buy." A median target of $22.21 suggests a 39% return.

7. KKR Financial is a specialty finance company, taxed as a REIT. Second-quarter profit nearly quadrupled to $81 million, or 51 cents a share, as revenue soared 59%. The operating margin jumped from 68% to 88%. KKR's stock trades at a trailing earnings multiple of 5 and a forward earnings multiple of 5.1 — 72% and 57% discounts to peer averages.

Of analysts evaluating KKR, all four advocate purchasing its shares. A median price target of $10.62 suggests a return of 22% in the next 12 months. FBR predicts the stock will gain 38% to $12.

6. PDL BioPharma manages antibody humanization patents and royalty assets. Second-quarter profit decreased 35% to $50 million, or 30 cents a share, as revenue declined 4.4%.

The operating margin fell to 93%. PDL's stock trades at a trailing earnings multiple of 5.8, a forward earnings multiple of 4.4, a sales multiple of 2 and a cash flow multiple of 3 — 72%, 78%, 98% and 83% discounts to biotech averages. Roughly 38% of analysts rate it "buy." A median target of $6.75 implies 29% upside. JPMorgan forecasts a 33% rise to $7.

5. Advance America Cash Advance offers cash advances and lines of credit. Second-quarter profit decreased 23% to $5.1 million, or 8 cents a share, as revenue declined 5.8%. The operating margin rose from 6.8% to 9.8%.

Advance's stock sells for a trailing earnings multiple of 4.7, a forward earnings multiple of 4.3, a book value multiple of 1.1, a sales multiple of 0.4 and a cash flow multiple of 1.5 — 68%, 67%, 55%, 75% and 74% discounts to consumer finance peer averages. Jefferies offers a target of $5, implying 28% upside.

Micron
Micron

4. Micron Technology makes chips. Micron swung to a fiscal third-quarter profit of $939 million, or 92 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss. Revenue more than doubled. The operating margin turned positive.

Micron's stock trades at a trailing earnings multiple of 4.9, a forward earnings multiple of 4.2, a book value multiple of 0.9, a sales multiple of 1 and a cash flow multiple of 2.9 — 77%, 68%, 83%, 71% and 81% discounts to semiconductor industry averages. Around 57% of analysts rate the stock "buy." A median target of $12.78 suggests an 80% return.

3. Crawford & Co. sells claim-management services to insurers. Crawford's second-quarter loss decreased 97% to $2.5 million, or 5 cents a share, as revenue dropped 5.8% to $256 million. The operating margin inched up from 4.2% to 4.4%.

Crawford's stock sells for a forward earnings multiple of 3.9, a book value multiple of 1.8, a sales multiple of 0.1 and a cash flow multiple of 5.5 — 64%, 93%, 95% and 41% discounts to peer averages. Just one sell-side firm, SunTrust, covers Crawford, rating its stock "buy" with a target of $8, implying a 300% return.

2. LTX Credence sells automated test equipment for wireless, computing and automotive markets. LTX swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $14 million, or 9 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss. Revenue more than doubled.

LTX's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 3.6, a book value multiple of 1.6, a sales multiple of 1.3 and a cash flow multiple of 5.2 — 72%, 70%, 60% and 65% discounts to peer averages. Two thirds of analysts rate it "buy." A median target of $4.60 implies 132% upside. Needham & Co. expects the stock to triple to $6.

1. Newcastle Investment is a REIT that invests in credit-sensitive real estate securities. It swung to a second-quarter profit of $119 million, or $1.90 a share, from a year-earlier loss. Revenue fell 30%.

Newcastle's stock sells for a trailing earnings multiple of 0.5, a forward earnings multiple of 1.9, a sales multiple of 0.6 and a cash flow multiple of 2.8 — 99%, 98%, 91% and 84% discounts to peer averages. Of researchers following Newcastle, one rates its stock "buy" and two rank it "hold." Macquarie predicts a rise of 138% to $7.50.

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