A black cat: good luck for 2020?Is the pivot into value stocks for real this time? That has been one of the biggest questions facing investors over the last three months of 2019. As the economic outlook deteriorated, then brightened again, it seemed like the right time to take chances on stocks considered undervalued. But there have been some headfakes along the way, and with stock markets at all-time highs, some investors still need convincing that a multiyear run-up in stocks has further to climb. See: Good news: the ‘stock-bond ratio’ just hit bottom. Here’s how to use it to invest. In what might be seen as an attempt to thread the needle, analysts at Jefferies produced a list of stocks that they describe as “Value BUT growing” — that is, expected sales growth over 3% in 2020. The analysts also screened for companies that are reducing their debt, have market capitalizations between $750 million and $30 billion, and derive more than 20% of their sales from outside the U.S. The Jefferies analysts in a research note dated Friday come up with 13 names that fit those criteria. They make a couple of points about other themes that inform their thinking, as well: “Smaller small-cap” stocks have more attractive valuations than larger ones, they say. And they’re “getting more excited” about the outlook for overseas economies versus the U.S. Company Sector Foreign sales % Forward price/earnings Aptiv PLC
Discretionary 73 17.5 Energizer Holdings, Inc.
Staples 30 13.7 Integra LifeSciences
Health care 29 20.1 Dentsply Sirona
Health Care 68 20.9 Masco Corp.
Industrials 21 17.9 Textron.
Industrials 38 11.7 Univar Solutions
Industrials 43 14.8 Woodward
Industrials 44 19.3 Microchip Technology
Info tech 80 16.5 Motorola Solutions
Info tech 41 18.9 ON Semiconductor
Info tech 85 14.8 SolarWinds Corp.
Info tech 39 20.2 Valvoline
Materials 26 13.7 S&P 500 Broad market index 38 18.1 Related: Wall Street has slammed the brakes on one of 2019’s hottest stock-market funds