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Another Screen for Safe, Cheap Stocks

Corning (GLW) has sold off in recent weeks and now sells below tangible book value once again. I sold this stock back in 2012 but would be more than happy to buy the manufacturer of glass products for the technology and communications industry. Growing LED sales to the flat-screen TV industry and increased usage of Corning's Gorilla Glass in phones and tablet device should drive revenue and earnings growth for the company. The balance sheet is solid as a rock, with $3.7 billion of net cash available to weather the storm and make strategic acquisitions. Corning recently raised the dividend payout, and the stock now yields 2.4%.

Longtime favorite holding FLY Leasing (FLY - Get Report) is back on the buy list again. The aircraft leasing company continues to generate outstanding results. Right now, 108 of the 111 aircraft the company owns are on lease, and two more are under letters of intent. The average lease still has more than three years until expiration. Management has bought back equity and debt securities at a discount over the past five years and done an amazing job of managing the balance sheet. FLY shares trade at 70% of tangible book value, and the stock yields 6.45% at today's price.

The screen produces a small but solid list of stocks. Many of my favorite micro-cap bank holdings make the cut, including Essa Bancorp (ESSA - Get Report) and Heritage Financial Group (HBOS). Much like the Schloss screen, this simple valuation approach does not uncover the world's most exciting and popular companies. It does find safe and cheap stocks with the potential for exciting profits. Long-term value investors should be running both of these screens at least once a month.
At the time of publication, Melvin was long MET, ESSA, HBOS and FLY, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Melvin is a writer from Stevensville, Maryland, who spent 20 years a stockbroker, the last 15 as a Vice President of Investments with a regional firm in the Mid Atlantic area. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Melvin appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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