As the Motley Fool reminds investors every time market volatility hits the news, now is the perfect opportunity to begin, or add to, positions in great companies at depressed prices. Are Petrofac (LSE: PFC), Burberry (LSE: BRBY) and British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) three such great companies trading at attractive valuations?
Oilfield services provider Petrofac has the benefit of bringing in reliable revenue whether crude oil is trading at $140/bbl or $20/bbl. A client base made up mainly of Middle Eastern national oil companies, who are making up for depressed crude prices by increasing supply, makes Petrofac a much safer play than pure exploration and production companies in the oil & gas industry.
On the downside, Profits have dropped off since 2014 due to customers pushing back large projects and a disastrously over-budget offshore project that has thankfully finally ended. However, the company is well placed to bounce back from this as its order backlog is now at a record $20.9bn. With a healthy balance sheet, management refocusing on high margin onshore projects and steady revenue streams for years to come, I believe Petrofac is an intriguing investment option. Shares are trading at a very cheap eight times forecast earnings with a 4.9% yielding dividend pencilled-in for 2016, leading me to believe now is a great opportunity to begin investing in Petrofac.
Out of fashion
Luxury clothing and accessories brand Burberry has also been hit be headwinds outside of its control, namely the economic downturn in China. Share prices are down 32% over the past year, but this could be a textbook case of market overreaction. Earnings per share, which will likely fall for the first time in more than five years, are only forecast to be 6% lower than the previous year. Revenue has also remained stable and increased 1% this past quarter.
While dramatic growth in China may be slowing, the long-term outlook for the country remains very bright. Burberry's price point is perfectly positioned as an aspirational-yet-attainable brand to attract China's growing middle class over the coming decades. After falling 30%, shares are now trading at a very reasonable 16 times forward earnings and are forecast to yield 3.3% this year. A P/E ratio this low and considerable growth prospects lead me to believe buying Burberry now is a decision investors will look back on fondly in the years to come.
Addicted to BATS?
The beauty of selling a product to which consumers are addicted is that you can book reliable revenue no matter the economic environment. Shares of British American Tobacco have taken advantage of this captive market and are trading at near all-time highs. BATS, the second largest tobacco company in the world, boasts operating margins of 39.2% and market-leading brands across the globe. This dominant position has allowed the company to maintain sky-high earnings and return significant capital to shareholders through a progressive dividend currently yielding 4.2%. Priced at 16 times forecast earnings, BATS shares aren't exactly cheap given relatively low growth prospects. However, with a good dividend and a long history of increasing profits despite poor regulatory environments, I believe BATS is a safe share to hold and enjoy for years to come.
Ian Pierce has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Petrofac. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Burberry. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.