It's strange the way some shares can be out of line with what I see as their true valuation, and it can continue for quite some time. But sometimes, we get a change of sentiment and a revaluation that can turn a decent but overvalued company into one that could look like a promising investment again.
Not such a bad ban
I'm seeing an example of that at Royal Bank of Scotland(LSE: RBS). Using fellow bank Lloyds Banking Group as a yardstick, as the banking recovery gained pace we saw RBS attract a significantly higher rating than Lloyds, while it looked like it was at least a couple of years behind in getting back on track. Lloyds paid its first post-crisis dividend in 2014 and looks set to yield more than 6% this year, while we're unlikely to see a penny from RBS before 2017.
But then RBS shares went through a drastic correction and lost 40% since their February 2015 peak, to 239p today. While there's a big fall in earnings expected this year, analysts are predicting a strong recovery in 2017, which would drop the P/E multiple to just 10.6. The forecast 1.6% dividend yield would need the approval of the PRA, but I don't see any danger of that being withheld now that liquidity looks strong, and I'd expect to see the dividend at least double in 2018.
While there's still some risk, and I still see Lloyds as better value, I think the second half could turn out well for RBS shareholders.
Standard Chartered(LSE: STAN) could also be past the worst, with the shares having picked up a bit since their February low. At 549p, the four-month recovery of 36% puts them on a forward P/E of around 14.5 based on 2017 forecasts -- high for a FTSE 100 bank, but we could see that multiple dropping drastically with further EPS recovery, while the dividend looks set to bounce back.
A few key developments are underpinning the change in sentiment. New boss Bill Winters, who took over a year ago, is still in that honeymoon period where he can make drastic changes and not get yelled at. And in the bank's Q1 report, he noted progress in "managing costs tightly, progressing on key investments ... and maintaining strong levels of capital and liquidity".
The troubled Korean operation looks to be making progress, and recent higher-than-expected Chinese oil demand suggests that country's slowdown might be bottoming out too. Standard Chartered shares might not be a screaming bargain, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
What is Goals Soccer Centres(LSE: GOAL)? A small company that operates a five-a-side football centres around the country. Its shares have been through a bad patch following a couple of profit warnings and lost 63% from theirFebruary 2015 high to this year's March low. But since then we've seen an upturn of 30% to 118p.
On 3 June, Goals announced a new share placement to raise £16.75m, the proceeds to be used to refurbish its UK centres, to build on its one US centre and to reduce debt. And the company has finished its strategic review resulting in a new CEO and new non-executive directors, among other actions.
Goals shares are on forward P/E multiples of between nine and 10 for the next two years, which could be attractive. And with the new shares being placed at 100p, close to the average price of the last three months, sentiment looks upbeat.
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Alan Oscroft owns shares of Lloyds Banking Group. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.