One of my favorite investment tools is the Value Line Investment Survey, a weekly independent publication that analyzes over 3,000 stocks considered part of the Value Line universe. Value Line is effective because they give you the facts along with their independent analytical viewpoint. Value Line provides a one page snapshot of each company it covers including 10 years of financials and performance metrics. It's a wonderful place to begin the quest for investment ideas.

IN PICTURES: 5 Tips To Reading The Balance Sheet

Taking It A Step Further
Value Line goes a step further and creates its own stock screens within its universe of stocks. One of my favorites, for obvious reasons, is the bargain basement stocks screen. Needless to say, the list is not as attractive as it once was, but that's because the S&P is up over 100% from its lows of March 2009. Still, whatever names appear on the list are certainly worth a closer look. (For more, see How Investors Can Screen For Stock Ideas.)

Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM) is a distributor of computer products and services. The balance sheet shows no net debt and shares trade for less than 9 times forward earnings. At $19 a shares, the shares are in line with per share book value of $19.73. After a terrible 2009, Ingram's operations improved significantly in 2010. Continued growth in IT spending in 2011 would be a likely catalyst for more growth. Ingram offers its products and services in over 100 countries. (For more, see Understanding Book Value.)

A Diverse Few
Also among the shrinking list of names is auto parts supplier Standard Motor Products (NYSE:SMP), a small cap supplier of replacement parts in the US, Canada, and Latin America. The company has been in business for nearly 100 years. Shares were up around an impressive 52% in 2010, but significantly below Motor Car Parts (Nasdaq:MPAA) which was up nearly 150% in 2010. Recently, auto parts manufacturers and retailers have sold off on news that new car sales are picking up. Continued selling pressure could create an attractive buying point, especially if you believe that more people are going to hold on to their vehicles longer.

Pharmaceutical company Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX) shows up on the list if for no other reason that its impeccable balance sheet. Shares trade for $32 against $12 in cash per share. The forwards earnings multiple is less than 8 and profit margins are 15%. While the company's top selling drug Lexapro is soon coming off patent, Forest has a deep pipeline of potential candidates, several of which are close to commercial success. (For more, see Forest Labs' Oh-So Healthy Balance Sheet.)

Bottom Line
Don't expect to find ample opportunity today if you are looking for deep value stocks, especially here in the United States. But the market occasionally manages to leave a few ideas worthy of further investigation. Sources such as Value Line and other good stock screens are great places to check regularly.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    Ferrari’s IPO: Ready to Roll or Poor Timing?

    Will Ferrari's shares move fast off the line only to sputter later?
  2. Stock Analysis

    5 Cheap Dividend Stocks for a Bear Market

    Here are five stocks that pay safe dividends and should be at least somewhat resilient to a bear market.
  3. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Use Options Data To Predict Stock Market Direction

    Options market trading data can provide important insights about the direction of stocks and the overall market. Here’s how to track it.
  5. Stock Analysis

    2 Oil Stocks to Buy Right Now (PSX,TSO)

    Can these two oil stocks buck the trend?
  6. Investing News

    What Alcoa’s (AA) Breakup Means for Investors

    Alcoa plans to split into two companies. Is this a bullish catalyst for investors?
  7. Investing

    A Look at 6 Leading Female Value Investors

    In an industry still largely predominated by men, we look at 6 leading female value investors working today.
  8. Term

    What Is Financial Performance?

    Financial performance measures a firm’s ability to generate profits through the use of its assets.
  9. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  10. Investing News

    Could a Rate Hike Send Stocks Higher?

    A rate hike would certainly alter the investment scene, but would it be for the better or worse?
  1. Can working capital be too high?

    A company's working capital ratio can be too high in the sense that an excessively high ratio is generally considered an ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I use discounted cash flow (DCF) to value stock?

    Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis can be a very helpful tool for analysts and investors in equity valuation. It provides ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!