Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) are value stocks on the Nasdaq exchange that are underpriced — for now — but offer great growth potential along with an above-average dividends. They’re the type of stocks that could benefit your portfolio for years to come.
Both companies’ share prices have trailed the growth seen in the Nasdaq, where the average stock rose 35% over the last year. In the same period, Comcast’s shares are down around 2% while Sanofi’s grew only 4%. However, with concerns about a Fed interest rate hike, value stocks such as Comcast and Sanofi are becoming more attractive, especially when you dig down to their financials.
Comcast is a balanced behemoth
Comcast is underpriced with a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 16, lower than most cable or telecommunications companies, in part because it is misunderstood. Yes, one of the company’s core businesses is cable and the increased rate of cord-cutting has slowed that side of its business. However, it is also one of the company’s biggest internet providers, it’s increasingly involved in wireless phone service, and now that its theme parks are returning to normal, there’s plenty of growth to be found there as well.
In the company’s third-quarter report, revenue through nine months was a reported $86 billion, up 13.4% year over year, with earnings per share (EPS) of $2.38, up 53.5% compared to the same period in 2020.
Its growth is coming from several areas. In Comcast’s Cable division, it added 285,000 wireless customers in the third quarter, the most since it began Xfinity Mobile in 2017. The company’s NBCUniversal division has seen improved revenue of $24.9 billion through nine months, up 26.3% year over year, thanks to the company’s streaming platforms and the recovery of business at its Universal theme parks. The company’s European-based business, Sky, which provides broadband and mobile services in six countries, reported revenue of $15.6 billion through nine months, up 13.6% over the same period in 2020.
While the omicron variant poses a potential problem to the leisure stock’s theme park business, Comcast has enough revenue coming from its other areas to weather the storm. In the meantime, the company has raised its quarterly dividend for 14 consecutive years, including a 9% bump this year to $0.25 per share.
At its current price, the yield for its dividend is just under 2%, but still above the S&P 500 average of 1.38%. With a cash dividend payout ratio of 29.55%, the company should easily be able to continue growing its dividend. Over the past five years, it has grown the dividend by 58.73%.
Sanofi’s pipeline will pay off for a while
Sanofi’s P/E ratio is quite low at 8.8, especially when you compare it to the pharmaceutical industry average of 45.7. Its forward P/E ratio is also low at 11.8 compared to the industry average of about 24.
Sanofi, based in France, has more geographic diversity than some U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies in that only 42.9% of its business is in the United States, with 23.8% in Western Europe and the rest mostly from the developing world. The company also has diversity in its revenue. In the third quarter, 31.5% came from specialty care, 11.1% from consumer health, 34.2% in general medicines, and 23.2% in vaccines.
In the third quarter, the company reported revenue of $12.2 billion, up 10.1% year over year, with EPS of $1.26, up 16.7% over the same period in 2020. Through nine months, it reported revenue of $31.5 billion, up 4.2% year over year and EPS of $4.62, up 54.6% over the same period in 2020.
The company offers an annual dividend, which it raised by 1.6% this year to $1.91 per share, the 27th consecutive year the company has raised its payout, leaving it with a yield of 3.8%. The company’s cash dividend payout ratio of 58.45% is a little high, but considering the company’s 29% rate of revenue growth over the past three years, it is still well-covered.
The company’s pharmaceutical division saw sales increase by 8% in the quarter year over year, thanks to great growth from asthma drug Dupixent, which brought in $1.6 billion in the quarter, up 54%. The company’s vaccine division grew revenues by 17% in the quarter because of demand for its influenza and meningitis vaccines. Consumer healthcare was up 11.1% due to gains in pain care, cough, cold and flu, and digestive and mental wellness therapies, the company said.
Sanofi is going through a cycle right now where it should have a number of new drugs, or new label uses for current drugs, approved in the next year, and that is exciting when you look at the company’s long-term future. It has 30 phase 3 trials going on, involving 16 different drugs. Dupixent, already a huge seller, is in eight phase 3 trials and one phase 2 trial to expand its label as an immunology-inflammation therapy.
Making a choice that fits you
Comcast, which is a long-term stock for me, has had a better trend of dividend growth in recent years. If COVID continues to keep people at home, it could hurt the company’s theme park revenue, but could also help its internet and cable and streaming revenue because working from home will persist. It also has had stronger revenue growth this year through nine months than Sanofi, though Sanofi had slightly better EPS through nine months.
I like both value stocks, with a slight edge to Sanofi for the time being. I think its pipeline has the next few years to peak, and it has the longer history of dividend growth and a better yield.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.