NEW YORK ( Stockpickr) -- There's an old adage: "Whether you're rich or poor, it's good to have money." That sentiment surely applies to companies as well. Money in the bank means you never have to worry about creditors taking control of your business. And it provides all kinds of flexibility when it comes time to think about a stock buyback, a dividend boost, R&D or a strategic acquisition.
Yet investors often overlook a company's cash balance. They indiscriminately sell off all kinds of stocks when the market falls, failing to distinguish between debt-laden companies and cash-rich ones. As a result, companies in a very strong financial position can see their shares sold off to levels that make little sense.
That spells opportunity for value investors. They can snap up these stocks before the crowd realizes just how oversold these stocks have become.What kind of money are we talking about? In recent weeks, we've seen a number of stocks fall so much that their net cash position (which is cash and investments minus debt) is equal to 40%, 60% or more of their entire stock market value. >>ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out Stockpickr's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now! Here are five cash-rich bargains you should be checking out .