The Dow Jones Industrial Average has not been able to sidestep the pain in the broader market, although it’s held up better than the other indices. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow have suffered peak-to-trough declines of 24.5%, 34.8% and 19.75%, respectively. That has us looking for Dow stocks trading at a huge discount.
The Dow Jones is not like the other indices. The S&P 500 has — as you may guess — 500 stocks in its index. The Nasdaq has thousands. But for the Dow Jones, it has just 30 stocks in its index.
Just because a company is in the Dow does not mean it’s invincible. It doesn’t cement its legacy in business proficiency or put it in some sort of stock market “Hall of Fame” — even if that’s what the stock-pickers for the index would like!
However, these stocks do tend to be industry leaders and of higher quality than many other holdings in the market. With the bear market in equities, let’s look for Dow stocks trading at a discount.
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Starting the list with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — and following it with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — might elicit an eye-roll or two from some readers. However, the stocks’ performance is undeniable at this time.
Apple stock has suffered a peak-to-trough 2022 decline of 29.5%. That outperforms Microsoft, as well as the rest of the FAANG components. It also outperforms the Nasdaq. While it doesn’t outperform the Dow as a whole, Apple’s relative strength against most comparable securities is worth taking note of.
As for its credentials, it has some of the strongest financials in the markets. Its balance sheet is enormous and today’s cash flow was unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago — for virtually any company.
Not to mention, Apple has one of the best businesses in the world. Balance sheet power and brand awareness aside, its Products and Services units form a powerful one-two punch. Products are obvious — that’s the iPhone, iPad, Mac and more. However, many investors many not realize that the company’s Services unit (which makes up roughly 20% of sales) is growing three times faster than Products and is twice as profitable.
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Apple may have a peak-to-trough decline of 29.5%, but Microsoft is close with a loss of 30.9%. Like Apple, this outperforms the Nasdaq.
Even better, Microsoft has the best net margins in FAANG as well — better than Apple. The company churns out the best operating margins in the group as well, at 42.6%. The next best contender from the group is Meta (NASDAQ:META) with 36.7%, followed by Apple and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) under 31%.
Better yet, growth at Microsoft is not slowing down. Analysts expect sales to grow 17.4% this year and another 13.5% next year. On the earnings front, analysts expect roughly 15% growth both this year and next year.
To pay just 24 times this year’s earnings feels like a discount for a company with a robust balance sheet, strong margins and very solid growth.
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Disney (NYSE:DIS) is certainly one of the Dow stocks trading at a discount right now. Shares are down 85% from the high and hit new 52-week lows in mid-July. That actually underperforms the major indices.
I would argue, however, that Disney stock has been dragged down with the rest of the streaming world. Stocks like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) have been obliterated and that has dragged down Disney.
But the company showing very solid growth for its streaming products, like Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. In total, the company now boasts total streaming subscribers of 205 million. For Disney+ specifically, Disney has 137.7 million last quarter, up 8 million subs and well ahead of estimates.
Even though Disney’s streaming business is growing quite well, the company is more than just that. At a time where travel trends are exploding higher (and despite fears of a coming recession), Disney has its Parks and Entertainment unit, as well as its Studio business.
Those recession worries are not helping Disney at the moment, but at 19 times forward earnings and with earnings estimates calling for 90% growth this year and 38% growth in 2023, investors need to take a closer look at Disney.
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One of the most recognized brands in the world, Nike (NYSE:NKE), has come under incredible selling pressure over the past few months. After suffering a peak-to-trough decline of 44.5%, shares are still more than 36% off the high.
That’s even as the company continues to perform pretty well amid a global quagmire of supply chain woes. Last quarter, Nike’s revenue dropped 1%, although diluted EPS dipped about 3%. That’s as currency fluctuations and supply chain issues wreak havoc on its bottom line.
At what point does the dip in the share price account for these issues, though?
Nike has a formidable direct-to-consumer business, which continues to gain momentum even in a tough environment. Additionally, analysts expect both revenue and earnings growth to accelerate next year, up to 10.8% and 23.8%, respectively.
Nike may struggle in the short term and if the global economy falls into a recession, it will surely feel the pain. But from a long-term perspective, it’s hard not to like Nike.
Home Depot (HD)
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Most retailers celebrate calendar Q4 as their best shopping stretch, but not Home Depot (NYSE:HD). While Home Depot does just fine in the fourth quarter, the company is finishing up what is seasonally its strongest shopping season right now. That’s as customers flood the home improvement retailer during nicer weather, looking to fix up their homes — inside and in particular, outside.
That said, the market doesn’t seem to care. At its recent low in June, Home Depot stock was down 37% from the high. Although it’s enjoyed a modest rally from the lows, it’s still down considerably from the highs.
As the company has now put a focus on its dividend, Home Depot stock yields 2.5% at the moment. The company has grown its dividend in nine straight years — solid but not exactly a dividend stud … yet — and its payout averages 17.6% growth over the past five years. That’s very good.
Procter & Gamble (PG)
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Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is enjoying a nice rebound lately, up about 10% from the low. However, even after the rally, shares are still down by about 14% from its high earlier this year. If investors are able to scoop up shares of P&G near this year’s low, it may be worth doing so.
Not only would the stock be down 21% from its high, but this company continues to navigate the storm quite well.
In the company’s most recent earnings report, management raised its full-year guidance. That’s as it has been able to pass along price increases to the consumer, helping to offset the impact of inflation.
P&G’s earnings seem dependable, and so is its dividend. In April, P&G delivered a dividend boost of 5%. According to Procter & Gamble: “This dividend increase will mark the 66th consecutive year that P&G has increased its dividend and the 132nd consecutive year that P&G has paid a dividend since its incorporation in 1890.”
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Last but not least, we have Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). In prior years, many investors considered Salesforce a growth stock and many of its doubters constantly doubted its valuation. However, thanks to the selloff, Salesforce is now looking more like a value stock with a reasonable valuation.
Analysts expect 20% sales growth this year, then 17% to 19% growth in the next three years. Not many companies can make that claim, at least not in this environment.
On the earnings front, this year is less inspiring with estimates calling for roughly flat growth. However, expectations call for 20%-plus growth in the next two years (FY 2024 and 2025, respectively).
It leaves Salesforce trading at about 36 times this year’s earnings and at about 30 times next year’s estimates. For a company with this much growth, that seems reasonable — even cheap.
Lastly, it’s one of the few companies that aren’t feeling the effects of inflation, as noted by management’s recent commentary.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.