3 ASX 300 shares hitting new 52-week lows: Are they cheap buys?

What's sending these shares down to new lows today?

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The Australian share market may be trading near its record high but that hasn't stopped some ASX 300 shares from hitting new 52-week lows.

Three such shares that have made these unwelcome milestones are listed below. Is this recent weakness a buying opportunity for investors or should investors keep their powder dry? Let's find out.

Australian Clinical Labs Ltd (ASX: ACL)

The Australian Clinical Labs share price hit a 52-week low of $2.24 this morning. This was driven by the release of a trading update from the struggling pathology services provider.

That update reveals that management continues to expect to achieve underlying EBIT at the low end of its $60 million to $65 million guidance range. This is based on unaudited management accounts to 30 April and assumes market volumes continue at current trends.

Ord Minnett is likely to see this as a buying opportunity. A recent note reveals that its analysts have an accumulate rating and $3.50 price target on the ASX 300 share.

Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SHL)

Another ASX 300 share hitting a new 52-week low on Tuesday has been fellow pathology provider Sonic Healthcare. Its shares sank to $23.58 after investors reacted badly to the release of an earnings update.

Management advised that it is now forecasting FY 2024 EBITDA of approximately $1.6 billion on revenues of approximately $8.9 billion. The former is short of its guidance range of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion. This is due to inflationary pressures on the business, and exacerbated by currency exchange headwinds.

Looking ahead, Sonic expects to return to growth in FY 2025 and has pencilled in EBITDA of $1.7 billion to $1.75 billion for the 12 months.

Morgans is likely to see this weakness as an opportunity for investors. It currently has an add rating and $34.94 price target on its shares. Though, this recommendation could change once it has updated its financial model.

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS)

The Telstra share price dropped to a 52-week low of $3.57 after the telco released an update on its guidance.

Telstra has reaffirmed its guidance for FY 2024 and introduced its guidance for FY 2025. The latter sees the ASX 300 share target underlying EBITDA of $8.4 billion to $8.7 billion. This is up from its FY 2024 guidance of $8.2 billion to $8.3 billion. A key driver of its growth will be a $350 million cost reduction.

Goldman Sachs has responded to the update. While it was disappointed with the FY 2025 guidance, it has retained its buy rating and $4.55 price target on Telstra's shares for the time being.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sonic Healthcare. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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