Should you “back up the truck” for these 3 leading ASX shares?

Credit: Grange Resources presentation

The share prices of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV) and Worleyparsons Limited (ASX: WOR) have fallen 15%, 36% and 26% respectively over the past month. These are significant drops and come in the shadow of a near 7% fall in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) over the same period.

Loading up the proverbial truck with undervalued stocks

Here are 3 stocks – all of which are leaders in their respective industries – that have recently made new 52-week lows and that could now be offering attractive value for long-term investors.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) has sunk as low as $37.75 in recent days as the full force of the resource sector slowdown continues to take its toll. According to analyst consensus data supplied by Morningstar however, the future looks brighter for Rio with earnings per share forecast to more than double in 2017 over the expected earnings outlook for 2016.

Based on these forecasts, this implies that one of the world’s largest miners is trading on a 2017 price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of approximately 10 times.

The share price of leading almond producer Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV) has been smashed over the past month with the stock down around 34% as investors readjust their expectations in response to a market update from the company.

Based on last year’s earnings the stock is now trading on a PE multiple of just over 6 times which could prove a reasonable entry point into this highly regarded agriculture and food group.

Worleyparsons Limited (ASX: WOR) shares continue to be crunched as investors shun the mining services sector with the stock hitting a new low of $3.41 this week.

With a remarkably consistent levels of earnings per share being forecast over the next couple of years, the stock is trading on a prospective PE ratio of just over 4 times.

Of course, low PE multiples can also be a sign that the market doesn’t believe analysts’ estimates. While low PE stocks can be a great place to search for bargains, further work is always required.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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.

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