4 shares at 52-week lows: Can they bounce back?

Despite yesterday’s strong rally in the commodity and energy sectors, the list of shares trading at 52-week lows is still dominated by miners, explorers and drillers. The outlook for many of these companies is still unclear and, as a result, investors are choosing to steer clear from these sectors for the time being.

Scattered amongst the commodity and energy-based companies are a number of interesting shares that have come under serious selling pressure in recent days and months.

The first is Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) which saw its share price fall to a low of $61.88 yesterday before recovering to end the day at $64.86. The shares have now lost more than 25% since reaching their peak in October.

Investors were clearly unimpressed yesterday when the company revealed that trading conditions across the group were ‘satisfactory’ in the last quarter. The market was obviously expecting more from Macquarie despite it confirming it was still on track to deliver profit growth in FY16.

Despite the negative market reaction yesterday, I still believe Macquarie is a good long term investment and would be happy to add to my holdings at current prices. The stock is now trading at less than 13.5x trailing earnings and a dividend yield of more than 5.2%.

The other big name to fall heavily yesterday was Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN). The company announced a profit downgrade and the shares traded below $15 for the first time since 2012. The shares have now lost more than 51% since hitting an all-time high of $30.40 last April.

According to Ansell, the downgrade is a result of significantly lower-than-expected January sales due to continued currency and economic volatility and weaker market conditions that have resulted in the deferral or reduction of orders. The end result has been a 9% downgrade to full year earnings and investors feeling uncertain about the medium-term outlook for the company.

After yesterday’s fall, the shares are now trading on a price-to-earnings ratio of around 10x forecast earnings based on an Australian dollar at 70 cents. Although this looks cheap, investors may want to wait until an improved performance is delivered as another disappointing result could see the share price fall even further.

It has been a tough start as a public company for real estate agent Mcgrath Ltd (ASX: MEA). The shares have been trending downwards since its listing last December and hit an all time low of $1.63 yesterday.

The company is yet to release any financial results but the market is already concerned earnings will come in below expectations as signs that the boom in the residential property market is coming to an end. Despite the company recently opening its first offices in Melbourne, McGrath is heavily exposed to the Sydney market and much of McGrath’s performance will be determined by the performance of this key market.

Another share trading at a 52-week low is waste management company Tox Free Solutions Limited (ASX: TOX). Although waste management is generally considered to be highly defensive and recession proof, Tox Free has struggled in recent years largely as a result of its exposure to the mining and energy sectors.

As the resources sector has started to wind down, so too has the need for waste disposal and this has had a direct impact on the company’s earnings. FY15 earnings were essentially flat compared to the previous year and investors should not expect more than low-single digit earnings growth in FY16.

Despite this, Tox Free is a company with the potential for good future growth as it looks to increase its market share through acquisitions and new contracts. Investors would be wise to keep a close eye on the company and watch for any positive signs of growth once conditions stabilise.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of Macquarie Group. 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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