Dreman: Large-Cap Value Still a Good Place to Be

Add another top strategist to the list of those targeting large-cap stocks.

In his latest Forbes article, contrarian guru David Dreman says large-caps have been lagging their smaller peers for a decade, and are now cheaper than mid- and small-caps, meaning they are due to outperform. Over the last 10 years, he says, the Russell large-cap index (which includes stocks with caps over $12.2 billion) has returned just 0.5% per year. The Russell mid- and small-cap indices, meanwhile, have returned an average of 6.3% and 5.5%. “A decade is an unusually long time for large caps to sit in the doghouse, and I don’t think they’ll sit there much longer,” Dreman writes, adding that large-caps are selling at lower P/E ratios than mid- or small-caps.

Dreman also says that it’s not too late to get back in the market, even though stocks are up some 75% off their lows. But he says that’s true only if you have a timeframe of three years or more. “To be sure, there will be a correction along the way, but you simply can’t predict when,” he says. “In-and-out market timing is a difficult game to win. … [But] if you hold good-quality stocks you should be well ahead a few years from now.”

Dreman is particularly high on large-cap value plays in volatile industries, like materials, industrial supplies, oil, and banking. “Remember, many investors are still looking through the rearview mirror at 2008, remembering how badly these industries were beaten up when the market crashed,” he says. “As the economy continues to revive they should be among the prime beneficiaries.”

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