The price-to-earnings ratio has its supporters and detractors, but this simple statistic can be an easy way for investors to gauge how cheap an average stock is on the fly. For some stocks, however, the P/E ratio is a misleading statistic -- particularly when earnings betray a poor business model. With stocks' rise this year and earnings on the upswing, however, is the P/E ratio a suitable fit in the medical device industry, particularly as many device stocks have soared in 2013?
Using data compiled by stock screening site Finviz.com, here are three of the cheapest medical device stocks in the industry as sorted by the P/E ratio. Are these picks worth your investment -- or is this simple statistic hiding lagging financials and flailing companies? Motley Fool contributor Dan Carroll tells you what you need to know about the device industry's cheapest pickings below.
While you can certainly make huge gains in biotech and pharmaceuticals, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of.�Click here now�to keep reading.
Hot Companies To Buy Right Now: Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD)
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. The company?s Merchant Gases segment sells atmospheric gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and argon; process gases, including hydrogen and helium; and medical and specialty gases for the metal, glass, chemical processing, food processing, healthcare, steel, general manufacturing, and petroleum and natural gas industries. This segment also offers respiratory therapies, home medical equipment, and infusion services primarily in Europe. Its Tonnage Gases segment provides hydrogen, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and syngas to the energy production and refining, chemical, and metallurgical industries; and produces dinitrotoluene used in the manufacture of a precursor of polyurethane foam. The company?s Electronics and Performance Materials segment offers nitrogen trifluoride, silane, arsine, phosphine, white ammonia, silicon tetra fluoride, carbon tetrafluoride, hexafluoromethane, critical etch gases, and tungsten hexafluoride; and tonnage gases, specialty chemicals, and services and equipment for the manufacture of silicon and compound semiconductors, thin film transistor liquid crystal displays, and photovoltaic devices. This segment also provides performance materials for a range of products, including coatings, inks, adhesives, civil engineering, personal care, institutional and industrial cleaning, mining, oil refining, and polyurethanes. Its Equipment and Energy segment designs and manufactures cryogenic equipment for air separation, hydrocarbon recovery and purification, natural gas liquefaction, and helium distribution; and offers plant design, engineering, procurement, and construction management services for the chemical and petrochemical manufacturing, oil and gas recovery and processing, and steel and primary metals processing industries. The company was founded in 1940 and is based in All entown, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Marc Bastow]
Atmospheric and specialty gasses supplier Air Products & Chemicals (APD) raised its quarterly dividend 8.5% to 77 cents per share, payable May 12 to shareholders of record April 1. The increase is APD’s 32nd consecutive annual dividend raise.
APD Dividend Yield: 2.50%
- [By Rich Smith]
Maybe the world is running out of helium. Maybe it isn't. But global leader in helium production Air Products (NYSE: APD ) isn't taking any chances.
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: Tornier N.V.(TRNX)
Tornier N.V., a medical device company, designs, manufactures, and markets devices for joint replacement and soft tissue repair that enable surgical specialists to enhance patients? lives by restoring motion and physical vitality. It principally serves surgeons treat musculoskeletal injuries and disorders of the shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, ankle, and foot. The company offers approximately 90 product lines, including joint replacement, trauma, sports medicine, and biologic products to treat the extremities. It also provides joint replacement products for the hip and knee in certain international markets. Tornier N.V. sells its products in approximately 35 countries worldwide. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven't materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Tornier (Nasdaq: TRNX ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company's inventory growth to sales growth. How is Tornier doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 7.3%, and inventory increased 5.8%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue increased 11.0%, and inventory grew 5.8%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue grew 4.6%, and inventory dropped 2.7%.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Tornier (Nasdaq: TRNX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: Weingarten Realty Investors(WRI)
Weingarten Realty Investors operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the management, acquisition, and development of real estate. It operates in two segments, Shopping Center and Industrial. The Shopping Center segment engages in the acquisition, development, and management of real estate, primarily anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers located in Texas, California, Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, and Maine. Its customer base includes supermarkets, discount retailers, drugstores, and other retailers. The Industrial segment engages in the acquisition, development, and management of bulk warehouses and office/service centers. Its properties are located in Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, California, and Tennessee. As of June 30, 2005, Weingarten Realty Investors owned or operated under long -term leases, directly or through its interest in joint ventures or partnerships, a total of 350 developed properties and 3 properties that are in various stages of development. Its properties include 294 shopping centers and 59 industrial properties. Weingarten Realty Investors qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be taxed on the portion of its income, which is distributed to shareholders, provided it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income. The company was founded in 1948 and is based in Houston, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Marc Bastow]
Shopping center real estate investment trust (REIT) Weingarten Realty (WRI) raised its quarterly dividend 6.6% to 32.5 cents per share, payable March 14 to shareholders of record as of March 6.
WGI Dividend Yield: 4.32%
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: Australian Dollar(AU)
AngloGold Ashanti Limited primarily engages in the exploration and production of gold. It also produces silver, uranium oxide, and sulfuric acid. The company conducts gold-mining operations in South Africa; continental Africa, including Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Namibia, and Tanzania; Australia; and the Americas, which include Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. It also has mining or exploration operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, and Colombia. As of December 31, 2010, the company had proved and probable gold reserves of 71.2 million ounces. The company has a strategic alliance with Thani Dubai Mining Limited to explore, develop, and operate mines across the Middle East and parts of North Africa. AngloGold Ashanti Limited, formerly known as Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining Company Limited, was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Considering the work stoppages and violent clashes that have become the norm at South African precious-metals mines, perhaps the miners were wondering exactly what they were getting for their money. An expose by South Africa's Daily Maverick has uncovered a system where miners such as AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU ) and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP ) surreptitiously paid for the salaries of the heads of the local mining unions to keep the mine workers in line, and it's only because the miners sought to end the "uncomfortable arrangement" with the unions that the matter came to light.
