If you take a look at some of the top performers in the stock market right now, it appears one thing is winning: growth.
To be sure, while value has historically outperformed growth, the run of high-flying and expensive tech stocks have been what’s pushed the market higher in recent months and years.
And while many are predicting that pricey tech stocks will continue their trek higher, Bank of America analysts are liking certain value stocks, equity and quantitative strategy analysts wrote in a note Tuesday. Indeed, in 14 of the last 14 recessions, “value stocks led in the recovery,” BofA analysts wrote in a July note.
“The conditions have never been more right for value to far outperform growth as the economy recovers over the next few years,” Vitali Kalesnik, a Ph.D. economist from the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of research for Europe at Research Affiliates, a firm that designs investment strategies for $148 billion in mutual funds and ETFs, recently told Fortune. Indeed, he noted to Fortune that, “Essentially, growth is at one of its most expensive levels in history while value is at one of its cheapest levels in history,” and while there will be bankruptcies in some of the most downtrodden industries like energy and financials, “overall, they’re key sectors of the economy, and their sales and profits will bounce back.”
Meanwhile, UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment officer Mark Haefele wrote in a note Monday that since a “large share of recent gains have come from the top six US technology firms, … we recommend rebalancing both into cyclical and into value stocks, which have so far lagged in the rally,” he wrote.
‘Not all value is created equal’
But “not all value is created equal,” analysts at BofA wrote Tuesday, and there are some value stocks in “industries that are inexpensive for the wrong reasons: relative prices are falling faster than earnings deteriorating.”
So, what is a good value?
BofA analysts prefer “traditional cyclical industries like household durables, autos, metals & mining, construction materials, and semiconductors [which] screen as good value opportunities, backed by improving fundamentals as well as price momentum,” the analysts wrote. But it’s not just pure value investors should look for—analysts at BofA also recommend adding “a quality overlay to value which has historically enhanced returns by over a full percentage point.”
A few names out of a bunch on BofA’s radar? Activision Blizzard, Nvidia, Cisco, Republic Services, Kroger, Kraft Heinz, Evergy, DexCom, Morgan Stanley, Alliant Energy Corp, Extra Space Storage, Progressive, and even Microsoft—all stocks in the S&P 500 BofA screened for their below-median valuation on forward (next 12 months) price-to-earnings ratios versus 10-year history, above-median 3 month revision trends, and above-median 3 month price momentum trends.
But investors shouldn’t assume all value is, well, valuable. BofA says steer clear of so-called “value traps” like Mohawk Industries, KeyCorp, and Flowserve Corporation. They also advise passing on REITs, telecom, and multi-utilities.
After all, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s a bargain.