Vale (NYSE:VALE), the Brazil stock that focuses on metals and mining, is not exactly a sexy pick right now. If you like materials stocks, most investors typically go for gold or maybe silver. If you like emerging market stocks, most investors are looking to Asia. If you like stocks that feed the industrial sector … well, most investors think you are crazy.
But investors should take notice of Vale right now. The stock is showing tremendous growth over the long term, pays a plump dividend (though an admittedly volatile one that fluctuates quarter to quarter) and could be your best bargain buy in a market that feels painfully overbought.
I recently talked up the prospect of buying Alcoa (NYSE:AA) for similar reasons, citing Alcoa stock as a great bargain buy. But Vale is even more attractive being 10 times the size, paying a bigger dividend and having a footprint in emerging markets.
The short term might be rocky, but here’s why I really think Vale could be a blockbuster investment for the long term:Metal Prices Firming Up
Yes, industrial demand remains weak. That’s not exactly news to anyone since manufacturing is stagnant amid a global economic downturn and the housing market crash has put a big damper on the needs for plumbing, wiring and other materials that use base metals.
Click to EnlargeBut a look at copper and aluminum price charts hardly show that it is the worst of times. While prices haven’t regained to pre-recession levels — which is no surprise — they have come storming back during the past three years from financial crisis lows.
Consider these charts, which show copper is up almost four times over from its lows, and aluminum is about double 2009 levels. Granted, there has been a softening in the past few months — but the overall trend continues to be up for the long term.
I suppose car sales and home sales will slump even lower than the “new normal,” but frankly, if you believe that, you shouldn’t be investing in any stocks for the long term. The fact is that manufacturing has almost nowhere to go but up if the American economy is going to build a true recovery in the next year or two.