32% Upside From This Undervalued Automotive Stock

When retailers have sales, the unknown names are often the ones that get discounted the most. It’s common to get a deal on names that no one’s ever heard of before, but when a brand name goes on sale, everyone takes notice. That discounted price won’t last long.

The recent correction in the marketplace created some value opportunities across the board — brand names included. Normally, value investors look for relatively unknown or obscure names that analysts have glossed over or ignored entirely to find price disparities that they can take advantage of. But when certain conditions align, even big names can get discounted and make for an easy portfolio pick-up.

Like the name brand retail sale, these high quality stocks won’t stay under-priced for long.

Take a look at Magna International, Inc. (NYSE: MGA), a $20 billion automotive parts wholesaler that operates on a global scale. The company has been aggressively expanding with the acquisition of Techform Group Of Companies, as well as the opening of two new plants in India.

The auto industry is set to grow for 2015. U.S. sales rose 9% in September compared to the same month last year, while IHS Automotive predicts total sales for this year to be 16.4 million. By 2017, total sales are expected to be more than 17.4 million annually.

Auto sales worldwide are expected to climb 2.9% this year while future growth is largely dependent on emerging markets like China and India. In China, sales are expected to hit 23.3 million in 2014 and should rise to 24.9 million in 2015.

Magna stands to profit from increasing global growth in the industry. Heavy demand for replacement cars and car parts has resulted in an all-time average age for vehicles on the road of 11.4 years. IHS predicts that number will rise to 11.7 years by 2019, suggesting strong future demand for automotive parts.

#-ad_banner-#The stock trades at a discount at just 13 times earnings while long-term growth is expected to be around 14%. That gives it a P/E-to-growth ratio of less than 1 — a sign that the stock could be undervalued. Quarterly earnings growth year-over-year is just over 30% as well.

Magna’s biggest competitor is Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI). It trades at a much higher multiple of 24 times earnings with lower long term growth — only 14%. Magna’s also done a good job managing debt with a long term debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, versus Johnson’s 0.54. Johnson has also been struggling with quarterly earnings growth registering -54.5% year over year.

Investors get some downside protection in the stock with its 1.5% dividend yield and a share repurchase program. The company’s low debt burden should also help the company through economic downturns.

Risks To Consider: A global slowdown could hurt manufacturing, which would impact Magna’s future earnings. Investors should carefully watch Chinese sentiment over the next few quarters as the country will drive the majority of the auto industry’s growth going forward.

Actions To Take –> The pullback in the overall market has given investors an opportunity to purchase this stock at a discount. Based on its earnings per share of $9.88 next year and a P/E of 13, this stock should be trading at about $129 — a 32% value.

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