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5 cheap industrial stocks with upside as investors look outside tech for the next leaders

Delta Air Lines planes are seen on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

Elijah Novel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The tech sector’s fall from grace may signal to investors it’s time to get back into an old-economy mentality and bet on industrial stocks whose business models have changed relatively little over the years.

It’s been a tough year for technology behemoths, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite down more than 30% and a raft of recently disappointing earnings from names like Alphabet, Microsoft spirit Meta Platforms painting a bleak picture for the once prosperous sector. As of Thursday, all the major FAANG names have lost a combined $3 trillion in market value within the last year.

“In 2000 we began to lose faith in the tech segment. A dozen years later we regained levels reached back then,” wrote CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a tweet Wednesday. “It feels like that way again. There are stocks worth owning but the Dow is where to look, not the Nasdaq.”

For the market to move higher, investors may need to seek out a new area to drive those gains. This could mean industrial stocks, which have fared seemingly well relative to the broader market. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund is up more than 12% this month and now down just about 12% this year, outperforming the overall market. Results from Honeywell and Caterpillar paint a promising picture for the sector going forward and boosted the fund 2% on Thursday.

Across the sector, investors can find a slew of beaten-down stocks trading at attractive levels. To find some of these names, CNBC Pro searched for industrial stocks trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio discounted by at least 20% relative to their five-year average. The stocks are also loved by analysts, with at least 60% saying to buy and offer 20% upside potential for investors.

Here are the names that made the list:

Cheap industrial stock picks

Symbol Name Forward PE Avg forward P/E 5 Yrs P/E discount (%) Buy Rating Target price upside % YTD %
B.A The Boeing Company 49.3 107.6 -54.2% 65.4 45.9 -33.5
VALLEY Delta Air Lines, Inc. 7.6 32.2 -76.3% 80.0 40.7 -13.3
TDY Teledyne Technologies Incorporated 19.9 27.8 -28.5% 62.5 28.5 -13.8
GNRC Generac Holdings Inc. 13.0 21.6 -39.7% 60.9 53.1 -66.0
ALK Alaska Air Group, Inc. 8.8 28.4 -69.1% 84.6 44.3 -17.7

Source: FactSee

Despite topping more than 30% this year, Boeing‘s consensus price target suggests shares can rally another 46% in the months ahead. The aircraft maker’s stock trades at a more than 54% discount to its average five-year forward PE and despite posting a quarterly loss in its recent report, analysts remain overwhelmingly bullish on the stock, with at least 65% saying it’s a buy. Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients that shares are due to rally more than 80%.

Alaska Air Group spirit Delta Air Lines also made the cut. Shares of both companies have fallen about 16% and 13% this year, respectively, but could rally more than 40% each based on their consensus price targets.

Delta said earlier this month that it’s seeing a resurgence in travel, with a bounceback in international business, namely Europe. Cowen recently upgraded the stock to an outperform rating. The stock’s forward PE trades at a 76.3% discount to its five-year average, offering one of the biggest PE discounts of the group. Today, Delta’s forward PE stands at 7.6 times, down from its five-year average of 32.2 times.

Teledyne Technologies spirit Generac rounded out the list, with shares down more than 13% and 66% this year, respectively. Both stocks are trading at roughly 28% and 40% discounts to their average forward PEs.

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