Top Value Managers Still See Opportunities

With the market up close to 80% off its March 2009 lows, is there still money to be made in stocks? Two value managers with excellent long-term track records, Bill Nygren and Russell Croft, both tell BusinessWeek that there is.

Nygren says that while many investors are focusing on 2010 earnings to gauge market value, the market looks further forward than that. “The market is typically sold at 15 times [projected] earnings and is now trading at 12 times earnings if we look out two years, so it’s not high by historical standards,” he tells BusinessWeek. Nygren also says that low yields for bonds and money-market funds also mean alternative investments aren’t giving equities a lot of competition.

Croft, meanwhile, says it’s become harder to find very cheap stocks, but he still thinks the market is offering a good long-term entry point. “The value we’re finding in the market is more of the steady-Eddie, more classic quality companies that have good balance sheets and that have been able to hold and gain market share,” he tells BusinessWeek.

Nygren says the best opportunities are in more controversial areas like healthcare, as well as in tech stocks and media companies. And he doesn’t see any sectors as overbought.

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