4 shares I think bargain hunters could buy today

Benjamin Graham once said that “in the short run the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.”

The father of value investing was explaining how in the short term the market acts like a voting machine tallying up which companies are popular and unpopular. But in the long term the market is a weighing machine that assesses the substance of a company.

Ultimately the company’s actual underlying performance is what matters, not the short term opinion of investors.

There are four companies on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) at the moment which have been out of favour with investors to the point they could now be in bargain territory.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN)

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has been caught up in the banking sector sell-off. The regional bank has lost over a quarter of its market value in 2016 and could be a great pick for bargain hunters.

This sell-off means that at present only the much-maligned Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) trades on a lower earnings multiple in the banking sector.

In a report released to shareholders last week its managing director Mike Hirst advised that the company’s balance sheet is very strong and it is well-positioned to compete vigorously for customers.

If and when the company receives its advanced accreditation from APRA, I think it will cause the shares to rally. This accreditation will allow it to loan out significantly more on the same level of capital it holds currently.

Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX)

Caltex shares have dropped down 10% year-to-date, leaving them at a great price for investors to snap up. At just 15 times estimated forward earnings, this is a much lower multiple than where it has been trading in recent years.

The record high gross retail margins the company has been operating with in its extensive retail network should ensure a year of bumper earnings.

According to CommSec, analysts expect its earnings to grow by 12% per annum for the next couple of years. This for me makes Caltex a great buy and hold investment at the current price.

Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU)

The shares of Computershare have declined by 17% since the start of 2016 thanks in part to its disappointing interim results.

The sell-off means the shares are changing hands at under 13 times estimated FY 2016 earnings. This is a huge discount to the Information Technology average which is currently 22 times estimated FY 2016 earnings.

I am optimistic about proposed deals to put Computershare into the loan and mortgage servicing business in the United States and the United Kingdom. This could certainly prove to be a boost to earnings in the future.

iSelect Ltd (ASX: ISU)

You wouldn’t want to be the CEO of iSelect. In the short time it has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange it has seen no less than three CEOs.

I wouldn’t imagine this will fill the market or its shareholders with much confidence and so the almost 10% decline its share price has taken this year seems understandable.

Its interim results wouldn’t have helped either. Revenue may have risen by 1%, but the company made a $4.2 million loss. This was very disappointing compared to the $5.4 million profit for the same period last year.

But analysts are expecting things to improve. They have forecast it to grow its earnings by over 10% per annum for the next couple of years. At 13 times estimated FY 2016 earnings, iSelect could bring big returns for brave investors.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Computershare. 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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