NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's a good chance that you have not heard of either of the companies that I'll mention in this column, but that's what we value investors do best; identify compelling under the radar companies. (At least that's what we tell ourselves.)The truth is it's getting more difficult by the day to find much of interest in value land, so you've got to dig deep, and get creative. (And I still don't consider JC Penney ( JCP ) creative, just yet anyway, and there's more dust to settle there.)
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NL Industries (NL - Get Report) is a little known holding company that has operations in the chemical and component products industries, through its ownership has interests in three publicly traded companies. From a sum of the parts perspective, that's where the story gets interesting. NL owns 87% of engineered components CompX International (CIX) worth $127 million; 30% of titanium dioxide pigment manufacturer Kronos (KRO) worth $531 million; and just over 4% of Valhi (VHI) worth about $227 million. (Valhi, in turn owns 83% of NL.) The total value of those three holdings is $885 million, while NL's current market cap is just $550 million, and its enterprise value is $489 million. Theoretically, each dollar spent on NL gets you $1.61 worth of the stock held by NL in CompX, Kronos, and Valhi.