Bel Fuse: The Nuts and Bolts
10/10/2016 7:00 am EST
Uncovering undervalued stocks can be as simple as sifting through those most analysts ignore. To find them, I screen out companies followed by more than five analysts, suggests Benjamin Shepherd in Investing Daily's Breakthrough Tech Profits.
I then look for companies with revenue growing at least 10% annually over the past five years and earnings-per-share growth of at least 5%, though the higher that is the better. I look for low debt and high free cash flow.
Bel Fuse (BELFB) is a classic example of an underfollowed stock. While it is a tech stock, it’s more nuts-and-bolts than cutting-edge.
It makes fuses, power supplies, converters and transformers, connectors and shielding. These are ubiquitous in industries from telecommunications to networking and storage, to industrial and the military.
Bel Fuse is hardly a young company, having been founded in 1949, but it’s small with a market cap of only about $273 million and revenue of $567 million last year.
Over the past five years, though, its revenue has averaged annual growth of 13.4%, while earnings growth has averaged 5.5%.
You would expect that kind of growth to attract some attention. Yet the stock trades at just 10.9 times forward earnings compared with the S&P 500’s 19.3 times.
The biggest reason it’s undervalued, though, is that analysts aren’t following it. Despite solid growth over the years, the company has just two analysts covering it regularly.
That’s partly due to the company’s size but also because it’s not a sexy business. Analysts will more likely earn their reputations and bonuses covering a hot new biotech firm rather than a company that makes high-tech nuts and bolts.
The company also doesn’t appear to have courted analyst coverage in the past, although it has been working the conference circuit aggressively over the past year, which should increase coverage. A sturdy growth business, Bel Fuse is a Buy up to $28.
By Benjamin Shepherd, Editor in Investing Daily's Breakthrough Tech Profits