Digging deep for the next crop of bargains

These 5 stocks trade below tangible book value.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 19, 2013 12:53PM

thestreet logoStocks circled in newspaper copyright Digital Vision, Getty ImagesBy Jonathan Heller


Last Friday's on TheStreet I wrote about a stock screen I've been using to identify stocks trading below tangible book value. The performance of these company's has been better than expected, and today I will reveal the current crop of stocks meeting the screen's criteria, which includes the following:

  • Trading below tangible book value
  • No financial companies
  • Long-term debt to equity less than 50%
  • Companies must be profitable on a trailing 12-month basis
  • Minimum market cap $100 million

Not to sound like a broken record, but the cupboards are pretty bare -- a recurring theme these days in most, if not all, of the value-related searches I use. In fact, there are just five companies that qualify, and two of them are repeat offenders: Both Rowan (RDC) and Corning (GLW) made the cut last time.


Corning continues to look interesting. It's the type of company that has seemingly made the transition from growth to value. Years ago, you would not have seen much interest in the name from the value crowd, but it's become difficult to ignore. The stock has done little for years; in fact it is now trading for about half of what it did five years ago.


Value investors may not care all that much about Gorilla Glass, per se, but it's hard to ignore the company that manufactures the product; hard to ignore a company trading at 10 times forward earnings, trading below tangible book value, yielding 2.8%. The company also has more than $6.1 billion, or $4.18 per share in cash and short-term investments. Although net margins are not as strong as they used to be, I can't complain about a company that bottom-lined 21.6% of profits during 2012. The company has also been buying back stock. I'm often a fan when companies buy back their stock and pay dividends.


Other qualifiers include Benchmark Electronics (BHE), and OmniVision Technologies (OVTI). Benchmark is a former net/net (company trading below its net current asset value), that seems to be a perennial qualifier in many of my value related screens. The company currently trades for 0.9 times tangible book value, and has $385 million or nearly $7 per share in cash. It's no longer a net/net, but still pretty close at 1.17 times net current asset value. 


BHE chart 


Rounding out this rather short list is Coeur d'Alene Mines (CDE). The Idaho silver and gold mining company currently trades for 0.77 times tangible book value. Speaking of mining, that's akin to what value investing has become these days; and you have to dig very deep. 


cde chart 


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