We believe the retail sector is currently a mixed bag where some of the best names are currently too pricey to buy. Retailers such as Costco (COST), Ross Stores (ROST) and T.J. Maxx (TJX) have seen their share prices skyrocket over the last year or so. On the other hand, not all leading retailers have followed suit even when their operating results have been comparable. We have identified five well-known and even leading retailers that offer attractive valuation, good dividend yields and the opportunity for double-digit total returns over the next five years.
Even though these companies operate in essentially the same sector as the names mentioned above, Mr. Market has not treated them the same. This speaks to the principle that we shouldn't paint all companies with the same general brush, even when they operate in the same industry and possess similar fundamental attributes. Therefore, we believe that investors who are willing to look can find bargains even in industries where some of the competitors have experienced hot streaks with their stock prices.
The following table summarizes five retailers that appear to be attractively valued, and lists them in order of dividend yield highest to lowest. From left to right, the table shows the company's stock symbol and name. Next, two valuation metrics are listed side-by-side, the current PE ratio followed by the historical normal PE ratio for perspective. Then the five-year estimated earnings per share growth is shown next to each company's historical EPS growth providing a perspective of the past versus the future growth potential of each company. The final three columns show the current dividend yield, the company sector and its market cap.
A Closer Look at the Past and the Future Potential
Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, we'll take a closer look at the past performance and future potential of each of our five candidates through the lens of F.A.S.T. Graphs™.
Earnings Determine Market Price: The following earnings and price correlated historical graphs clearly illustrates the importance of earnings. The Earnings Growth Rate Line or True Worth™ Line (orange line with white triangles) is correlated with the historical stock price line. On graph after graph the lines will move in tandem. If the stock price strays away from the earnings line (over or under), inevitably it will come back to earnings. The historical normal PE ratio line (dark blue line with*) depicts a PE ratio that the market has historically applied.
The orange True Worth™ line and the blue normal PE ratio line provide perspectives on valuation. The orange line reflects the fair value of each company's earnings relative to its growth rate achievement, and the blue line reflects how the market has traditionally valued the company's stock relative to its fair value. The blue line represents a trimmed historical normal PE ratio (the highest and lowest PEs are trimmed). These lines should be viewed as barometers or aids for ascertaining sound buy, sell or hold decisions. Rather than seen as absolutes, they should be seen as guides to better thinking.
About Staples Inc (SPLS): Directly from their website
"Staples is the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales.