The last six months have been tough for some of Australia’s most promising, and best performing companies of years gone by. The ASX 200 has returned just 1.9% in the first four months of 2014, and while there have been some notable high-flying stocks like SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK), a few big names have underperformed due to short-term concerns.
All Foolish investors know that short-term fluctuations in the share price of our favourite companies represent buying opportunities to long-term investors. This is particularly the case with the following three companies.
ResMed Inc. (CHESS) (ASX: RMD) will be known to many investors due to its incredible record of delivering revenue increases in every quarter since listing in 1995. ResMed’s share price fell by around 10% earlier in April, before a strong couple of days recently that pushed the share price up around 5%. Investors are concerned about the new healthcare funding arrangement in the US and what impact it will have on earnings. It may well impact earnings, but ResMed has a great history of innovative products and I believe management will find a way to continue boosting earnings in the future.
Similarly, investors have dumped Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE) after concerns surfaced about the recent purchase of UK-based financial services provider Avelo Ltd, and the slightly disappointing 2013 full year results. Iress is now 14% cheaper than at the start of the year, and is forecast to grow earnings per share by between 10% and 15% this year without too much risk. Iress’ share price fall means it’s looking cheaper now than it has for a number of years.
Finally, shareholders of consumer finance company FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL) have been punished this year after concerns arose about the falling price of solar panels, reducing the need for loans. Solar panel loans comprise 36% of receivables, which is expected to fall in the coming year. To counter this, Flexigroup’s Certegy retail payment plan business saw strong growth last year and the company recently purchased the rental financing division of listed rival Thinksmart Limited (ASX: TSM) for $43 million. These have increased FlexiGroup’s exposure to the improving Australian retail sector, which appears to be a good move for long-term growth.
The three companies above have been punished unfairly by short-term investors over short-term concerns. The share price falls represent a good buying opportunity for long-term investors willing to avoid market noise.