Buying shares in popular companies might make you feel good but as Warren Buffett has said before “you pay a high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus.”

Having said that, simply being a contrarian and buying what’s unpopular is no sure fire strategy either!

Rather, an investment strategy which searches amongst the unloved to look for companies whose value is not being fairly reflected in their share price can lead to market-beating returns.

Here are three shares that would all appear to be out-of-favour with the market, which could be worthy of further analysis.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) like its banking sector peers has suffered a fall in share price over the past 12 months which has taken the metrics that the sector is trading on to a level that is arguably attractive.

While it’s true that the near term outlook for the banking sector isn’t that appealing – given where we are in the debt cycle – with analyst consensus estimates forecasting ANZ Bank’s earnings per share to rise to 238 cents per share (cps) in 2017, the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of just 10 times is hard to ignore.

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd’s (ASX: CCL) share price has been weak not just in the last 12 months, but also over the past five years.

With a number of strategic initiatives undertaken across the company including strengthening Coca-Cola Amatil’s category leadership and delivering a step change in productivity, the group’s future earnings profile appears to be improving.

With an analyst consensus forecast of 53 cps in 2016 (the beverage maker operates on a calendar year basis), the stock is trading on a PE of 16.8 times.

Crown Resorts Ltd’s (ASX: CWN) share price has been a weak performer over the past year, particularly when compared with its peer Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR).

The recently announced initiatives to enhance shareholder value which include the demerger of certain international investments into a separately listed holding company could see renewed investor interest in the casino operator.

While Crown’s FY 2017 forecast PE of 18.9 times might not appear cheap at first glance, the potential for a demerger to unlock value needs to be factored in too. (source: Reuters).

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.