Top Managers: Value Stocks Look Promising

Andrew Fisher

The recent gyrations in the markets may have scared some investors away, but two leading  portfolio managers say there are still plenty of value stocks to be snapped up.

"Value stocks have underperformed here, after having a very long run of outperformance versus growth stocks," Mary Jane Matts, portfolio manager of the Fifth Third Disciplined Large-Cap Value Fund told CNBC. 

"I think at this point, the valuation argument is pretty evenly balanced."

"We tend to be very focused on our stock picks from a bottom-up perspective, and very focused on free cash flow and those sorts of characteristics tend to do us well in this kind of environment," added Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager of the Touchstone Value Opportunities Fund.

Matts' Picks

In the technology arena, Matts likes IBM.

"Their geographic diversification gives them a cushion against what's going on in the U.S.," she said.  "The growing large service revenues -- about 75 percent of revenues now from software and services -- really is a much less volatile earnings stream than the hardware side, and we think the catalyst is just the interest in companies across the globe in saving money right now."

Matts has an energy play: oilfield service company Halliburton.

"If you look at the number of large projects internationally, and especially with the deep-water, there's going to be a long-term secular demand here for the service companies,"  she explained.

She also likes Forest Laboratories . 

Kaufler's Picks

"We like Time Warner," Kaufler said. 

"This is a stock that has gone nowhere for seven years...the catalyst is the change in leadership, Jeff Bewkes taking over as CEO, and we think that in the next three to six months, you're going to see an unwinding of the conglomerate structure, and what's going to emerge is a pure-play content company."

Kaufler's energy play is Cabot Oil and Gas. 


Matts' firm owns more than 1 percent of all three companies she discussed (IBM, Halliburton, Forest). Kaufler's company owns more than 1 percent of both Time Warner and Cabot.