Can these 4 beaten-down shares make a comeback?

Despite the doom and gloom gripping global markets, the recent sell-off has presented investors with far more attractive buying opportunities than were available only a few months ago.

Investors with cash sitting on the sidelines now have the opportunity to buy shares at prices many people thought would never be seen again.

While there could be further short term pain to come, it is important for investors to turn down the noise and focus on shares that have the potential for long term success.

With that in mind, here are four shares that have been particularly hard hit during the recent market sell-off:

1. BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) – The value of the fund manager has fallen by more than a third since the start of 2016 as market volatility takes its toll. Clearly, investors are concerned about short term fund outflows and reduced fee income that have the potential to significantly reduce earnings over the coming year. On the flip-side, if equity markets recover, BT will likely rally in response to improved conditions. Investors who believe the worst of the market sell-off is over and want to gain exposure to rising markets should definitely consider BT as a fund manager with a strong reputation and history of out-performance.

2. Lifehealthcare Group Ltd (ASX: LHC) – Shares of the medical equipment distributor have been hammered since the start of the year and are now down around 43% from their 52-week highs. Despite no company specific news, investors are getting nervous about potential changes stemming from a new review into the cost of high-margin prosthetics. Although this remains a key risk for the company, it does operate in a diverse range of segments within the healthcare market which should partially insulate it from any particular change that could occur. As a result, I think the recent sell-off has been overdone and long term investors should view this as a reasonable buying opportunity.

3. Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI) – Shares in the poker machine manufacturer got hammered on Friday dropping 5.5%. This takes its year to date share price decline close to 18% and to nearly 40% since the company announced it expected earnings to be flat at its AGM back in November. Although investors are justifiably nervous about the lack of earnings growth for the coming year, analysts are expecting earnings to significantly increase in FY17 and beyond as new products are released and new territories are expanded into. There also remains the possibility of a takeover or merger with a number of much larger gaming companies, especially if the shares continue to weaken, although this should not be the reason for an investment. At the current share price, investors will benefit from a dividend yield of more than 5% and will receive exposure to a company that has growing earnings in international markets.

 4. Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV) – Following a stellar rise in its share price during 2015, shares in the speciality fashion jewellery retailer have taken a nosedive in 2016 following a profit downgrade. The share price has fallen nearly 45% since Lovisa revealed earnings were going to be impacted by lower margins as a result of higher sales activity and a lower Australian dollar causing import costs to increase. Although the company is now starting to pass some of these higher costs to customers, investors are still concerned about the potential impact on margins if the dollar keeps falling. Against this backdrop however, the retailer did improve same-store sales by 4.1% and continues on its store roll-out across a number of countries. As a result, Lovisa may be worth a closer look following such a dramatic fall in the share price, but investors will need to keep a close eye on margins as this could be the determining factor of success moving forward.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares in Lifehealthcare and Ainsworth Game Technology. 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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