2 beaten-down blue-chip shares to buy today

The opening line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities springs to mind when I think of earnings season. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” starts the classic book, and hasn’t it been the case for many shareholders?

Not all shares performed as well as Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) and Breville Group Ltd (ASX: BRG), which produced strong results and saw their shares climb significantly higher. Some that didn’t fair so well have now lost so much value I feel they are worth considering as investments.

After it downgraded its full year earnings outlook, shares of Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) tumbled to a two-year low. While they have retraced around half of these losses now, the shares are still trading at a much lower forward price-to-earnings ratio than would normally be the case.

In the last 10 years its shares have traded on average at around 14 times earnings. Currently they trade at 12.7 times estimated forward earnings, indicating that there is still plenty of upside ahead for shareholders. The key caveat here, though, is that the company achieve what is expected of it for the full year.

When a company downgrades its guidance it can understandably lead to market doubts, which I believe is the reason its shares are trading at a discount. The industrial and medical latex manufacturer has stated that it expects a much stronger performance in the second half, so it could be worth keeping a close eye on these shares.

Another blue-chip share that has dropped during earnings season is News Corp (ASX: NWS), which is down around 15% since reporting its earnings.

The company’s advertising revenue dropped 5% year over year in the first half of its fiscal year. This is clearly a big concern for investors and contributed to the sell off of its shares. The success of its Real Estate segment, which includes stakes in REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) and iProperty Group Ltd (ASX: IPP), is perhaps the only bright spot at present.

I’m not overly bullish on the long term future of News Corp in its current form. But as it evolves into a more real estate-focused company it could offset the declines in its advertising revenue.

In the short term I do believe the company will continue to benefit from the weaker Australian dollar. Around two-thirds of its revenue comes from overseas, so I feel with the Australian dollar likely to go lower, this should help the company grow its earnings and keep shareholders satisfied until it can hopefully evolve into something that offers a stronger level of profitability moving forward.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro 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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