Is it time to buy Slater & Gordon Limited, Select Harvests Limited, and Telstra Corporation Ltd?

Credit: Harsha K R

Earnings season has come to a close, and investors can enjoy another six months of semi-respite without some of the savage price swings we’ve seen in recent weeks.

However, a number of companies will continue to be re-valued by the market in light of their recent results, and here are a few of the latest that Mr Market has decided are not up to scratch:

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) – last traded at $0.315, down 96% for the year

Slater & Gordon shares are starting to look exceptionally cheap, if you assume that the business will be able to return to positive cash generation. Little more than $6m in profit ($70m for full year 2015) would give the company a Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 16, around the market average. However, the corollary of this apparent value is the very real risk that the company’s situation deteriorates further as a result of under-performance, enormous debt, poor cash position, and ongoing negotiations with lenders.

I suspect Slater & Gordon shares will head higher in the near term as bargain hunters swoop, but I believe the uncertainty is far too high to consider buying the company today.

Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV) – last traded at $4.30, down 41% for the year

Select Harvest shares have lost two thirds of their value in the past six months – from prices above $12 per share – despite posting a 41% increase in net profit (8% increase once significant items are removed). Some speculate this is due to higher rain in California, which could increase almond production there and thus reduce global prices, as California produces most of the world’s almonds. Certainly the prices of almonds have fallen, although Californian production is up just 1.8% and Select Harvests believes falling prices are the result of buyers making their purchases on a ‘hand to mouth’ basis.

Much depends on the future price of almonds, but Select Harvests has a good financial position and is looking very interesting at today’s prices.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) – last traded at $5, down 22% for the year

Telstra shares took a dive earlier this week after the stock went ex-dividend, although the decline really began after the company released its full-year results to the market in August last year. Those results revealed a 1% decline in Net Profit After Tax. Investors are pricing the company for much less growth than they have previously, and this seems fair as it is hard for a company of Telstra’s size to ‘move the dial’ organically or through acquisitions.

Looking longer term, Telstra has a number of opportunities both in Australia and south-east Asia, although investors should watch to make sure the company doesn’t lose ground to competition in its key businesses. Based on its prospects and dividend yield – both of which are solid – I believe Telstra shares are unlikely to fall substantially further from here.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill 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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