Value investing is a time-honored strategy, and many of the most successful investors ever — from Warren Buffett to Seth Klarman — have employed the approach.

Despite this fact, there seems to be a perception among some investors that value investing is “boring,” and with growth stocks outperforming value for much of the past decade, it is perhaps understandable that some investors have adopted this viewpoint. Sure, there are plenty of stodgy companies that are beloved by value investors, but there are plenty of exciting companies that make for great value investing opportunities as well.

Value stocks can come in the form of companies in the midst of transformations that the market doesn’t appreciate yet, or businesses grappling with short-term headwinds that are obscuring their long-term potential. Here are two of the most exciting value opportunities within the broader market, neither of which is a stereotypical “value stock.” Lam Research

Tech companies often get tagged with the growth stock label, but Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX) represents both a growth and value opportunity. Lam Research makes and services the wafer fabrication equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, and counts major chipmakers like Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM) among its customers. Only a few companies have the technical acumen and scale to do what Lam does, giving it a tangible moat.

The company has grown revenue and earnings per share at impressive rates of 17.6% and 21.5%, respectively, year over year. Nothing boring about that, right?

You might expect to pay a pretty penny for a stock like this in terms of valuation, but believe it or not, Lam Research is cheap. It trades at under 11 times earnings, which is not only less than the average multiple for the S&P 500 technology sector, but the broader S&P 500 itself. Lam’s share price has followed the broader semiconductor sector down this year, as the market is concerned about ongoing supply chain issues as well as an economic slowdown that could reduce demand for chips.

This is a valid short-term concern, but over the long term, it is clear that the world is going to need more semiconductors than ever. Data centers, automobiles, and the Internet of Things represent massive and growing end markets for semiconductor companies. Intel, one of Lam Research’s top customers, forecasts that global demand for semiconductors will grow from $600 billion in 2022 to $1 trillion by 2030.

With this kind of growth ahead, I can think of few sectors I would rather be invested in. Lam will be a significant beneficiary of this secular growth story as its equipment will be even more in demand. With this type of clear, long-term tailwind and an attractive multiple, Lam is a top value stock to own. Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) is an example of a stock that seems to be misunderstood by the market, and that confusion has created a value opportunity. With a price-to-earnings multiple of just 4.5, it’s being priced like a business in a state of terminal decline. But not only is the company not in decline, it’s in the best shape it’s ever been. In fiscal 2021, it brought in revenue of $411 million and pre-tax income of $50 million — both records for the company. Even better, the momentum is continuing into 2022; its first-half revenue and pre-tax income were the highest first-half results in the company’s history.

So why is the market not giving Build-A-Bear more credit? It seems that many investors associate it with mall-based retail, which is considered an unattractive space. But the market doesn’t yet appreciate that there’s a lot more to Build-A-Bear than its heavy mall presence. The company has worked hard to diversify its footprint, and as of the most recent quarter, 35% of its locations aren’t in malls. It’s building out its presence at places like tourist destinations and even in Walmart (NYSE: WMT) stores, and becoming an omnichannel retailer.

Management is taking a thoughtful approach toward expanding the chain’s digital presence. Build-A-Bear knows that it is often viewed as a “destination,” and that families and children enjoy going to its stores to create their own bears. To avoid diluting this experience, the company has focused its e-commerce business on sales to collectors and gift givers, who are usually teens or adults. It looks like this strategy is working; Build-A-Bear’s digital business has grown at a compound annual rate of 34% since 2016.

There’s nothing boring about a business trading at a rock-bottom, mall-based retail multiple as it successfully transforms […]

source Build-A-Bear Workshop

editor Stocks

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