Is now the time to buy these 3 beaten-up shares?

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“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” – Benjamin Graham

This famous quote by Benjamin Graham succinctly sums up the point that markets are often wrong in the short term, but rarely wrong over the long term.

It’s just the nature of the markets that emotion and sentiment will cause shares to overshoot at the high points and undershoot at the low points, but over time they will trade back towards their intrinsic value.

These short term over-reactions often present the best opportunities for investors, but they can also create value traps for unsuspecting buyers.

So with those points in mind, here are three shares that investors may be tempted to consider following significant share price declines:

Amaysim Australia Ltd (ASX: AYS) – Following a spectacular run-up post its IPO in July last year, shares of junior telco company Amaysim have failed to recover after it released a weaker-than-expected maiden interim profit result in February. The shares are now trading at $1.70 – nearly 49% down from its all time high of $3.33.

It appears investors are now sitting on the sidelines until the company releases its full year result, which will reveal whether or not it will meet its prospectus forecasts.

Although underlying earnings increased sharply in its interim results, Amaysim added just over 85,000 new subscribers by the end of 2015, down from growth of 183,000 users a year earlier. It is this slowing subscriber growth that is concerning the market and an important factor that will determine whether or not the share price can recover.

As a result, I don’t think investors should rush out to buy shares in Amaysim just yet, but rather wait to re-assess the situation after the company provides a further update to the market.

Mcgrath Ltd (ASX: MEA) – The recent listing of the real estate agent has been a complete disaster for investors with the shares not once trading over their IPO price of $2.10.

The shares fell more than 30% yesterday after the company announced it would not meet its prospectus forecasts due to a material reduction in Sydney property listings, reduced foreign investment activity, and other administrative issues.

It is becoming more apparent that the IPO listing may have been timed to perfection but at the expense of new investors and while the shares appear cheap on face value, I would not be tempted to buy shares of McGrath at this point in time.

Primary Health Care Limited (ASX: PRY) – Although the shares have recently bounced significantly off their lows, investors have still seen a more than 30% decline in value from this point 12 months ago.

The company has consistently disappointed investors over the long term and is one of the few profitable healthcare companies listed on the ASX to deliver a negative return to shareholders over the past 10 years.

Its most recent poor performance highlights its reliance on government expenditure with subdued trading conditions being experienced as a result of an ongoing Government Medicare review and budget cutbacks.

High levels of debt, skinny operating margins and a valuation that is currently factoring in a potential takeover are just a few of the factors that, in my opinion, makes Primary less attractive than other companies in the healthcare sector.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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