- [By Sally Jones]
Anglogold Ashanti Limited (AU)
Down 65% over 12 months, Anglogold Ashanti Limited has a market cap of $4.85 billion, and trades with a P/E of 8.10.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
We've seen the flip side of that trend play out in recent years, as rock-bottom interest rates in the U.S. have encouraged investment in higher-yielding income investments in places like Australia, Brazil, and South Africa. Interest from foreign investors got to be so extensive in Brazil that the federal government imposed a tax on foreign investors in bonds in order to curb demand and slow the pace of the Brazilian real's appreciation. Exchange-rate issues also likely played a role in the health of the commodities markets, as mining giants BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP ) and Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO ) in Australia benefited from increased demand largely for base metals. Similarly, South African gold miners AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU ) and Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI ) outperformed rivals from elsewhere in the world, benefiting from strength in the South African rand currency.
- [By Mark Hulbert]
If you prefer the shares of individual gold-mining companies, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) �is currently the one most recommended by the Hulbert Financial Digest-monitored advisers who have beaten the S&P 500 over the past 15 years. Also popular are Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) , Barrick Gold (ABX) , AngloGold Ashanti (AU) �and Newmont Mining (NEM) .
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX)Roche Holding AG is a Swiss pharmaceuticals and diagnostics holding company. It belongs to the Roche Group that operates through subsidiaries and associated companies around the world. It discovers, develops and provides diagnostic and therapeutic products and services from early detection and prevention of diseases to diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring. The Company has two divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. Pharmaceuticals are divided into two sub-divisions: Roche Pharmaceuticals and Chugai. It operates in the United States, Western Europe, Japan, CEMAI (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Indian Subcontinent), Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Other regions. Diagnostics include five business areas: Applied Science, Diabetes Care, Molecular Diagnostics, Tissue Diagnosis and Professional Diagnostics. It operates in five geographical regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); North America; Asia-Pacific; Latin America, and Japan. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Roche Holding AG(ROG.VX) has entered a pact with Prothena Corp.(PRTA) PLC to develop and commercialize a treatment the clinical-stage biotechnology firm is developing for Parkinson’s disease. In after-hours trading, Prothena’s stock rose 8.6% to $29.75 premarket.
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: QKL Stores Inc.(QKLS)
QKL Stores Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates retail chain stores in the People?s Republic of China. It operates a regional supermarket chain that includes supermarkets, hypermarkets, and department stores in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. The company?s supermarkets and hypermarkets sell a selection of merchandise, including groceries, fresh food, and non-food items. Its department stores sell luxury clothing and accessories, cosmetics, small electronics, jewelry, books, home furnishings, and beddings. As of December 27, 2011, the company had 54 retail locations. QKL Stores Inc. is headquartered in Daqing, the People?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
This industry fell 1.33% by 11:05 am ET. QKL Stores (NASDAQ: QKLS) shares dropped 7% in today's trading. QKL Stores shares have dropped 18.77% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 9.99% in the same period.
10 Best Gas Utility Stocks To Watch For 2014: MWI Veterinary Supply Inc.(MWIV)
MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution of animal health products to veterinarians in the United States and the United Kingdom. It primarily offers pharmaceuticals, vaccines, parasiticides, diagnostics, capital equipment, supplies, specialty products, veterinary pet food, and nutritional products. The company?s pharmaceutical products include anesthetics, analgesics, antibiotics, ophthalmics, and hormones; vaccine products consist of small animal, equine, and production animal biologicals; and parasiticides are used for control of fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and internal parasites. Its diagnostics products comprise consumable in-clinic tests for detecting heartworm, lyme, feline leukemia, and parvovirus, as well as consumable products for measuring blood chemistry, electrolyte balance, and cell counts; capital equipment products include anesthesia machines, surgical monitors, diagnostic equipment, dental machines, cage s, lights, and x-ray machines; and supplies consists of syringes, instruments, bandages, IV products, surgical consumables, grooming materials, and other small equipment items. The company?s veterinary pet foods products include foods for specialty diets and premium pet foods; and nutritional products comprise dietary supplements, vitamins, dental chews, and specialty treats. As of September 30, 2011, it served approximately 24,000 veterinary practices in the United States; and 1,500 veterinary practices in the United Kingdom. The company was formerly known as MWI Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. in April 2005. MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Overvalued companies include MWI Veterinary (MWIV) and�Stericycle (SRCL), while companies with attractive valuations include Cardinal Health (CAH), Selected Medical (SEM). He’s not a fan of Intrexon (XON) but calls�Aratana (PETX) a “hidden gem.”
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq: MWIV ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Sean Williams]
Bursting with paw-tential
No stock goes straight up, but between 2009 and 2014 it was a steep uphill ride for stakeholders in animal health products company�MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ: MWIV ) , who saw their shares rise in value by more than 700%. But all good things must end, and shares of the company have dipped by more than 20% from their all-time high set earlier this year.
- [By Rupert Hargreaves]
Pet-related companies are highly sought after
Having said that, it would appear that in comparison to the rest of the pet-related sector, Zoetis is fairly valued. Peer MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ: MWIV ) trades at 27 times forward earnings, and again the company is highly defensive, engaging in the distribution of animal health products to veterinarians in the United States and the United Kingdom. Veterinary supply is exposed to the same demand factors as Zoetis -- greater demand for animal treatments will lead to more demand for the distribution of animal health products.