Monday, July 27, 2009

Some deep value stocks

Given the medium term risks for the stock market, I thought that I would highlight a few deep value stocks that may provide some downside protection from the cushion of fundamental value.

Stocks trading below net cash
I screened my database of US listed stocks for companies that trade below net cash (cash less all debt) and are showing positive earnings. The positive earnings test is a second check for the viability of the enterprise, as a deteriorating income statement could easily wipe out any value shown on a balance sheet. Not surprisingly, the pickings were rather slim given the market's extended nature:

Health Net Inc (HNT) and Pain Therapeutics Inc (PTIE)

Stocks trading below net net working capital
This is a classic Ben Graham screen. I looked for stocks trading below net-net working capital (current assets – all liabilities) and are showing positive earnings:

Cynosure Inc (CYNO) and Volt Information Sciences Inc (VOL)

I would not blindly buy these names but take this small list as a starting point for further analysis. I know nothing about the outlook or fundamentals of these companies. In particular, I would be cautious about Pain Therapeutics as it had shown a spate of insider selling.

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